BROWN LATEST / MACCA FINED / HARD WORK AHEAD
Brown deal not dead yet
CHAD website, 2 Dec 2004
Mansfield Town are still hoping to sign West Brom winger Simon Brown.
But they will not pay the undisclosed fee the Baggies are currently asking for the 21-year-old.
Caretaker-manager Carlton Palmer said: "I thought the deal was nearly concluded but the West Brom chairman has almost scuppered it.
"I had an agreement with Bryan Robson - someone I have known for a long time - but, obviously, he cannot over rule his chairman.
"We are still talking to them and hoping we can get it done for Tuesday. But we have to be careful how much we pay as the lad is out of contract in the summer and we could sign him through a tribunal. "We will just have to wait and see what happens."
There have been suggestions Kidderminster Harriers, where Brown has been on loan, are also in the hunt. But Palmer said the Harriers were not in a position, financially, to do a deal.
Palmer is also angry over stories that have been appearing on Teletext suggesting certain players would have no future at Field Mill under him.
"I have now had Kevin Pilkington, Jake Buxton and Wayne Corden come to see me and ask about these stories," he said.
"Someone is obviously trying to stir things up somewhere.
"I said to the players that I have told it as I see it and if anything changed they would be the first to know.
MacKenzie fined for comments
CHAD website, 2 Dec 2004
STAGS midfielder Neil MacKenzie has been fined a week's wages over comments made against caretaker-manager Carlton Palmer following his three-month loan move to Macclesfield Town last week.
MacKenzie said: "It is ridiculous how he is talking me up, then within 90 minutes of a match he wants me out.
"If that is how he can change then it does not look good for Mansfield Town's future. I told him the way he had changed his mind was a joke."
But Palmer hit back, saying: "I am a bit disappointed with him.
"I don't want to get into a row in the press with Neil Mackenzie.
"But the chairman and I have spoken about these comments and Neil will be fined a week's wages by the club.
"His comments are not strictly true. Talk to anyone, they will say I am always open and honest.
"Neil did well for us in a free role in his first couple of matches and I wanted to try to build up the lad's confidence and get what four previous managers of his couldn't get.
"He did particularly well on the ball against Boston and I tried to give him a big up.
"But after watching him play against Colchester I told him that just playing well on the ball wasn't enough to be a midfield player.
"Without the ball he was always on the outside looking in. I told him what I expected from him when he wasn't on the ball.
"I wanted him inside looking out, goalside. It is hard work but all the top midfield players can do it. We cannot afford luxury players."
Then came the approach by Macclesfield, Palmer claiming the interest initially being generated by a call from Keith Curle to Macclesfield before his arrival.
"The chairman said Macclesfield had called and I told Neil and said it was up to him. He could go there if he wanted or he would be in my team to face Leyton Orient on the Saturday.
"He looked set to stay and prove me wrong.
"Lo and behold by 4pm I guess he had spoken to Keith Curle and he rang to say he was going to Macclesfield.
"So his comments were way out of line. It is fuelling the fans against me by not being the truth,
"I made my observations to Neil as caretaker-manager of this football club and as someone who has played 600-700 League games in midfield and played there for my country.
"I think I know a bit about playing in midfield and what it takes to win football matches as a midfielder.
"I know he is a very talented boy. It is always the flair players- the ones who are pleasing on the eye - who are the terrace favourites.
"But you need the hard work and graft as well."
Hard work ahead for Stags
CHAD website, 2 Dec 2004
STAGS players face a tough few weeks ahead as caretaker-manager Carlton Palmer is planning a 'mini pre-season' to boost their fitness levels.
Palmer invited a fitness coach in this week, who he has worked with for years, to make an assessment of his squad.
"As I thought, they are a very fit bunch of lads, aerobically, and can keep running all day," he said.
"But it is the stop-start side of things, the closing players down, that they are lacking. That is down to their pre-season training.
"They can do it for 50 minutes but then they run out of steam and can't keep the tempo up.
"It showed on Saturday against Leyton Orient. We closed them down very strongly in the first half. But, for a spell, we let them get the upper hand before we came again near the end.
"We have got to improve those levels and it could take four to six weeks. That will mean some players going into games tired and we are just going to have to ride it for now.
"Hopefully Swansea will beat Stockport in the Cup - and that's nothing against Stockport - which would give us a free weekend in January and time to get this sorted.
"I have told the players that when Brazil won the World Cup last, people talk about their flair and skill, but the fact is they also won the ball back in their opponents' half more times than any other in the tournament.
"A different kind of fitness is required for that. I know we can do it. They are a good bunch of lads with good heart and good character."
Latest | December 2004