PREVIEWS AND TEAM NEWS
BARKER SALE TALK CASTS SHADOW OVER TIE
Evening Post, 10 November 2006
Mansfield may have an important FA Cup tie this weekend, but the build-up to their game with Accrington has been upset by the uncertainty over captain Richard Barker's future.
The Evening Post revealed yesterday that the Stags accepted a bid from Hartlepool for their top scorer, only for the move to fall through.
Barker said he was disappointed that the club had considered selling him.
Now manager Peter Shirtliff has added his straightforward view on the subject.
"The situation is that Richie Barker is still a Mansfield player and that's as far as it goes," he said.
"We have had a few inquiries from different clubs for a few of our players but nothing concrete has come of them.
"Richie is our top scorer and I'm not looking to sell him. There is speculation, but you get that when players are doing well - it's part and parcel of football."
When asked if Barker had spoken to Hartlepool over personal terms, Shirtliff said: "I'm not commenting on that at all."
For the moment Barker remains at Field Mill and is set to lead the Stags' attack against Stanley tomorrow.
Mansfield reached the third round of the competition last season where they enjoyed a superb day out at Premiership Newcastle before losing 1-0.
Shirtliff is hopeful that the Stags can enjoy a similar run this year - not least as a tonic for the club's supporters.
He said: "We had a great run last year and I know that the fans enjoy it, particularly if you can progress a few rounds and there is the added interest of a big club.
"As with all the clubs at our level, we want to progress and I think doing well in the cup can help in the league.
"I'm not one of those who think the cup hinders you. I think the two can go alongside each other and I don't see it as a problem."
Mansfield wasted a host of chances and conceded a soft equaliser in drawing 2-2 with Accrington earlier this season.
"Their keeper played very well and made two penalty saves, which was unusual," said Shirtliff. "We created a lot of chances in that game, but I would like to see a little more solidity about our performance this time."
Simon Brown (dead leg), Matt Hamshaw (calf), Danny Reet (head) and Giles Coke (dead leg) are expected to have recovered from knocks.
Meanwhile, Asa Charlton's transfer from Redditch has been delayed while he gets official clearance to complete the move.
But the deal is expected to go through next week in time for the left-back to be available for next week's League Two game against Peterborough.
Injuries clear for FA Cup opener
CHAD website, 09 November 2006
STAGS look likely to set out on the FA Cup trail against Accrington Stanley on Saturday (Field Mill, 3pm) with a clean bill of health.
That is in stark contrast to visitors Accrington who have a host of worriesfor the first round tie.
Danny Reet (bang on the head), Giles Coke (dead leg), Simon Brown (dead leg) and Matt Hamshaw (calf) are all back in training and likely to be in the squad.
With on-loan Alan Sheehan returning to Leicester City and the incoming Asa Charlton not able to sign until next Tuesday under the non-League seven day ruling, Gareth Jelleyman is almost certain to start as left back.
Charlton is suspended and cup-tied anyway.
Coke and Stephen Dawson would contest one midfield spot if Michael Boulding is selected to play wide left.
And mananger Peter Shirtliff must also consider whether to partner seven-goal Reet with 10-goal Richie Barker or give a return to a fit-again Brown.
Accrington, who, despite not playing that badly, have just suffered three straight League defeats, have major problems with injury, illness and suspension.
Definitely out is central defender Robbie Williams (groin) and also his probably replacement Julien N'Da (knee ligaments).
Skipper and right back Peter Cavanagh also definitely misses out with a one game ban.
And the club are sweating on a host of other players before naming a side.
Latest | November 2006