DI PIEDI TURNS DOWN STAGS CHANCE
DI PIEDI TURNS DOWN STAGS CHANCE
Evening Post, 05 August 2002
Mansfield TOWN will not be following up their interest in Sheffield Wednesday's Michele di Piedi after the Italian decided against a trial after one day's training with the Stags.
The striker was expected to feature in Saturday's friendly at Lincoln but decided a potential move to Field Mill was not for him.
Stags lost to late Imps goals from Ben Sedgemore and Paul Smith after Craig Disley and Iyseden Christie had put Stags into a 2-1 lead. Simon Yeo scored Lincoln's other goal.
Assistant-manager Neil Richardson said it had been di Piedi's decision not to train and he would be staying at Hillsborough.
However, Stags are hopeful to have a Norwegian striker available for tonight's friendly with Spanish side Alaves.
He said: "Michele Di Piedi was supposed to train on Friday but word got back that he didn't enjoy Thursday's training and he has gone back to Sheffield Wednesday so, as far as I know, it's all over.
"The Norwegian's clearance didn't come in time and we would have liked to have tried him out but, hopefully, he can be involved in the Alaves game or in a reserve game later in the week."
Richardson said that manager Stuart Watkiss and chairman Keith Haslam would make a decision about whether to offer Christie a contract this week.
The former Stags striker is currently without a club after training with Rushden and Diamonds following his departure for Leyton Orient.
His contract at Brisbane Road has now finished and he is not getting paid.
Richardson said: "Everyone knows what Iyseden has done in the past and he has been a good player for the Stags.
"He's looked very sharp and has added a bit of pace to the front line. He got a goal and he might add a little bit of extra for us.
"Hopefully, it will be done and dusted, one way or the other, by the end of the week.
Richardson was impressed with the contribution of new signing Colin Larkin, while he said the best was yet to come from Neil MacKenzie, whose move from Blackpool should be sorted out today.
The Tangerines are waiting on Lenny Johnrose, who has been mulling over a move to Bloomfield Road from Burnley over the weekend.
He said: "Colin's very sharp and he looked good. I think Neil can be better on the ball but he will be fine for us because we know what he can do.
"he will be a very good player once he settles in.
"The goals at the end were disappointing because I thought we did very well in the second half.
"We have got to do things at pace and when we do that we will cause problems, but we cannot afford to switch off, especially in dead-ball situations and, if we do, we will be punished."
Tonight's game will give Mansfield the chance to pit their wits against the side Liverpool beat in the final of the UEFA Cup last year.
Kick-off is at 7.45pm and admission is £6 for adults and £2 for children.
Richardson said: "I will be interesting to see how our lads adapt to different things and hopefully we will be able to learn things from them and show them how good we can be.
"We have nothing to fear. It is on our home turf so it is up to us to show them what we can do.
"In terms of results it hasn't been a very good pre-season but, if we get a good result against Plymouth, everything that has happened in pre-season will be forgotten."
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