PREVIEWS / NO NEW FACES AT FIELD MILL
STAGS FOCUS ON RETURN TO WINNING WAYS
Evening Post, 25 November 2005
Mansfield Town will be doing their best to concentrate on the business of the week following the death of goalkeeping coach Peter Wilson at Shrewsbury on Saturday.
Wilson suffered a heart attack while warming up keepers Kevin Pressman and Jason White at Gay Meadow.
And, although there has been a sombre mood at Field Mill, manager Peter Shirtliff is confident his players realise the best tribute will be three points against Stockport tomorrow.
"The early part of the week was difficult but you have to try to get on with it as best you can," he said.
"The lads are all right and there are not any problems.
"They are looking forward to the game and the fact we haven't had one for more than two weeks will have freshened a few of them up."
Other results pushed the Stags back into the relegation zone but Shirtliff, who did no business before yesterday's loan-deal deadline, believes there is no need to panic. The Stags drew with Stockport, who are managed by Shirtliff's former Sheffield Wednesday team-mate Chris Turner, at Edgeley Park on the opening day of the season, after being two goals ahead at half-time.
Shirtliff said: "It is a very tight league and there is not much between us and half-way so if we can pick up a couple of good results here and there, then we will be all right.
"It was probably a fair result last time because both teams were comfortable for a half each. I played in the same team as Chris at Sheffield Wednesday. He's a good lad and I know his team will be really competitive.
"They came down last season but lost a lot of players, with Wayne Feeney going to Luton.
"They have become the draw specialists in our league and, had they got some more wins, they would have been a lot more comfortable."
The only injury doubt for the Stags is striker Simon Brown, who limped out of the 3-0 defeat against Bury with a hamstring strain.
"Browny was not fit for the game at Shrewsbury and we will wait until the last minute," added Shirtliff.
"But he has not trained for about 11 days now so that could be a factor. I don't want to rush him back for one match and then lose him for four."
Adam Birchall is likely to start up front, alongside skipper Richie Barker, with on-loan Allan Russell on the bench.
Preview: Mansfield v Stockport
COUNTY could have their own Portugeues Man O'War in defence after signing Adelino Cruz Vieira.
The 26-year-old, who has been playing for Oxford City this season, will sign on non-contract forms after impressing against Oldham's second string on Wednesday.
"He looks very comfortable on the ball and will provide competition for Mark Robinson, which is important as we face a lot of games in December over a short period of time," County boss Christ Turner told the club's website.
Ross Greenwood is doubtful even after a scan revealed he had not broken his leg, while Michael Wolski is unlikely to be risked as he struggles to recover from a virus.
Mansfield, who were hit by the death of goalkeeping coach Peter Wilson before last week's game against Shrewsbury, hope to have Simon Brown back after his return to training.
Last season: Different leagues
Key opponent: Richard Barker - powerful striker has led the line well for Mansfield this season.
Prediction: Mansfield 1 County 2
Do you agree? Have your say
County are 11/1 to beat Mansfield 2-1 with Betfred.
New faces 'unlikely' at Field Mill today
CHAD website, 24 November 2005
STAGS boss Peter Shirtliff said it was 'unlikely' he would bring in any new faces before tonight's loan transfer deadline ahead of Saturday's crunch visit of Stockport County (3pm).
The opportunity to sign outfield players ends today until 1st January when the transfer window reopens.
But Shirtliff said; "It is unlikely I will bring anyone in today.
"We have two players in on loan right now and two to come back from suspension. I am reasonably happy to go with what we've got for December.
"There are certain areas I would like to improve on, though I am sick of conceding goals like we do. I believe we only let in one goal in four games and then conceded three against Rotherham and three against Bury.
"I have a couple of players in mind that I am monitoring. But nothing will be done before January.
"Apart from the blip against Bury we were doing very well so there is no panic. The players are working hard and in good spirits."
After last weekend's shock death of goalkeeping coach Peter Wilson in the pre-match warm-up at Shrewsbury, Shirtliff has faced a difficult week lifting his young squad.
The subsequent postponement of the match also saw Mansfield slip back into the bottom two relegation spots.
"We have been trying to get on with it as best we can," said Shirtliff.
"I have spoken to Peter's partner and she agreed Peter would not want us all moping over his death. I have told the players it is not a crime to smile and no one will think any the less of them for enjoying coming into work.
"Peter was a different class bloke so let's celebrate him rather than be all morbid about it."
He added: "Maybe a weekend off will have refreshed the players. I certainly don't have any issues about fitness levels.
"We are back in the bottom two but couldn't do anything about that. It was out of our hands and we now just have to get on with it.
"It is a very, very tight league with very little between the bottom and halfway. If we can keep picking up results here and there we should be OK.
"Stockport will be a very tough game. The draw at their place was probably a fair result overall as both teams commanded a half.
"They will be very competitive. Stockport lost some of their better players after relegation who are difficult to replace.
"They have become the draw specialists this season, but know if they could have converted a few of those into wins then they might be a lot more comfortable right now."
Gus Uhlenbeek and Gareth Jelleyman miss out through suspension for Stags while there are still worries over Simon Brown, who has not trained since the Bury defeat due to a hamstring strain.
Although he has improved, Brown is still touch and go for Saturday with Adam Birchall likely to be his replacement if he fails his late fitness test.
Defender Ross Greenwood is likely to shake off a leg injury in time to give Chris Turner virtually a full-strength Stockport squad to choose from.
The Hatters sit just one point and one place above Mansfield Town.
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