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Archived News from February 2004

18th February 2004 21:45

Last chance to buy tickets for showdown

THE stakes are high as promotion rivals Stags and Doncaster Rovers clash head on at Field Mill for what should be a sell-out all-ticket crowd on Saturday.
The game IS all-ticket and Stags fans have until 5pm on Friday to buy and the Field Mill ticket office will specially open until 7pm tomorrow (Thursday).
Rovers have taken their full allocation of almost 2,500 and will have the South Stand and Bishop Street Stand.
Mansfield, lifted by Saturday's superb 2-1 win at York City, can move themselves to within three points of their Yorkshire rivals with a game in hand if they can avenge that 4-2 setback at Belle Vue back in October.
And Stags manager Keith Curle wasn't about to try to devalue the game with tired lines about it only being another three points at stake.
"This is a quality game and we can't wait," he said.
"Doncaster know how big a game it is too and, believe me, one place they won't want to be coming on Saturday is here.
"They have been edging a few 1-0s lately and are going through a blip in form. I am sure they are due a defeat - why not on Saturday?
It is important our fans come down and become an extra player for us. Win, lose or draw I want to see our players and supporters all give it their best."
Mansfield certainly owe Rovers one for that result at Belle Vue.
Stags were ahead through Liam Lawrence and playing well. But Rovers were level by half-time and then netted three goals in 24 minutes to take a grip.
Mansfield woke up again, pulled another back and finished strongly.
"Doncaster scored their goals at the right times, though we only really started playing when we weree 4-1 down," said Curle. "Even then we could have scored three more.
"I have a lot of respect for Doncaster and their management. They try to play football the right way, not dissimilar to us.
"I don't think our lads will take much motivating, like last weekend.
"A lot of things were said during the week last week at meetings. By Saturday it was one of those days when you knew you didn't need to say a lot. It was more a case of keeping a lad on it but keeping it simmering.
"I've always said the sign of a good team is how they react after defeat and we deserved Saturday's victory.
"It was a chance for the squad to come together again. I could sense a unity back among them again before the game in the hotel, on the bus and in the dressing room.
"One thing people say is come and see Mansfield as you always get a nailbiting game and that's what is was.
"I was delighted to see Liam score. He is back to his best now after a difficult time.
"And Richard scored his first goal. You could tell he needed a goal and an opportunity to score. QPR manager Ian Holloway told me he felt Richard always had a goal in him and he proved that on Saturday.
"There had been an anxiety around the club last week after the Rochdale disappointment.
"The fans chanted 'what load of rubbish' at us there which was understandable. We accepted that and now we've moved on."
A return to form by Liam Lawrence has certainly helped and Lawrence added: "All the transfer talk was a bit unsettling and that was showing in my game. Now I know I've got to get on with it, work hard and do my best for Mansfield Town.
"The Rochdale game was getting to everyone as the lads knew our performance wasn't good enough. But at York we were fighting for each other again and creating chances.
"Craig Disley and myself linked well together, swapping and covering for each other. And John Gannon said my goal may end up goal of the season, though we'll have to see."
Bobby Hassell and Neil MacKenzie are back in training after shaking off injuries and should both be fit enough to rejoin the squad for Saturday.


Latest | February 2004