CURLE PLAYS DOWN `GRUDGE MATCH`
CURLE PLAYS DOWN 'GRUDGE MATCH'
MANSFIELD manager Keith Curle is playing down the intensity of feeling between the clubs when Swansea City visit Field Mill this Saturday (3pm).
Both Mansfield's supporters and team felt very hard done to after their trip to the Vetch Field in August when Stags ended the game with nine men and lost 4-1.
They were subsequently fined by the English FA for their part in a mass brawl while Stags fans were limited to less than 300 tickets on the day and given a poor view.
Already the clubs have been rowing again after Stags offered the Welsh club only 500 seats in the Bishop Street Stand. They demanded over 1,000 in the South Stand but, when their own Police refused to guarantee that many would travel, the English FA upheld Mansfield's decision.
But Curle said: "As far as I am concerned it's just another three points up for grabs and that is what we have been focusing the players on since Wednesday morning.
"I know there was a lot of upset in the manner of our defeat and a lot of people felt aggrieved with the way they were treated.
"But we are focused purely on football issues. We are not changing our training routines and attaching bayonets because it's Swansea.
"It was one of those days when nothing went right for us.
"But I don't see it as a grudge match. We want to beat everyone that's beaten us. We are not scoring many goals at the moment, though we are defending well. But if we can score more than once I think someone is in for a hiding soon."
The Swans look set to be without star striker Lee Trundle with a fractured cheekbone. However, Curle warned; "Lee is a quality player who has been scoring goals - but Swansea are by no means a one-man team."
Mansfield will be without Tony Vaughan (rib) and Adam Eaton (groin) but otherwise have a full squad to choose from.
Midfielder Lee Williamson will hope to force his way back into the reckoning in training after being left out of the 16 for Tuesday's 0-0 draw at Scunthorpe which edged Mansfield into third place.
"It was nice to get back above that line, having been hovering just under it for a while. now we have 19 games left and must make sure we stay above it," said Curle.
Meanwhile, Curle told mansfieldtown.net that “Adam (Eaton) is working very hard and is desperate to get back on the thick of it and we would like to see him back in the team as soon as possible”. Eaton, who has suffered a reoccurrence of his groin injury that has seen him miss all but one of this season's games, is attending FA Headquarters at Lilleshal to try and get the problem fixed once and for all.
Latest | January 2004