PREVIEWS AND EARLY TEAM NEWS
LARKIN: I'LL RAISE MY STRIKE RATE
Evening Post, 22 October 2004
STAGS VIEW WITH STEVIE RODEN
Colin Larkin revealed he has been putting in extra shooting practice in an effort to ensure he continues to score vital goals for Mansfield.
The striker already has eight goals to his name but wants more, and is determined to help the Stags get back to winning ways at Wycombe tomorrow.
Larkin drew a blank on Tuesday as the chances dried up at Cheltenham in the 2-0 defeat.
But he has been putting in extra practice in training and is confident they can bounce back.
Larkin said: "After the match on Tuesday, everybody was disappointed because we did not capitalise on Saturday's great win against Notts County.
"I thought we had the majority of the play all over the park, but we did not create clear-cut chances like we have been doing all season.
"We've sat down and spoken about the difference between the last two matches. Last Saturday, I had five chances myself.
"I have been getting in early doors and getting a few shots in, working on my finishing.
"Everyone has been back in training and is buzzing again. We have put the midweek result behind us."
Mansfield drew 1-1 with Tony Adams' side in the FA Cup second round last season before winning the replay 3-2.
And Larkin is looking forward to another tough match tomorrow when the Stags visit Adams Park.
He said: "You look at the two sides now and they look totally different.
"Tony Adams got rid of a few players and we have made changes this season so it will be two completely different teams out there tomorrow.
"I will be looking to get on the score sheet and we have been working on a few things in training.
"We have spoken about how Wycombe play and we are confident that we can bounce back and get a victory."
Only six points separate the top 12 teams in the Coca-Cola League Two, and Larkin knows a lot can change in the next few games.
He said: "The table is very tight and just like a few good results can put you right up there, a few bad ones can also see you in the bottom half of the table.
"But we are looking forward to putting the midweek defeat right tomorrow.
"If we do that and then get a good result next week, it will put us in a very strong position.
"We just have to make sure we get back to creating a lot of chances like we did against Notts County. If we do that, we will score the goals."
Alex Neil (knee) and Rhys Day (ankle) will both miss the trip to Wycombe after picking up injuries in midweek.
But there is good news with the return from injury of Alex John-Baptiste and the extension of full-back Craig Woodman's loan from Bristol City for another month.
Stags (from): Pilkington, McNiven, Woodman, Artell, Dimech, John-Baptiste, Murray, MacKenzie, Curtis, Corden, Larkin, Ipoua, Asamoah, White, O'Neill, Buxton.
Evening Post, 22 October 2004
Wycombe boss Tony Adams is looking for his first league win in more than five weeks.
Wanderers went top of League Two on September 11 after beating Southend 2-1.
But they have failed to win in their last six matches and their latest outing saw them draw 1-1 with ten-man Rushden and Diamonds.
Adams also has problems filling the left-back berth after Clint Easton was injured in midweek and required 25 stitches in a knee wound.
His replacement on Tuesday, Charlie Comyn-Platt, has now returned to Bolton after his loan spell. Former Norwich striker Zema Abbey is expected to lead the attack.
WYCOMBE (FRom): Talia, Silk, Johnson, Williamson, Burnell, Senda, Birchall, Tyson, Abbey, Bloomfield, Williams, Uhlenbeek, Stonebridge, Ryan, Nethercott.
Injured pair miss Wycombe trip
CHAD website, 21 October 2004
ALEX Neil and Rhys Day are unlikely to figure in Stags' trip to Wycombe Wanderers on Saturday (3pm).
The pair's injuries are still badly swollen and the club cannot yet say how long they will be out.
But there was good news with the return from injury of Alex John-Baptiste and the extension of on-loan full-back Craig Woodman's loan from Bristol City for another month.
And, perhaps the brightest news of all was that it seems doctors have finally diagnosed Adam Eaton's long-standing injury problem and his worries could be over in the next five or six weeks.
Neil and Day both limped out of Tuesday night's disappointing 2-0 defeat at Cheltenham Town.
Manager Keith Curle said: "Rhys' ankle is up like a balloon and we can't really get a diagnosis on the full extent of the injury until it goes down and the bruising comes out.
"Alex's knee is also very swollen. But it doesn't seem to be locking now and, hopefully, it isn't as serious as we first feared. Again, we will have to wait and see."
Craig Woodman remains in the squad after City eventually agreed to another month, although they have insisted on a 24-hour recall.
"Now Craig is up to the tempo of first team football I think we will see more and more of him in his second month.
"He seems to have got rid of his 'reserve-teamitis'. City were reluctant to let him out for longer so we are delighted to reach this agreement.
"Having Craig gives us balance and shape and he has a great willingness to go forward, enthusiasm and scored a great goal against Notts County."
Woodman will be able to play in the LDV Vans Trophy but not the FA Cup.
Meanwhile, an openartion has revealed a tear in Adam Eaton's hip joint which has probably been the root cause of all his pain and problems in the groin and hip area over the last two years.
"It was something you could not see by X-ray or CT Scan," said Curle. "The only way to see it was to open him up and, obviously, surgeons won't do that until it is a last resort.
"But we are now hoping that will be the end of it all and it will be like having a new player in the club."
Not so lucky is Chris Tate whose three-month contract has ended with him being diagnosed as having three ruptured ankle ligaments and a further two months on the sidelines.
Stags travel to Wycombe on Saturday for what, in recent seasons, has always provided a cracking game.
"Wycombe were one of the teams that were favourites to go straight back up," said Curle. "But, after a good start, they have slipped a little.
"They play 4/5/1 which is unusual for a home side. But we will work out a system to play and give a good account of ourselves."
Striker Joe O'Neill will complete a three-month loan deal from Preston North End.
Curle is hoping to extend that for the rest of the season but needs to speak to chairman Keith Haslam and Preston before he can start talks with the player.
Stags star Eaton handed diagnosis
Surgeons have discovered the cause of Mansfield defender Adam Eaton's long-tern groin problem is actually located in the hip area.
The potentially career-threatening run of injuries restricted full-back Eaton to just six appearances last year although the 24-year-old did enough to convince Stags manager Keith Curle he was worthy of a one-year contract extension.
Having managed just two appearances so far this season, Eaton has now undergone an operation with doctors discovering a large tear in tissue surrounding the hip.
Curle told the club's official website: "Unfortunately, the nature of his injury was one which didn't show up on any of the conventional scans or X-rays and was only identified when the specialist opened him up.
"Specialists tend to be reluctant to operate unless it's a last resort - and in Adam's case this was the last resort - but now I would hope to see him back in six to eight weeks.
"It'll be a great relief for Adam to return to training, he's been desperate to get fit and back in the squad."
Latest | October 2004