FLEETWOOD PREVIEWS, VINCENTI LEAVES, PILKS STAYS
VIDEO INTERVIEW WITH DUNCAN RUSSELL --->
VIDEO: Russ eyes new striker
Mon 10 Jan 2011
Duncan Russell brings us up to date on all the latest transfer news.
The rumour mill has been turning full circle since the opening of the transfer window but Russ can now confirm all of his latest wheelings and dealings.
He has said that although we were beaten to the signature of former Kettering winger James Dance, several other potential signings have been identified including a striker.
The manager is speaking from the John Fretwell Sporting Complex at this morning's press meeting. Dave Rhodes (mansfield 103.2), Matt Halfpenny (Nottingham Post) and John Lomas (Chad) are asking the questions.
He added: "I was hopefully going to get the boy (James) Dance. I was in negotiations for the last couple of weeks, and I know his agent very well. We almost had him but he slipped through the net because Crawley Town came in for him and, I imagine, gave him a very good deal - something that we can't compete with.
"I've got my eye on a couple of other people and hopefully something might happen with them this week. I won't give names because I don't want anybody else going near them but we are going to be active and I hope to bring in a good player from further up the league which I will be negotiating this afternoon.
"Hopefully I will be bringing in a striker who's very good and I know personally. He would be a major threat to any opposition who play Mansfield Town.
"I want to bring in the right type of player. It's not just about going out there and using the Chairman's chequebook because obviously, it's important to bring in someone who wants to go the same way that we want to go, is nice and stable, of good character and is a winner."
Russ stressed that although supporters can expect some additions to be made in order improve the squad, his priority is also to develop some of our younger players.
He outlined defender Tom Naylor as one player in particular who he predicts a bright future for whilst the likes of Danny Mitchley could also feature more regularly as we enter into the second half the season.
"Tom Naylor was outstanding (at Eastbourne) on Saturday and you wouldn't have thought that he hadn't started a game all season. He was my player of the match. He won all his headers he's a confident lad and a very good centre half. He has a bright future and I want to keep hold of him.
"If you're good enough, I don't care what your age is. The likes of Danny (Mitchley), who is a good young player, can certainly make the squad.
"It's difficult at the moment because if we don't put on friendly games, we don't get to see these players in a competitive manner but yes, those lads will get a chance."
Looking ahead to our home fixture against newly-promoted Fleetwood tomorrow night, Russ expects to name an unchanged side from the one that won 3-1 away at Eastbourne two days ago. He will be hoping for a stronger defensive showing in particular as we look to avenge our defeat at the Highbury Stadium back in August.
He added: "We went up there and got beat 3-1. They are a good side and a well organised side and they can score goals.
"I don't want my players to play with any fear. I'm looking forward to the game and we owe them one.
"It's important that we keep working on all the bits and pieces and certainly defending because that's been our biggest problem. I know that we are adventurous going forward and we can score goals but we've also got to stop leaking them. That's my aim."
Finally, in terms of injury news, Adam Smith (groin) is likely to sit out on the match but is responding well to treatment as is Rhys Day - who will miss out with a knee injury but should be fit again for Saturday's FA Trophy tie with Newport.
Vincenti returns to Boro
mansfieldtown.net, Tue 11 Jan 2011
Peter Vincenti has returned to Stevenage following the expiry of his loan.
The Jersey-born attacking midfielder has rejoined the League Two outfit after making four appearances in the amber and blue since his arrival in October.
Manager Duncan Russell said: "Bearing in mind our large squad, it is not viable to keep another midfielder on the books. I'd like to thank Peter for his efforts whilst with us."
Keeper extends loan stay
mansfieldtown.net, Tue 11 Jan 2011
Goalkeeper Kevin Pilkington's loan spell has been extended for a further three weeks (29 January 2011) .
The Luton shot stopper's original deal was due to expire on January 8th but the 38-year-old will now have the chance to add to the nine appearances he has made for us so far this season.
The Hatters have inserted a 24 hour recall clause but with first choice 'keeper Alan Marriott still injured, 'Pilks' will continue to provide cover alongside Neil Collett.
His return to Field Mill in October saw the veteran don the amber and blue for the first time since 2005 when he left Field Mill for Notts County after a successful five years with us.
Said Manager Duncan Russell: "I'm very happy to have extended Kevin's stay with us. He is an experienced goalkeeper and is regarded as one of the best in the division."
