PREVIEWS AND TEAM NEWS
THREE IN ROW CALL TO STAGS
Evening Post, 16 January 2007
Billy Dearden is adamant he will not allow his Mansfield players to become complacent after two successive away wins.
The Stags go in search of victory at Accrington tonight that would make it three in a row on their travels for the first time since the 2003-2004 play-off season (comment - good to see someone reads the Stagsnet reports ... still an opportunity for someone to volunteer for Accrington Stagsnet report!!).
But Dearden is warning that he expects a tough game in Lancashire and knows his side will have to match their performance levels of Saturday's 3-1 win at Hereford if they are to be successful.
"We have to make sure we are not over-confident," he said.
"It is no good beating Hereford if we don't follow it up with another win."
While Accrington have been struggling to get in new faces since the side's met for their abandoned game over Christmas, Mansfield have made two signings, Barry Conlon and Martin Gritton.
The Stags also have Stephen Dawson back after injury.
Dearden hinted he may stick with the same side that beat the Bulls.
STAGS STAR BOULDING WANTS STRIKER'S ROLE
Evening Post, 16 January 2007
You would think that with Billy Dearden having just signed two new strikers, Michael Boulding would be content to play where there is less competition.
But instead the former Grimsby and Barnsley player has reaffirmed his desire to challenge new boys Barry Conlon and Martin Gritton for a place up front.
For large chunks of the campaign, Boulding has been deployed on the left side of midfield.
But now the 30-year-old is hoping to convince Dearden that he can offer much more in his first-choice position.
"I was extremely disappointed to be on the bench at Hereford because I thought I was just starting to find my feet up front," said Boulding.
"I haven't scored as many goals as maybe I should but I thought I was starting to play well and the goals were just around the corner.
"But I know Baz (Conlon) from my time at Barnsley and he's a great character and Gritts (Gritton) worked his socks off. They definitely strengthen the squad.
"From a personal point of view I have really enjoyed the season but I feel the fans haven't seen the best of me because I have been playing out of position.
"It's difficult to explain how that can nullify your game. Everyone knows me as a striker and as much as I liked Shirty (Peter Shirtliff) he consistently picked me on the left - and that isn't where I prefer to play.
"I am always confident I can score up front and I think my record during my career speaks for itself."
Boulding could have been helped in his quest had the first attempt at this fixture with Accrington just after Christmas not been abandoned at half-time.
He scored a Stags leveller just before the break in that matched, only to see it scrubbed out when the game was not completed.
It meant his strike as a second half substitute in the 3-1 success at Hereford on Saturday was his first goal since the Stags drew 2-2 with Stanley at Field Mill in September.
Boulding said: "That is the first time something like that has ever happened to me and it was quite frustrating.
"I think the pitch then was unplayable but I don't think they would have been so keen to have it called off if they had still been leading 1-0 at the break."
That view is shared by midfielder Stephen Dawson who is optimistic the Stags can repeat their Edgar Street performance tonight.
If Mansfield did win, it would be their third away triumph in a row after their 2-0 win at Darlington on Boxing Day.
"The whole team were brilliant on Saturday and the two new lads showed real class and both got a goal," said Dawson. "If we can win at Accrington that will allow us to ease away from them and the bottom."
Simon Brown is back after suspension but Danny Reet is still not fit.
GRITTON PROVIDES KNOW-HOW FOR STAGS
Evening Post, 16 January 2007
Martin Gritton is confident his experience can help bring out the best in Mansfield's talented youngsters - starting at Accrington Stanley tonight.
The 28-year-old, on loan from Lincoln City, showed his know-how with a superb performance and debut goal in the Stags' 3-1 win at Hereford on Saturday.
Now he hopes his knowledge can rub off on his younger team-mates during the rest of the season.
"You can see the ability that some of these lads have. Matt Hamshaw and Giles Coke are two who are tremendous going forward," said Gritton.
"But they have probably lost and drawn games they should have won and most of that is down to experience.
"Hopefully, that is what Barry (Conlon) and I will bring to the club between now and the end of the season."
Glaswegian Gritton's last-gasp strike against the Bulls saw him drop to his knees before he was congratulated by his team-mates.
He admitted that was because he was too tired to stay on his feet any longer, having played so little football recently.
Gritton said: "I was exhausted and relieved. It was a bit of a Shawshank Redemption moment."
Stags aim for third away win on trot
CHAD website, 15 January 2007
REJUVENATED Mansfield Town head for fellow strugglers Accrington Stanley tomorrow (Tuesday, 7.45pm) aiming for a third successive away League win.
That is as many as they managed in the whole of 2006 and underlines the turnaround in form since Peter Shirtliff was sacked as manager.
With new strikers Barry Conlon and Martin Gritton both making a scoring debut in Saturday's sparkling 3-1 win at Hereford United, Billy Dearden's men head for Lancashire in good spirits.
But Dearden warned: "Although we are going up there with a lot more confidence, we won't be over-confident just because we've won at Hereford.
"I expect a very difficult game up there. Accrington are fighting for their lives.
"It is not enough to just win at Hereford. We have got to back it up with a win at Accrington."
Accrington and Stags were drawing 1-1 on a waterlogged pitch before the game was abandoned at half-time last month.
And with Conlon, Gritton and a fit-again Stephen Dawson now added, it will be a new-look Stags tomorrow to the one from last month.
"We will be a different side this time and I hope the changes prove beneficial to us," said Dearden, who is likely to to keep the same side.
"If players are doing the business then there is no reason to change it round, although it is helpful to have Simon Brown available again after his suspension," he said.
"I was very pleased with both the result and the performance on Saturday.
"Hereford had been going very well in the league and if had won they would have been up into the Play-off spots.
"Having signed the two new lads I thought I would throw them in at the deep end, so to speak.
"They are nowhere near match fit yet so it was a big gamble which fortunately paid off for us."
Accrington have not won a home League game since September.
Admission to all areas of the ground for this fixture will be £10 for adults, £5 for concessions and children under 12 will be admitted free.
Once again John Coleman is without the injured Andy Tretton, Leighton McGivern, Danny Ventre and Peter Cavanagh, and Alan Rogers will serve the first of a three match ban following his dismissal on Saturday.
Jay Harris returns to the squad after missing Saturday's game with a suspension for accumulating five yellow cards this season.
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