HENDRIE NOT SIGNING FOR STAGS / STEVE COOK DEPARTS
VIDEO: Russ eyes up more targets
mansfieldtown.net, Mon 17 Jan 2011
Manager Duncan Russell hopes to bring in three or four fresh faces before the end of January.
Speaking to the press this morning, he outlined his vision, on a day when the high profile signing of Lee Hendrie was due to be confirmed.
Russ revealed that the 33-year-old former England and Aston Villa midfielder had agreed terms with the club before a last minute change of heart. He is nevertheless still focused on securing other targets.
He said: "I let the supporters know that I was in for a player who had a good character and calibre. He was due to sign on Friday and I thought it was a done deal.
"Lee wanted to spend some time at home over the weekend with his family and then I got another phone call to say another side from abroad was interested in him.
"It's something I was upset about and disappointed with because it would have been a good signing for this level but, we have to kick on and I have others in the pipeline.
"I am confident of having new faces in by the end of January, I would like to bring in three of four players."
Unfortunately, Lee will not now be joining us alongside other former target James Dance who eventually signed for BSBP rivals Crawley. Russ confirmed that a behind-closed-doors friendly has been arranged against Notts County at Field Mill tomorrow which will enable him to assess several other potential signings including a recognised goalscorer. It will also offer a run out to fringe players.
"I have my eye on afew players but I'm looking for the right type of player. To be honest, I could have signed three or four already but they are no better that what we already have.
"I want to bring in some new faces because I do not want players to be too comfortable. They have to fight to wear the shirt.
"All I want to say to fans is that me and Paul (Hall) are working tirelessly and have not stopped trying to bring players into the football club but they have got to be right for us."
Finally, Russ insisted that our on-going dispute with landlord Keith Haslam would have absolutely no bearing on the players who are fully focused on our next fixture against BSBP bottom club Histon this weekend.
He added: "I know there is alot of speculation. Obviously I have spoken to the Chairman and the Chief Executive Officer over the weekend but my concern is getting this football team ready for our game against Histon at the weekend.
"I think they learned alot from the last time (when Field Mill was reposessed in December) so I do not think that it will have much of an impact on them. That's life and you don't always get a good hand but you just have to get on with things."
In injury news, Keigan Parker was substituted during the second half of Saturday's game against Newport with a calf strain but should be ok for our clash with Histon whilst Rob Duffy has a slight knee injury but will miss the game through suspension.
Adam Smith (groin) may be a doubt for the fixture whilst the fitness of Matt Somner (ankle) and Tom Naylor (hamstring) will be assessed in training over the next week. Rhys Day (knee) is expected to participate in full training from Wednesday onwards.
Stags boss Russell calls for squad to emulate winger Cain
Evening Post, 20 Jan 2010, By matt halfpenny
ASHLEY Cain epitomises what Duncan Russell wants to see from his Mansfield Town squad.
The Stags manager has picked out the young winger for praise for an exemplary attitude that has helped him win back his first-team place.
Russell is hoping the rest of his players will follow the former Coventry winger's lead and fight hard for inclusion.
"Ashley has come in and done really well, especially when you consider he had not played since Darlington (in October)," said Russell.
"He has worked his socks off and never moaned – just got on with the job.
"He's been annoyed at not being in the team and he has been to see me a few times.
"But he is certainly in my plans for the future. In his last few games he has been impressive and deserves his starting position.
"He has thrown the gauntlet down to others who want to play out wide, such as Adam Smith, Louis Briscoe and Ryan Williams.
"I want to see people playing for their shirt and Ashley Cain has done just that."
Russell has also been pleased with what he has seen from goalkeeper Neil Collett.
He filled in for loanee Kevin Pilkington, made unavailable by parent club Luton, in the 4-2 FA Trophy win over Newport County.
Russell said: "He came on at half-time in the league game against Wimbledon and then came in for the game against Worksop and did really well.
"He did so again last Saturday and who's to say that he won't play against Histon?
"It is nice to have those options and we will be watching him and Kevin closely this week."
The Football Conference are set to discuss Mansfield's failure to secure a lease on their Field Mill ground at their monthly board meeting next Wednesday.
The club released a statement on Sunday saying a new deal with landlord Keith Haslam had not been signed after fresh disagreement between the two parties.
The Stags were briefly rendered homeless before Christmas when bailiffs re-possessed the ground on Haslam's behalf.
Russell still confident of fresh faces at Stags
Evening Post, 18 Jan 2011, By matt halfpenny
DUNCAN Russell remains confident of adding new faces to his Mansfield Town squad in the transfer window, despite missing out on Lee Hendrie.
The former England midfielder had been lined up to sign an 18-month deal yesterday morning but the 33-year-old pulled out and is expected to sign for a club in Indonesia.
Russell insists he has options and wants to bring in 'at least four more'.
Russell will be looking at several players in a friendly with Notts County at Field Mill today, which will also see winger Adam Smith in action as he bids to prove his fitness after a groin injury.
"There is someone who has played at a very high level and has got great attributes. He is a great finisher, but can defend as well," said Russell.
"He won't play against Notts County but I will have a look at a few players. There might even be someone from Spain."
Russell admitted there could be more departures following Gary Mills' move to Rushden but wants to keep Paul Connor, who Darlington are keen to sign.
He said: "I'm sure there are a few clubs interested in signing Paul but he is a Mansfield Town player."
Mansfield will host either Alfreton Town or Cambridge United in the FA Trophy third round.