Mansfield Town miss out in race to sign Kettering's Dance
Evening Post, 10 Jan 2010
MANSFIELD Town have lost out to Crawley Town in the race to sign Kettering wide man James Dance, manager Duncan Russell confirmed today.
The right-sided player was wanted by the Stags to provide competition for the likes of Louis Briscoe and Ashley Cain.
Russell thought he had got his man at the tail end of last week, but the 23-year-old opted to join the big-spending Red Devils instead.
It means Russell is now looking elsewhere in a bid to add to his squad during the January transfer window.
"I was hopefully going to get the boy Dance in. I know his agent very well, he's a personal friend of mine," he said.
"The chief executive (Steve Barker) was involved as well and we almost had him, but he slipped through the net when Crawley came in.
"I am sure they will have given him a deal that we can't compete with.
"But I have got another couple of names I'm looking at and hopefully something will happen this week."
Meanwhile, Matt Somner is set to go out on loan again when his deal with Altrincham runs out on January 11.
The central midfielder could stay with the Robins, but Russell confirmed Tamworth are also keen to take him on a temporary basis.
Crawley steal Dance but hopes still high on new face
CHAD.co.uk, Mon Jan 10 2011
MONEYBAGS Crawley Town have stolen the signature of Kettering winger James Dance from under the noses of Mansfield Town.
But Stags boss Duncan Russell is still hopeful of new faces, possibly even a new striker before tomorrow night's home clash with Fleetwood Town.
“Dance's agent is a personal friend of mine and I have been hopeful of getting him in here for the last few weeks,” said Russell.
“We almost had him. But he slipped through the net because Crawley Town came in for him and we can't compete with the deals they can offer.
“Don't firget they paid a quarter of a million for Richard Brodie and he doesn't play very often!
“But I do have others players I am after and hope to get at least one of them in this week, maybe in time to be involved tomorrow, and he is a good striker from higher up the leagues who would provide a major threat to any opposition.”
Russell intends to send out the same 11 players who won 3-1 at Eastbourne Borough on Saturday, where he made six changes to freshen things up.
Visitors Fleetwood lost for the first time in nine games, 1-0 at Forest Green at the weekend, and Russell said: “We owe them one after losing 3-0 up there at the start of the season when Magno Vieira was outstanding.
“They are a well-organised side who can score goals so we must make sure we police the right people.
“I wasn't happy with the goal we conceded at Eastbourne. You have to mark players who come into the box. Space doesn't score goals, players do, so it's no good marking space in that situation.”
Stags were booed off after the 1-0 home defeat by Altrincham a week ago and Russell said: “I thought some of our players played with some fear that day and looked nervous.
“Without a doubt there is more pressure at home. Supporters want the very best and we would love to be able to win every game for them.
“They pay their money and want to be entertained which we try to do. But they have every right to boo as well.
“That can be off-putting to certain players and I would ask everyone to try to get behind the lads as it makes it easier for them when they hear our fans in good voice.”
Rhys Day, Adam Smith and Steve Cook are all injured and unlikely to make tomorrow's squad.
Brighton defender Cook faces at least a month on the sidelines after a scan revealed damaged ankle ligaments and, although Russell will speak to him about his future, he said Cook had told him he was finding the travel a strain which could see his time with Stags at an end.
Peter Vincenti's loan spell will not be continued when it expires this week through Stags are still chasing a return for Simon Grand from Fleetwood.
Matt Somner will be allowed out on loan again, either staying at Altrincham or going to Tamworth.
Russell said he would call in a favour to bring in a keeper as cover on the bench at the weekend but would give patient deputy keeper Neil Collett a game in the FA Trophy tie with Newport County with Luton Town not wanting on-loan Kevin Pilkington cup-tied.
Stags hunt Football League striker, Cook set to depart
MANSFIELD Town boss Duncan Russell aims to have a new face in his squad for tonight's visit of Fleetwood – with a Football League striker top of his shopping list.
The Stags missed out to Crawley in a bid to sign Kettering Town winger James Dance. But that has merely strengthened Russell's resolve and, with Rob Duffy and Paul Connor not 100 per cent fit, he wants to increase his attacking options.
"I hope to bring in a player from further up the leagues, maybe before the Fleetwood game," said Russell.
"I'm looking at a striker who is very good and would be a major threat to anyone playing Mansfield.
"It's not just about using the chairman's cheque book. It must be someone who's a stable character and a winner."
