COUNTY PREVIEWS, PLUS ZARCZNSKI ON TRIAL
Notts County v Mansfield Town - Preview
Mansfield Town will be hoping to make it an unbeaten run of six matches this weekend away at local rivals Notts County.
The Stags go into the game in their best run of form whilst County have lost all of their last five games.
It's a scenario that was unthinkable when the Magpies won 3-2 at Field Mill in August and were top of the table.
Now, six months on, a win for Mansfield would put them above Notts County in the League Two table.
Recent trips to Meadow Lane have been fruitful for the Stags. They won on their last visit there just over a year ago when a Richie Barker strike in the first-half saw them take the points.
And prior to that, it was a 2-2 draw when the sides met in Division Two back in 2002.
But, if the Stags are victorious it would be only their third ever win at Meadow Lane.
Mansfield Town go into the game with a stronger squad than was available for last weekend's vital 2-0 win at Torquay.
Gareth Jelleyman and Giles Coke return following suspension, whilst Adam Birchall and Rhys Day have an outside chance of making the sixteen after being out through injury.
Notts County welcome the return of defender Julien Baudet who missed last Saturday's 2-1 loss at Lincoln through suspension, whilst Liam Needham and Lee Crooks are expected to recover from illness.
On-loan Nottingham Forest striker Eugene Dadi has been given the all-clear after he collapsed following the match at Sincil Bank because of a head injury.
Over three thousand Stags fans are expected to make the short trip down the A60 to Meadow Lane, and for one it will be an extra special day.
David Cross is walking to the game from Mansfield to raise money for the Chelsea Barsby Campaign - named after a local girl who suffers from eye cancer.
And, it's also a special day for one of the Stags players as defender Jake Buxton celebrates his 21st birthday.
KEEPER: FORGET FORM BOOK
Evening Post, 03 March 2006
Stags keeper Kevin Pressman today insisted the form book will go out of the window for tomorrow's derby at Meadow Lane.
Mansfield went through February unbeaten with two wins and three draws while the Magpies lost all five matches in the same period.
But Pressman, 38, knows that means very little when the two sides run out.
"League positions and form count for nothing in a derby match. It is all about who produces the goods on the day. There is always a lot of feeling between the two clubs and we want to acquit ourselves well - not just personally as players but for the supporters.
"Whoever wins will get the bragging rights. I think the players appreciate that and how much it means so they'll be giving it their all.
"It is also important for us to keep our good run going to secure our safety and get as high up the league as possible."
The sides last met in August, with Notts claiming a 3-2 win at Field Mill.
The Stags looked to be in the driving seat as goals from Gareth Jelleyman and Richie Barker gave them a 2-1 lead, but two goals in the last ten minutes from Glynn Hurst and Mike Edwards tipped the game in the Magpies' favour.
Pressman said: "I think it's fair to say that we are looking for revenge.
"We lost our manager (Carlton Palmer) as a result of our poor form and want to put it right. It is a good opportunity for us because we are playing well and the confidence is up."
Mansfield's recent good run has seen them rocket to 15th in the table - just one place behind the Magpies.
Victory would see the Stags leapfrog them, and take a giant step towards League Two safety.
Pressman said: "I think fans can expect a good game, because both teams will be trying to get the ball down and play."
Adam Birchall is likely to miss the game with blisters on his heel. Danny Reet (back) and Adam Rundle (ankle) picked up knocks at Torquay but should be fit.
Mansfield hope to sign Laurence Wilson until the end of the season.
KEV AIMS FOR DOUBLE
Evening Post, 03 March 2006
Kevin Pilkington hopes to put the "worst month of his career" behind him by completing the double over his former club at Meadow Lane tomorrow.
The goalkeeper switched from Field Mill to Meadow Lane at the start of the season after five years as a Stag.
He was abused during Notts County's 3-2 win at Mansfield in August after an accidental collision left former team-mate Chris Beardsley with a broken leg.
But now he hopes County can end a run of five straight defeats by beating Stags for the second time this season.
Pilkington said: "It has been a bad month and the manager said afterwards it was the worst of his managerial career and it was the worst month of my playing career.
"I cannot remember losing that many games on the trot before and it is not for the lack of effort.
"But the little things are costing us so it has to stop and only we can put that right.
"If you could put your finger on what was wrong you would be the next England manager and we are just working as hard as we can to do the right things.
"Mansfield are only two points behind us and want the victory to overtake us, but we want the points, not just to beat Mansfield but to get our form back together to try to have a good run in until the end of the season."
Despite the abuse he got on his return, Pilkington has fond memories of his time at Field Mill.
