DALE GAME IN THE BALANCE
Rochdale game still in the balance
CHAD website, 13 Jan 05
MANSFIELD Town's hopes of playing their League Two game against Rochdale at Spotland on Saturday continue to hang on a thread.
The Lancashire club, whose already-damaged pitch was virtually destroyed by a Rugby League game on there last weekend, are working flat out to get it as best they can in the short time available.
But Stags caretaker-boss Carlton Palmer said today: "I will be there tomorrow at noon when the referee inspects it and, if it is not satisfactory, I will try to get the game off.
"I saw the state it was in on the television last night and cannot believe that in two days they will make it playable in time.
"I can't see it will even be an argument and I will speak to the Football League if necessary.
"Don't get me wrong, I want to play football and the boys are all fired up and ready to go. We will continue to prepare as if the game is on and see what happens.
"If we get the game on and it is as bad as it was at Shrewsbury then we will use the same tactics and hopefully get the same result. But on TV the pitch looked far worse than Shrewsbury."
Palmer will have his small squad boosted by three more players as they look to bounce back from the disappointment of being held 0-0 at home by bottom side Cambridge United on Tuesday night.
Striker Derek Asamoah is available again after completing a two-match ban while Dublin City left winger Adam Rundle and New Zealand international Shane Smeltz have both been given their international clearances to join the squad and begin their one-month trial contracts.
"Adam and Shane are available and will both be at least on the bench or I might even start with one of them," said Palmer.
"We are waiting on Adam Murray who took a knock on Tuesday and is still very sore and I have given Richie Barker a day off today as he is still suffering with his broken nose and a kick he took from one of our youngsters in training."
Despite reports to the contrary Rochdale have confirmed they have never made any official approach to Oldham Athletic above trying to move the game on Saturday as it would never have been sanctioned by the Football League.
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