BROWN BOOKED IN FOR OP
Trio face fitness tests
CHAD website, 30 March 2006
THREE Stags players face late fitness tests before the visit of Oxford United on Saturday (3pm).
Alex John-Baptiste (tendonitis in knee), Gareth Jelleyman (knee ligaments) and Simon Brown (hernia) have all missed training this week and could miss out.
But Adam Rundle has shaken off an ankle injury and will be in the squad.
"Alex's knee has settled down a bit but we'll just have to wait and see," said manager Peter Shirtliff.
"Gareth has tweaked his medial ligament and hasn't trained. Neither has Simon, who is very uncomfortable with his hernia this week.
"We have pencilled him in for the operation on 24th April and we will just have to see how they all are tomorrow."
Stags are looking to bounce straight back from their first defeat in nine matches - a 2-0 defeat at Bristol Rovsr last weekend.
"I am sure we can quickly get back on track on Saturday," said Shirtliff. "We had been showing good form before last weekend. I think we just got caught up in a game in which we couldn't deal with the conditions.
"Rovers are an experienced side and have a good squad who have under-achieved this season.
"We have done well and progressed up the league from the precarious position we were in back in October/November - so all credit to the players.
"I am looking forward to every game we have left and want to get as many points as we can.
We have some good games to come with teams like Carlisle and Leyton Orient visiting us. Those games will provide a measure of how far we've come this season."
Oxford are still not clear of the relegation battle. But the return of Jim Smith to the helm and a 1-0 win over Peterborough United last weekend gave them a huge boost.
That made it four games unbeaten after away points at Notts County and Bury following a home success over Bristol Rovers.
But Stags will be looking to complete a double after two goals from Rhys Day saw them come from behind to win at Oxford on New Year's Eve.
Browny booked in for OP
Simon Brown has been playing through the pain barrier carrying a 'Sportsman's Hernia' but now he says that the pain is becoming unbearable and has dropped out of training this week.
"I have been playing as much as I can and hoped that I could make it to the end of the season but after each game the pain has gradually got worse and worse and d with the twisting and turning during the game has taken it's toll.
"I have provisionally booked in for an operation on 24 April to get it sorted." He told the official website this morning.
Brown has been unlucky over the last season with injury joining the Stags recovering from a broken leg. Then missing 10 games or so with a hamstring injury only to be sucker punched again with the Iguinal Hernia (Sportsman'' Hernia) but Is hopeful that he can come back next season in full health and build on the good work he has achieved this year.
"It has been a frustrating time for me. Missing out ten or eleven games with a hamstring problem. As I was recovering from that I noticed discomfort around the groin area and that is when I was diagnosed as having the hernia. I hope that after the operation which is booked in for the 24th April should sort it out once and for all and I can return next season and score more goals as well as set other players up for scoring as well."
Shirtliff looking forward to remaining games of campaign
Peter Shirtliff is looking for ward to the remaining games of this campaign saying that thy will act as a benchmark to see how far the team has come:
"Motivation is not an issue for me, I am looking forward to the remaining games of the season. Out of seven games we have some at home where the likes of Carlisle and Leyton Orient will be coming to our ground and will be a benchmark as to how far we have come this season.
"I have been disappointed with the number of goals conceded away from home and I think that is one the biggest reasons why we are where we are. It was far to easy to score against us and beat us away from home but at Field Mill, the home form has been pretty good so I would like to see us pick up against Oxford where we left off against Northampton the other week.
"Jim Smith has taken over as manager at Oxford and he has a good reputation at Oxford and is an experienced manager so it was no surprise that they won the day after he took over the running of the team."
Of course it is not lost on Shirtliff that when a new manager takes the helm of a club immediate performances improve and results generally improve:
"I think when a new Manager come into a club it shakes the place up a bit, the players are playing for their futures and it gives them that bit of impetus." He said.
Reflecting on his own first term as manager he is happy at the current table position but feels that he can do even better.
"Considering where we were when I took over I would have been happy to finish in twelfth place. I always we knew we were capable of climbing from the bottom of the table and that a play-off place was a tall order but we have stuck at it and chipped away gradually climbing the table and with a bit of 'surgery' next season we can hopefully do better again.
"Of course it all depends on wage bills but if I can get the players I want into the club I am sure that we can compete next season.
"The lads have done a good job this year with them all playing a part playing some good attacking football. Richie (Barker) has been a great talisman for the club and led by example as every good captain should so I have been especially impressed with him.
"I think I personally could do a bit better and hopefully I can improve that in the summer bring in some new players to complement the ones that I have already brought in."
Latest | March 2006