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Archived News from March 2006

17th March 2006 20:30

EVENING POST, 17 March 2006
Teenage striker Danny Reet is confident two more wins will guarantee Mansfield League Two safety.

The Stags have put together a seven-game unbeaten run and that has prompted talk of a late push to finish in the top half of the table - or even the play-off places.

But Reet, 19, insists that no one at Field Mill is getting carried away and that concentration has to remain high in the last nine games of the season.

"A couple more wins should see us safe but we are not looking too far ahead," he said.

"We just have to approach it game by game, not look at the overall picture, starting with Northampton.

"They are a good side and it will be a tough game but if we play like we did against Boston (a 5-0 victory) then we have no reason to fear anyone.

"It was probably our best performance of the season last Saturday because there was not one player who didn't play well." Reet has managed four goals in ten starts since joining from Sheffield Wednesday for £25,000 in January.

He feels the most important of those strikes was the first goal in Mansfield's 2-0 win at Torquay United in late February. He said: "The victory at Torquay was vital because it put daylight between us and those at the bottom.

"Since then we have been able to propel ourselves up the league and confidence in the side is a lot higher."

Northampton, managed by former Stags player Colin Calderwood, come to Field Mill on the back of a 3-0 home defeat to fellow promotion hopefuls Carlisle. But Reet is adamant that counts for little when the two teams take to the field tomorrow.

"Northampton have just had a bad home defeat and we have just recorded our best result of the season.

"But that means nothing tomorrow. It is all about doing our best to keep the unbeaten run going."

Meanwhile, manager Peter Shirtliff has revealed he is unlikely to bring in fresh blood ahead of next Thursday's final transfer deadline. Teams have been able to sign players since January on loans only but, after March 23, they will have to stick with what they have got.

Shirtliff said: "I would have thought that no-one would be coming in before the end of the season.

"Whether one of our players is approached is another thing, but I haven't had a phone call from anyone as yet."

"We have a good enough squad to do the job for the last few games of the season."

Stephen Dawson went off against Boston with an eye injury but should be fit to take a place in the squad to face Northampton.

Allan Russell is now jogging as he continues his recovery from a broken toe and could be back in contention by the end of the month.
Stags look to extend unbeaten run to eight
CHAD website, 16 March 2006

STAGS head into Saturday's crunch game with promotion-chasing Northampton Town looking to secure three vital points to continue their play-off charge, writes Stephen Thirkill.
The Field Mill Team, who expect midfielder Stephen Dawson to recover from the eye injury he picked up during the weekend's crushing 5-0 victory over Boston United, have no new injury worries and will be looking to extend their impressive unbeaten streak to eight games.
And boss Peter Shirtliff believes his fast-improving squad now have the confidence and belief needed to continue their push up the League Two table.
Said Shirtliff: "It was a great performance on Saturday and I was really pleased with how many chances we created and how solid we were at the back. We have found a much more consistent level in recent weeks and are starting to play some excellent football.
"We are playing with a lot of confidence and if we can keep up this level of performance then we will be able to get a few more victories before the end of the season.
"We are progressing very well and the players are going into games believing they can win. They are showing a great competitive spirit and fighting to win a place in the starting eleven."
But despite Saturday's thrashing of Boston Shirtliff has warned his players to expect a tough match ahead against high-flying Northampton.
He said: "Northampton have a very strong and experienced squad and we expect a good game and a competitive match. But we are in good form and are going into every game full of confidence and looking for a win.
"They gave us a tough game down there and we were very unlucky to get beat by a brilliant strike. I'm expecting another tough game but are confidence is high and it should be an excellent game."
With deadline day for loan signings fast approaching Shirtliff has also spoke of his satisfaction with the current Mansfield Town squad.
He said: "I don't think we will be bringing anyone else in on loan. We have great competition for places at the moment and we have a strong enough squad to cope with the rest of the season and I am not expecting any players to be departing."
"There is a great atmosphere around the place and I'm confident that whichever first eleven I pick they will play well and give a good account of themselves."
Shirtliff has also called on the Mansfield public to come out in force for the vital clash and give their young team the backing they deserve.
"I hope the fans come back and get behind us. We took 3,700 fans to Notts County which was followed by just over 3,000 in our next home game which was very disappointing. Hopefully the positive winning football we have been playing will help bring back the fans."
Shirtliff looks forward to meeting Northampton
mansfieldtown.net, 16 March 2006

