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Archived News from December 2004

9th December 2004 13:54

Palmer rallies Stags fans for big game
CHAD website, 9Dec04
CARLTON Palmer is urging Stags fans to forget the off-field problems and come down and get behind their side for Saturday's crucial clash with fellow strugglers Rushden and Diamonds (3pm).
Stags have only won once in 16 games and not won under the five games that caretaker-manager Palmer has been in charge.
But Saturday's game is the first of three in succession against three of the only eight sides below plumetting Mansfield.
Palmer said: "Forget me, forget Keith Haslam, please come down here and get behind the club you say you support - these players need you right now. Back them and I am sure they will deliver for you.
"They are working hard at it but not getting the breaks.
"Just coming down to have a go at me and the chairman is hurting the club.
"Your players are giving their all right now. It is a difficult situation for them. But you can make a difference. Don't come down and give Rushden a big lift by having a go.
"We just need something to go for us right now and things will change. The players have lost a bit of belief and confidence.
"But I know there is enough in that dressing room to get us back into the play-off reckoning.
"I have come into a difficult situation here. Don't forget this side had only won once in 11 games before I came here and I am told the last game that Keith Curle was in charge saw some fans calling for him to go.
"The situation is not of my making and I am trying my best to sort it out and restructure the club.
"When I came in I was hard pushed to name a side that I felt could win us a football match.
"But if people are not prepared to give me a chance then I will walk away and do something else. Staying would only hamper the players. I know the football club wants me to stay on and the players are keen as well."
Palmer said the perception that he was a failure as Stockport manager was a myth.
"People have this perception I was a failure and it is a poor perception.
"When I went to Stockport we were 10 points adrift and already down. My job was to reduce the wage bill from £3.2m to £1.1m to keep the club in business.
"I did that and then, with some young players and loan players, I finished the following season just eight points off the play-offs.
"Then new owners came in with their own agenda who wanted to bring in their own man but couldn't immediately.
"I told them the loan players had gone back and we needed four or five new faces but I wasn't allowed as they wanted their own man.
"After six or seven games Kevin Richardson and myself were replaced when their new man was available and we took them to court for unfair dismissal and won two years money.
"So I wasn't a failure and that perception needs to be put right. What has happened to Stockport in the last two years is nothing to do with me as I wasn't involved.
"So fans should forget about Stockport and start looking at their own club, how the results were going befoe I came and asking why so many good players were allowed to leave at the end of last season.
"We are a million miles from that side right now and no one can change things overnight. But I would like to try to sort it. All I am asking is that Stags fans come on Saturday and give their players a chance. Forget me.
Although aware three points is crucial on Saturday, Palmer did not want to pile any extra pressure on his threadbare squad.
He said: "Rushden are down there and we need three points. But no result is a foregone conclusion. If there was ever a good chance to win three points, this looks to be it - it is a big, big game for us.
"But every game is a must-win game. I have never played in one that isn't. I certainly don't want to put extra pressure on the players by building up this game to be one that, if we don't win, spells the end of our season as that isn't the case.
"If we keep doing the right things - and we are not that far away - the breaks will go for us and we will get back to winning ways."
Unfortunately, Palmer's plans are being further hindered by his shortage of defenders and hopes that Dave Artell would come straight back in after a one-game ban are up in the air after the defender missed training with the flu and a sore tendon.
Also, on-loan midfielder Fraser McLachlan is still only 90 per cent fit after recovering from a knee injury.
"We will just have to take a decision on those two tomorrow," said Palmer.
On-loan full back Jason Talbot has had an operation on a toe abscess and will be missing for another seven to 10 days. And Rhys Day, Colin Larkin and Adam Eaton all remain sidelined.
"I won't bring in another defender just for one game so we will just have to weather the storm," he added.

Poll vote results
CHAD website, 9Dec04
OUT of the 110 people that voted in last week's poll, only 10 said they would welcome the appointment of Carlton Palmer as the next manager of Mansfield Town.


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