PREVIEWS AND TEAM NEWS
Manchester Evening News Preview: Rochdale v Mansfield Town
ROCHDALE entertain high-flying Mansfield at Spotland tomorrow with manager Steve Parkin looking for a big improvement.
"In the last two games we have looked like a team of boys rather than a team of men, lacking passion and steeliness and we have to get better," he said.
The Dale boss will again have to make changes with skipper Gareth Griffiths sidelined with a hamstring injury and leading scorer Kevin Townson suspended.
Kiwi flyer Leo Bertos is back from international duty and will come into the side at the expense of released winger Kevin Donovan.
Youngster Simon Grand will deputise for Griffiths while up front new signing Grant Holt will make his home debut alongside Paul Connor in place of Townson.
Dale will be looking for revenge having more than matched their hosts when the two sides met at Field Mill on Boxing Day going down to a narrow 1-0 defeat courtesy of a Griffiths error.
LAST SEASON: Different divisions
KEY OPPONENT: Liam Lawrence - goalscoring midfielder who will have to be watched and stopped.
PREDICTION: Rochdale 1 Mansfield 1
Ananova: Preview: Rochdale v Mansfield
New loan signings Danny Livesey and Kangana Lord-Ndiwa both go straight into Rochdale's squad for the visit of Mansfield.
Livesey could start alongside Daryl Burgess at the back, despite a broken nose sustained last week, while Gareth Griffiths is ruled out with a hamstring strain.
New signing Grant Holt will make his home debut up front with Kevin Townson suspended and Leo Bertos is in contention after returning from international duty.
New signing Richard Pacquette is expected to make his Mansfield debut after arriving on a month's loan from QPR.
Tony Vaughan is in contention having overcome rib problems and Neil MacKenzie is also back from a hand injury.
But the outlook remains bleak for Adam Eaton (groin).
CURLE BOOSTS HIS FIREPOWER
Evening Post, by STEVIE RODEN
New striker Richard Pacquette is expected to be thrown straight into the squad as Mansfield look to add some extra firepower to their side.
Keith Curle's men have struggled in front of goal in recent weeks.
And the manager has brought in Pacquette on a month's loan from Second Division QPR.
Curle will now throw him in to the first-team squad in his search for the goals that will help take all three points at struggling Rochdale.
"He has impressed us and he could feature in some capacity tomorrow," Curle said.
"He holds the ball up well, has pace, is strong and aggressive and has a thunderous right-foot shot. He is a handful.
"Because of the calibre of players at QPR his first-team chances have been restricted and his career has reached a little bit of a standstill.
"But this is an opportunity to kick-start it and he could be in our plans for the weekend."
The 21-year-old, who was on loan at Conference outfit Dagenham and Redbridge last month, has scored nine goals for QPR from 13 starts and 18 substitute appearances.
And with Tony Vaughan returning to training this week after a rib injury and Jamie Clarke back from suspension, Curle has a full squad to choose from, apart from long-term injury Adam Eaton.
Rochdale, who have former Stags boss Steve Parkin at the helm, lost at next-to-bottom Darlington last week.
And Curle is confident he can put one over Parkin, who signed him at Barnsley just over two years ago.
The Stags boss added: "Rochdale gave a good account of themselves here when we beat them 1-0 and it will be a very hard-fought game.
"They are very difficult to break down and there is that added spice of it being against the ex-manager.
"But we need to continue picking up the points to keep in contention with the pack and I'm confident we can do that."
Stags (probable): Pilkington, Hassell, Buxton, Day, Dimech, Williamson, Curtis, Lawrence, Corden, Christie, Mendes. Subs: J White, Artell, Mackenzie, Larkin, Pacquette.
referee: Tony Bates (Staffs).
Latest | February 2004