CURLE PREVIEWS CHELTENHAM GAME
Chance for Stags to get back on track
MANSFIELD Town look to get back on track at Field Mill this Saturday with a home clash against managerless strugglers Cheltenham Town (3pm).
Stags have just lost three games on the trot after winning four in succession.
But manager Keith Curle said: "I can't believe people are talking about stopping the rot ands things like that. It's just being negative.
"After the LDV Vans game against Stockport all we have done is lose two very difficult away games.
"Now we have a great chance to get back on track with three games on the trot against sides at the wrong end of the table and three of our next four League games are at home.
"It is a good opportunity to get ourselves back into the automatic promotion spots which is our aim."
Bob Bloomer is is temporary charge of Cheltenham after Boby Gould's resignation last week and marked his first game with a victory over Darlington in midweek.
Before that they had lost seven and drawn one of the previous nine games.
"It is always disppaointing when a manager you know vacates his position," said Curle, once a player under Gould's management.
"Obviously there were things going on internally which Bobby was not happy with and you have to respect his decision.
"Due to their financial situation they have had a lot of changes on the playing staff this season while we have been fortunate that we've been able to keep most of our team together and we are now reaping the rewards.
"We had Cheltenham watched on Tuesday and it was a good victory for them. They are a big, strong, physical team who are good on set pieces.
"We need to get the ball down, pass it and disrupt their shape.
"Like many teams this season, they would be happy with anything they can get from Field Mill."
Stags welcomed Boby Hassell back into training today (Thursday) but the defender is unlikely to go straight back in on Saturday after his ankle injury.
Neil MacKenzie, who played the first half at Doncaster under the effects of flu, is improving and should be in the squad.
Other than that, Stags have no injury problems right now, aside of long term absentee Adam Eaton who is now kicking a ball and hopes to get a couple of reserve outings in over the next couple of weeks.
Cheltenham - who now have a short list of six to become manager - will be without keeper Steve Book and club captain and central midfielder Mark Yates on Saturday through suspension, though Book has been second choice recently to Shane Higgs.
Curle is looking for his side to be more ruthless in the last third after that 1-0 defeat at promotion rivals Torquay on Tuesday.
"There were a lot of good things to come out that game but we let ourselves down in the final third," he said.
"We lacked that little bit of sharpness and creativity in and around the goal, even though we had 75 per cent of the possession. It was certainly an improvement on the Doncaster game where we didn't perform."
Latest | October 2003