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Archived News from February 2008

24th February 2008 21:27

Bell diagnosis as Dearden contemplates loan move
BILLY Dearden may be forced to bring in another loan player, following the news that Lee Bell's injury is likely to be more serious than first feared.
But he is in no rush to do so, happy to see how the next week or so pans out.
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Bell suffered medial ligament damage in last Saturday's 2-1 win at Darlington and will visit a surgeon tomorrow (Friday) to get a full diagnosis.

"Knowing Lee he will be saying he is fit in a couple of weeks – that's the type of lad he is," said Dearden.

But I know from personal experience that if it is medial ligaments it can be two months which is more or less his season over for him.

"It is disappointing for him and us, but Lee is a bit of a character around the place and he will still be that, even though he can't play for us."

With Keith Briggs arriving on loan last week and Alex John-Baptiste and Martin McIntosh on their way back, Dearden is not panicking over the loss of Bell.

"There is no reason that I won't get someone else in as we do not have a lot of experienced bodies," he said.

"But I can shuffle one or two around just now. Priorities change from week to week so I will have a look at it later next week.

"Jon D'Laryea will go straight in for 'Belly' and I know he won't let us down. 'Briggsy' can play in there as well.

"It may be I need to bring in another defender rather than a midfielder, but that depends on how soon 'Bap' and Martin McIntosh are going to be back."

D'Laryea can make the difference
JON D'Laryea is convinced he can make a big impact as Stags head into a crucial week in their relegation battle.

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D'Laryea has played few games over the past year due to an ankle injury and since getting fit again has found his chances limited.

But, with Lee Bell now looking like missing most of the rest of the season, it is a big chance for the former Manchester City youngster to make his mark in the centre of midfield.

D'Laryea knows he now has the chance to make the shirt his own again as Stags prepare for three successive six-pointers in eight days, starting with Saturday's visit of Chester City.

"I am confident I can make a big difference to the team," he said.

"When I came on at Darlington last week it was the first time I had not felt any niggles or pain at all and hopefully that will continue this weekend.

"I am approaching the Chester game with confidence and hopefully I can get back to my best.

"I was happy with my consistency last season but so far I have not been happy this season. I need to get a good run in the team and play consistently so I don't let myself or the team down."

D'Laryea will be trying to help the side halt a run of six successive home defeats on Saturday – a bizarre run considering they have won five away games on the trot.

"I don't know what it is," he said. "Maybe there is not as much pressure away from home as no one expects you to win and players can just enjoy it more.

"We have got to start getting the results at home. If we hear a few groans from supporters we must not let it affect us and we must never give up.

"We need a result to spark a good home run. If we can couple that with our away form, it can pull us out of the position we are in.

"We are on a bad run at home and Chester are on a bad run home and away so something has to give. Hopefully we can be the ones who come out of it with a positive result.

"We need to put them under a lot of pressure and if we can get an early goal, hopefully their heads will drop and they will crumble. So we must make sure we start the game well."

Billy sad to see Chester's plight
BILLY Dearden is upset to see his former club Chester City in dire straits right now.
But that sentiment will be placed to one side as Stags look to end their poor run of six home defeats by beating City at Field Mill on Saturday and extend the visitors' winless streak to 13 matches while completing a double.

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City are in freefall on the pitch at the moment and have financial problems in the background too.

"I had two spells at Chester and had some good times there," said Dearden.

"It is a smashing little club and I have some fond memories. So I am disappointed to them struggling.

"But that won't come into my thoughts on Saturday. The biggest thing is for Mansfield Town to get a home win.

"I would like to think they will pick up after Saturday.

"It is a shame they are having problems. At times players' wages have not been paid which shouldn't happen but does happen.

"But that can bond you together as a team and make you stronger. They are on a poor run and you can be sure they will be trying like hell to get a result on Saturday. Sometimes, in a situation like they are in, you are better off playing away from home."

Despite five straight away wins, it is the six successive home defeats that have left Stags in the bottom two and Dearden added: "I would rather be wining at home rather than away for our supporters.

"I get a bit fed up with people reminding me of how many we have lost at home. It has just not gone for us, though at times we have not played well enough to win the games.

"We won't win games unless we getsome clean sheets and defend better."

Apart from D'Laryea in for Bell, the Stags line-up is likely to be otherwise unchanged with a home debut for on-loan Shrewsbury utility player Keith Briggs.

Mickey Boulding has been off with an illness this week but was back in training this morning just as brother Rory was confined to home with the same bug.

Simon Brown has also missed training today with a knock but should be back in the squad on Saturday along with Dan Martin who has been off for family reasons.

Chester, who were beaten 1-0 at home by Notts County last weekend, could be without two key players.

Kevin Ellison has a leg injury while former Stags loanee Lawrence Wilson has an ankle problem and both are struggling.

On-loan Liverpool striker Craig Linfield has this week returned to Anfield so young Chris Holroyd is expected to come in to partner John Murphy up front.

CHAD VIDEO: Briggs is happy to be at Field Mill
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STAGS' new loan signing Keith Briggs is looking forward to making his home debut against Chester City at Field Mill on Saturday.

Briggs made an excellent contribution in his first game for the club - a superb 2-1 away win at Darlington last weekend.

Here Chad sports editor John Lomas talks to him about how he is finding life at Mansfield Town.


Latest | February 2008