Russell admits Steve Cook is unlikely to sign for Mansfield permanently when his loan deal from Brighton runs out.
And with the defender currently out with an ankle problem, he is likely to have played his last game for the club.
Russell said: "We have got Steve until January 15 but he will be out for the next three or four weeks."
Spotlight on Mansfield Town v Fleetwood Town
Mansfield (from): Pilkington, Collett, Silk, Foster, Naylor, Sandwith, Stonehouse, Cain, Briscoe, Nix , Murray, Istead, Williams, Medley, Duffy, Parker, Connor.
Fleetwood (from): Davies, Beeley, McNulty, Gregan, Brown. McGuire, Craney, Barry, Vieira, Donnelly, Seddon. Thorpe, Miles, Wright, Hurst, Connors.
Team news: Mansfield goalkeeper Alan Marriott (abductor) is set to be out for at least another month.
Steve Cook (ankle) is unlikely to play again before his current loan spell runs out while Rhys Day (knee) and Adam Smith (groin) are also likely absentees.
Fleetwood will be without defender Paul Linwood (knee) and midfielders Jamie Milligan (knee) and Jamie Mullan (calf).
Striker George Donnelly, a record signing from Plymouth, reportedly for £50,000 is set to play after making his debut in Saturday's 1-0 defeat at Forest Green.
One to watch: Scott Davies. The Fleetwood goalkeeper has been a figure of consistency after taking over in between the sticks from Danny Hurst in early September.
Manager: Micky Mellon. The former Blackpool player has established his side as one of the front runners for promotion after coming up through the Blue Square North play-offs last season.
Injury worry for Milligan
fleetwoodtoday.co.uk, Tue Jan 11 2011
JAMIE Milligan's knee problem is the most worrying of a series of injuries afflicting Fleetwood Town ahead of tomorrow's visit to Mansfield.
Their wounded pride also needs some nursing after a defeat at Forest Green Rovers which manager Micky Mellon put down to a lack of quality in the final third.
Mellon admitted to being somewhat baffled by Milligan's injury.
The manager said: “We are a bit worried about Milligan's knee. He keeps breaking down in training and we've had it scanned. We are waiting on news but it's not looking massively positive.”
Milligan had been training hard to get up to speed since his return to Fleetwood and full-time football in November following four months with AFC Fylde.
Defender Paul Linwood, who also missed the defeat in Gloucestershire with a knee injury, faces a further three or four weeks on the sidelines, according to Mellon, who also lost full-back Junior Brown to a second-half ankle injury and has winger Jamie Mullen unavailable because of an abductor problem.
But Mellon was looking for no excuses on Saturday, admitting his side lacked creativity where it mattered most.
“We are very disappointed because whenever we got into decent positions we never showed enough quality to create anywhere near enough chances,” he said.
“We probably dominated pretty much all the game but without creating enough chances.
“We didn't make the most of good crossing positions or didn't beat the first man or maybe didn't get enough movement in the box.
“In the final third we never showed anywhere near enough devilment or quality to win.
They have had one chance in 90 minutes but that's no consolation to us.
“We have to be better when we get into certain situations in both halves and we never showed the quality or the composure to create.”
Mellon's squad returned to training this morning ahead of tomorrow's rearranged visit to Mansfield, who have picked up form since losing 3-0 at Highbury in August.
“A quick turnaround is what you want after a defeat, so you can react as quickly as possible.
“We will watch the DVD and work on the stuff we need to, particularly in the final third.” Linwood's absence forced Mellon to change a back four which had kept successive clean sheets and meant a recall for club captain Steve McNulty, who shared his manager's disappointment.
The centre-half said: “These are the games we need to come and win. The ones you should win and are meant to win are always hardest.”
“But it won't be difficult to pick ourselves up. There's not much wrong but we aren't getting the rub of the green and haven't had the cutting edge in the final third. You can have all the possession in the world but you have to turn it into goals.”
Mellon and McNulty agreed that debutant George Donnelly will prove an excellent acquisition for the club.
George will be a top player, no doubt about that,” said the manager.
“It will take time for him to get to know his team-mates but that was a great effort which hit the bar.”
McNulty added: “It esd tough on George because he'd only really had about half a day's training with the lads (before his debut) but he is going to be a great player. We need to consolidate and kick on now, and to make the play-offs would be great.”
Interviews: DAVID MITCHELL
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