PREVIEWS AND TEAM NEWS
FIELD MILL GAMES SO CRUCIAL TO STAGS HOPES
Evening Post, 05 December 2006
Jon-olav Hjelde has set a minimum target of four points from the Stags' next two home games.
Mansfield host second-in-the-table Swindon tonight before Bury visit Field Mill on Saturday.
Norwegian Hjelde believes the hosts must pick up points if they are to avoid getting sucked into a relegation battle.
"Coming up are two home games that are very crucial to us," he said.
"Two wins will get us back in mid-table but if we lose them then we are going to be right at the bottom.
"They are massive games and I think we need at least four points from them. Swindon may be second in the league and Bury will be hard as well, but there is not much between the teams at this level.
"We know that if we play how we can, similar to how we did against Doncaster, then we are well capable of beating anyone in League Two.
"This season has been very frustrating. I thought we would be up there but we have not been consistent enough and a little na??ve at times.
"We just have to stand up for ourselves a little bit more and win the battle in the games that we need to."
Hjelde is hoping that Mansfield performances in their last two games against Doncaster and Darlington can help erase the memories of Rochdale. That display brought harsh words from boss Peter Shirtliff and the central defender is hoping to avoid a repeat.
Hjelde said: "I don't think it is possible for us to play any worse than we did at Rochdale. That is as low as it gets.
"We didn't have the drive and the commitment and we were second to every ball all over the pitch.
"But the response since then has been good and we have got back to creating chances, which we weren't doing before.
"I think we can still use the ball a little bit better when we are in possession, though, because we tend to give it away a bit too easily at times."
Swindon have won their last four matches - including two in the FA Cup - which put them in the hat for the third round draw along with the Stags.
Former Sheffield Wednesday manager Paul Sturrock is now in charge at the County Ground after former Chelsea star Dennis Wise left to take over at Leeds United.
Latest | December 2006