Football Post article:
I have nothing to prove – White
Ex-Stags man says fans will understand his move to Notts in local Derby fixture.
On Monday, Notts travel to local rivals Mansfield Town. Andy White and Kevin Pilkington are relishing a return to Field Mill. STEVIE RODEN reports
ANDY White still feels aggrieved that he was released by Mansfield in the summer of last year.
After the Stags lost out in the play-off final, the big front man was allowed to leave by Keith Curle. It came following a season he would rather forget with Curle sending him out on loan three times and falling down the pecking order of strikers. But his career was straight back on track when Championship Crewe offered him a one-year deal and he scored four times in 11 starts.
Now, after being released again, he is with Notts and cannot wait to play a part on his first return to Field Mill where he spent four-and-a-half years.
“I want to be as much involved as possible,” said the 23 year-old, who made 38 starts and 38 substitute appearances, scoring 11 goals for the Stags.
“It will be a good crowd and a good atmosphere and Notts have not beaten Mansfield for quite a while, so I want to be on a Notts County winning side. I scored in the Worthington Cup for Mansfield against Notts and also when we beat County 3-2 – Notts did not turn up that day. I know Notts fans are really, really keen to beat Mansfield and it is a big thing for everyone here to put one over them. When they played at Mansfield last year Notts did not play well so a lot of players want to put that right. Not just the fans, but the players want it badly as well to prove a point.”
White played a big part in helping Mansfield to promotion to what was then the Second Division in 2002 and he does not think the reception he will get will be too bad.
“I know I will not get as frosty a reception as Kevin Pilkington,” he joked. “I think Pilks is going in a tank on Monday. But I'm sure there will be a few boos aimed at me, because I have gone across the county to a rival club. So I'm sure I will get stick but I think Pilks will deflect a lot of that away from me to be honest. However I don't have a point to prove. I think the fans knew I could do a job for them but the manager at the time, Keith Curle, did not give me my chance. Not many players who get released from a League Two side will get picked up by a Championship side but that happened. I had a good season and improved my game.”
Despite a lot of changes at Field Mill, some of White's old friends are still there.
“I know the goalkeeper Jason White well, Jake Buxton at the back and Baps (Alex John-Baptiste). I'm looking forward to seeing a few old faces in the crowd as well,” he said.
“I want to go home a happy bunny on Monday night and that is my aim.”
Pilkington left in different circumstances. After five years with the club and captaining them to the play-off final, Stags boss Carlton Palmer offered him a new deal on vastly reduced terms.
With other offers on the table, the former Manchester United stopper decided to leave and opted for a move close by to Meadow Lane.
Although he expects a heated reception, he is hoping the fans remember what he did for the club, making 189 appearances in a Mansfield shirt.
He said: “It will be a big game for me and I'm going to really enjoy it. The hope is we can go there and put in a big performance and come away with three points. I had five good years there so hopefully I will get a good reception. But I just want to be on the winning side.”
Latest | August 2005