BOSS BACKS GOALKEEPER
Stags face Magpies mission
CHAD website, 03 October 2006
SHELLSHOCKED Stags have the perfect opportunity to bounce back from their 4-0 defeat at leaders Walsall when they entertain high-flying neighbours Notts County in Saturday's local derby at Field Mill (2pm).
Despite four games without a goal away from Field Mill, Peter Shirtliff is confident his side can maintain their excellent home form to make the Magpies' feathers fly.
Notts, with an almost completely new squad under boss Steve Thompson, have lost just once and are sixth in the table but level on points with Wycombe in the third automatic promotion spot.
"Notts are going well both home and away," said Shirtliff.
They are nicking results away from home and we know it will be a tough game.
"The lads Notts have signed are all reasonably experienced and have played before at this level and are comfortable at it.
"But I have been delighted with out home form this season and if we can continue that I am confident we can get a result.
"We have put together some great performances at Field Mill and with a bit of luck could have had more points. I'm not talking out of school when I say we should have beaten Accringotn and Stockport.
"The lads are looking to quickly bounce back from the Walsall result."
Notts will be without striker Jason Lee, who is suspended. But they will be backed by a noisy away following after selliung out of their 1,700 allocation for this early kick-off.
Stags will be without Simon Brown (knee), while Michael Boulding (knee) and Gareth Jelleyman (hamstring) are worries.
The gme also represents Alan Sheehan's last game on loan from Leicester City. The left back is happy to stay for another month if he is not in the Foxes' first team plans and Shirtliff will be speaking to City boss Rob Kelley before the weekend.
Mansfield will also have Stephen Dawson back in the squad after missing the Walsall game with a one match ban.
Stags' away form contrats sharply with their away failings.
But Shirtliff reviewed the video of Saturday's loss at Walsall and said: "We were comfortable enough until their second goal went in.
"After that it was always going to be a tough task.
"But watching it has given me food for thought for the future about playing that 4/5/1formation and how players coped.
"We did very well for the best part of an hour and had a few chances at 0-0. But their keep was the difference.
"He made one good save from Callum Lloyd and the ball went nicely way for them. Jason White made a similar save at the other end and the ball fell straight to one of their players.
"When you are at the top that's the sort of thing that happens.
"The second half was a crazy 45 minutes and the second goal killed us in all honesty.
"They scored with their first shot on goal and this season that has happened more often than that.
"I was very pleased with our first half performance, though I was a bit disappointed that in and around their box we didn't show a bit more invention and positiveness.
"But the bottom line is that we have now failed to score in four away matches and conceded nine.
"At 2-0 down away to the leaders it is a lot to ask to come back. But we shouldn't get ourselves in that position. It's happening too often."
He added: "But we bounced back at home after those two away defeats last time at Field Mill and we can do it again. There really is not that much wrong.
"It is no good throwing teacups around. That won't do any good. The lads are aware what my thoughts are on the situation and they are looking to put things right.
"They are not happy about it either and need to regroup.
"We do need to start getting results and start scoring away from home. That was the same last season until we won at Cheltenham and that seemed to be a springboard for us. Hopefully we can do that again."
Young Stags keeper Jason White blundered for Walsall's second goal. But Shirtliff quickly backed him to put that behiund him and shine against Notts on Saturday.
"Jason held his hands up and there are no problems," he said.
"I will be sticking with Jason - he is mentally tough enough to deal with it.
"No keeper in the world has never dropped a clanger, it goes with the territory.
"The lads in front of him need to give him more protection.
BOSS BACKS GOALKEEPER
Evening Post, 03 October 2006
Peter Shirtliff will keep faith with keeper Jason White for Mansfield's home clash with Notts County on Saturday - despite his blunder at Walsall.
The youngster allowed Dean Keates' free-kick to slip under his body to hand the Saddlers a soft second goal in their 4-0 defeat.
But Shirtliff is backing his keeper to rise above that error.
"Jason is fine about what happened. He has held his hand up and there are no problems," he said.
"I am sticking with him for Saturday because he is mentally tough enough to deal with it.
"No keeper in the world can say they have never dropped a clanger, but it goes with the territory that you make less mistakes the more experienced you are."
Meanwhile, Shirtliff is looking to extend left-back Alan Sheehan's loan from Leicester City.
His month-long deal expires after Saturday, but Shirtliff said: "I think he would be happy to stay."