AKSALU RETURNS TO BLADES/PILKS CANT PLAY IN TROPHY
Collett to stake claim for no.1 jersey
mansfieldtown.net, Fri 10 Dec 2010
Neil Collett will be given the chance to earn a regular place in our line up by standing in for Kevin Pilkington in this tomorrow's FA Trophy Round One tie away to Worksop, weather permitting.
The 21-year-old is expected to replace Pilkington, our regular shot stopper, who has not been given permission to be cup-tied by his parent club Luton Town.
The ex-Coventry custodian impressed in pre-season with a string of commanding displays in between the sticks but has featured in only one game since - appearing at half-time in our 5-2 home defeat to AFC Wimbledon in October in place of Alan Marriott.
He will use tomorrow's anticipated starting berth as a benchmark to try and cement a regular slot in our line up, having acted as under-study to Marriott, Pilkington and Mihkel Aksalu this season.
Speaking to mansfieldtown.net, Collett said: "I've not played as much football as I would have liked, but for the majority of the season I have been behind two very good goalkeepers in 'Mazza' and 'Pilks'. They must have around 1,000 first team appearances between them.
"I've learned a lot from them in training and in matches. Their communication and organisation of their backline amongst other things is excellent."
Collett, whose last start in a competitive game was 14 months ago whilst playing for Nuneaton, insists his return to keep goal will come naturally.
"I'm confident in my own ability. I am a good shot stopper and believe my distribution is good.
"Confidence is key as a goalkeeper. If you play with fear then it affects not only your performance, but those in front of you and you can become a 'bag of nerves.
"I'd just like to carry on my form from pre-season, which I was pleased with."
Russ backs Collett to shine
mansfieldtown.net, Thu 09 Dec 2010
This weekend's FA Trophy clash with Worksop could see goalkeeper Neil Collett make his first ever start in a senior game.
The call up comes with first choice Alan Marriott remaining injured and Mihkel Aksalu returning to Sheffield United following the expiry of his two month loan.
Luton have also refused to allow loanee 'keeper Kevin Pilkington to become cup tied meaning that Caretaker Manager Duncan Russell may now turn to Collett.
Russell has full confidence in the 21-year-old who has featured only once from the bench this season telling mansfieldtown.net: "He's a great 'keeper and I've every faith in him.
"He trains well and has a great attitude towards the game. I have no qualms that he will handle it well.
"It is a great opportunity to prove to me why he was brought to the football club. He has been learning from two very experienced 'keepers in Alan Marriott and Kevin Pilkington so I am confident that he will have no problems."
Our opponents tomorrow currently ply their trade in Evo-Stik Northern Premier - two divisions below us. Despite going into the game as favourites, Russell says that there will be no room for complacency.
"It's a cup tie so we go into the game taking things very seriously," he said. "Just look at Crawley getting a Third Round tie in the FA Cup at Derby. You can never underestimate the opposition.
"I would never do that and the players never would. We will prepare for this game in just the same way as we would for a league fixture."
The game will take place at Ilkeston's New Manor Ground - a venue that could well become our temporary home as we continue to make arrangements to play away from Field Mill. Russell has asked supporters to adjust to our new circumstances quickly whilst also backing Chairman John Radford as he strives to resolve our dispute with landlord Keith Haslam.
He added: "We're not at Field Mill for the moment so we must make the new ground our new fortress. It will be strange to walk into another dressing room but we have no choice but to get used to it.
"Listen to the Chairman's words. He is Mansfield through and through and has the best interests of this club at heart. Believe in him and the players as often through adversity comes strength.
"We are in this together."
Finally, in terms of team news, Duncan Russell will have a full squad to choose from with the exceptions of Alan Marriott (groin), Kyle Nix (ankle) and Tyrone Thompson who turned his ankle in training earlier in the week. Steve Foster will also miss out on the game as he serves the third of a four match suspension.
Aksalu returns to Blades
mansfieldtown.net, Wed 08 Dec 2010
Loanee goalkeeper Mihkel Aksalu has returned to Sheffield United following the expiry of his two month loan.
The 26-year-old Estonian international joined us at the start of October following a groin injury to first choice shot-stopper Alan Marriott.
Aksalu made three appearances for us before leaving Field Mill almost six weeks ago to receive treatment on a stomach problem from medical staff at Bramhall Lane.
Neil Collett will be in contention for a place in Saturday's FA Trophy tie with Worksop as Luton have not given permission for Kevin Pilkington to play and become cup-tied.
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