Stags boss Russell – Why we missed out on Lee Hendrie
Evening Post, 17 Jan 2011
MANSFIELD Town manager Duncan Russell today explained why he has failed to land former England international Lee Hendrie.
The ex-Aston Villa, Stoke, Sheffield United, Leicester City and Derby County player was expected at Field Mill this morning to sign an 18-month deal.
But the Stags were informed last night through the player's agent that he would not be joining.
Hendrie, 33, is a free agent after being released from a short-term deal at League Two Bradford City and is now considering an offer from overseas.
"I have been speaking to Lee and his agent for quite a few days and he was going to come in and sign on Friday. I thought it was a done deal," said Russell.
"But he wanted to spend some time over the weekend with his family, so I shook hands on the deal with his agent.
"He hold me he would drag him here by the hair if he needed to for him to sign for us this morning.
"I didn't want to promise the fans if I couldn't deliver, but then I got a call saying he had other interest I believe from out in Indonesia for a lot of money, which we can't compete with.
"I did think we had him, but unfortunately you can't drag the boy here by gunpoint and get him to sign and until people sign the paper, it is never definite.
"It's something I'm really upset about. It would have sent alarm bells to most other clubs and showed that we are trying to get the right people into the club to get back into the League.
"The chairman has backed me to the hilt on this one to bring in such a big name.
"We had agreed terms and everything was fulfilled on the part of Mansfield Town, but that's football."
Steve Cook departs
mansfieldtown.net, Mon 17 Jan 2011
Defender Steve Cook has returned to Brighton following the expiry of his loan deal.
The 19-year-old has made nine appearances in the amber and blue since joining us in October and we wish him all the best for the future
Hendrie has a change of heart
Evening Post, 17 Jan 2011
FORMER England international Lee Hendrie will not be signing for Mansfield Town after a late change of heart, the Post understands.
The 33-year-old had been set to agree a deal with the Stags, with manager Duncan Russell declaring he was '99 per cent' certain of a deal being agreed.
But the former England international and Aston Villa regular is now set to go abroad instead.
Mansfield were informed of the midfielder's decision yesterday through his agent.
The news comes as a bitter blow to the Stags and Russell, who was hoping to make his first signing as permanent boss.
Thompson laments ex-England stars decision to turn down Mansfield
Evening Post, 19 Jan 2011, By matt halfpenny
TYRONE Thompson is disappointed Lee Hendrie will not be joining Mansfield Town – even though it increases his chances of keeping his first-team place.
The former England international looked set to sign for the Stags on Monday, only to pull out at the last minute.
Hendrie's arrival would have significantly increased competition in central midfield, an area where the Stags already have a host of options.
Thompson forced his way back into the side for Saturday's 4-2 FA Trophy win over Newport County, playing alongside Adam Murray, but Steven Istead and Kyle Nix are also competing for a spot in the engine room.
Even so, Thompson would have loved to work with the ex-Aston Villa man, believing it could have improved his game and others in the squad.
"It would have been a terrific opportunity to have Lee in our squad," said Thompson.
"It doesn't matter how young or old you are in this game, you can always learn something and I'm sure we would have learned something playing alongside someone who has been in the Premier League.
"I've met him out and about but it would have been nice to see what he could have brought as a player at this level.
"I'm sure he would have helped out the younger players in particular – they would have looked up to him."
Mansfield are bracing themselves for interest in top scorer Paul Connor, who has 12 to his name, before the end of the transfer window.
Thompson is hoping the club are able to keep hold of the experienced forward, who is a Darlington target.
He said: "Paul is an outstanding player and his contribution this season has been immense.
"He makes it a lot easier for all the rest of the players, because if you play it into him then you know the ball is going to stick. It's important for us to keep hold of him. "
Stags' game at York City has been switched to March 15.
Mansfield set to unveil 'marquee' signing thought to be former England player
Evening Post, 17 Jan 2011
MANSFIELD Town are today expected to unveil a marquee signing – believed to be former England midfielder Lee Hendrie.
Manager Duncan Russell refused to reveal the identity of the player but says the signing will show they should not yet be counted out of the Blue Square Premier Bet promotion race.
The Stags boss is '99 per cent' certain of landing his target, who he revealed has played in the Premier League.
It would cap a satisfactory few days for the club after they disposed of Newport County 4-2 in the FA Trophy on Saturday.
"I'm really hoping to be in a position to announce a new signing that would be a massive boost for us," said Russell.
"He's played at the highest level but I don't want to give a name because I don't want to get gazumped.
"I think the fans, as well as the players, will love it.
"I was so pleased for the boys at the weekend and that is probably the first time we have beaten a team above us, albeit in the FA Trophy.
"Everyone dreams of getting to Wembley and it's a fantastic experience that you never forget.
"But it's really important we bounce back in the league and are contending for the play-off spots.
"It's a big ask but if the chairman backs me and we get the players in we want then it enhances the team and gives us more strength in depth."
The Post understands it to be former Sheffield United, Stoke and Derby midfielder Hendrie, 33, who is without a club after leaving League Two Bradford last month.
But Mansfield are also bracing themselves for interest in top scorer Paul Connor, who took his tally for the season to 12 with a brace against Newport.
Reports in the north-east suggest Darlington want to sign the striker before the close of the January transfer window.
The 32-year-old – out of contract in the summer – hails from Bishop Auckland and could be tempted by a move back up north.
But Mansfield will be desperate to hold onto a player who has been a consistent performer since signing for the Stags from Lincoln in the summer.
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