He said: "It was all right there in the last match until the incident with Beardo and I was gutted for him, but it is just one of those things.
"After that the fans gave me stick, but I expected that. I have got to do what is right for me and my family and I am enjoying my time here.
"I had five great years at Mansfield and worked with some really good people and had some good and bad times but overall I enjoyed it."
Pilkington is hoping for another exciting game like the one at Field Mill earlier in the season.
"It was a bit of a roller coaster," said the 31-year-old keeper.
"I made a mistake for the second goal, but the lads pulled me out of it and turned it around.
"But when you go into local derbies your form goes out of the window and you want to win and it does not matter how you do it.
"It means you have the bragging rights, so it is a big game for both sides."
Worksop Town official site:
Rose Joins Tigers
Attacking mid-fielder Karl Rose has been signed by Worksop Town and made his debut in Saturdays FA Trophy Quarter-final with Boreham Wood. The 27 year old former Scarborough and Barnsley player, has also played with Leigh RMI, Tamworth, Mansfield Town and Alfreton.
Peter Shirtliff Looking forward to trip to Notts
Peter Shirtliff is looking forward to visiting Meadow Lane at The Weekend and feels that if the Stags can continue their good run of form that the anticipated large crowd will be in for a good game:
"I think that it will be a good game on Saturday. County have slightly change that they play from when they visited our place. We will be going there with the confidence of not been beaten in five games and if we can maintain that level of performance we will give them a good game.
"After the game here people were talking about Notts County walking away with the league along with a couple of other teams that started out well and looked like figuring in the top slots but tailed off the chase through the season. It is consistency that keeps you up there and like ourselves if you haven't got it you will drop a few places.
"I know that County have been leaking a few goals recently so we will be keeping it tight and hopefully we can nick the win. But local derbies throw the form book away though. There is added spice. Local pride and prestige is at stake so there always seems to be that bit more passion both on and off the pitch."
Meanwhile Shirtliff has spoken to Laurence Wilson and Everton about extending the young strikers loan spell at Field Mill:
"I have spoken to Laurence and he is happy to stay for an extra period and Everton have agreed so we have started getting the wheels in motion.
"He can play in the Boston game although his loan runs out on the twelfth so we need to get things organised. I think that he has impressed everybody and we are looking extend his loan to the end of the season.
"Laurence has had a couple of injury problems picking up a knock against Wrexham when they played here at Field Mill but to be fair to him he has soldiered on and has come through it okay. Having him on board gives me a few options along the left side but importantly it offers competition in the squad."
Stags Player Search goes International
Stags Boss Peter Shirtliff, always interested in bolstering his young squad has been taking a couple of players through trials to determine whether or not they have a future at Field Mill. Karl Rose who has been training with the stags for a number of weeks now has presented Shirtliff with a tough decision as to whether or not he will fit in with the young Stags.
Unfortunately though the arranged friendly that was to be the determining factor was called off and Shirtliff is still undecided.
Meanwhile in a strange turn of events (in football terms at least) The stags boss has invited polish Striker Arek Zarcznski to join the team training from next week.
"A guy came in to the club yesterday to present me with a profile and a CD Rom to watch which I did. He is a striker from Poland that has played in various leagues abroad and with the EU accepting Poland as one of it's member states He is eligible to come and play in this country as an EU Resident.
"he fancies playing English football and from what I have seen on the video he looks compatible to it so I have invited him along to train with us on Monday to see what develops.
"You have to admire his motivation. He has come across to the UK with his wife, stopping with relatives in Birmingham so I thought you never know what will happen. He knocks goals in with both feet and is good in the air but we will have to wait and see what happens" Shirtliff told the official website:
Previous Clubs for Arek Zarcysnski:
1993 - 1995 Zaglebie Lubin (League 1 Poland)
1995 - 1996 Miedz Legnica (League 2 Poland)
1996 - 1998 FC Magdeburg (Leage 3 Germany) - League Top Scorer 1997 (24 Goals)
1998 - 1998 Miedz Legnica
1999 - 2000 LOK Altmark Stendal (League 3 Germany)
2000 - 2001 Gornik Polkowice (League 1 Poland)
2001 - 2002 Odra Opole (League 2 Poland)
2002 - 2003 Lask Linz (League 2 Austria)
2002 - 2003 FC Aarau (League 1 Switzerland)
2003 - 2004 FC Sion (League 2 Switzerland)
2004 - 2005 Ceramika Paradys (League 2 Poland)
No complacency as derby day looms
CHAD, 01 March 2006
STAGS boss Peter Shirtliff has warned against complacency as his side head for neighbours Notts County on Saturday.
