FURTHER PITCH INSPECTION AT 12.40
Further pitch inspection planned
mansfieldtown.net, Sat 22 Jan 2011, 10am
Match referee Ross Joyce will conduct a final pitch inspection at 12.40pm today after this morning's successful assessment of the playing surface.
This morning's pitch assessment has been passed by local referee Russell Booth, however, with changing temperatures from now until mid-day and in the interests of player safety, Ross Joyce will have one final check of the pitch as soon as he arrives at Field Mill later today.
Following this morning's assessment, we remain confident that today's match at home to Histon will be played, and will bing you the news of the final inspection as soon as it happens.
Slight doubt over Stags match
CHAD.co.uk, Fri Jan 21 GMT 2011, 13:25:42
A HARD frost overnight on Thursday into Friday has put a slight doubt over Saturday's match between Mansfield Town and Histon at Field Mill.
A few areas of the pitch, which has been covered, are frozen - but the Stags expect them to thaw out in time for the BSBP fixture.
A precautionary inspection will be held by local referee Russell Booth on Saturday at 10.15am, when the club hope there will be no need for a full inspection.
AUDIO: Interview with Stags' boss Duncan Russell
chad.co.uk, Thu Jan 20 2011
STAGS boss Duncan Russell is hoping last weekend's fine 4-2 FA Trophy win over Newport County will encourge stayaway fans to return for this Saturday's visit of struggling Histon.
Only just over 1,000 home fans turned out last weekend for what was a thrilling game which has set up a tasty third round local derby with Alfreton Town.
In this exclusive audio interview, Russell talks about the Newport win and Trophy draw, about the need for patience against a Histon side that are likely to defend in numbers, his frustration at losing transfer target Lee Hendrie at the 11th hour last weekend and his plans in the current transfer window.
Striker Rob Duffy is suspended on Saturday and Adam Smith still struggling to be fit with his groin strain.
But Rhys Day (knee), Tom Naylor (hamstring), Keigan Parker (tight calves) and Steve Foster (virus) are all expected back in training and could make the squad.
Histon are rooted to the bottom of the table, face a five points deduction for financial irregularities, and have not won in 10 games.
Spotlight on Mansfield Town v Histon
Evening Post, 21 Jan 2011
Mansfield (from): Pilkington, Collett, Silk, Foster, Sandwith, Naylor, Day, Stonehouse, Cain, Istead, Thompson, Murray, Nix, Briscoe, Williams, Medley, Smith, Parker, Connor, Mitchley.
Histon (from): Welch, Mills, Clerima, Livermore, Oyebanjo, Smith, Okay, Wootton, Sparkes, Riza, Murray, Lawton, Stevenson, Okojie, Stewart, Taffe, York.
Team news: Mansfield are waiting on the fitness of central defenders Rhys Day (knee) and Tom Naylor (hamstring).
Winger Adam Smith (groin) is also battling to be fit after failing, as hoped, to appear in a midweek friendly against Notts County.
Histon are set to welcome back David Livermore after suspension, as well as winger Daniel Sparkes and midfielder Callum Stewart after injury.
One to watch: Antonio Murray. Back with the Stutes after a spell at city neighbours Cambridge United, the striker has managed seven goals in the 16 games he has played in between injury.
Manager: David Livermore. The former Millwall man took over as player-manager last August and is still just 30. Faces a difficult task to keep his bottom-of-the-table side in the Blue Square Bet Premier on a shoestring budget.
Mansfield's Thompson rewarded for staying patient through frustrating times
Evening Post, 21 Jan 2011
NO professional likes to be left out of the team, but to be overlooked even after a 7-2 defeat is just about as disappointing as it gets.
That was the fate that befell Tyrone Thompson after Mansfield Town's embarrassing mauling at Grimsby on New Year's Day.
But the former Torquay and Sheffield United man has not thrown his toys out of the pram.
Instead, the 28-year-old has remained patient and dignified. His reward? A place back in the starting line-up against Newport, a game Stags won 4-2 last weekend.
After a decade in the game, Thompson recognises that it's impossible for a manager to keep every player happy all of the time.
"I did play in Duncan Russell's first game as (caretaker) manager against Hayes and Yeading but only the first half," said Thompson.
"At that time Adam Murray and Stevie Istead were in the side and the team were getting results. It's understandable you're not in the side if the boys are performing well, as frustrating as it is.
"But, to be honest, at Grimsby when the team has under-performed, it is harder to take if you still can't get in.
"That was a frustrating time for me, but you have to put that aside for the benefit of the team.
"It's important to be a good squad member in the same way you would hope other people are when you're in the side and they're not.
"Every player has gone through a spell of not being in the team and it's how you deal with that what matters.
"You can't have people sulking, everyone needs to stay together.
"If anyone in the squad was going to upset the apple cart, then I'm sure a few of the other lads would have a few choice words for them.
"I'm delighted to get back in the side. It's been frustrating, but I'm a professional and I have carried on working because I knew I would get an opportunity eventually."
Since taking over as permanent boss, Russell has seen Stags win three and lose three of six matches.
It highlights the unpredictability of the team right now, something Thompson says must be ironed out.
He said: "It must be frustrating for the fans. Sometimes we score a lot of goals and look unbeatable and then the next game we reach nowhere near the same levels.
