PREVIEWS AND TEAM NEWS
HAMSHAW: 'NEXT TWO HOME GAMES ARE VITAL'
Evening Post, 08 August 2006
Mansfield must use their next two home matches to get into the winning habit, insists Matt Hamshaw.
The right-midfielder scored the Stags' first goal of the new campaign on his debut for the club at Shrewsbury on Saturday.
It ended 2-2 in an exciting opening to the season at Gay Meadow.
But Hamshaw was not happy with that outcome and is keen to see the Stags pick up their first maximum points haul as soon as possible.
And with two matches at Field Mill inside five days to come - the first against MK Dons tonight (7.45pm) - the former Stockport man views it as the ideal opportunity to do just that.
"I was a little bit disappointed at Shrewsbury because I didn't feel that we played as fluently as we had done in pre-season," said Hamshaw.
"We conceded two goals from set pieces and that was really disappointing.
"We showed good resolve to come back. But I would have rather have lost all our pre-season games and won against Shrewsbury.
"It is important now that we win at least one of the two home games coming up, if not get all six points.
"Last year I know the team had a good home record and we need to get back in that groove again.
"But it is not going to be easy against MK Dons because they won their first game and have spent quite a bit of money in getting players in over the summer."
Both goals that Mansfield conceded came from headers by Stewart Drummond and Dave Edwards.
Hamshaw knows it is the biggest area where the team need to improve.
He said: "We have shown we can score goals from anywhere on the field - both of them came when we broke well after they were on the attack.
"But we were not happy with things at the back and with defensive set plays we have to be more astute and aware.
"To be fair to the lads at the back, though, they were fantastic in pre-season, so hopefully it is just a blip."
Despite finding the net with a 17th-minute far-post strike, Hamshaw was far from pleased with his efforts.
He is adamant there is more to come and is hopeful of making more of a contribution against MK Dons.
"I may have scored but my crossing and delivery from set pieces was not as good as it should have been and I hope things will get a lot better."
Mansfield expect Giles Coke (ankle) and Simon Brown (cramp in hamstring) to be in the squad.
Mansfield (From): Muggleton, White, Jelleyman, John-Baptiste, Hjelde, Mullins, Buxton, Boulding, Birchall, D'Laryea, Coke, Dawson, Hamshaw, Barker, Brown, Beardsley, Reet.
MK Dons (From): Bankole, Crooks, Lewington, Morgan, Diallo, Dyer, Mitchell, G. Smith, McGovern, Platt, McLeod, Edds, Taylor, Wilbraham, Webb, O' Hanlon.
First choice keeper Adolfo Baines will be suspended for the trip of Martin Allen's side to Field Mill after being sent off against Bury. Also likely to be missing is defender Jamie Smith, who tweaked a hamstring in the same match. He is likely to be replaced in the squad by Sean O'Hanlon, who is on his way back from a knee injury.
Izale McLeod. The livewire striker netted both goals in the Don's opening day 2-1 victory at home to Bury.
ONE TO WATCH
John-Paul McGovern made an impressive debut on the right of midfield in the win on Saturday after signing in the summer from Sheffield Wednesday.
Kevin Wright (Cambridgeshire).
The teams have not met since Wimbledon became MK Dons but did meet eight times before that. Mansfield have two wins to their credit to Wimbledon's three with three draws. The most famous meeting between the side was in 1987 when a crowd of over 10,000 saw the Stags lose a fifth round FA Cup tie 2-1. The Dons went on to lift the trophy as Lawrie Sanchez's goal gave them a 1-0 win in the final against Liverpool at Wembley.
Stags wait on injured duo ahead of Dons exam
CHAD website, 08 August 2006
STAGS have two injury worries ahead of tonight's opening home League clash with relegated Milton Keynes Dons (7.45pm).
Danny Reet missed Saturday's opening 2-2 draw at Shrewsbury with a knee injury but looks set to be at least on the bench tonight.
However, midfielder Giles Coke picked up a badly bruised ankle in that game and it is still very sore and he could miss out tonight.
Stephen Dawson would be the likely replacement in the centre of midfield.
"I think Danny will be fine, but we will have to wait and see with Giles," said manager Peter Shirtliff.
"I have watched the tape of Saturday's game and it confirmed my thoughts that we should have dealt with their corners better.
"But we scored two well-worked goals and generally played okay.
"We just need to show more steel and determination. A bit more of that on Saturday and we would have got three points. But it was a good point at Shrewsbury as it is a difficult place for teams to go.
"Now we have two home games and the lads are buzzing and up for it.
"We are unbeaten throughout pre-season and into our first game and that is a great habit to get into as I know we are going to score goals this season."
He added; "Milton Keynes have just come down and have a lot of experience and one or two dangerous players like McLeod.
"But it is up to us as the home side to get about them and see what we can do. It will be a tough task but we have nothing to fear."
The Dons, now managed by Martin Allen, opened their campaign with a 2-1 home win over Bury on Saturday.
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