A Stags victory would see Mansfield leapfrog their fast-fading local rivals in the League Two table.
Now sitting more comfortably in 15th place in League Two after an unbeaten February and are now eight points clear of the drop zone.
But Shirtliff warned: "The job is far from done.
"We still have a quarter of the season to go. That is a lot of games and we have got to keep going."
Stags, who were pipped 3-2 by two late goals at home to the Magpies in August, will be in good heart after the 2-0 win at Torquay United on Saturday.
And they are likely to be backed by over 4,000 travelling fans at Meadow Lane.
In direct contrast to Stags' fabulous February, it was a miserable month for Saturday's opponents - the Magpies lost all five matches, their worst run of from for four years.
Stags could be boosted by the return of four players. Gareth Jelleyman and Giles Coke are available again after suspension.
Rhys Day and Adam Birchall will both get some part of a proposed home reserve friendly with Rushden today in a bid to force their way into contention.
And Danny Reet is back in training after taking a bang to his side on Saturday.
"Hopefully I will have selection problems on Saturday which would be a good thing," added Shirtliff.
"We should get a good following at Notts. But we took more than I expected to Torquay and they really got behind the team.
"I am glad we could get the result for them."
He added: "I was pleased with the three points. It was a very workmanlike performance on a very heavy pitch - very sapping.
"I thought we made life hard for ourselves on it in the second half. We started to drop off and let them pump balls into our box instead of pushing forward and creating them problems.
"That 15-minute spell was a real problem and if they had got an equaliser it would have been a difficult game for us.
"I was a bit disappointed for Richie Barker. He worked his socks off all game but didn't get the service he was due.
"I thought we prepared well. We travelled down the night before which I felt was right and proper.
"And Bristol City very kindly allowed us to use their training ground on the way down.
"I think it showed at the end of the game the players were running just as strong as they had been all afternoon.
"Their fitness levels are very good.
"February was a good month. We were unbeaten and I think the lads are starting to realise my demands. But there is still room for improvement."
Stags Friendly Is Called Off
The training match due to take place on Wednesday lunchtime between Mansfield Town and Rushden and Diamonds has been postponed.
It was called off due to a frozen pitch at Field Mill.
The game was to be used to give some match practice to Stags players who have been out of action because of suspension and injury.
Bid To Extend Wilson Loan Deal + Other Stags News
Mansfield Town boss Peter Shirtliff is looking to extend the loan spell of Lawrence Wilson.
The young left-sided player has been impressive since joining from Everton.
But, with the month-long deal set to expire after Saturday's big local derby with Notts County, Shirtliff is keen to speak to his counterpart at Goodison Park, David Moyes, about keeping him on.
Meanwhile, a practice match will take place on Wednesday for the players who haven't figured in the first team in recent weeks.
Rushden and Diamonds come to Field Mill for the game that kicks off at 1pm.
Gareth Jelleyman and Giles Coke will be looking to prove their match fitness after sitting out suspensions, whilst Rhys Day and Adam Birchall continue their recovery from injury.
Trialist Karl Rose will also be given the chance to impress.
Shirtliff has also revealed the club are going to delay surgery needed on Simon Brown's hernia for as long as possible.
He says that the striker is revelling in his super-sub role and that he will use him sparingly but effectively over the remaining matches.
Brown has a Sportsman's Hernia which means he can only play 45 minutes per game and train two days a week.
Stags Drop To Sixteenth
Mansfield Town have fallen one place in League Two after Tuesday's matches.
Rochdale moved above the Stags after a 1-1 draw at home to fellow strugglers Bury.
But, it was overall a good night for Mansfield Town in the fight to stay in the Football League.
The points were also shared in the other match in the division as lowly Barnet held their hosts Leyton Orient to a goalless draw.
No Ireland Start For Lawrence
Former Mansfield Town winger Liam Lawrence has missed out on a place in the starting eleven in his first call-up to the Republic Of Ireland squad.
New boss Steve Staunton has given debuts instead to Bolton full-back Joey O'Brien and Reading striker Kevin Doyle for Wednesday's friendly at home to Sweden.
It means Lawrence, now at Sunderland, will be hoping for a place on the bench.
Mansfield Town will get £50,000 when the 24-year-old makes his international competitive debut.
The Retford born midfielder, who made over 150 appearances for the Stags, qualifies for the Republic Of Ireland as one of his grandfathers was Irish.
comment from Martin - this game is live on Sky Sports.
Latest | March 2006