GRIMSBY PREVIEWS / NEWS ON TRIALISTS
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Town boss Russell Slade says that he has spoken to the players about trying to be a bit more ruthless in front of goal, but Slade is generally happy with the Mariners' home form.
"It was disappointing at Rushden because we didn't get the result that our endeavours deserved. I was really pleased with the performance and I think we took that into Tuesday's game against Wigan," he said.
Asked if he thought that the Mariners were not scoring enough goal, he said: "I think you've got to be careful on that one. We've not done it away from home but so far we've scored in every single home game. That's encouraging and we got five against Bury. I think it is far too early to start saying that we are not getting enough goals - certainly at home, but obviously we need to rectify it away from home - I take that on board."
The Town boss regards Mansfield as a good 'yardstick' for the Mariners and thinks that Keith Curle's side will be in or around the play-offs once again this season.
"It is important that we take the game to them tomorrow," he said. He (Keith Curle) would have seen us play on Tuesday night and he'll be more worried about me than I will about him."
The Town boss is hoping that Physio Dave Moore can help a few of the casualties from Tuesday back into contention.
Simon Ramsden (neck), Justin Whittle (back) and Greg Young are doubts in defence for Town.
Up front, Michael Reddy and Andy Parkinson both missed training on Thursday and are also injury headaches for Russell Slade.
CURLE'S READY TO KEEP FAITH...
Evening Post, 27 August 2004
Keith Curle could name an unchanged line-up for the third game running at Grimsby tomorrow.
But the Stags boss says all his players will get their chance to impress this season.
Centre-backs Rhys Day and Luke Dimech are two of the players who have missed out during the early part of the season, and Day has said he is not prepared to spend too much time sitting on the bench.
The defender says he could be forced to "consider his options" if he does not start soon.
Curle has a fully fit squad to select from, with left-back Adam Eaton available again following a groin injury, and could again opt for the 4-3-3 line-up which has proved so successful in the last two games.
The Stags boss had no hesitation about naming an unchanged team for last Saturday's game against Kidderminster.
Curle said: "We've got a small squad and it's a long season, and everyone will play their part.
"But we convincingly beat Chester 3-0, so I was very much justified in starting with the same 11."
Stags winger Wayne Corden believes the side are well and truly back on track after losing their opening two games.
"It was a bit of a slow start with two defeats in the first two games, so it's good to bounce back with six points from the next two," said Corden, who came on as a substitute in the 2-1 win against Kidderminster.
"We showed character after going a goal down so early on. We got back into the game and did well to get the second goal and kill them off."
Corden believes picking up as many away points as possible is one of the key aims for Stags.
"We've just got to get the consistency going now, get a bit of away form and keep winning our home games."
Stags: Pilkington, McNiven, Buxton, Artell, John-Baptiste, Murray, MacKenzie, Curtis, Larkin, Asamoah, O'Neill, Williamson, Tate, Day, Corden, White, Neil, Dimech, Eaton.
Stags' reserves game at Doncaster on Wednesday was called off because of developments with the first team game against Preston.
MARINERS HIT BY INJURY CRISIS
Evening Post, 27 August 2004
Grimsby are down to the bare bones because of injuries to three defenders.
Tony Crane is out for the season with knee ligament damage, Rob Jones is out for six weeks with a knee problem and Glen Downey is ruled out with an ankle injury.
But centre-back Simon Ramsden, who was a doubt in midweek with a stiff neck, has recovered and will line up in a 3-4-3 formation.
Grimsby's defence also features ex-Middlesbrough full-back Dean Gordon.
The Mariners are 16th in League Two after claiming four points from their opening four games.
They lost 1-0 at Darlington on the opening day of the season, following up with a 1-1 draw against Boston and a 5-1 win against Bury.
They lost 1-0 at Rushden on Saturday, but beat Wigan 1-0 in the Carling Cup on Tuesday night, courtesy of Andy Parkinson's goal.
