SHIRTLIFF DEMANDS REACTION AT RUSHDEN
Shirtliff demands reaction at Rushden
CHAD website, 08 December 2005
PETER Shirtliff is looking for an immediate reaction from his young side to Tuesday's 4-1 defeat at Wrexham when they visit fellow strugglers Rushden and Diamonds on Saturday (3pm).
But he may have to do it without Stephen Dawson and Jon Hjelde.
Midfielder Dawson came off at Wrexham with an injured shoulder while central defender Hjelde has been at home all week feeling the effects of flu.
Both were due to train today but remain doubtful.
Shirtliff is likely to recall winger Adam Rundle to revert back to their regular 4-4-2 after seeing his 3-5-2 formation at Wrexham concede three sloppy goals in a disastrous 12-minute period.
"We have to start being consistent," said boss Shirtliff. "If the players I have at the club can't start doing that then I will have to change it. It's as simple as that.
"It is important we bounce straight back at Rushden. But just because they are down there with us doesn't mean we should think this is automatically going to be three points.
"They will be looking at the table and thinking exactly the same thing."
Shirtliff didn't think this week's unrest at Field Mill over chairman Keith Haslam's financial dealings would affect his players in any way.
"They are paid to play football and this has nothing to do with that," he said. "If they do their job to the best of their ability, why should they worry about off-the-field activity?
"It certainly won't worry me. I was at Leicester when they went into administration so I have experienced quite a lot in my career. You just get on with it.
"We have been playing with confidence recently and, if we can just tighten up at the back, I am sure we can get a result."
Diamonds, hammered 4-0 at home by Carlisle on Tuesday, have only scored once in their last five games.
They have only won three of their 11 home League games this season and are four games without victory.
Shirtliff: Poor Defending Cost Stags
Stags boss Peter Shirtliff has had time to watch the video from Tuesday evening's game against Wrexham at the Racecourse ground and is sure that poor defending cost us the game.
" I have watched the video of the game and I felt that in the first half we more than matched them play for play. I spoke to their manager after the game and he told me that their best players were the forwards and the goalkeeper which is always a help. So that tells me quite clearly where the problems were in our team - we didn't finish clinically and we failed to keep their strikers out.
"After the good win 3-0 against Grays a few days before it seems that we need some consistency and the answer is simple the players have to start being more consistent and improve as players or I am going to have change it. That said I felt we did compete quite well the first half but poor defending in the second half let us down. Wrexham's first three efforts on goal found the net." He told the official website this morning.
With off pitch events opening up another chapter in Mansfield Town's History. Shirtliff refuses to get drawn into the stories surrounding affairs away from the football and insists that his players will not be effected by stories in the media.
"I don't think what is happening with the chairman at the moment will effect the players on the field. They are paid to play football and the events have nothing to with them so they will not be concerned and will continue to do their jobs to the best of their ability - that's all I would ask off them" he added.
" We will have to travel to Rushden and diamonds this weekend with the same confidence that we travelled to Wrexham with. The only difference is we have hopefully learnt form our mistakes and will not make the same bad decisions and be less sloppy in the defending. If we tighten up I am sure we can come away with the right result."
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