BARKER OUT TO SINK OLD PALS
Barker out to sink old pals
CHAD website, 26 October 2006
LEADING scorer Richie Barker is hoping for his first goal against his former club Macclesfield Town on Saturday to spoil Paul Ince's welcome party.
The Silkmen are stranded seven points adrift at the foot of League Two without a win all season and this week turned to former England and Manchester United warhorse Ince to change their fortunes.
But eight-goal Barker said: "It doesn't always follow that, just because you've brought in a new manager, things will change straight away.
"The law of averages says they are going to win a game eventually. I just hope it's not on Saturday.
"You don't like to see your former clubs struggle and I hope they start getting results and stay up - but after Saturday. I enjoyed my time there.
"I have scored against my former clubs Sheffield Wednesday and Rotherham but I haven't got one against Macclesfield yet. Hopefully I can score that on Saturday."
He added: "I understand they had about 50 applicants for the job and Paul Ince was thought to be the best candidate. Jobs are few and far between for managers and Paul has to start somewhere.
"I believe it is local to him so it's not far to travel. And it's no lose for him really. Everyone expects them to go down already so if he keeps them up he would be a hero.
"A new manager can bring a reaction from a team. But he can't make too many changes with the transfer window and can't play himself.
"We hope we can get our first away win. We are three unbeaten this month and that is the way up this division. If you can manage to get your unbeaten runinto double figures then the league takes care of itself."
Stags boss Peter Shirtliff is hopeful Michael Boulding and Stephen Dawson will be fit to travel to the Moss Rose.
Boulding has trained all week as he bids to shake off a knee strain while Dawson has missed training all week with a sore ankle after being stretchered off last weekend but is fast improving with the rest.
Apart from Simon Brown, who is two weeks away from a return to training, the biggest doubt is Nathan Arnold who strained his knee when he missed a volley and kicked thin air after coming on as a sub last weekend!
'NOT TOO LATE FOR PLAY-OFFS'
EVENING POST, 26 October 2006
Johnny Mullins is convinced that Mansfield can still challenge for a play-off place.
The Stags' 3-0 win over Wrexham on Saturday was only their fourth in League Two this season.
But the 20-year-old right-back believes it is not too late for Mansfield to turn their season around.
"At the moment we are in the bottom half of the table and the main concern has to be to pull ourselves further away from the bottom," said Mullins.
"But I truly believe that we can still get up to where we hoped we were going to be at the start of the season.
"There is always one team that puts a run together and comes through late to get a place in the play-offs and I believe that team can be us.
"We were talking about it in the dressing room before the Wrexham game and if we can start picking up points away from home then it is possible."
Mansfield's victory over the Red Dragons was their most impressive win of the season and included a much-needed clean sheet.
But Mullins feels the Stags have played better in other games this season without reward.
Now he is challenging his team-mates to find what he calls "that missing ingredient" on a more regular basis.
He said: "It is not the best we have played but we I think things just went for us and we took our opportunities at the right times. We have to make sure that we kill teams off like we did against Wrexham on a more consistent basis."
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