Grimsby: Williams, Whittle, Ramsden, Gordon, McDermott, Crowe, Pinault, Fleming, Sestanovich, Parkinson, Reddy, Wheeler, Coldicott, Bull, Mansaram, Marcelle.
NEIL: YEOVIL FOR TITLE!
Evening Post, 27 August 2004
Neil MacKenzie is tipping Monday's opponents Yeovil for the title.
And the Stags midfielder (pictured) believes Mansfield will be playing in League One with them next season
"Yeovil are my tip for the league, they're a very good side," he said. "But we're a good side too, so it should be a good game.
"We had two tough games against them last season and I don't expect our two games against them this season to be any different."
MacKenzie was not even in the squad for the first game of the season, but he has started the last two games and has no intention of giving up his place.
"I thought it was a bit harsh that I was not in the 16 for the first game of the season," he said.
"But luckily, I got my chance at Oxford and I stayed in and I intend to keep my shirt."
MacKenzie believes this season's squad is as good as the squad which so nearly won promotion last season.
"We all want to go up automatically this season and I think we've got a good chance."
"It's early days but I think we're on a par with last year's squad and we could be even better, only time will tell.
"We've got some quality new players on board and Colin Larkin is back on form, which is like having a new player.
"I've got more of a licence to get forward, so I should be scoring more goals."
Stags all set for busy weekend
THE League Two table will begin to take shape over this August Bank Holiday weekend with Stags in fine fettle after a second successive League win last Saturday.
With the midweek Carling Cup tie against Preston North End twice postponed in as many days, Keith Curle's side now face a trip to relegated Grimsby Town on Saturday (3pm) before a home clash with last season's promotion rivals Yeovil Town (3pm).
"It is an important weekend as, with two games so soon, it can affect your league position quite drastically," said Curle. "But we know where we want to be. Grimsby have proved they can score goals, don't give a lot away and have a new manager. But going there holds no fear for us
"Yeovil have started well and seem to have managed to keep many of last season's players together.
Sometimes that can be a help, then again a new face or two can help as well. I am confident we can get something out these games and get a run going."
With Adam Eaton due back in training later today (Thursday), that will mean Curle will have all 19 squad members available.
"The one good thing to come out of our midweek postponement was that myself and John Gannon were able to get over and watch Grimsby play Wigan," adde Curle.
"They switched their formation around during the game but it's all about how we play at the end of the day.
"We have to make sure we get a foothold in the game and don't go giving away a silly goal and make ourselves an easy target early in the game."
"It will be tough there but it will be tough at all our away games. Grimsby were one of the pre-season promotion favourites.
"But it seems the media believe some clubs will win all 46 games and go straight back up and that is never going to be the case.
"You have your ebbs and flows but all that matters is that you are up there in the shake-up come the end of the season.
"I go into the weekend knowing we are capable of getting all six points."
More trialists at Field Mill
MANSFIELD Town are welcoming three more trialists into the club.
Two are described as big, powerful strikers, though manager Keith Curle has yet to find out all the necessary details.
One of them - big front man Abdul Tangara (29) has recently been on trial at Saturday's opponents Grimsby Town.
He is currently on the books at Swiss club SR Delemont.
Half French, half Malian, he began his career with Paris St Germain but made little impact in seven years there before a move to another French outfit, Stade Lavallois.
He scored 12 goals in 30 games for them before a spell with Bury where he played mainly reserve football - netting 16 times in 22 outings.
Spells in Greece and Belgium followed before his move to Switzerland and his total career goals stand at 51 in 89 games.
The other two players are Danny Patel and Mensah Bruce, though the club had no details on these at the time of writing.
Curle is looking to fix up a reserve friendly next week, probably at Rotherham's training ground behind closed doors on Wednesday to take a better look at two or three of them.
Marvin Robinson remains on trial to regain his fitness though has already been told there is no contract on offer to him for the immediate future.
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