BELL OUT FOR A MONTH
Bell looks set to miss at least a month
STAGS midfielder Lee Bell looks to set to miss at least a month after damaging knee ligaments in Saturday's superb 2-1 away win at second-placed Darlington.
Battling Bell finally limped off after going down a second time and club physio Paul Madin told Chad: "We have to let it settle down before we can tell exactly what Lee has done.
"But we suspect medial ligament damage. We can't predict how long he will be out yet but, if I were a betting man, I would say a month."
Adamson set to face Stags
Stockport boss Jim Gannon will hand an opportunity to goalkeeper Chris Adamson for the visit of Mansfield on Tuesday.
Conrad Logan was sent-off during Saturday's 2-1 defeat against Bury and the dismissal left County with makeshift keeper Adam Proudlock in goal for the entire second half.
Gannon had not named Adamson among the substitutes on Saturday but he will now come into the side as the Hatters seek a return to winning ways.
The County boss is searching for a loan signing to provide further cover but Adamson will don the goalkeeping gloves and jersey against the Stags.
Stockport have doubts over James Smith (illness), Paul Turnbull (knee), Michael Raynes (hamstring) and Dominic Blizzard (illness).
Defender Jim McNulty will definitely play no part after picking up an ankle injury against Bury at the weekend
No new faces planned by Dearden
STAGS boss Bily Dearden said today he has no further plans to strengthen the squad at present.
Dearden brought in full back Keith Briggs on loan from Shrewsbury on Friday and he made a solid debut in the 2-1 win at Darlington where Lee Bells suffered knee ligament damage.
However, ahead of tomorrow's away trip to seven placed Stockport County, he said: "I am quite happy with what we've got right now.
"Alex John-Baptiste is not too far away from a return at the back and, with Keith Briggs here, it releases John Mullins to play centre back.
"We are not sure how bad Lee Bell's knee injury is yet but it gives Jon D'Laryea a chance to get back into the side.
"Lee is having complete rest for a couple of days to let it settle down and we will have a proper look at it tomorrow. But with medial ligaments you are looking at a minimum of two or three weeks and it could be longer."
New boy Briggs will certainly be looking forward to tomorrow night's clash, having spent two successful spells at Stockport along with Stags winger Matt Hamshaw.
"I am sure Keith will want to do well there," said Dearden. "I thought he did well on Saturday. After the first 10 minutes he settled in well."
Stockport's unexpected 2-1 home defeat by Bury on Saturday was their first League Two loss in 10 games.
The Hatters had keeper Conrad Logan sent off for a professional foul and had no reserve keeper on the bench.
"Stockport were on a hell of a run," said Dearden. "But after winning five away games on the trot we will go there confident without being over-confident.
"We also did well against them at home and will take that into the game also.
"No one expected us to win at Darlington on Saturday and let's hope we can keep it going.
"Nearly all the teams around us won but must have thought we would lose up there.
"Now we have to put two results together and we have to start winning at home as well."
Stockport's Edgeley Park hosted a rugby match on Friday night and has been covered up ever since to protect it against the frosts.
Briggs: No fear of not staying up
Keith Briggs interview:
Full story at http://www.thisismansfieldtown.co.uk
The 26-year-old Glossop-born player was reporting to Edgeley Park for training as recently as last month and has played well over 100 games in two spells for the club.
"It's going to be strange going back to Stockport so soon after leaving, especially because I will be playing against some good friends," said Briggs.
"I will be having a drink with them in the bar after the game but, while the match is on, they will be enemies.
"Another three points would really set us up for the two home games to come. If we play like we did in winning 2-1 at Darlington then we have every chance of getting something."
After joining Mansfield on a month's loan, Briggs is officially a Shrewsbury player, even though he had an unsuccessful trial at the Shropshire side. League rules stipulate a player cannot sign permanently for more than two clubs in a season.
So having already played for Stockport and Shrewsbury, the only way he could move to Mansfield was by signing on at Gay Meadow and then coming on loan to the Stags.
However, Briggs' loan can be extended up to three months, taking him beyond the end of the season. And during that time he hopes to help the Stags stay up - and earn a permanent deal.
He said: "I just left how I got to Mansfield down to the clubs, but I'm pleased to be here.
"Hopefully I can help the club stay up and, if that happens, then maybe I can earn a contract."
A deal for Briggs was only clinched last Friday afternoon, leaving him little time to get to know the rest of his team-mates before making his debut against the Quakers.
But the former Norwich City signing insists his new team-mates made it a lot easier for him.
"It is difficult coming in late on as I did and for the first ten minutes I was all over the place because it is the first game I have played in three or four weeks," said Briggs.
"But I gradually got into it and felt I did quite well in the end. It was a great result for us."
Briggs was an interested spectator last Tuesday as the Stags lost 2-1 at home to Morecambe - their fifth straight home defeat in League Two.
But he saw enough in that game and in the clash with Darlington to believe Mansfield will not drop out of the Football League.
Briggs said: "If we can keep playing to our potential then I don't think we need to worry. It will be the rest of the teams that need to worry about us.
"Darlington are up there and used to winning games. They might say they only lost because they were down to ten men, but I felt we played them off the park for the first 35 minutes anyway.
"We have got some good players here and we have more than enough ability to stay up."
Briggs is looking forward to working with Matt Hamshaw, a good friend from their time together at Stockport.
"When Matt gets going and is at the top of his game then there is no one better in this league," added Briggs. "It makes my job easier with someone like that."
Latest | February 2008