EATON LATEST, PLUS MORE ON PALMER
EATON: HIP INJURY COULD END CAREER
Evening Post, 23 December 2004
Mansfield Town defender Adam Eaton fears his career could be over.
The 24-year-old Stags full-back has been plagued by injury problems for the past 18 months.
Hip and groin injuries have kept him out of action since August and he underwent hip surgery in October. A groin operation could follow.
The Wigan-born defender, who started his career as an apprentice at Everton, says he will retire if playing on damages his hip to the extent that he needs to have it replaced.
"My aim is to get my first-team place back, but the hip injury could end my career," said Eaton, who signed a new two-year contract in the summer.
"There's only so much you can do to the hip. Roy Keane had the same problem and will need a hip replacement, and I don't want that.
"I'm going to keep fighting and try to get back in the side, but the last 18 months have been very frustrating. I thought things would settle down in the summer but it was never really dealt with properly.
"I managed to play in the last six games of last season, then had four weeks rest and did the majority of pre-season.
"But a couple of friendlies before the season began, the problems started again.
"I played in the first couple of games, then went to a hip specialist and was told I needed an operation.
"The hip has been trimmed and takes three months to heal. It's more or less cleared up now but I had a groin tear as well and I've still got pain there - and now I'm hoping I can get that sorted out."
He added: "I've heard people say I'm injury prone which is very frustrating. It all should have been sorted out 18 months ago.
"But I'm lucky I'm still in a job. I got the new contract on the back of playing the last six games of last season."
Eaton admits the news that team-mate Scott McNiven has testicular cancer has put his own injury problems into perspective.
And he says one of his aims is to help Mansfield win promotion.
"Hopefully, we can have a good run from now until the end of the season. The season's not over - you've only got to look at what Crystal Palace did last season. I've spoken to Carlton Palmer and he says he wants me back in the side as soon as possible.
"I'm very disappointed with the way it has dragged on, through no fault of my own.
"But I have to be positive. I'm hoping I can be back competing for a place within the next three weeks.
"All I want to do is get back playing again."
PALMER REMAINS FAVOURITE FOR THE STAGS' TOP JOB
Evening Post, 23 December 2004
Mansfield Town fans will not be getting a new manager for Christmas.
But chairman Keith Haslam has dropped his strongest hint yet that Carlton Palmer will be given the job.
Palmer continues in his role as Stags caretaker-boss over Christmas but remains the strong favourite to take over as permanent boss.
Haslam said: "Carlton will be speaking to me this week and will put his case forward.
"He will tell me how he sees this club going forward and what needs putting into place.
"His enthusiasm makes him a very strong candidate. I know him and what he is about, which is in his favour. But we will just have to wait and see."
But Haslam revealed he will not be making a decision on a new manager this week.
"You get a lot of the same applicants applying for different jobs and I'm looking at it over the next few days," said the Stags chairman.
"But there won't be a decision this side of Christmas."
Haslam confirmed that he met Palmer on Monday, but said he did not discuss the possibility of turning his caretaker-manager role into a permanent position.
The chairman added that former manager Keith Curle has the right to appeal against his dismissal.
He said: "He has five days to appeal. He might accept the decision, appeal against it or try to go for a tribunal. I can't just appoint someone else."
Haslam says he is relieved that Mansfield will go into the Christmas period minus a long sequence of games without a win.
"It was good to get a win at Shrewsbury. It was well deserved.
"We've had a few new players coming in who have been settling in, and we've got no new injuries.
"We've had six players out. Even if Manchester United had six players out, they would struggle."
Palmer is set to bring in a left- back on loan in time for the Boxing Day clash with Cambridge United at Field Mill.
Latest | December 2004