PITCH PASSES INSPECTION - GAME ON
The pitch was inspected this morning and the referee says the playing service will hold out for the game so it will be going ahead as planned.
mansfieldtown.net reports that the referee's pitch inspection of Spotland today found that 80% of the pitch is playable and 20% is not.
As the weather forecast for the Rochdale area is Rain tonight there will be a further pitch inspection at 8.00am in the morning to decide whether the game will go ahead or not.
For more details visit http://www.mansfieldtown.net
SIGNINGS EXPECTED ON BENCH
Evening Post, 14 January 2005
Carlton Palmer looks set to give bench places to new signings Adam Rundle and Shane Smeltz tomorrow, after their international clearance came through this week.
But the Stags caretaker boss is still waiting for confirmation that the match will go ahead.
The Spotland pitch is thought to be in need of repair - and Rochdale had a request to switch the fixture to Oldham's Boundary Park ground knocked back by the League One club.
The pitch has been rolled and Rochdale say the game is on, but will be under threat if the weather takes a turn for the worse.
Referee Eddie Wolstenholme was inspecting the pitch at noon today, with Palmer in attendance.
"I will be inspecting the pitch with the referee and if I am not satisfied with it I will get the game called off," he said.
"I saw the pitch on TV on Wednesday night and I don't think it is playable.
"If the pitch is in good enough condition, we will play. But it won't be a classic, that's for sure."
Palmer added that Jake Buxton has been offered a new contract, which he hopes will be signed at the weekend.
He has already agreed a deal with a League One left-back target, but the player is nursing a hamstring strain.
"We're hoping he'll be fit in time for the Southend game, but I don't want him to come in and pick up an injury," said Palmer, who added that winger Wayne Corden is not about to join Blackpool.
"I spoke to Billy Dearden at Blackpool about one or two players.
"We talked about Wayne and I was offered two players in return for him, but I wasn't interested in either of them.
"I'm a big admirer of Wayne, but we need to see his quality. He needs to produce it on a regular basis."
Palmer admits he was angry with some of his players after a poor display against Cambridge on Tuesday.
"I'm trying to be patient," he said. "We're going into a crucial part of the season and we've got to live with the pressure.
"We've got players to come back, but it was a missed opportunity."
Palmer is hoping new additions Smeltz, a New Zealand international striker, and winger Rundle can give his side a lift as an attacking force.
The Stags have looked good defensively in recent weeks, with five clean sheets in their last six games, but have struggled to find the net.
Adam Murray is a doubt with an ankle problem and Palmer said: "I don't want to gamble with anyone. I'll give it until the last possible minute before I make up my mind."
Derek Asamoah looks set to return to the starting line-up after a two-game ban, with Colin Larkin likely to have to settle for a place on the bench.
Corden and Fraser McLachlan are other contenders for the axe after poor individual displays on Tuesday.
But, with a host of players still ruled out, Palmer's options are limited.
Mansfield from: Pilkington, Buxton, Dimech, John-Baptiste, Neil, McLachlan, Murray, Corden, Brown, Barker, Asamoah, Larkin, White, Rundle, Smeltz, Kitamirike, Maxwell.
JUST ONE CHANGE FOR ROCHDALE
Evening Post, 14 January 2005
Rochdale are expected to make one change from the side which lost 4-1 against Charlton in the third round of the FA Cup.
Centre back Gareth Griffiths, who missed the tie as he was suspended, looks set to replace Daryl Burgess who will drop to the bench.
Rochdale: Gilks, Evans, Griffiths, Heald, Goodall, Clarke, Bertos, Jones, Cooksey, Holt, Tait, Warner, Burgess, Edwards, Gallimore, Atieno.
Gloves off for cover as keeper
DALE could throw down the gauntlet to an experienced goalkeeper to fill in as Matt Gilks' understudy after Neil Edwards was told he needs a hernia operation.
The 34-year-old may face a lay-off for keyhole surgery to correct the problem.
"Neil will be all right to be on the bench for the Mansfield game," Steve Parkin told Observer Sport. "The problem is not a full hernia and we believe he will have keyhole surgery.
"Hopefully that will be next week and we'll have to see how the operation goes. If we're told he is going to be out for three weeks then we may have to bring someone in.
"We haven't got anyone in mind at this stage, but there is a long list of available goalkeepers."
Parkin has a pleasant dilema in front of the keeper. Gareth Griffiths made an impressive return after suspension in Wednesday's Lancashire Senior Cup semi-final win against Bolton and joins Greg Heald and Daryl Burgess in the reckoning for a starting spot.
"I thought Heald and Burgess played well against Charlton, especially Daryl who was outstanding," he said. "And Gareth was excellent in the week. It's a nice problem to have because they are all on form."
Latest | January 2005