PITCH NEWS, TEAM NEWS AND PREVIEWS
Mansfield 103.2 reports that there is to be a pitch inspection tomorrow morning at 8.30am at Cheltenham. Jason Harrison rang Cheltenham this morning and they said they'd had some snow but the pitch was in a good state. The main test is tonight where they are expecting temperatures to go as low as -5C.
If the game goes ahead, and you can't get to Cheltenham, then be sure to listen to the Mansfield 103.2/StagsWorld commentary from Whaddon Road, brought to you by Jason Harrison and Martin Shaw.
CURLE: GET UP AND AT 'EM
BY STEVIE RODEN, Evening Post, 27 February 2004
Stags boss Keith Curle knows it is important his side take the game to Cheltenham tomorrow - otherwise they risk throwing away three valuable points.
The Robins have kept six clean sheets in their last eight games and are in good form under manager John Ward, with Curle acknowledging it will be difficult to break them down.
But the Mansfield manager is confident his players can bounce back from the 2-1 defeat against Doncaster and make the Robins pay.
Curle said: "I know John Ward from my days at Wolves so I know Cheltenham will be organised. He is a respected coach. I think they will be quite defensive-minded.
"They don't like giving anything away and we must make sure we are on the front foot, though mindful they can hit us on the break.
"After last Saturday we must just make sure we produce a good performance."
Three players picked up knocks last weekend but are all expected to be fit for tomorrow's clash.
Bobby Hassell is expected to recover from a calf strain and Tom Curtis has been back in training, although he is still a doubt.
However, Neil MacKenzie had a cartilage trim last Monday and will be missing.
Curle said: "Jake Buxton and Colin Larkin both received slight hamstring strains and Williamson took a knock to the back. But by resting last weekend and by easing them back into training, all should be fit and in contention for tomorrow."
Curle is still on the lookout for new players to boost his squad.
He has already brought in Richard Pacquette on loan from Second Division QPR but he has failed to make a real impact, despite scoring one goal in three matches.
Curle said: "I know that a match-fit Richard Pacquette will be a handful. But right now he is still trying to get out of reserve team mode."
After tomorrow's match, the Stags face the toughest month of the season in March with seven games - five against teams in the top eight of the table.
And Curle said it was the time for some of the players and management to earn their money.
He added: "We must go into the month with no fear. We have a platform to perform on. These are the games you want to play in and be involved in.
"We have played all these teams before, had a good look at them and seen nothing to be frightened of. On our day we will give any of them a game."
Stags (from): Pilkington, J White, Hassell, Buxton, Vaughan, Day, Artell, Dimech, Williamson, Curtis, Lawrence, Corden, Disley, Mendes, Christie, Pacquette.
Cheltenham v Mansfield
Cheltenham will be without defender Shane Duff (knee) and striker Bob Taylor (rib).
A late decision will be made on midfielder Richard Forsyth (foot) who has been training and was a substitute against Rochdale.
Mansfield welcome back Tom Curtis, Bobby Hassell, Jake Buxton, Colin Larkin and Lee Williamson.
But Neil MacKenzie will be absent, though, after undergoing surgery to trim knee cartilage.
Latest | February 2004