PREVIEWS AND TEAM NEWS
Stags to blood more youth against Silkmen
CHAD website, 22 March 2007
STAGS boss Billy Dearden could give more youngsters their full debuts when his injury-hit side face struggling Macclesfield Town on Friday (8.45pm).
Midfielder Danny Sleath (20) came on as a second half substitute for his debut last weekend.
And, with injuries mounting, Dearden admitted this could be a good time to try out other young players with squad players like Nathan Arnold, Rory Boulding and Chris Wood champing at the bit.
Dearden said he would rather do that than bring in a new signing ahead of tonight's loans deadline.
With Giles Coke already out for the season, he looks likely to be without Jake Buxton (knee), Jon D'Laryea (ankle), Michael Boulding (groin), Danny Reet (dead leg), Callum Lloyd (thigh) through injury as well as on-loan Bryan Hodge who is on international duty with Scotland U20s.
Only Gareth Jelleyman (ankle) looks to be in with a chance from last weekend's casualties.
"The youngsters are there to be tried so let's get on with it," he said.
"In our position it gives me a great opportunity to put one or two of them in and give them the chance to prove to me what they are all about.
"I am looking forward to seeing them in action tomorrow.
"It doesn't look as if we are really going anywhere up or down this season.
"But we need to try to win as many games as we can to keep supporters and everyone in the club happy.
"So let's give the youngsters a go. I did it before when we had lads like Liam Lawrence, Craig Disley, Bobby Hassall and Lee Williamson all come through together and they are all still earning a living from the game at a higher level."
He added: "Who knows what we have at the moment? I can't see them in reserve games as we have no reserve team. Lads like Chris Wood and Danny Sleath have only played three or four reserve friendlies since I came here which at 18/19 years of age is not right.
"They should be playing football and this is a chance for me to blood one or two. I would have liked to have done it sooner but we needed some experience out there to get a few more points on the board first.
"Nathan and Rory have gone in there and played once or twice but then come out again which is the way to do it.
"Now I think is the right time to say to supporters come down and have a look at what we have coming through for the future."
After last week's disappointing 2-1 home defeat by Boston ended a sparkling five-game unbeaten run, Dearden said: "I want to see a reaction against Macclesfield.
"We went off the boil last Saturday and the fans were right to let them know how they felt.
"But it will be hard as we will be down to about 16/17 fit players, including the young lads.
"Paul Ince has done a brilliant job for Macclesfield. He has treated the players how he was treated and they have responded to that.
"They had a good run to get out of the bottom three or four but have gone off the boil the last four or five games and dropped back towards it a bit.
"It is always a better atmosphere on a Friday night and we want to get out there and put things right for our supporters after last weekend."
There remains the threat of a boycott by supporters opposed to club owner Keith Haslam.
But Dearden said: "It would make things difficult if that happens but we will get on with it and play football to the best of our ability."
Chance for retiring star?
CHAD website, 22 March 2007
EXPERIENCED Norwegian central defender Jon Olav Hjelde looks set for a Stags recall against Macclesfield Town tomorrow night as the end of the season - and his footballing career - beckons.
Hjelde, in and out of the side since Billy Dearden's arrival as manager, intends to return to Norway with his family this summer.
But, with eight games left, he looks set to get an opportunity tomorrow with skipper Jake Buxton highly doubtful with a knee injury.
Stags have won two and drawn two of the four games he has started under Dearden and Hjelde said: "I have been disappointed not to get in recently.
"I played regularly under Peter Shirtliff but Billy has prefered Jake Buxton and Alex John-Baptiste.
"That is disappointing but I know Jake and Alex are the future so I can understand it."
But once the season ends, Hjelde is planning taking his family home.
"My oldest boy will be starting school next year and I would like to be back in Norway for that," he said.
"We may stay here a few months after the season to sort a few things out though.
"I think this will be the end of my career. It is my 10th year abroad and I think the time is now right at 35.
"Maybe I will do something else.
"I have had a great time over here but it is time to get my family settled and live where we are going to live for a few years.
"My wife will be back at work at home and I may go back to University to finish my teaching degree.
"I left that when I was about 23 or 24 to come to England and I have another year and a half left on it."
Hjelde has enjoyed his two years at Field Mill, but the pinnacle of his footballing career was his promotion and subsequent season in the Premiership with Nottingham Forest.
"That was probably my most enjoyable time," he said.
"We had a very good team there and I think they would still be a Premiership club now if they had invested a bit more at the time.
"It has been good at Mansfield. I thought this season we would challenge for something so it's been a disappointment."
DEARDEN TO 'BLOOD' HIS YOUNG PLAYERS
Evening Post, 22 March 2007
Billy Dearden will put his faith in youth rather than the transfer market to overcome the club's mounting injury problems.
No fewer than six players - Jake Buxton (knee), Jonathan D'Laryea (ankle), Michael Boulding (groin), Callum Lloyd (thigh), Gareth Jelleyman (ankle) and Danny Reet (dead leg) - are nursing knocks.
The Stags boss is further hampered for tomorrow night's visit of Macclesfield by the absence of Bryan Hodge, who is away on Scotland under-20 duty.
After today's transfer deadline, Mansfield will be unable to sign any more players this season - not even on loan.
But Dearden sees it as an ideal opportunity to blood the likes of Nathan Arnold, Danny Sleath and Rory Boulding - particularly as the Stags are now all but safe.
"I don't think I will be signing anyone because we are OK when everyone is fit," said Dearden.
"It might have been a different story if we were still down there, but with the position we are in I just think it's a chance to have a look at some of the young lads, rather than bringing players in.
"There are one or two who need first team games. Nathan Arnold played at Lincoln and we all know what he can do - he has a bit of a future.
"Danny Sleath came on last week and did OK and Rory (Boulding) has a chance, too. They are three young lads who I think have got a future if they carry on progressing as they have done."
Dearden is expecting Michael Boulding and Jelleyman to be fit in time for tomorrow's game with the Silkmen.
But he is less certain of D'Laryea, skipper Buxton and Reet being available and Lloyd is almost certainly out.
Stags depleted for Macc visit
CHAD website, 20 March 2007
Stags manager Billy Dearden will be forced into changes through injuries for the visit of Macclesfield Town on Friday night.
Jake Buxton (knee) and Jonathan D'Laryea (ankle) are both highly doubtful, Callum Lloyd (thigh) and Danny Reet (dead leg) are already out and Michael Boulding (groin) and Gareth Jelleyman (ankle) are having intensive treatment.
On top of that Dearden is without on-loan midfielder Bryan Hodge who is in Canada with the Scottish U20s.
"Whatever line-up I put out I expect better than they gave me on Saturday," said Dearden.
"I think asking Jake to play last Saturday was probably a game too far for him with his knee injury and he is very doubtful.
"But, of them all, we are hopeful Gareth Jelleyman and Michael Boulding will make it."
Despite current injury problems and the forthcoming loans deadline, Dearden has no plans to bring any more players in this season.
"If we are all fit then we are okay," he said. "In the meantime it gives me a chance to look one or two of the younger lads.
"We gave Danny Sleath his debut on Saturday and he did okay and brought a save from their keeper.
"We also have players like Nathan Arnold and Rory Boulding who are waiting for a chance."
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