GARY PETERS ON MANSFIELD
Town V Mansfield Town
Adam Rodgers previews the game
Match Date: 05/08/06 - 15:00
Opponents: Mansfield Town
Venue: Gay Meadow
Competition: Coca-Cola League Two
Opposition Manager: Peter Shirtliff
Our Last Meeting: 17/01/06 - Shrewsbury Town 0-0 Mansfield Town (Coca-Cola League Two).
On Saturday afternoon the football league season finally gets underway as the stags from Mansfield visit Gay Meadow.
When the season's fixtures were released a few weeks ago, on paper this game looked like a great opportunity for Shrewsbury Town to start the season with a bang, and a valuable three points. This is of course is still the aim but on closer inspection, this game will be far from easy.
The fact that the Shrews failed to win or even score against Mansfield last season coupled with the improvements that the stags have made should ensure that Saturday's match will be a very strong test for Gary Peters' new-look squad. We certainly don't want a repeat of the 4-0 hammering that we suffered at Field Mill back in October.
Peter Shirtliff's side seem to be a much stronger outfit than the inconsistent team that flattered to deceive so often last season. They will certainly be looking to improve upon the 16th place finish last term. In recent years Mansfield Town have been more often than not found in the upper reaches of the division, even achieving a brief promotion back in 2001/02. Gary Peters himself has stated that he is very impressed with the way Shirtliff's side are shaping up for the season, highlighting the forward line and winger Matt Hamshaw as real threats.
Recent additions to the Mansfield squad include brothers Michael and Rory Boulding after impressing in pre-season trials and veteran keeper Carl Muggleton, signing as a direct replacement for Kevin Pressman who has now retired from the game.
There has been much speculation over who will start the game for Shrewsbury Town but it looks likely to be a similar eleven to those who took to the field against Bristol City last week. Colin McMenamin's departure this week and the terrible news that Andy Cooke has broken his toe confirms that the striking partnership will probably be Kelvin Langmead and new signing Derek Asamoah.
It appears as though fans favourite Ben Herd may be forced to watch the game from the bench as new signing Danny Hall looks likely to get the nod to play at right back.
Predicted Team: Esson; Hall, Hope ©, Burton, Ashton: Edwards, Drummond, Sorvel, Davies; Langmead, Asamoah.
Predicted Score: Despite Mansfield's undoubted quality, I'm confident that Shrewsbury Town can get their season off to a flyer with a 2-0 victory. Derek Asamoah will find the net on debut.
Agree with Adam's prediction? why not join the Shrewsbury Town Prediction league and see how well you can do > Prediction League
ShrewsWeb spoke to Gary Peters to get his thought's on the visit of Mansfield Town
I've seen Mansfield and have always thought they've got the two best forwards in the division, Brown and Barker as a team is a perfect blend. Barker is experienced, his hold up play is good, he's good in the air and pulls off the back stick then you have Brown's lightning pace to get in behind teams.
The difference from last year is Mansfield have got two terrific wingers in, Matty Hamshaw who was with Stockport last season and he is the best winger in the division. He's clever right winger who crosses early, as soon as he gets crosses in. Then on the other side they've got the lad Boulding who's an experienced player who was with Villa and that gives them a threat on both sides.
In midfield they've got D'Laryea who's a good holding player and then they've Coke who all the Premiership sides are looking at, so you look at their front six and that's a good side.
At the back they've got Baptiste who's as good a centre-back as there is in the division, and have added Mullins from Reading and the big lad Hjelde. In goal they've signed Carl Muggleton who is a top class keeper.
I picked the Bristol City game as I thought we'd get beaten, if I thought we had a team that was good enough to travel to Bristol City and get a result then I'd be singing it from the rooftops that we will get promoted.
We had a tough game down at Bristol and I didn't want us to go into the season undefeated as we did that last season and had a terrible start. This season we've had a good pre-season and won 4 out of 5 games and two of those were League 1 side.
We weren't very good at Bristol City and it gave me the chance to get into the lads and make sure they understand that it all starts now.
I think the sloppiness at the end of the Nuneaton game also helped, we were 2-0 and got sloppy towards the end of the game. That then lead into the Bristol City game where we got hammered and the lads realise they let their foot off the peddle and by that they went into the next game and got punished.
We need to get right for the Mansfield and against Bristol City Sagi Burton and Richard Hope were guilty of being sloppy and I need my centre-backs to be right so we don't get beaten.