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Archived News from October 2003

3rd October 2003 14:14

Evening Post, 03 October 2003

The Mansfield players have been set a target of cementing their place within the three automatic promotion places within the next eight games.

Assistant manager John Gannon said a target had been set before the victories against Cambridge and Bristol Rovers and that the side had given themselves a good start.

But he believes they need to build upon that in tomorrow's home game against Darlington by recreating the same kind of attacking football.

Gannon said: "The two away results have given us a massive platform to build upon, but we have to keep it up.

"Before the weekend we gave ourselves ten games to cement a place in those automatic spots and we have to make sure we keep going so that going into the Christmas period we will be up there."

Despite scoring goals for fun, the Stags are looking much more solid at the back, although they have to keep swapping and changing players because of injuries and suspensions.

But Gannon believes competition for places in defence, following the signings of Dave Artell and Luke Dimech, is helping the side in its efforts to stop leaking goals.

He said: "Bringing in Dave and Luke gave us competition for places and we are getting these quality performances as a result.

"We see people getting the chance and wanting to stay in the team.

"It is lifting their performances which is great for the side.

"But we believe we have a stronger squad than last year and we are now beginning to see the benefits.

"It is a healthy competition for places."

And Gannon praised Craig Disley, who has now scored three times in two games after being sat on the bench for the first part of the season.

He said: "With Dis, you always know he will get into goalscoring positions and he has done that and taken his chances, which is a great credit to him.

"He has played very well in the last two games and I am delighted for him.

"Now everyone has to continue to build on what's been achieved, and with two home games coming up we have to make sure we do not let ourselves down after two great results away from home."

Mansfield are expected to be boosted by the return of Lee Williamson, who underwent a knee operation while serving a three-match ban.

Bobby Hassell, who was ill in midweek, is still a doubt.

STAGS (Probable): Pilkington, Clarke, Vaughan, Dimech, Day, Curtis, MacKenzie, Disley, Lawrence, Mendes, Christie. Subs: White, Artell, Corden, Williamson, Beardsley


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