Burnley are the FA Cup prize for Stags
A HOME date with First Division Burnley is the prize on offer for the winners of Mansfield Town's FA Cup replay with Wycombe Wanderers at Field Mill on Tuesday night (7.45pm).
Stags earned a replay from last Friday night's 1-1 draw at Wycombe - a game they probably deserved to win - and Sunday's draw has given them a big incentive to reach the prized Third Round.
"I was asked before the draw was made what I wanted and I said I would settle for a home draw which is what we have," said Stags boss Keith Curle.
"If we did get to play Burnley it would be nice to meet up again with Sam Ellis who was my first team coach at Manchester City and someone I have a great deal of respect for.
"But there's no point looking at that yet unless we can beat Wycombe on Tuesday. Hopefully we can put on another good performance to entertain the public and get a result."
Ellis, of course, had a spell as a Stags defender in 1972/73, before beginning his managerial career.
Curle added: "I will be very surprised if Wycombe come here and play 4-4-2. I think they will probably go 4-5-1 and try to keep it tight for as long as they can before having a real go in the last 15 minutes.
"That's something we tried to do at their place. And, at the end of the day, we went away to a Second Division side and did enough to have won the game.
"OK, finances are important to a Third Division club and a replay gives us another pay day. But the most important thing was to be in the hat for the draw.
"I was delighted with the attitude and desire of the players after going a goal behind. I had asked them to play in a certain way which was not as open as they are used to and they did well. Also, our away supporters gave us magnificent vocal support."
He added: ""We will be confident for the replay. We have to go out there and earn the right to play which I know we'll do. The only thing I can promise is that I know we'll go out there and give a good account of ourselves.
"At Wycombe my players were asked if they were prepared to go out there and work hard and match Wycombe toe to toe for effort and commitment which I knew we would.
"Credit to Wycombe, they didn't give us the time and space to play our football as they knew we can give teams problems if they do give us the space.
"At half time John Gannon got into the players' ribs and pointed out the only occasions Wycombe had caused us problems were caused by ourselves either by wrong decisions or misguided kicks.
"Then I asked them if they had the belief, individually and collectively, to go out there and get a result.
"Even when we went behind against the run of play I never thought it wasn't going to be our night. We hit the woodwork twice and they went straight upfield and scored, but that's the beauty of the FA Cup.
"Our equaliser came from a lot of determined work within their box – a belief that we can get on the end of things. If we'd have scored first I think we might have won the game. But we'll take the replay for now."
Despite the televised excitement on Friday night, Sky TV have elected to opt for the Accrington Stanley v Bournemouth replay next week instead
Stags are offering fans an Executive Package for £25 for the Wycombe game on Tuesday. That buys an executive seat, a meat pie supper, tea and coffee at half-time, a programme, a pay bar facility before and after the game and one car park pass between two people.
Latest | December 2003