SSA ARRANGES AMBER DAY FOR SATURDAY
Stags chase defender for milestone 3000th League game
CHAD, 02 February 2005
Stags Supporters Association are calling on fans to wear amber for this Saturday's milestone match at Meadow Lane.
"This will be our first ever away Amber Day but we thought it appropriate to mark the 3,000 League match," said SSA spokesman Chris Vasper.
The celebrations continue on Tuesday when Swansea City are the visitors to Field Mill (7.45pm). The SSA have successfully negotiated with chairman Keith Haslam to allow a 'Kids for Quid' night.
And the SSA will be presenting the club with a specially made crystal souvenir to commemorate the 3,000th game.
MANSFIELD Town are frantically searching for a central defender ahead of their big local derby at Notts County on Saturday (3pm).
Luke Dimech is facing at least a three-match ban for his red card in the 2-0 derby defeat at Lincoln last weekend.
And, with both Rhys Day and Dave Artell set to be out longer than expected and Alex John-Baptiste only one booking from a suspension, caretaker-manager Carlton Palmer is desperate to bring in a central defender for Stags' milestone 3,000th League match on Saturday (see page 159).
Palmer initially described Dimech's sending-off as a 'joke' on Saturday after he prevented Simon Yeo from racing out of Lincoln's half of the field.
But, having seen it again from a different angle on video, Palmer said: "The referee got it right - it was a definite sending-off.
"In fact it was an awful challenge and he could have seriously injured the lad.
"Luke hooked his arm round his throat as he tried to go past him and he will be lucky if he only gets three games for that. If he gets more we can have no complaints.
"It was a stupid challenge and didn't need to be made. The lad was never going to run the length of the pitch to score. If Luke had just stepped across his line and blocked him the worst he would have got was a yellow.
"It was irresponsible and he has let himself and the club down. It certainly cost us the game.
"He would have been sin-binned in a rugby match for that one. It could have been very nasty for their lad and, to be fair to him, he didn't make a meal of it.
"I couldn't see it properly at the time and both myself and Howard Wilkinson, who was watching the game, didn't know why Luke had been sent off."
Now Palmer has had to put his search for a new midfield player on hold while he brings in central defensive cover.
Artell is out indefinitely after his DVT scare while examinations on Day's ankle at Lilleshall last week revealed it to still be very weak and in need of building up over a three-week period.
On top of all that, full back Jake Buxton, so impressive in recent weeks, is trying to shake off a dead leg before the weekend.
County will be looking for revenge for that 3-1 defeat at Field Mill. But, after a five-game run without conceding a goal, Notts have lost their last two games 5-0 and 2-0.
However, Palmer warned: "In derby games form goes out the window and we have to be right mentally and physically. We need to pick up where we left off before Lincoln."
PLAYERS RISE TO CHALLENGE
Evening Post, 02 February 2005
Mansfield Town's Luke Dimech and Alex Neil are set to be offered new contracts at the club - less than three months after being told they could leave on free transfers.
Caretaker manager Carlton Palmer told the pair they could leave Field Mill in November.
But both vowed to fight for their Stags' future and after a string of impressive displays, they are to get new deals.
Palmer said: "I told Alex Neil and Luke Dimech they could go and they've been outstanding.
"They've got right behind me, and I think it's because I've been fair and honest with them. I've treated them like I'd like to be treated myself.
"My first priority is to look after the players who are already here and have done well for me and Kevin Pilkington has been outstanding, so he's got to be looked after.
"Dimech and Neil - assuming we can renegotiate with them - will be offered new contracts.
"They were surplus to requirements when I first came in and now both of them would be in the side even if Rhys Day, Dave Artell and Fraser McLachlan were all fit."
And Palmer believes the Mansfield fans are beginning to come round to his way of thinking.
He said: "The supporters have now, I think, come around to what I've tried to do."
Latest | February 2005