EARLY PREVIEW AND TEAM NEWS
Stags back at the Mill at last!
CHAD website, 19 January 2006
Mansfield Town playing at Field Mill has been a rare thing of late.
But this week the Stags actually play twice at home in four days, starting with Saturday's visit of Steve Parkin's Rochdale (3pm).
Mansfield have played away from home in seven of their last 10 games and manager Peter Shirtliff said; "It is an amazing statistic.
"I find it incredible we have played away so much and it is nice to now have two at home on the spin and hopefully we can get some points on the board.
"I thought we played quite well at both Grimsby and Shrewsbury and possibly deserved a couple more points than we got.
"If we can produce performances of a similiar level then I would expect a good points tally from the two home games. We just need a little bit of luck right now."
When Stags lost 2-0 at Rochdale back in mid-September Parkin's side were flying high.
But they have recently slumped badly, losing 10 and drawing two of their last 14 games. And they have also lost star striker Grant Holt to Nottingham Forest.
Dale have now slid to 15th in the table and a win for Mansfield on Saturday would put them just a point behind their opponents.
However, Shirtliff warned; "Rochdale will not be easy opponents.
"They will come here battling and scrapping for everything.
"After them losing so many games recently we could face some sort of Rochdale backlash. And don't forget they are still higher than us in the league."
Stags are still searching for their first win of 2206, but Shirtliff added; "We've only played four times and one of those was away at Newcastle. So let's get things a bit real.
"There is no panic here and I am looking forward to our next game."
With Jonathan D'Laryea's loan spell over, Shirtliff is almost certain to pair Giles Coke and Stephen Dawson in the centre of midfield.
Simon Brown is back training with the squad but short on fitness and unlikely to be involved in either Saturday or Tuesday's visit of Keith Curle's Chester City.
Callum Lloyd is also due back in training next week but won't be fit in time for these home games.
Shirtliff has had no further luck in adding to his squad since last week's signing of Danny Reet, but said: "I am not too worried as I am quite happy with the squad I have got and we have reasonable cover for all positions.
"If I can bring quality in then I will do. But there is no point in bringing in someone that is not going to improve us.
"I have made a couple of enquiries but they players are not available.
"I watched a game last night and saw a couple more that I may pursue.
"But generally the type of player I am looking for is not currently available to us and I may have to be patient and wait until the summer."
Latest | January 2006