PREVIEWS AND TEAM NEWS
STAGS V WALSALL PREVIEW
Evening Post, 19 January 2007
When the press arrived at Field Mill yesterday morning, Billy Dearden had already written Walsall's team formation on a flip chart, ready to discuss it at a team briefing.
It underlined his determination to put Tuesday night's disappointment at Accrington behind him and plan how to bring down the League Two leaders.
Dearden knows full well that beating the Saddlers will be no easy task. Richard Money's men have lost only twice this season and are six points clear at the top.
But he feels that if the Mansfield emulate their performance in beating Hereford 3-1 last Saturday, rather than the one in the 3-2 loss at Stanley, an upset is not out of the question.
"We haven't made any bones about what happened on Tuesday and we'll be having a meeting about it and the Walsall game," said Dearden.
"We set the standard at Hereford and we under-performed at Accrington. We have to sort out that inconsistency one way or another."
Walsall stormed to a 4-0 victory over the Stags at the Bescot Stadium in September.
That was only one of two games where they have scored more than twice in a game as their success has been based on efficiency.
Dearden said: "I will being doing my best to pick the lads up because they have to have someone to look to after a defeat.
"It is not going to be easy to train with the conditions as they are, but we shall get on with it and prepare as best we can."
Giles Coke left the field on a stretcher at the Fraser Eagle Stadium and has suspected knee ligament damage.
How long he will be out for is still to be confirmed, but Dearden admitted he may look to bring in a new face if the 20-year-old is out for a significant period.
BROWN: A WIN WOULD BE HELL FOR MY MATES
Evening Post, 19 January 2007
Simon Brown is ready to get one over on his mates by helping Mansfield beat league leaders Walsall tomorrow.
The Stags' winger-cum-striker was brought up in the West Midlands and several of his friends are Saddlers fans.
And after missing Mansfield's 4-0 defeat at the Bescot Stadium in September, Brown is determined to do his best to avenge that defeat.
"My friends have been giving me a bit of stick for about a week now after their big win over us at their place and because they are top," he said.
"These are the fixtures I looked out for at the start of the season, so I hope I am involved this time after I was injured for the game at Walsall.
"It would be nice to beat them but to do that we have to eradicate the mistakes. If we do that we fancy our chances against anyone at home."
Former West Brom trainee Brown has sympathy for midfielder Giles Coke, who looks set for a spell on the sidelines with possible knee ligament damage.
But he also knows it could open up a first team place for himself.
Brown said: "It is not seeing very nice seeing players get injured as Giles has and I know how he feels."
Dearden still waiting ahead of Walsall visit
CHAD website, 18 January 2007
Mansfield Town are still waiting on definite news on the extent of midfielder Giles Coke's knee ligament injury ahead of Saturday's mouthwatering visit of leaders Walsall (3pm).
"We all thought it was a really nasty one but we are hopeful he won't be out for the rest of the season.
"It has already settled down a bit but we still don't know the full extent. Giles will have a couple of days complete rest and we will then assess it again.
"I won't be looking at bringing anyone else in until we know what is happening with Giles for certain.
"First he will see the physio and then a surgeon if he needs a to. But if he is going to be out for four to six weeks then that will probably force my hand in a decision to look elsewhere.
"In the meantime we have lads who can go in there and do a job. But they may not be able to do that week in and week out with so many games coming up."
Dearden and his squad watched a video nasty of their 3-2 defeat at Accrington on Tuesday this morning before attempting to train in the high winds and rain.
"I cannot understand that performance after we had played so well at Hereford," said Dearden.
"Ten out of 11 players were nowhere near what they had been at Hereford.
"I know Walsall are six points clear but, if we play like we can, we can cause them a few problems."
Apart from Coke and Danny Reet, Dearden has a fully fit squad to choose from.
If he goes with Stephen Dawson in central midfield it would leave Matt Hamshaw, Simon Brown and Michael Boulding contesting three wide midfield spots.
Walsall are six games unbeaten, three wins and three draws, have won their last two and have only conceded twice in four games, none in their last two.
But Walsall's promotion rivals MK Dons and Swindon have already been beaten at Field Mill this season.
New boy Gritton optimistic
CHAD website, 18 January 2007
NEW boy Martin Gritton already believes Mansfield Town can get away from trouble after getting his first two games under his belt in Stags' colours.
And Gritton (28), who is currently on loan from neighbouring Lincoln City until the end of the season, hinted he may like to make that move a permanent one.
The big Scottish striker said: "The lads certainly have belief and ability. They just need application and consistency.
"Once they find that we can climb the table pretty quick, but it means a lot of hard work.
"It was nice to score on my debut. I needed games to get fully fit and I am already feeling a lot better after two matches.
"Hopefully I will do enough to impress the management and maybe something more permanent will be offered. But that's down the line yet.
"First I need to bed myself in as the tempo of first team football is completely different to training and reserve games."
There was one player who was very familiar to Gritton in the Stags dressing room when he joined last.
He said: "I used to play for the English Universities representative side when I was at University in Plymouth along with Asa Charlton.
"I haven't seen him for seven years so I couldn't believe it when he was here.
"I always look out for the names of those lads in the team to see if any of them made it into League football and me and Asa are the only ones.
"I saw Zema Abbey had gone to Norwich and played Premiership football. Yet he couldn't even get into our Universities side so it just shows what some managers think of players!
"I didn't get a good run of gams at Plymouth, but I enjoyed my time at Torquay and Grimsby. It was difficult at Lincoln as my time there straddled two seasons and two managers and the two strikers have been on fire this season."
DEARDEN'S BID TO STAMP OUT INDISCIPLINE
Evening Post, 18 January 2007
Billy Dearden today spoke of his determination to stamp out indiscipline in the Mansfield squad.
Suspended all the time." Meanwhile, Dearden has pleaded with fans to continue to support his team on the field - irrespective of their feelings towards club owner Keith Haslam.
After taking over just before the turn of the year, Dearden has now had time to take stock of things at Field Mill.
And he feels that the Stags' on-pitch conduct is one area where they can improve.
The Stags boss was without striker Simon Brown at Hereford recently through suspension after he picked up five bookings.
Dearden believes some of Brown's cautions - along with those of other players - have been needless and he wants to see an immediate end to bookings for dissent.
"Players pick up silly bookings and that means all of a sudden they are only one booking away from suspension," he said.
"I don't like players chatting back to referees. It's very unnecessary and I won't put up with it.
"I will be looking at the bookings from now on because we are a small squad and we can't afford to have people out
Supporters' group Team Mansfield have urged fans to boycott games of their choice in protest against Haslam's administration of the club.
But Dearden said: "I can't do anything if fans do decide to boycott games, it's up to them. But it does go against the football club and the players.
"Every club need their supporters and we probably need ours more than anyone right now, especially with the position we are in the league."
Latest | January 2007