FOURFOURTWO INTERVIEW WITH LAWRENCE
FourFourTwo Q & A with Liam Lawrence:
transcribed by Carole
Mansfield have been in the Third Division play-off race all season and the goals of their 22- year-old winger have played a major part in their success
Is this your best season yet?
“Last season I scored 12 goals and this year I've beaten that so I'm very pleased.
I've also been told that I'm top of the assists chart for this division, which pleases me as a winger. Mind you, I prefer playing in midfield, linking behind the front two, but I've always played on the right since I got into the first-team here.”
Have you always been with Mansfield?
“No, I was with Forest from the age of nine but I was released at 15, which was very disappointing. My family got behind me and when Mansfield offered me a trial, I never looked back. I got into the team at 18 and scored on my full debut against York, which settled me down very quickly.”
Didn't you have a bad car crash though?
“Yes, in our promotion season, I'd been attending a friends birthday party and on the way back I skidded round a bend, smashed into a pub wall and ended up back in the road. The door was crushed and so was my arm, and it meant I missed out on our promotion run-in.”
How has your manager, Keith Curle, helped your career?
“He's had a big influence, talking to me throughout games and at half-time. He's played at the highest level and has faced some of the best wingers and strikers around, so I listen intently to him. He's been great for the club. When he arrived he didn't like the set-up, the fact that we didn't have fresh kit and that our meals weren't paid for. He sorted that out and even made our dressing room bigger.”
You nearly moved to Rotherham earlier this season. What went wrong?
“I was all set to move but the chairman and manager were not happy with the price, and Rotherham were not prepared to up their valuation. It was disappointing for me because I want to test myself at a higher level. I've seen the likes of John Stead and Dave Kitson enjoy big moves and I want to test myself at the highest level possible and make a good living from the game.”
So do you think you will be on the move in the summer then?
“I'm out of contract, but at the moment I'm concentrating on doing well for Mansfield. The thing is, I wouldn't be allowed to just walk away on a Bosman free. I'm under 24 and have been at the club for a long time, so it would have to go to a tribunal.”
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