TEAM NEWS: BROWN IS BIG DOUBT
Brown is the big doubt for Stags
CHAD website, 15 December 2005
Simon Brown remains a major doubt for Mansfield Town as they take on Peterborough United at what should be a packed Field Mill on Saturday (3pm).
Ten-goal striker Brown's hamstring problem has improved but manager Peter Shirtliff admits he only has a 'slight' chance of figuring as Stags seek to build on last week's 2-1 win at Rushden.
Central defender Jon Olav Hjedle has now been back in training for two days after overcoming an illness. But he may also have to wait for a return with Rhys Day performing well in his absence last Saturday.
With Stags offering Newcastle FA Cup tie priority ticket purchase vouchers to fans who turn up on Saturday, a bumper crowd is expected.
"I am sure this will be another tough game for us," said manager Shirtliff. "They have some players with experience at a higher level and are 10th in the table so they have been pretty consistent.
"We were playing reasonably well at their ground when they caught us with two goals that were poor goals to concede defensively.
"But I have been happy with the level of consistency we have been showing recently. We are certainly not out of the woods yet. You can see from the table we are not totally clear of relegation and we are down there in a group of clubs in the same situation.
"If we can put a run together then we will climb the League - it's as simple as that."
On Brown and Hjelde, he added: "Thankfully Simon's injury is not as bad as we first feared and is improving. But it needs to be 100 per cent and we need to strengthen the leg around the injury.
"Simon felt it was 100 per cent before the Rushden game and we have to be guided by the player somewhat.
"I don't think it will become a major problem as he's never had this before and he has a slight chance of playing on Saturday. But, if he's not right, we won't rush him with so many games over the Christmas period,
"Jon back was in training on Tuesday and seems OK now. We will just monitor him for a couple of days and see if he is back in contention for Saturday."
Posh have only won twice in their last 11 games and crashed out of the LDV Vans Trophy in a 3-1 defeat at Swansea in midweek.
WE'RE NOT SAFE YET, SHIRTLIFF WARNS
Evening Post, 16 December 2005
Peter Shirtliff has warned his Mansfield Town players they are not safe from
The Stags beat Rushden & Diamonds 2-1 last weekend to move five points clear
of the drop zone in League Two.
But the Mansfield manager said it is vital they beat Peterborough at Field
Mill tomorrow to take the pressure off.
He said: "We are not totally clear of relegation and are still down there in
a group of clubs in the same situation.
"If we can put a run together we will climb the league and it is as simple as
that. That is my main concern at the moment.
"We bounced back from Wrexham but we have got to continue in that form and
continue the progression and get a little bit more consistency about our
results and performances.
"Our home form is pleasing because we have picked up points and done well but
we need to continue.
"We are not out of the woods yet and there is more than half the season to
go. We have got to keep our feet on the ground in that respect but I am
pleased with the way things have gone.
"If we can put a few good results together and inch ourselves up the table,
do things nice and steady, we will become more comfortable."
The downside for Mansfield is the loss of striker Simon Brown, who returned
from a hamstring injury to score on Saturday, only to limp off again. But
defender Jon Olav Hjedle is back from illness.
Shirtliff said: "It was disappointing to lose Browny with the hamstring again
but we will battle on through that and, hopefully, put in another good
"It is important we try to keep the consistency level I am trying to bring
into the club. In recent games the performance levels have been good but
we've not always had the results these deserve.
"If we can keep that spirit going and that competitiveness I am sure we can
put in a good performance.
"We have done okay and I am quite pleased. We got a couple of breaks against
Grays but did not get any against Wrexham, so it evens itself out.
"Over the Christmas period the games come thick and fast, so you can never
plan too far ahead.
"It is a cliche but we will take each game as it comes to try to get maximum
points from it."
Asked how he thinks he has done since taking over from Carlton Palmer,
Shirtcliff said: "Am I Content? No. I want to keep winning and it is as
simple as that.
"I am happy in certain things and other things we can improve. We can be
stronger and the boys are all having a go and are competitive and if we can
carry on in that mould we can certainly get the right results.
"But I am looking for improvement in all areas. we have achieved that to some
extent but want to keep the momentum going."
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