SHIRTLIFF: I`M GETTING CLOSE TO ONE OR TWO TARGETS
Stags chief keeping busy
Teamtalk.com, 16 Nov 05
Mansfield boss Peter Shirtliff admits he is spending as much time on the telephone as on the training ground while his quest for new players continues.
With the Stags struggling to climb clear of danger at the bottom of the League Two table, Shirtliff is scouring the country for potential recruits.
Jonathan D'Laryea is currently on loan at Town from Manchester City but Shirtliff is determined to leave no stone unturned in his search for more players.
And ahead of the clash with Shrewsbury, Shirtliff said he was optimistic his hard work would soon pay off.
He said: "I've never had or made as many phone calls in my life as I have over the last few weeks.
"But I'm getting close to one or two targets I'm hopeful will be joining us here at Mansfield."
Harsh words for Friday flops
CHAD website, 15 November 2005
MANSFIELD Town will take to the field at Shrewsbury on Saturday (3pm) with harsh words ringing in their ears after their Friday night flop against Bury.
And they may have to hit back the hard way with injuries, illness and suspensions potentially leaving manager Peter Shirtliff with a threadbare squad.
Shirtliff accused his players of complacency and said it was 'back to basics time' this week after their 3-0 home defeat by fellow strugglers Bury.
Stags had won three of previous four games, scoring 12 times, while the Shakers had not won for four matches.
But there was no way back for Mansfield after conceding twice in a nightmare first nine minutes.
"They are young lads and they have had all the accolades and nice pats on the back from the media recently," said Shirtliff.
"But when it came down to the nitty gritty for the first 10 minutes they didn't deal with it.
"Now they have to get back to basics and work hard.
"It was an horrendous first 20 minutes.We were just not at the races.
"I had an inkling before the game that things were not right - a sixth sense if you like - and I was proved right.
"They just didn't have the 'eye of the tiger' ready for the game.
"Straight from the kick-off they were almost like scared rabbits in headlights which I couldn't understand. It was only when Bury were 2-0 up that we were getting stuck in and fighting."
With Gareth Jelleyman and Gus Uhlenbeek suspended, Shirtliff also has worries over Simon Brown (hamstring), Adam Birchall (ankle) and Adrian Littlejohn (illness).
Brown is the biggest worry with his goalscoring record this season. He signalled to leave the field on Friday with a tight hamstring. That had improved by Tuesday but it is still a race against time for him.
Birchall withdrew from the Welsh U21 squad this week with a sore ankle but will train sparingly in the hope it will ease before Saturday.
Littlejohn has flu-like syptoms and swollen glands, believed to be viral, and was confined to bed on Monday.
Stags blasted Shrewsbury 4-0 only six weeks ago and Shirtliff said: "They will still be smarting from that.
"Let's not forget that at 1-0 up they put us under a lot of pressure and we scored our second against the run of play. Only after that was it comfortable for us.
"At Shrewsbury we have to start making the correct decisions again. Against Bury we were making absolutely the worst choices possible. But you must remember they are mostly young players still learning the game."
Shirtliff is closely monitoring his roster of players this week and will take in a couple of matches to look at potential back-up.
"I can get through it at Shrewsbury with what we've got, but if I can get someone in who would help us then I will," he said.
"If you take away that first 10 minutes last Friday and look at the stats, we probably deserved three points, let alone a point.
"But you can't start a game like that and expect to get anything out of it.
"In the second half we were constantly attacking but Bury defended with a lot of spirit. And our finishing was woeful.
"Clear cut chances were few and far between and we lacked the attention to detail, desire, energy and willingness that we had shown in the previous five or six matches."
On what appeared a definite penalty that was refused, he added: "I thought the boy took Richie's legs and it was a clear penalty."
Saturday's referee is due to be Lee Probert, who handled Stags' infamous 'Battle of Swansea' two years ago.
Stags Supporters Associaition have coaches arranged for Saturday's game at Shrewsbury.
To make a booking please ring 07967 689597 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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