EARLY PREVIEW AND TEAM NEWS
DAWSON'S RALLY CRY TO STAGS MATES
Evening Post, 17 February 2006
Stephen Dawson today warned his Mansfield team-mates they must not let their good work against table-topping Grimsby go to waste.
The midfielder gave an inspirational display on Tuesday night to help the Stags to a much-needed 2-1 victory over the Mariners.
But he insists the Stags must now concentrate on getting good results from their home clash with Wrexham tomorrow (3pm) and their visit to fellow strugglers Torquay next week.
"It's a big game for us tomorrow, and at Torquay," said Dawson, 20.
"I feel if we can get a win on Saturday and then a favourable result at Torquay, it will set us up."
A casualty when Stags crashed 4-0 at Darlington, Dawson was dropped for the games against Macclesfield and Wycombe.
He impressed everyone with his performance on returning to the side, but he is more interested in the team's cause than his own.
Dawson said: "I was pleased just to get the chance to play. I played out on the right wing which is my usual position."
"I'll play anywhere as long as I can help the team though, and that is the most important thing."
"You always set yourself standards to reach, but once you've done that, you want to be part of a successful team."
Like Dawson, boss Peter Shirtliff is keen to follow up victory over the Mariners with another three points against Wrexham.
He said: "I think I am right in saying that we have only had back-to-back wins in the league once this season, and that was back in October with a cup game in between.
"It would be nice to achieve that again and I challenged the players in the dressing room after the Grimsby game to do it.
"Winning is a habit and it's a good one to get into. Teams that are top of the league go out expecting to win - they start the game full of confidence.
"But we are a bit further down the league and we are sometimes apprehensive until the games get going."
Shirtliff was delighted with the backing the team received from the fans on Tuesday and hopes that will continue tomorrow.
"They were chanting and cheering and encouraging the players right to the end and that's a real positive in my book" he said.
Gareth Jelleyman will miss tomorrow's game and the trip to Torquay, following his red card against Grimsby.
Giles Coke is available, but will be suspended against the Gulls after five yellow cards.
Simon Brown will be out seeing a specialist about his stomach.
Alex John-Baptiste is hoping to recover from a groin strain but will face a fitness test.
Of the long-term injuries, Rhys Day and has an outside chance of being back from a hernia operation for the derby at Notts County.
Shirtliff lays down challenge
CHAD website, 16 February 2006
STAGS boss Peter Shirtliff has challenged his Stags side to gain back to back League wins for only the second time this season when Wrexham visit Field Mill on Saturday (3pm).
It was back in October when Mansfield beat Barnet at home and then won away at Cheltenham in the following League match.
Now, after a disappointing start to 2006, Stags have taken four points off two of the top sides this week and Shirtliff said: "I have challenged them to now get us back to back League wins.
"It would be nice - it's been a while.
"We have had two good results this week and it was a battling display against Grimsby on Tuesday.
"Teams at the top go out there expecting to win and start games full of confidence.
"A bit further down, sides are more apprehensive to start with. It is only when they get into the game that they settle down a bit.
"The fans were a great help to us on Tuesday. They cheered and encouraged the players right to the end and that was great."
Wrexham have won three of their last four League matches. But it is their home form that has kept them in the play-off hunt.
They have only won two away League games all season - at Oxford and Rushden.
"I thought we were unlucky when we lost 4-1 at Wrexham in December," added Shirtliff.
"We were 1-0 up at half-time but conceded three quick goals in quick succession. Denis Smith agreed we were unlucky and the fact their keeper got man of the match speaks for itself."
Shirtliff is already without Rhys Day (hernia operation), Allan Russell (broken toe), Simon Brown (stomach muscle) and Chris Beardsley (broken leg).
And Gareth Jelleyman starts a two-game ban for his red card ahainst Grimby. Giles Coke also received his fifth booking in that game but is available on Saturday and misses the Torquay trip along with Jelleyman.
Richie Barker, who needed two stitches in an eye wound during the Grimsby game, will be fine to play. But there are worries over defender Alex John-Baptiste who aggravated his groin injury.
Wrexham had midfielder mark Jones called up into the full Wales squad this week.
And young striker Sam Williams is about to start a second month on loan after successful negotiations with Aston Villa this week.
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