MORE REPORTS AND REACTION, PLUS CORDEN SWOOP?
SWOOP ON CORDEN?
Evening Post, 12 January 2005
Carlton Palmer has confirmed Blackpool have made inquiries about Wayne Corden.
And the Stags' caretaker boss says he has spoken to clubs about other Mansfield players, including striker Derek Asamoah.
''Wayne is the highest earner at the club and Blackpool have expressed an interest in him,'' said Palmer.
''But there is not one player at the club who people haven't enquired about.
''We are in a difficult position with player contracts up for renewal and we don't want the same situation as the club had last season.
''I want to get to a situation over the next six weeks where we know what players will be doing. I will sit down with the players and tell them what deals we can offer. If we're involved in the play-offs, I don't want a situation like last season where we still had player contracts up for renewal.''
Palmer says Jake Buxton is likely to be handed an 18-month contract - and he is hoping to persuade Rotherham boss Ronnie Moore to let Paul Warne return to Field Mill on a permanent deal.
''I'm hoping I can sort things out with the chairman soon and if I'm the new manager, I want to get out there in places like Ireland and Scotland and bring in good young players on sensible money.
''If I'm not the new manager, I still think that's the way forward for the club.''
Blackpool manager Colin Hendry says Rob Clare will not be joining Mansfield.
PALMER IN A RAGE
Evening Post, 12 January 2005
Carlton Palmer admits he lost his temper with his players after last night's dour 0-0 draw against League Two basement club Cambridge.
"It was a fair result and Cambridge deserved a point," said the Stags caretaker boss.
"It is the first time I have lost my temper with the players, because I felt certain things needed to be said.
"If I was one of our defenders or Kevin Pilkington I would have grabbed one or two of the others round the throat. The defence was absolutely superb and they are the reason why we have a fifth clean sheet in six games.
"The rest of them worked hard, but I expect more from them. I needed more from players like Wayne Corden and Colin Larkin.
"The conditions were difficult but we were not good enough in the second half."
FORMER Mansfield Town manager Keith Curle has confirmed he is appealing against the club's decision to sack him in an attempt to clear his name.
Curle, who was dismissed for alleged gross misconduct, said: ''I have been granted an appeal as part of the disciplinary process and I am appealing against the decision.
"I will be going through the appropriate channels to try to clear my name."
Curle added that the process could have harmed his prospects of finding a fresh job.
"This could hamper me in getting a new job. I want to clear my name - that's the first step."
SCRAPPY STAGS FAIL TO SPARKLE
Evening Post, 12 January 2005
MARK ROACH GIVES HIS VERDICT ON A DOUR STAGS PERFORMANCE
Mansfield Town 0 v 0 Cambridge United
This was always going to be a tricky game against League Two's basement club, with a swirling wind to contend with and a host of players missing.
But there appeared to be little excuse for the dour fare served up by a Stags side who had impressively beaten Scunthorpe in their previous game.
The main reason for Mansfield's failure to break their opponents down appeared to be that several players were just not at the races.
Defensively, there was little wrong with the home side, who collected their fifth clean sheet in six games.
The most alarming aspect of the side's performance was the lack of a cutting edge in the final third, but the problem was deeper than that.
Richie Barker worked hard up front, but he was poorly assisted by the likes of Wayne Corden and Colin Larkin.
That meant defending was fairly comfortable for a Cambridge side who had several chances to turn a point into three. Stags caretaker boss Carlton Palmer has just signed a new striker and a new winger.
So it was even more surprising that Larkin and Corden failed to impose themselves on the game.
Palmer barked at the pair in the second half, demanding "a little bit more" from two players who are among the best in the division as an attacking threat when they are at the top of their game.
Larkin can perhaps be excused a little as he is still striving for match fitness after his recent lay-off.
But it's hard to see why Corden had an off night. He did contribute in cameo moments, but there was no room in the side for that kind of luxury against a group of players out to impress their new manager.
Larkin started brightly enough and one clever pass by the Irishman almost led to a Stags goal.
It was a similar story with Adam Murray and Simon Brown, who were fairly lively early on but failed to make the kind of impact Stags needed to win the game, which just seemed to pass Fraser McLachlan by.
With a number of players already missing, Shane Tudor was added to the Cambridge injury list when he pulled a calf muscle before kick-off.
And new Cambridge boss Steve Thompson was forced into an early change when Matt Somner broke his nose after a clash of heads with team-mate Dan Gleeson.
Somner was taken to hospital, but the Stags continued to struggle with a performance well below the standard Palmer wants from his side. Mansfield's injury problems became starkly evident in the closing stages of the game.
With Palmer's men suffering from a serious lack of ideas, he could have done with a couple of players on the bench to bring on in an attempt to pep the side up.
His assistant, Paul Holland, suggested taking Larkin off.
But Palmer resisted, explaining later that his decision to keep faith with the starting 11 for the entire 90 minutes was because of a lack of options on the bench.
Larkin, ineffective in the second half, was the prime candidate for the axe, but there was little Palmer could have done to change the side's fortunes - and he added afterwards that he didn't want to risk losing the game by bringing on a sub for the sake of making a change.
His request for more thrust and tempo from his players fell on deaf ears. Even an impromptu team talk on the touchline, involving all ten outfield players, failed.
Only in stoppage time did Stags show the kind of urgency needed. But it was too little, too late.
Palmer is likely to make changes for Saturday's game against Rochdale.
And you won't get great odds for predicting that Derek Asamoah will start instead of Larkin, while Corden will have to settle for a place on the bench.
