KITCHEN MAY BE FORCED INTO DEBUT
Preview: Mansfield v Rochdale
http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk, 13/ 4/2007
ROCHDALE boss Keith Hill insists there is plenty to play for before the end of the season - starting at Mansfield on Saturday.
He said: "We are not going to get in the top seven now but there is still a lot of self-belief and there can't be any negativity despite losing to Barnet on Monday."
As Danny Reet can't play against his parent club, and with Ben Muirhead recalled by Bradford, Hill may give a first start to Glenn Poole.
Kitchen may be forced into debut
Chad website, 12 April 2007
YOUTH team skipper Ashley Kitchen 18 may be forced into his Mansfield Town debut on Saturday when Rochdale visit Field Mill (3pm).
The injury-ravaged Stags are particularly short at the back with only John Mullins fully fit from the first choice back four.
Manager Billy Dearden currently has six key players - Jake Buxton, Jon D'Laryea, Jon Hjelde, Asa Charlton, Stephen Dawson and Giles Coke - out or struggling to make it on Saturday.
And he also has players like Matt Hamshaw, Gareth Jelleyman and Alex John-Baptiste soldiering on with knocks which means Dearden is struggling to make up one team, let alone two, for five-a-side in training!
To make matters worse, after six games without a win, the pressure is on Mansfield to beat in-form Rochdale.
"I was hoping things would get better injury-wise but they have just got worse," said Dearden.
"We have just got to get on with it.
"I know we need to work on our defending but we have no idea who will be fit enough to be part of the back four until a Saturday at the moment and we are having to change the team every week.
"Of all the injured player the only one who looks like he may be fit on Saturday is Stephen Dawson. He trained a little yesterday and will train again today.
"Jon Hjelde has a faint chance but it is unlikely he will be fit. I did think about bringing young Chris Wood back from his loan at Ilkeston. But if I do that he couldn't go back there again.
"So Ashley Kitchen might get thrown in yet.
He has been with us on the bench for the last couple of games and did have a game this week with the youth team against York when he did okay.
"I don't think he is ready for the frirst team yet but he may have to go in on Saturday and then we will soon find out! He is a confident lad and we are short on options at the moment."
He added: "Rochdale have been doing well of late and will come here full of confidence.
"We need to get our confidence back. We need to be more positive and look for the ball and want it.
"We need to get a win for our supporters. We have lost our last three home games and we have deserved to lose them as we have not done enough during those games to win them.
"I would like the crowd to get behind us from the start and give us one final push to see if we can get a win for them.
"We do have a lot of injuries. But injuries are not entirely responsible for results.
"But losing five or six senior players is bound to have an effect and, when you are continually changing the team, there is no continuity.
"I do feel for the fans but they have to realise the situation we are in with injuries and the lads that are going in are doing the best they can."
Rochdale have only lost twice in their last 14 outings under Keith Hill who replaced former Stags boss Steve Parkin.
Dawson desperate for Stags return
Chad website, 12 April 2007
IRISH midfielder Stephen Dawson is champing at the bit to get back in action for Mansfield Town against Rochdale this Saturday.
He has been a reluctant spectator for the last couple of games with a hamstring strain.
But he said: "I trained for the first time in two weeks yesterday and will do a full session today.
"If there are no problems then hopefully I will be all right for Saturday.
"We are only doing light sessions at the moment anyway as we have so many injuries.
"I wanted to play last weekend but the gaffer didn't want to risk me.
"I hope I can come back and give something to the team.
"With being out I won't be fully fit. But most of us are not fully fit during a season and you just get on with it - we only have four games left."
He added: "In the last three home games we have been nowhere near good enough.
"Rochdale are a good side and we need to start off at a high tempo.
"We haven't been scoring goals but you can't put that all down to the strikers.
"We attack as a team and defend as a team and we need to create the strikers more chances."
Hamshaw:Stags not consistent
Teamtalk.com, 12 April 2007
Mansfield midfielder Matty Hamshaw has blamed a "lack of consistency" for the Stags' disappointing season.
The club endured a terrible start to the season which left them in trouble at the foot of League Two, but after Billy Dearden's appointment as manager in December they embarked on a run of form which threatened to put them in play-off contention.
However, a recent run of two points from a possible 18 has seen Dearden's side marooned in mid-table and Hamshaw believes the players let themselves down.
He told the Nottingham Evening Post: "We let ourselves down against Boston, just when we had given ourselves an outside chance of the play-offs - and that has been the story of our season.
"Every time we have got to a point where we need to win our next game to push us into contention, we have lost it.
"We have been in the situation a couple of times - the Boston game and the Bury home game stick out in my mind. It is that lack of consistency that has cost us."
BOULDING KEEN FOR A RUN-OUT UP FRONT
Evening Post, 12 April 2007
Michael Boulding today issued a plea to Mansfield boss Billy Dearden: "Give me a run up front."
The experienced former Aston Villa, Grimsby and Barnsley striker has been prepared to play in midfield because of a lack of depth in the Stags squad.
But the fact Boulding has played so many games out of position has left him increasingly frustrated.
Now with the side having failed to score in their last three matches, the 31-year-old feels it is time he was given a chance to shine in attack.
"I have the best overall scoring record of anyone at the club, so I don't see why I shouldn't get a shot," said Boulding.
"We have tried a number of combinations over the past few weeks and we haven't really got the goals, so I'm hoping it's my turn now.
"But I know I'm not the manager and it's up to him who plays. We have a lot of injuries, so players are just going to have to play where they are told to play."
Mansfield have now gone six matches without a win since beating Lincoln City 2-1 at Sincil Bank on March 3. They face Rochdale on Saturday.
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