HITMAN BROWN / BUG THREAT TO GULLS SURVIVAL
HITMAN BROWN AIMS TO SHOOT DOWN GULLS
Evening Post, 24 February 2006
Simon Brown wants to go out with a bang at Torquay tomorrow in his last game before an operation that could end his season.
The livewire striker goes under the surgeon's knife next Thursday in for help with a hernia injury.
Assistant manager Paul Holland hopes the ex-West Brom man could be back within three weeks so he can play a big part in the crucial run-in to the end of the season.
But if the 22-year-old's recovery does not go so well, he could miss six weeks or more - and that would all but end his campaign.
Brown is determined to put on a show at Plainmoor and help ease the Stags' relegation worries.
"It's been very frustrating pulling my hamstring and then coming back only to struggle with this hernia - it's been a very stop-start season for me," he said.
"When I first got injured Richie (Barker) and I were working really well together and the team was playing well so it's been hard to have to watch from the sidelines.
"I was pleased with how things went when I came on against Wrexham and if I can make an impact against Torquay too, I will be pleased."
Mansfield had hoped to coax Brown through until the end of the season with rest and treatment in between matches.
But it has quickly become apparent that an operation is the best solution.
"I've been taking anti-inflammatories before and after games and it's been really sore after matches," said Brown.
"Now I'm booked in for the operation I hope to get it sorted and come back as soon as possible. Hopefully I can get some games before the end of the season."
Mansfield boss Peter Shirtliff is hoping they can extend their unbeaten run to five matches.
He said: "It's been an ok February because we have stayed unbeaten, but even after we lost against Chester and Darlington, I don't think it was the crisis some people were making it out to be."
Gareth Jelleyman and Giles Coke are suspended but
Laurence Wilson is expected to travel after shrugging of a knock on his shin, as is Alex John-Baptiste who has been struggling with a groin injury.
But Adam Birchall is doubtful with an ankle injury.
BUG THREAT TO GULLS SURVIVAL
Torquay Herald Express, 24 February 2006
Torquay United are facing an injury and illness crisis ahead of tomorrow's clash against fellow League Two strugglers Mansfield at Plainmoor (3pm).
The sight of influential midfielder Kevin Hill limping out of training was the last thing Cornforth wanted to see yesterday, with the Gulls boss already sweating over the fitness of several key players, including four first teamers who have been hit by a virus.
Steve Woods, Alex Lawless, Tony Bedeau and captain James Sharp are all less than 100 per cent having caught a sickness bug that is doing the rounds at the club, while Morike Sako is a doubt after his sore ankle swelled at training yesterday.
Matt Hockley and Jo Kuffour have both carried minor knocks this week, while winger Martin Phillips still hasn't trained at all as he struggles with a back injury, ruling him out once again.
On top of this, manager John Cornforth will also be without on-loan striker Lee Thorpe, who is suspended.
Craig Taylor, who has been out for almost two months with a back injury, is back in contention ahead of the match and, says Cornforth, anyone who is fit is likely to be in the squad!
The stakes are high, with Mansfield just six points ahead of the Gulls in 17th position.
The manager said: "Hilly dropped out of training with a sore knee and went to the doctor's afterwards to have it checked out. He doesn't know whether to kick or twist at the moment, and I can't say too much as it's hard to know how bad it is. But fingers crossed he'll be all right.
"Morike's ankle has swollen and he will be struggling to make the game. Then we've got Woods, Lawless, Bedeau and Sharpey all struggling with illness.
"They all trained today, but the bug has really hit us this week and there has been a lot of sickness and diarrhoea throughout the club. It's always the same when a bug hits a club - once one person has got it, four or five get it. They'll hopefully get it out of their systems before the game and they should all train (today).
"Craig Taylor has got five days of solid training under his belt now. The way things are going everyone is going to be in the squad - anyone who's fit. The way the bumps and bruises are going, the squad will pick itself.
"With the weather this week as well, it's been very frustrating in training, but we'll get on with it the best we can. We've got on with the training sessions despite the weather, and the boys have worked hard and we hope to go into the game with all guns blazing. We need to get the three points.
"I've had reports on Mansfield and have had them watched a couple of times, and had them watched against Wrexham on Saturday. I know the system they play and what they did last time, and am familiar with their set pieces."
Cornforth has also revealed that he has been frustrated in his attempts to lure a further loan signing to Plainmoor, and added: "I thought I was close on a couple but they have gone elsewhere. It's difficult to get players to come down here, and I know I'm not the first Torquay manager to say that.
"Players based in the Midlands will always want to stay closer to home, and not come all the way down here. But we'll just get on with it - we've got good players down here."
Meale confirms he will run for mayor
CHAD website, 23 February 2006
MANSFIELD MP Alan Meale has this week confirmed he will challenge Tony Egginton for the coveted post of Mansfield mayor –– and will stand down from Parliament if he gets the job.
Last month Chad lifted the lid on the MP's mayoral ambitions and sparked heated debate and speculation over whether he could and would do both jobs at the same time.
Labour Party officials remained tight-lipped over the candidacy until all regional party members had voted on it, while Mr Meale himself was forbidden from commenting under strict party rules.
But the party has now confirmed that regional members voted overwhelmingly for the MP to take on Mr Egginton in the May 2007 mayoral elections.
Yesterday Mr Meale officially launched his campaign with a stinging attack on the current administration –– and confirmed to Chad that if he is elected as Mansfield mayor he will immediately give his notice to Parliament.
"Many colleagues and friends have convinced me to take on the task of ridding the area of the current discredited administration from further mismanagement of our local authority," he said.
"The reality now is that their chickens are coming home to roost –– however, sadly, it's the community that's had to pay the price.
"I therefore urge all the people of Mansfield not to stand idly by, but instead to join with me and others in the fight for the return of a council that has the well-being of its citizens as its first priority."
And pledging to 'sort out the current mess of the present administration', the MP blasted recent proposals to increase car park charges and abolish free parking for disabled users, cut weekend attendant cover at local parks and close Warsop's Meden Sports Centre and Sherwood Baths in Mansfield Woodhouse.
Added Mr Meale: "What has convinced me about standing for the job is that the present incumbents seem hell-bent on changing the very ethos of Mansfield and its people."
And the MP also hit out at council bosses over a recent 'scandal' involving redundancy bundles for former chief executive Richard Goad and deputy chief executive Chris Collison.
"People are angry that local Community Charge payers are having to fund the recent financial incompetence relating to the waste of hundreds of thousands of pounds associated with the massive and questionable redundancy costs paid to a handful of ex-senior officers of the council.
"If I am elected as mayor I will make it my priority to run a council that is transparent in all its dealings, is fair and honest in its policies and which will not be developer led."
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