Stags 0 Cambridge 0
Mansfield Town were left frustrated as bottom of the table Cambridge United took a point from last night's clash at windswept Field Mill.
A strong wind ruined any chance of a footballing spectacle and, after failing to make much use of it at their backs in the first half, Mansfield spent much of the second 45 minutes trying to prevent the visitors snatching their first away win of the season as they continually hoisted it forward.
But the defence - with Luke Dimech and Alex John-Baptiste in top form - stayed alert.
United arrived with a poor record - just three wins all season - none in their previous eight games.
But they more than held their own and might have taken all three points had Kevin Pilkington not saved well from Darren Quinton, while, after the break, Stuart Wardley struck a Mansfield post.
All Stags can do is take heart from a fifth clean sheet in six games and hope to find more creativity and decisiveness going forward against Rochdale, wherever or if the game takes place on Saturday.
Stags caretaker-boss Carlton Palmer said: "It was a fair result.
"It is the first time I have lost my temper with the players but I felt certain things needed to be said.
"If I was one of our defenders or Kevin Pilkington I would have grabbed one or two of the others round the throat. The keeper and defence were absolutely superb and the reason why we have a fifth clean sheet in six games.
"But, although the rest worked hard within a team framework, I expect more from them with their quality.
"The conditions were difficult but we were not good enough in the second half.
"Tonight's result was never going to decide our season, but I told them it was an opportunity and I feel it was an opportunity lost.
"Cambridge should have won at Bristol Rovers on Saturday and deserved their point tonight. This could still end up being a very good point for us at the end of the season.
"With all due respect, we didn't have much on the bench tonight. People might say - shake it up, but how? I have to be patient as I have players coming back from injury soon. But, until then, I need more from the players out there."
With Paul Warne recalled by Rotherham, Stags were forced into one change with Brown coming into the starting line-up.
It was clear from the opening exchanges the powerful, swirling wind was going to make life difficult for both sides.
But the visitors almost snatched a second minute lead when Quinton's ball over the top caught the home defence square and Turner raced away on goal. But Pilkington was equal to his powerful finish, turning it round for a corner at full stretch.
Pilkington had to punch clear another United corner a minute later as the strugglers made a positive start.
Mansfield, with the wind behind them, finally got the ball into the visitors' half on four minutes when Brown made space on the right for a powerful shot just wide from the edge of the box.
Somner halted Stags' next attack with a late tackle on Corden which earned him a warning.
A loose ball drifted invitingly towards Murray but, in the wind, his wild swing saw the ball sail out the ground over the Quarry Lane Stand.
Corden came closer when he whipped a 25 yard free kick just wide of the far post moments later.
A half-clearance was blazed over by Neil from outside the box and then on offside flag halted Larkin as he looked set to beat Ruddy to a defender's backheader.
Yet another half clearance was shot wide from 18 yards by Corden as Stags tried to get their sights properly set.
There was then a hold up as Gleeson received treatment for a knock to the head and then a further delay as blood was cleared up off the playing surface.
Buxton let fly from over 30 yards on 23 minutes but again the ball went the wrong side of the woodwork.
Gleeson was still suffering bleeding and came off on 24 minutes to be replaced by Wardley.
Another Stags attempt saw Neil's cross from the right met with a glancing header guided just over by Larkin.
Then Buxton cut a pass back inside for Corden to force Ruddy to save comfortably at the base of his near post.
Stags continued to press and Murray crashed a low shot narrowly wide from 20 yards, but still it wouldn't go in.
The first half ended in uproar after a silly late lunge by Easter on Barker in between the dug-outs on the line. Barker reacted angrily, grabbing Easter, and both sides and benches ran on.
But, when the dust had settled, the referee calmly showed Easter a yellow card.
With the wind at their backs, United forced the first corner of the half on 47 minutes - and almost took a shock lead.
Murray tried to head it clear but it fell to Wardley whose shot took a deflection, spun up into the air past Pilkington and hit the far post before John-Baptiste hooked it clear.
A minute later Buxton, from a tight angle, got in a firm, low on-target shot which forced a save from Ruddy.
A poor clearance from Pilkington found Walker who tried to hit the ball back past the keeper from 40 yards but saw him get down quickly to save any embarrassment.
A neat turn by Walker saw him slot a superb ball over the top towards Easter in space on the right. Pilkington raced out his box but lost the chase and took Easter's legs, receiving a yellow card for his troubles.
Easter headed well over from Walker's cross as the game reached its last 16 minutes with Stags unable to create anything at the other end.
There was another hold up with seven minutes left as Murray and Easter were given attention after a crunching tackle.
Stags had a chance on 87 minutes after working the ball across from the right. But Corden spurned the chance to shoot and cut inside before being tackled.
STAGS: Pilkington, John-Baptiste, Dimech, Buxton, Neil, Brown, Barker, Murray, Corden, McLachlan, Larkin. Subs: White, Lloyd, Wood, Maxwell, Kitamirike.
CAMBRIDGE: Ruddy, Gleeson (Wardley 24), Duncan, Rea, Bimson, Easter, Webb (Konte 86), Walker, Somner, Quinton, Turner. Subs: Marshall, Latte-Yedo, Nicholls.
REFEREE: Darren Drysdale of Leicestershire.
CAUTIONS: Mansfield - Pilkington 60 (foul on Easter). Cambridge -Easter 45 (foul on Barker).
STAGS MAN OF THE MATCH: Alex John-Baptiste.
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