EVENING POST PREVIEW
CURLE IS YET TO DECIDE IF LAWRENCE WILL PLAY
BY STEVIE RODEN, Evening Post, 22 August 2003
Shamed Stags midfielder Liam Lawrence is back in the squad for tomorrow's trip to Southend - but he has been warned that does not mean he will play.
Manager Keith Curle dropped the 21-year-old for last week's match against Leyton Orient after he was spotted nightclubbing on the Thursday night.
Curle criticised his attitude and said he would have to earn his respect before he was considered for selection again.
But the talented midfielder has responded in training this week and publicly apologised to the players, manager and fans for his actions.
Curle said: "We have seen a good response from Liam but I do not need a response for one week or two weeks, I need to see that every day throughout the season, and that goes for every player.
"Liam will be in the squad but that does not mean he will be in the starting line-up. Nobody has got a divine right to be in the team and that is a testament to the squad I have got."
Curle is confident his men can pick themselves up from the disappointment of conceding a late equaliser last Saturday to secure their first win of the season tomorrow at Southend.
But he knows it will be a tough task, with Roots Hall being a tricky ground to visit.
Curle added: "Southend are a physical side and we need to match them in that area and when we get the ball we will have to make sure we keep it. We don't want to be giving it away cheaply.
"We will show them respect but we are confident we can get the result."
The Stags received a triple boost this week. Colin Larkin resumed full training after suffering back and hamstring trouble following the opening game at Kidderminster and Tony Vaughan has also returned after picking up an ankle injury in pre-season. Both could feature in tomorrow's squad.
Adam Eaton is the other player on his way back from injury. He will return from Lilleshall on Monday where he has been receiving treatment for a hernia and although the full-back may not be in the squad for the Bank Holiday, he is expected to return in the next few weeks.
STAGS (from): Pilkington, Hassell, Clarke, Dimech, Artell, Vaughan, Curtis, Lawrence, Williamson, Corden, Mendes, Larkin, Christie, White (A), Day, White (J), Disley.
BETTING: Southend 11/10, Stags 2/1. Draw 9/4
Latest | August 2003