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Bucko - 'I stand by what I said'
STAGS are hoping top scorer Mickey Boulding and defensive ace John Mullins will be fit for Saturday's crucial trip to local rivals Chesterfield (1pm).
And they will also be hoping Spireites' goal ace Jack Lester remains sidelined as the League's bottom club once again go in search of their first away win of the season, four points adrift of safety.
Boulding, second in the League Two scoring charts, has been having treatment on a knee injury this week but is expected to be fit.
Mullins suffered a jarred and gashed ankle in Saturday's defeat at Grimsby but returned to training this morning and Dearden is hopeful Mullins will play, even if not fully fit.
But Lee Bell is out until the New Year and Dan Martin remains doubtful after two weeks off with his hamstring strain.
"This is a big time for us with five games in 14 days coming up," said manager Billy Dearden.
"We can't afford to keep taking chances with players if they are not quite ready with such a small squad. They have got to be right.
"We know our squad is not big enough and I want to bring players in during January.
"Until then we have to try to stay in touch. We know that, even if we won all our games this month, we couldn't get away from it straight away.
"We have just got to get with the pack again and then bring in some new faces.
"I have got to look at the lads and ask are they good enough? They have had their chances and we are bottom.
"We need more strength in depth and a bit more experience in the team to give a bit more guidance out there.
"I don't know what money I have available. Maybe it will be something out of a fruit machine! But I want to bring in at least three new players. Maybe a couple will have to go out as well.
"We certainly need another player up front. We are not conceding many goals which is a bonus, but we need to score more and someone else apart from Mickey Boulding has to start scoring them."
Despite being bottom, Dearden was far from despondent.
"I am more disappointed than anyone to be where we are," he said. "But there is a long way to go and we are only halfway through the season. There are a lot of clubs down there in the same situation."
He added: "We need to start winning away. We hate it not having an away win. You just get cheesed off with it.
"We have got to put the record straight as soon as possible and you sometimes find you win one and then you quickly win two or three.
"I know the best Christmas present our supporters could have is a win at Chesterfield and we will be doing our best to give them that.
"Chesterfield have their injury problems too and Jack Lester may or may not be back. Whatever team they put out we have got to match them.
"It will be a very difficult game. But they have only won two and drawn five at home – it is their away form that's been terrific. Maybe we can go there, get them on the wrong foot and get a result.
"We should have got a point from Grimsby. It looked a 0-0 game all day – then we conceded a goal. Maybe we will have to change our system.
"We play three of the top six sides over Christmas which is a great challenge for us. The players need to pull out the stops and get results."
League Two's second top scorer Jack Lester, with 13 goals, has been out for almost a month with an ankle injury and the Spireites have only taken one point from the last three games.
He is touch and go for Saturday though definitely out is Derek Niven who misses his first game of the season through suspension.
The game is all-ticket and Stags fans must buy one by 5pm Friday if they are going.
Hamshaw on revenge mission
WINGER Matt Hamshaw assured fans that the struggling Stags will need no firing up for Saturday's big derby at Chesterfield.
"This is a crucial game and the gaffer shouldn't need to say a lot for this one," he said.
"We felt a bit hard done by when we lost 3-1 at home to them.
"We were fine at 1-1. But after they went ahead again we pushed forward and got hit by a last minute sucker punch.
"This is a great chance to put the record straight. They are a good side with some great players. But they are not on a good run at home and we know they are beatable.
"We need to calm the storm for the first 10 or 20 minutes and then get on our front foot a bit. We have good players too and, on the day, I hope we can put one over on Chesterfield.
"Derbies are special games – local rivalry and bragging rights. There is no better feeling as a player than to win them.
"I played in derbies for Stockport against Macclesfield and Bury but the best ones were the six Sheffield derbies I played in for Wednesday.
"We won two and drew four of them so we certainly had the bragging rights from those."
John McAliskey told Evening Post website: "I thought I was doing okay in the team alongside Mickey (Boulding) when I first came to Mansfield. But then I got injured and even though I'm back now I have not been starting, which has naturally been disappointing, especially because we have been losing games. It feels like I have not played for ages and I'm desperate to get back into the side. It's hard to just come on for 20 minutes and make an impact. If we go long at the moment it is quite difficult for the lads up front because there is lots of pace but no height."
Full interview and story at
Michael Boulding told Evening Post website: "I disagree with the idea that some players are not trying as hard," said Boulding. "There are no players that go out there wanting to lose matches. We lost 1-0 at Grimsby when we could have easily have won by the same scoreline. We are not getting the rub of the green. I just think we need to be a little bit more attacking than we are now. But it is easy to say that and it is a different thing to go out and do it in games. We are disappointed not to have got anything at Grimsby with some tough games coming up. But it is important that we stay positive as a squad and don't get our heads down because there are a lot of points to play for these next few weeks."
Full interview and story at --->
Martin doubtful for derby clash
STAGS full back Dan Martin is unlikely to be fit for Saturday's derby at Chesterfield.
Martin picked up a hamstring injury which forced him out of the defeat at Grimsby and is rated as doubtful for the big match.
However, the brothers Boulding are expected to shake off knee problems to be fit - Rory having had to pass a fitness test to make the game at Blundell Park.
Full back John Mullins, who limped off with a gash and bruising to his ankle, is also expected to be fit for the trip to Saltergate.