CHAD LATEST: NEIL / JELLEYMAN
Palmer looks to shape future
CHAD, 27 April 2005
MANSFIELD Town boss Carlton Palmer is already planning for the future as he looks to shape his squad for next season's assault on League Two.
And Stags fans will be hoping a goalscorer will be high on his priority list to help fire the team forward.
"I'm trying to do a good job for the football club," said Palmer yesterday.
"We've now got the nucleus of a good young side but we need to get four or five players in and it is what those players will cost and whether we can afford them and get in the quality I want."
The club should soon be receiving a £100,000 cash windfall following Sunderland's promotion to the Premiership as part of the deal that saw Liam Lawrence join the Black Cats.
But Palmer said he hadn't even discussed that money with chairman Keith Haslam.
He added: "At the end of the day the chairman and I will have to sit down and make a decision.
"I have identified players I want to bring into the football club and now it is straightforward negotiation with the club and those players if they want to come to Mansfield Town."
Following Saturday's frustrating loss to Macclesfield, Palmer admitted the team's inexperience and naivete in certain situations had cost them dear over the past few weeks.
He told Chad: "After going behind we were by far the better team and our keeper has not had another shot to save in the first half. The stats show we were the better team.
"But goals dictate games and we let them score two headers, the second a free one.
"I know we have young, inexperienced players out there but I am disappointed that, after Bristol Rovers, Yeovil Town and Darlington, it's another game we have dominated and not won.
He added: "We let them back in it by trying to be too clever. After scoring we should have consolidated for five minutes or so instead of going all gung-ho.
"We have shot ourselves in the foot again from set pieces. We helped out own downfall by giving away silly free kicks. And, for all our good play, if you don't defend re-starts you are going to get punished.
"There were still were a lot of positives and Giles Coke was outstanding in midfield while Simon Brown had his best game for a while. It was hard to look around that dressing room and say anyone played badly.
"But we've let them score from two set pieces and our own corners and free kicks were poor. And again we've created a load of chances but not been able to put them away. That is a problem I will be addressing in the summer."
Fraser McLachlan took a knock during Saturday's match but will be back in training later this week and should be fit for the Boston game.
However, Gareth Jelleyman could be out for the rest of the season after he was injured against Macclesfield.
"I thought it was a disgraceful challenge right in front of us and the lad didn't even get booked for it."
"His ankle is very sore. I doubt very much he will be available for the weekend.
"He is a quick healer but we won't take any chances with him for the last game of the season.
"If he is less that 95 per cent fit he won't be playing."
A special reserves game was played yesterday to give Tom Curtis a run out following his recent ankle operation.
The midfielder made his return to the Mansfield Town first-team squad with a place on the bench against Macclesfield.
And there is more good news on the injury front with both Adam Eaton and Dave Artell making good progress.
Alex Neil has also been offered a new contract after playing his way back into Palmer's plans.
"I have had little option but to offer Alex Neil a contract," said Palmer. "He has gone away to think about it and hopefully will give us an answer this week.
"He has convinced me to offer him the contract with the way he has played since I told him he could go. He has shown he can play in a variety of roles and has given a very good account of himself."
Stags' pre-season schedule will see them play four mouthwatering games at Field Mill in July.
Stags will open with a trip to the world's oldest club, Sheffield FC, on Wednesday, 13th July.
Derby County visit on Saturday, 16th, Huddersfield Town on Friday, 22nd, Sheffield Wednesday on Wednesday, 27th and Rotherham United on Saturday, 30th, and all should attract large away followings.
There have been some concerns raised about the small amount of games lined up but Palmer believes they have enough planned.
"Five is plenty for pre-season with a small squad when there are going to be 50 or 60 games the next season.
"Pre-season friendlies for me count for nothing apart from fitness and worries about picking up injuries.
"Obviously for the club as well it is an opportunity to get some money in.
"Manchester United don't play a lot of pre-season friendlies because they look to peak around Christmas.
"People put credence in the early part of the season but although we want to get off to a good start I say it is where you are around about Christmas that dictates the rest of the season for you."
This Saturday Stags wrap up their home league programme with a game against Boston at Field Mill (3pm).
NEIL NETS A NEW OFFER
Evening Post, 26 April 2005
Utilty player Alex Neil is mulling over a contract offer for next season to stay with Mansfield Town.
The Scottish midfielder, who has played at right back for much of the year, was initially told by manager Carlton Palmer he was surplus to requirements.
But Neil has knuckled down to produce a string of impressive displays and Palmer said: "I have had little option but to offer Alex a contract.
"He has gone away to think about it and I hope he will give me an answer this week.
"He has convinced me to offer him the contract with the way he has played.
"I wasn't sure of a position for him but he has shown he can play in a variety of roles."
Left-back Gareth Jelleyman had to limp off on Saturday after a crunching tackle from Danny Whittaker and Palmer said: "I thought it was a disgraceful challenge right in front of us and the lad didn't even get booked.
"Gareth has injured his ankle ligaments and that will be it now for this season for him."
Midfielder Fraser McLachlan also had to come off injured and Palmer will be waiting for news ahead of next week's home clash with Boston.
Latest | April 2005