DEARDEN MAY BE BACK IN TRANSFER MARKET
Dearden may be back in transfer market
CHAD, 23 January 2007
STAGS boss Billy Dearden may be forced back in to the transfer market this week after learning midfielder Giles Coke faces a knee operation.
Coke visited a specialist in Sheffield today and, altough he was relieved to find out he had no ligament damage, he will need keyhole surgery on Thursday to repair a meniscal tear of the cartilage and faces a lay-off of between three and six weeks during a busy and crucial time for the club.
Saturday's sparkling 2-1 home win over leaders Walsall set Mansfield up for the trip to Chester City this Saturday (3pm) and the home visit by bottom club Torquay United on Tuesday (3pm).
Dearden's two new signings Barry Conlon and Martin Gritton both netetd again to make it five in three games between them.
But now Dearden is likely to move for a midfielder.
"Losing Giles is a blow, though I am pleased for the ladthat it wasn't cruciate ligemants as he'd feared" he said.
"I won't make any decision over getting someone in until we've sat down and had a good look at what cover we've got and how things are going.
"But it is probably very likely we will have to.
"We are a senior player short and we have not got a big squad anyway.
"It is unlikely anything will happen before the weekend, though you never know."
Alex John-Baptiste (back injury) could be fit to face Chester on Saturday. But John Mullins, who limped off on Saturday with a nasty ankle gash requiring three stitches and possible ligament damage, could struggle.
This Saturday's opponents are 12th, four points from the Play-off spots and Dearden said: "Chester are a very physical side but always play a bit of football too.
"So it should be a good entertaining game.
"They are well up the league just now so they must be doing something right. It will be a difficult place to go.
"But if we perform like we did on Saturday we shouldn't have any major problems in getting a result.
"We have got a big incentive with two home games to follow against sides down there with us.
"But they won't be easy games. It doesn't always work out that way as Walsall found here.
"They are fighting for their lives down there like us and both games will be difficult.
"The main thing is to get a result on Saturday to start with."
Stags will be looking to build on arguably their best performnace of the season against Walsall.
"I was very very pleased with the performance after the way they let themselves down at Accrington.
"We have beaten the best team in the league and we deserved our win.
"I am pleased that the two lads we brought in have scored again. They are causing teams problems and have given us a bit of strength up there.
"And we know we've got Mickey Boulding there for a different dimension with his pace.
"He would be a good combination with either of them or played wide as he was when he came on against Walsall.
"I was also pleased with Matty Hamshaw as he felt very ill at half time but went back out and gave us another half an hour.
"The biggest thing is that we held firm, despite serious injuries to two of our back four.
"We lost Alex John-Baptiste, though Jon Hjelde slotted straight in there.
"Then we lost John Mullins with a nasty injury and Callum Lloyd, who had never played right back in his life, came on and did very, very well.
"All in all that makes it a better victory than if we our full team out.
"Also we came from behind to win. They were cockahoop when they got here anyway and we were really up against it when they then went 1-0 up.
"I thought we showed a lot of character to get back into the game,
"Yes we were hanging on at the death but you expect that. Jake Buxton produced a tremendous clearance in the last minute.
"Results are coming here and there but it is consistency that gets you results in this game.
"Hopefully we can carry it on, get cracking and get up into that top half."
Saddlers boss Richard Money was furious over Mansfield's winner which he claims saw Gritton foul his keeper and handle the ball.
"Ninty nine times out of 100 the referee would have given a foul for Gritton's challenge," he said.
"If you speak to Gritton he will tell you it was a handball and a foul. It's disappointing to concede a goal like that, but that's no excuse.
But Dearden retorted: "There was no problem with the winning goal. I have seen it two or three times on video.
"The ball got held up on the wind and Martin just got there before the keeper who waited a split second too long.
"There was no handball either.
"I thought Martin was very brave going for it as it looked like he would get clattered."
GRITTON: 'I WANT TO STAY AT STAGS'
Evening Post, 23 January 2007
Martin Gritton today outlined his determination to land a permanent contract at Mansfield.
The 28-year-old striker has made a decent start to his Field Mill career after signing on loan from Lincoln until the end of the season.
Gritton scored on his debut at Hereford and added another against league leaders Walsall and has also shown he has a good first touch and an eye for a pass.
But the Glaswegian realises he has to produce the goods on a consistent basis if he is to extend his stay beyond May.
"It was nice to get off to a flying start with the goal at Hereford, but I know that's something I need to build on," said Gritton.
"It would be lovely to get something permanent but that's further down the line.
"I feel a lot better for the games I have played. It is not that I have not played at Lincoln, but the tempo of the game is different in reserve games and training."
As well as goals, Gritton feels he can help build-up play.
"I hope that I can hold the ball up well for the team," he added. "That is something I am used to, having always played as a striker or on the left of a front three."
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