PREVIEWS - WATKISS AND CHRISTIE INTERVIEWS
Points are the priority for Harriers
Kidderminster Shuttle, thisiskhfc.co.uk
KIDDERMINSTER Harriers boss Stuart Watkiss admits he won't be distracted when taking on his former club Mansfield Town for the first time since leaving Field Mill.
The Stags visit Aggborough on Bank Holiday Monday in another vital match for Harriers as they bid to avoid relegation from Coca-Cola League Two.
Watkiss is relishing the challenge against Mansfield and said previous connections with the Nottinghamshire club won't stand in his way of masterminding three crucial points.
The 38-year-old experienced a roller-coaster ride at Town, firstly guiding them to promotion from the old Division Three in 2001/02 before getting the sack for a poor first few months in Division Two.
"It will be nice to see some old faces on Monday," said Watkiss.
"However, I won't let the fact that its Mansfield Town overshadow the importance of the game and our need to get three points and improve our league position.
"It is the first time I will have come up against my old club.
"But this is not about me, it is about Kidderminster Harriers and getting a good result. I won't be distracted by it.
"Of course, I do look back at my time at Mansfield with enjoyment and pride.
"I hope the Mansfield Town fans appreciate what I tried to do there and remember me as somebody that tried my very best."
Meanwhile, Harriers and Notts County have until March 30 to respond to an Football Association charge regarding a scuffle towards the end of their League Two game at Meadow Lane on March 12.
Both clubs were charged with failing to ensure players conducted themselves in an orderly fashion.
Iyseden: I nearly quit Harriers
Kidderminster Shuttle, thisiskhfc.co.uk
IYSEDEN Christie is on standby for his first Kidderminster Harriers start during their Bank Holiday double header after revealing that his injury hell almost forced him to quit the game.
The 28-year-old striker is in line to make his full debut against his former club Mansfield at Aggborough on Monday -- eight months after leaving them to join Harriers.
Iyseden Christie returns to action against Rushden.
Christie revealed that he was almost driven out of football by the complications that arose when a pin inserted to fix a broken metatarsal in his foot became infected and led to a protracted lay-off.
"I've had a year from hell," revealed the Coventry-based frontman.
"I've been injured before a lot longer than this but at least I knew where I was with that.
"With this one it's been one setback after another and hopefully I'm over it now and things will be all right.
"When it didn't heal the first time I was told it would take three months and I thought 'I can handle that'.
"But after I had more complications, I was thinking if there's something majorly wrong I was going to retire.
"It was not so much the hard work, I just couldn't be bothered with the disappointment of not being able to play and do what I want to do properly, to the best of my ability."
Christie was full of praise for Harriers backroom staff for persuading him to fight his way back to fitness.
"The management, the coaching staff, physio Jim Conway in particular and obviously my family all said that if I stopped playing I'd be more miserable than trying to play.
"The fact that Kidderminster showed faith to give me a two-year contract pushed me to stay in the game. If I'd only have had one year I'd have retired."
Providing Lee Jenkins overcomes his niggly knee injury to start in midfield after failing tio train all week, Watkiss will name an unchanged team for the trip to Darlington on Saturday.
And although he hopes the Quakers play-off challenge begins to wobble on this weekend, the Aggborough boss admits Harriers' Easter programme is far from ideal.
"It doesn't help being 250 miles away from home at Darlington and then playing again two days later," he said.
"Mansfield play on the Friday so they will have an extra 24 hours to recover in time for our game on Monday so it's not what we would have liked from the Easter programme.
"We'll be keeping our fingers crossed that the results of Rushden and Cambridge go our way and give us a lift on Friday, because if they don't it will be a massive pyschological blow going into the Darlington game.
"We'll go to Darlington with a positive approach and hopefully they'll be a bit nervy because teams going for promotion or the play-offs often suffer a wobble."
Latest | March 2005