BIRCHALL HOPING FOR RECALL, PLUS RUNDLE INTERVIEW
Birchall hoping for recall as Stags head north
CHAD website, 13 October 2005
PETER Shirtliff has one major decision to make as Stags make the long trip north to Carlisle United on Saturday.
After last Friday's 4-0 blitzing of Shrewsbury Town, caretaker boss Shirtliff is unlikely to change his side, but does have Adam Birchall back from Welsh U21 duty.
And the young striker has returned full of confidence after netting for the Welsh as they finished their UEFA Championship campaign with a 3-0 win over Azerbaijan at Newport Stadium.
"I will have a look at Adam in training and see how he is as I know he suffered a slight knock with Wales," said Shirtliff. "But it is a nice problem to have."
Shirtliff has continued to scour the country for new faces to add to the squad this week. He has identified another four players that he would like to bring in.
But, after three players turned him down last week, he is not optimistic.
He said: "I half expect the same with these players which is partly due to us being bottom of the league. But it is not an impossibility."
Carlisle have just lost four on the bounce and Shirtliff said: "You could say it is a good time to play them, but we also have to beware of a backlash.
"With four matches in two weeks ahead it was nice to have a blank week this week to do our preparation work.
"I have not heard anything more about the manager's job. I am just enjoying doing what I am doing and I think the players are responding accordingly.
"I will get on with the job as I see fit and other things will take care of themselves.
"We need to build on that win from last Friday. A couple more wins and we will soon start to climb the league. But Carlisle is always a tough place to go and get a result."
Despite heavy rain in Cumbria this week, the Brunton Park pitch has taken the water well thanks to summer drainage work and, with Carlisle enjoying glorious sunshine today and a good forecast for the weekend, there are no doubts over the game going ahead.
"I'M GOING TO HAVE STAGS PARTY" Says Adam
Carlisle News & Star
FORMER Carlisle United winger Adam Rundle today pledged to show Blues fans what they are missing when he returns to Brunton Park with Mansfield on Saturday.
Durham-born Rundle, 21, told News & Star Sport he couldn't wait to make his first appearance at Carlisle since he left the club over a year ago.
And he will be looking to put one over on United boss Paul Simpson, who released him after a 14-month spell at Carlisle.
Rundle made 25 league starts for the Blues after being signed by Roddy Collins despite interest from Premiership Fulham in January 2003.
He turned in a man-of-the-match performance in Carlisle's LDV Vans Trophy Final defeat by Bristol City that May but fell out of favour when Simpson replaced Collins at the United helm the following season.
The talented left-winger was then snapped up by Collins at Dublin City but returned to England this January when Carlton Palmer brought him to Mansfield.
Rundle, formerly of Darlington, has been in and out of the Stags' team this term as they slumped to second bottom of League Two – a run that brought about the resignation of former Turn to page 47
England star Palmer last month.
But the winger started and scored in their 4-0 demolition of Shrewsbury last Friday and expects to be in caretaker-boss Peter Shirtliff's starting line-up against Simpson's team on Saturday.
“It would be nice to play well and show people what they are missing,” Rundle said.
“I'm really looking forward to it. I had a good time at Carlisle – to run out in a cup final at the Millennium Stadium was one of the highlights of my career.
“Things went a bit sour towards the end but unfortunately that's part and parcel of football.
“I'm not too fussed about all that now. I'm just concerned with playing my own game and helping Mansfield win games.”
After his release from Carlisle, Rundle wrote a letter to the News & Star thanking the United fans for their support and speaking of his frustration at his limited opportunities under Simpson.
And he said today: “I always liked the fans. They always supported me and the team well when I was up there. It will be nice to return on Saturday and see what kind of reception I get.”
n MANSFIELD are without Chris Beardsley and have doubts over Gavin Peers and Adam Birchall but veteran striker Adrian Littlejohn should be fit.
Northampton Town have signed Huddersfield's Junior Mendes on a month-long loan deal.
The 29-year-old Londoner has struggled to establish himself in The Terriers' first team since joining from Mansfield during the summer. Now Colin Calderwood is prepared to give Mendes a taste of first team action, providing him with the chance to sharpen himself up.
"Northampton are keen to take Junior and he has agreed," said Town boss Peter Jackson.
"Junior needs to get first-team games and confidence from scoring goals."
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