Peter Shirtliff is under no disillusions about the prospect of meeting a tough Northampton side. A good win against Boston United does Not necessarily mean a win against Northants Shirtliff told the official website:

"It will be a good, tough game this weekend against Northampton. They played Carlisle last week and got beat 3-0 but the reports are it was not a '3-0' game and they were unlucky to be down at half time. So I am expecting a hard game. And just because we won 5-0 at the weekend does not mean that this will be an automatic victory.

"We will do our best and try and win every game we can. We had a tough game at Northampton on Boxing Day where we battled and worked quite hard without threatening to score. I did think we did defend quite well and were unfortunate to get beat by a terrific struck freekick.

" I hope that the fans turn out in great numbers to come and see us. It is a little ironic that we took 3700 to Notts County the other week and the next home game only reach 3200. I have to admit it was a little disappointing to see. I would have hoped that the turn in performances would encourage a few more of the stay aways to come back for a look." Said Shirtliff
Shirtliff delights at recent form
mansfieldtown.net, 16 March 2006

Stags Boss Peter Shirtliff is obviously delighted with last weekend's win over Boston United and accredits much of the success to a solid defence.

"It was a Good performance against Boston Last weekend even in the first half when we scored just the one goal. There were other opportunities that were created when we should have scored as well. It was a great overall performance, possibly the best of the season to date in terms of all units functioning as one.

"We can really turn it on when we want to and as I have said many times we just need that bit of consistency. I believe we are starting to get it back and I think that it was a solid defence that enabled us to get the victory on Saturday and if we can keep that form we should be capable of getting a few more victories.

"I don't believe, as some are suggesting that the recent run of form has just clicked in overnight but it has been more a progressive issue that has happened over a period of time. It was just the icing on the cake Saturday" he told the official website this afternoon.

Talking about the pending transfer deadline next week Shirtliff feels that there will be no movement either in or out of Field Mill.

"I wouldn't have thought that there would be anybody else coming in and nobody at this club has been approached as far as I know. I have already got competition for places in most areas so I do not see the urgency in bringing anybody new in. Allan Russell is not a million miles away from returning and Rhys Day was on the bench last week so I think that we have enough players to cope with the remaining nine weeks of the season.

" The atmosphere around the place at the moment is as good as it has been for a while now. The lads accept there is competition places and they accept that at the end of the day I can only pick eleven to start and five substitutes and both the players and I are comfortable with the fact that who ever gets picked for the eleven they will give a good level of performance on the day." He added.
Calderwood looks for Stags Scalp

COLIN CALDERWOOD insists he's got the strength in depth in his Cobblers squad to cope with the loss of Ian Taylor.

It was confirmed yesterday that the influential 37-year-old will be out for up to six weeks after breaking his arm in the 3-0 Sixfields defeat to Carlisle United.

With David Rowson, Josh Low and Martin Smith now back from injury, Calderwood has plenty of options in midfield to replace Taylor, who may not feature again until the end of April.

And the manager is confident he has the manpower available to fill in for a player that has been a big presence in the middle of the park for his side this season.

"Although we've lost Ian Taylor we had Josh, David Rowson and Pedj Bojic sitting in the stand on Friday night," he said.

"That shows how strong our bench was and we've got plenty of strength in depth.

"As long as we don't get a rash of injuries between now and the end of the season we'll be okay."

Calderwood confirmed in yesterday's Chron that he feels at least another six wins should secure automatic promotion for his Town side.
But he also revealed he's got an eye on the losses column, which he says cannot be allowed to grow between now and the end of the season.
"We've had six defeats and you don't really want to be heading into double figures on that front," he said.

"We've just got to make sure we do well in our next three games in the league and they're very important games for us now.
"In the past few seasons teams have come from nowhere and teams have thrown it away a little bit. We've got to make sure we're not one of those teams."

The Cobblers face three big games in eight days as they travel to Mansfield on Saturday before going to Boston next Wednesday night and then playing host to Notts County on March 25.


Latest | March 2006