PREVIEWS AND TEAM NEWS
Stags looking to start away win habit
THE much-maligned LDV Vans Trophy could provide Stags with just the boost they need when they visit Macclesfield Town in the second round tomorrow (Tuesday, 7.45pm).
"This is a great opportunity for us to get an away win under our belts and then hopefully we can transfer that into our league form," said manager Keith Curle, who finds himself up against the Silkmen twice in five days.
"The pleasing thing is we have been playing so well away from home, dominating the large percentage of play, that we know a win is coming.
"We have a belief here and I know the players still have that belief because of the nature of their performances.
"We have been creating so many chances that it wouldn't surprise me if we suddenly went out and scored 12 goals in our next three games."
Curle will do some minor tinkering with his starting 11 tomorrow to try to make sure everyone stays sharp but said: "They will all be first team players who start the game.
"It is a game we want to go and win. It will also be a good chance to look at Macclesfield.
"With the size of their squad, like ours, I don't think they can afford to make many changes from the side they will start with when we play them at Field Mill this Saturday.
"I watched them play against Notts County and they will be solid, organised and professional under manager Brian Horton who I was lucky enough to work under at Manchester City.
"They will fight for every ball and give 100 per cent and we have to match that.
"We are fully focused on going there and getting an away win and I feel we are going to give someone a spanking soon.
"We played well against Bury on Saturday and if Colin Larkin had scored his penalty early on I think we could have gone on and scored four or five.
"Someone is going to get turned over - it's only a matter of time."
Rhys Day's ankle injury will see him again miss out.
Macclesfield boss Brian Horton will take charge of his 1,000th match as a manager.
But they go into the game on the back of a 3-0 beating at Rochdale on Saturday.
Defender Michael Welch is vying for a place after only making the bench against Dale, while John Miles could also play a more prominent role.
Youngster Tommy Rooney is also in contention to make his competitive debut for the Silkmen.
CAPTAIN ON A MISSION FOR SILVERWARE
Evening Post, 02 November 2004
Kevin Pilkington admits the LDV Vans Trophy is not a priority for Mansfield Town.
But the Stags captain says the thought of a final at the Millennium Stadium makes everyone want to succeed.
Pilkington said: "I don't think the competition is that important to start with, but the further you go, the more important it becomes.
"I suppose we look at it as the league cup of the lower leagues, and people change their teams around just like Premiership sides do in the Carling Cup.
"But if you win it then you have won some silverware and there is the incentive of a final at the Millennium Stadium.
"I would love to get back there again, because it is a fantastic stadium and would be a great day out for the club and its fans.
"We don't want to go there in the play-offs, but to do it in the LDV Vans Trophy and win some silverware would be great.
"But we have to take one step at a time because they are doing well and it'll be a tough game this evening."
Mansfield overcame Darlington on penalties in the first round of the northern section of the competition.
They now face an away trip to Macclesfield before they play them again in the league at Field Mill on Saturday.
Pilkington said: "The gaffer may rest a few players or he may go with his strongest team.
"We don't know yet.
"We have a small squad and everyone will play their part this season but if someone gets a chance this evening, they can put themselves firmly in the gaffer's thoughts.
"It's a shop window for them.
"The league match is the most important one of the two but if we can get a victory tonight, it would get one over them and we can complete the double on Saturday.
"It gives us even more incentive for the weekend."
Mansfield have not won since beating Notts County at home more than a fortnight ago.
A 1-1 draw at Wycombe was followed by a 0-0 draw against Bury at Field Mill on Saturday.
Pilkington says the Stags need to get back to winning ways.
"Hopefully we will go up there and get a win because that is what we need, especially away from home.
"I hardly had anything to do on Saturday and we missed a penalty as well as hitting the bar three times. We were unlucky.
"But we'll take the positives and that was our first clean sheet for a while. So we will settle for that and just hope we can start knocking the goals in again.
"The confidence is good and we are a close bunch. We just need a couple of wins and that will get us really going again."
HORTON'S 1,000TH GAME AS MANAGER
Evening Post, 02 November 2004
Macclesfield Town boss Brian Horton celebrates his 1,000th game as a manager when his side take on Mansfield this evening.
Horton reaches the milestone after spells as manager with the likes of Oxford, Hull, and Brighton.
His highest profile role came in the 1990s when he was in charge at Manchester City in the Premiership before taking over at Huddersfield Town.
He also led Port Vale to victory in the LDV Vans Trophy before he came to Moss Rose as manager.
Horton said: "I have been in management for 21 years which is crazy when you see that the average length of time a manager stays at a club is just 15 months."
Horton is still without Mark Bailey and Steve Payne but is likely to change the starting line-up following the 3-0 defeat against Rochdale on Saturday.
MACCLESFIELD (from): Fettis, Barras, Carragher, Weaver, Harsley, Whitaker, Miles, Widdrington, Potter, Tipton, Parkin, Briscom, Sheron, Wilson, Welch, Rooney.
Latest | November 2004