STAGS WIN PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK; PLUS PREVIEWS
STAGS WIN PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK
Presentation will be screened on Sky Sports Soccer Saturday programme.
mansfieldtown.net reports that Mansfield Town secured a third division playoff place on Saturday with a fine away victory at high-flying Huddersfield and also earned themselves another accolade to boot.
The League Managers Association panel, which consists of the likes of Sir Alex Ferguson, George Burley and Howard Wilkinson, all concurred that Keith Curle's side are worthy winners of the LMA Performance of the Week award after their 3-1 victory at the McAlpine Stadium.
Stags Boss keith Curle will be presented with the Crystal vase this afternoon (Friday 7th May)by Sky Television who will be broadcasting the presentation on saturday morning.
Keith Curle said: "I am delighted at winning this award but it is really down to the hard work of the players. we went to the McAlpine full off confidence and the belief that we could take something from the game. It took 15 minutes or so but when we settled we were threatening skillful and played as a team. The feeling in the changing room immediatley after the game and on the bus coming home was one of cmoplete unitity. Something i have been trying to achieve, the atmosphere was excellent and the training this week has been the same, the lads are really looking forward to finishing this campaign in style and are really looking forward to the play-off games."
Barry Fry and Dave Bassett also agreed with their fellow LMA panellists that Curle was the deserved choice for the Performance of the Week award, and he will receive a specially engraved crystal vase in a presentation that will be screened on Sky Sports' Soccer Saturday programme.
Meanwhile Keith Curle today told the official website: " I was delighted with the result last weekend against Huddersfield but even more so with the unity in the changing room immediately after the game. The lads played with passion and showed real heart and determination. They kept things simple and the result a great win which secured our play-off place and ruined Huddersfield's party putting their automatic promotion dreams on hold.
“I have always known that we can achieve great things at this football club and have told the lads time and again football is a simple game, keep it simple and the results will follow. This is what we did after fifteen minutes at the McAlpine and look what can be achieved.
“Let's not get carried away though, we still have one more game to play before we go into the play-off rounds and that will be a tough game against a good Northampton side. Many of the fans will be thinking let's not bother too much about this game and have one eye on the play offs but remember a good win on Saturday could give us the home advantage in the second leg of the semi final. And, we like to win games. I have watched Northampton a couple of times and know that Colin Calderwood's side will be bringing the game to us and showing their strengths from the start so it is our job to negate these strengths and cause them problems of their own.
“I would like to urge the fans to get right behind us on Saturday and for the remaining games and we will do our best to play the kind of football worthy of their support. With an anticipated full house Saturday will be perfect opportunity to exercise the vocal chords for the exciting week ahead."
Curle was even happier to hear that Adam Eaton who came through his first ninety minutes of the season suffered no ill effects from his game. "I gave Adam an extra day off because his muscles were a little sore but you would expect that but he has now returned to training with the rest of the lads and is available for selection on Saturday. Iyseden Christie will be having an X-Ray on Monday to determine whether his bone has knitted and whether he can return to training or not"
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Mansfield manager Keith Curle has no fresh injury worries to contend with.
Iyseden Christie remains on the sidelines, although he is still hopeful of being fit enough to return for the play-offs.
Northampton could be boosted by the return of three players for the crucial play-off battle.
Both Des Lyttle (virus) and Rob Ullathorne (hamstring) have missed the last two games but are fit again and back in contention.
This is our big chance
Boss Colin Calderwood has branded tomorrow's play-off showdown at Mansfield Town as a 'fantastic' game for the Cobblers.
Town travel to Field Mill needing a win to guarantee qualification for the Nationwide League Division Three play-offs, and the Town boss says his players are relishing the challenge.
"If we were going to Mansfield knowing that a win might not take us into the play-offs then that would be a cruel situation," said Calderwood. "But we know a win will get us into the play-offs and this is a fantastic game for us. Mansfield will provide us with a really tough test. They are an excellent footballing side who offer a lot of attacking threat.
"In many ways the game means a lot more to us than it does them, and we have to come out on top. We are desperate to be in the play-offs."
Mansfield have already secured their play-off place, and Town will join them providing they match or better Yeovil Town's result at sixth-placed Lincoln City.
Midfielders Chris Hargreaves and Paul Trollope will again be stoking up the team's engine room, and both players have their eyes on a glorious season-finale at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.
"Everyone is so focused and it's really important now that we drive on and get into the play-offs," said Hargreaves. "We know we are capable of beating any team in the league, and, as far as I'm concerned it's forget about the holidays. I haven't booked any because I am so determined to get to Cardiff."
Trollope added: "I'm pretty sure if Colin Calderwood and John Deehan had been in charge from the start of the season we would be clear at the top now.
"We know all about Mansfield. We weren't at the races when they won here 3-0 in November, but we have come a long way since then and are a much better unit. We are confident we can get a win going into this game."
On the injury front, full-backs Rob Ullathorne (hamstring) and Des Lyttle (illness) are both fit and available for selection again, but skipper Paul Reid remains a doubt with a hamstring problem. More than 2,500 Cobblers fans will make the trip for tomorrow's game, but fans without tickets are being urged by the club not to travel.
Latest | May 2004