PALMER FEELING THE PRESSURE
Rochdale is Cup final for Stags
CHAD website, 15 September 2005
STAGS boss Carlton Palmer has admitted time is running out for him to stop his young Mansfield Town side under-achieving.
And he has urged his players to treat Saturday's trip to Rochdale (3pm) like a cup final.
Only two sides separate Mansfield from the foot of League Two after only taking six points from their first eight starts. And the wrong results on Saturday could leave them bottom.
Palmer said: "We have only taken six points out of 24 and are third from bottom so I can't sit here smiling can I?
"I know at some point the chairman will tap me on the shoulder for sure, so of course I fear for my position.
"I am under no illusions. This has to turn round quickly.
"My friendship with the chairman has nothing to do with this situation. This is his club and his business and if he taps me on the shoulder and I go we will still be able to have a beer together.
"If I was him I wouldn't be very happy right now.
"We are not a bad side and, even if I was gone, I still believe this side will eventually finish there or thereabouts come May.
"No excuses, we just have to cut out some of the silly mistakes at the back and get a bit of luck."
He added: "Ron Atkinson once said it is better to be a lucky manager than a good manager. And I know that we should be on 14 points now.
"We just have to keep on doing the right things and cutting out the things that are costing us.
"I was already under pressure at the start of the season and knew we needed to get off to a good start.
"I have done everything in the right manner and know that it will eventually come right. But obviously with this job it is the time factor.
"I am treating the game at Rochdale as a Cup final and getting my players up for it as a cup final. We know Rochdale is a tough place to go and three points there could suddenly turn our season around."
Veteran striker Adrian Littlejohn today signed his three-month deal and is likely to be on the bench at Spotland with the Richie Barker/Simon Brown partnership currently doing well up front.
Stephen Dawson (groin) was back in training today and Jake Buxton (dead leg) is expected back tomorrow. So, apart from broken leg victim Chris Beardsley, Palmer may have a full squad to choose from and could even include himself in midfield or defence.
He is contiuing to look for loan players to bring in and said: "I tried to bring in Clyde Wijnhard from Darlington this week but he has turned us down.
"I thought he was up for it, but then Bristol City came in and I think that is where he will go now.
"It is not easy persuading players to join you when you are three from the bottom."
Victory for fourth-placed Rochdale could send them top of other results went their way.
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