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CURLE AND PENNY REACTION
22/February/2004 2:53:38

CURLE ACCUSES STAGS OF BOTTLING
Evening Post website

Mansfield boss Keith Curle accused his players of folding under the pressure as they let a goal advantage slip against Doncaster.

The Stags took the lead on 15 minutes as Liam Lawrence scored from the penalty spot but two-second half goals from Greg Blundell fired Doncaster to the summit of Division Three.

Mark Albrighton hit the post for Doncaster in the first half. After the break it was all Doncaster and Dave Penney's side were unfortunate not to extend their one-goal advantage.

"We just didn't handle the pressure well," said Curle. "There were times when we decided to get rid of the ball when we should have created openings.

"And there were times when we decided to play in the wrong areas when we should have been getting rid of the ball.

"Too many of my players where on the back foot and not doing the job required of them. I could sense a bit of naivety and we seem to start panicking because we were 1-0 up.

"As soon as Doncaster got a goal back I knew it was going to be difficult but we still had two great chances after that.

"It's frustrating not to have capitalised on other results going for us today."

Doncaster boss Dave Penney added: "I've got to be pleased with this.

"We showed great character to come here and win, especially coming from behind. The game was probably even in the first half as Mansfield looked quite bright and sharps on the break.

"It's nice to go top but there's still along way to go and we've won nothing yet. Winning this game was never going to win us the league and losing was never going to stop us losing.
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Rovers official site: PENNEY REACTION:

That as to be the best we have played for quite a while and we fully deserved our three points that now puts us back on the top of the table. We knew they were good going forward with Pacquette and Christie but we felt we could behind their defence and we showed that we could. Once again it took us to go behind again before we started playing but we responded well and gave them problems throughout the game. I feel the penalty decision was a bit harsh because although it did hit his hand it was ball to hand. Then Warrington saved the penalty but could not hold on to the ball and they punished us for it. We showed some great character to come here and see Gregg get two great goals in front of our magnificent fans. We cane from behind in the game at Belle Vue and again we did it today with our fitness levels showing that we can right up to the final whistle. With Leo leading the line well and Gregg sniffing for the ball we always knew we could get the goals today. The two young lads, Greeny and Ravenhill in the middle to be fair control it well making the right moves for our forwards. The first half was an even contest but as the half moved on we started to get more into it and could have easily got an equaliser at that point. We dominated the second half and you have to be pleased with the all-round performance today of the whole team. We told the lads to keep at it in the second half, be more composed in front of goal and take our chances, which is what they did.



We know that today as not got us promoted yet but it's nice to pick another three points. I told the lads yesterday that whatever happened it would not get us promoted or keep us out but three points now gives us a bit of breathing space and puts us on the top. We would have settled for a point before the game but I'm quite pleased to drive home with all three. Today we were back to what we know we can play like ad to be fair the pitch helped, as it was a wonderful surface to play on and is probably better than ours at the moment. We play football top of the grass and a good pitch will always help that with the athletes such as McIndoe and Blundell. Dave Mulligan also fitted in quite well on his debut, so that was another plus to come out of the game.



To finish let me thank those wonderful fans who sang their hearts out today even when we went behind they carried on singing. To score the two goals at that end really made their day so once again Thank you from us all at the club.


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