"We have spoken about it between us – the fact that we need to get more consistency.
"That means that sometimes we don't have to go out trying to be world beaters and win 3-0 and 4-0.
"Sometimes it is about digging in and winning 1-0, which maybe we have not done enough of at times."
After a host of top clubs failed to make it through the second round of the FA Trophy, it means only Luton Town have a higher league position in the non-league pyramid than Stags.
That has sparked talk of Mansfield appearing at Wembley for the first time since their Freight Rover Trophy victory in 1987.
But Thompson is warning a path to glory is far from straightforward.
"Alfreton is going to be a very hard game for a start, but it's good that we are at home," he said.
"If we give the home fans something to shout about, they certainly get behind us.
"People say the draw has opened up, but it doesn't matter who you are playing, you still have to show the same determination.
"The smaller teams have shown they can compete because they have already knocked out some big clubs.
"But we are potentially only three games from Wembley and I know the players are taking the competition really seriously."
Stags' immediate focus is on tomorrow's clash with strugglers Histon at Field Mill as they look to re-ignite a flagging play-off push.
Thompson said: "It is nice to have a full week to work on things ahead of the Histon game.
"We have been working on team shape when we haven't got possession.
"We desperately wanted to get a clean sheet against Newport and we'll keep pushing for one."
Briscoe: Mansfield Town must relish playing at home
Evening Post, 22 Jan 2011
LOUIS Briscoe is urging his Mansfield Town team-mates to bring the best out of the Field Mill crowd – by recording back-to-back home wins.
The Stags were booed off after losing their last league game 5-2 against Fleetwood.
But the fans were right behind them when they earned a 4-2 victory over Newport in the FA Trophy last weekend.
And winger Briscoe wants to keep the fans onside with a decent showing and three points against Histon.
He said: "I have always enjoyed playing in front of the home fans.
"I'm not sure anyone is frightened of playing at home. But if things haven't gone right in the first half, there are times they might get on at you.
"But that is part of being a professional.
"The fans pay their money and are entitled to say what they think."
Mansfield were 5-0 winners the last time they played Histon away in March.
Briscoe was on target that day but expects a sterner examination today, even though the Stutes are rock bottom.
Briscoe said: "Altrincham came here bottom of the table and we didn't do it against them (losing 1-0). So we can't take anything for granted."
Striker Parker hoping he's turned a corner at Mansfield Town
Evening Post, 22 Jan 2011
But, as he readily admits, Parker has not always been at his best in the first half of 2010-2011 – his first at non-league level.
That is something the former Blackpool hitman is desperate to change.
And after starting Mansfield's first six games since manager Duncan Russell took permanent charge, he feels in good shape to do just that.
Histon, who visit Field Mill this afternoon, are first in his sights.
"I feel good and as fit as I have felt since I have been here. Certainly in my mind I feel good and more confident in front of goal," said Parker. "I've certainly started to enjoy it more and that comes from playing well. And I think when you are enjoying it more that makes you play better as well.
"I want to get a goal every week, but it's just as important to play well for the team.
"If you can set up goals and the team win then that's just as important as scoring. I know that now as an experienced player and I was involved in three of the goals against Newport.
"Hopefully I can get a couple more goals today."
Injuries have played a part in Parker's ups and down in north Nottinghamshire, after he joined the Stags in the summer following his release by League One Oldham Athletic.
But he also paid the price for being banned for three games after punching defender Chris Todd at Newport in September.
Parker insists he has learned from that incident and knows his lack of consistent starts is, to a degree, his own fault.
He said: "I took a decision to drop out of the league having spent most of my career in the Football League and one of the reasons was to get games and get somewhere near the form I know I can produce.
"It has been stop-start, which affects your confidence and mind. When you get a run of games, it gets you believing in yourself.
"It's disappointing when you are just getting started to go and do something silly and miss a few games.
"I was basically giving other players the chance to take my shirt because of that."
Parker has struck three goals since Russell took over from Holdsworth and says he is getting his rewards for his extra efforts.
"If I am going to stay in the team a big part is to find my work rate and I seem to have done that," he said.
"It seems to be quite similar to when I have done well and had other good spells in my career.
"If you are working hard, the chances are you will maximise your time on the pitch. If you are not making an impact you are going to be substituted.
"At Eastbourne I got a goal in the 90th minute when in other games I might not have been on the pitch because I wasn't working as hard as I am now."
Parker was delighted with the Newport FA Trophy success last weekend, after five defeats in their previous seven home games and is looking for a second Field Mill victory on the spin against Histon.
Mansfield Town were set to hold a pitch inspection at 10.15am this morning, due to the predicted overnight frost.
VIDEO: Keigan Parker more confident than ever --->
mansfieldtown.net, Thu 20 Jan 2011
Striker Keigan Parker is bristling with confidence ahead of Saturday's BSBP clash with Histon.
Our opponents are currently bottom of the league and have failed to win at Field Mill in two previous attempts leaving the 28-year-old Scotsman hopeful of claiming another scalp in the BSBP.
With two goals in our last three games, and last week's 4-2 win over promotion-chasing Newport in the FA Trophy, Parker is aiming to boost his tally on Saturday as we try and close the gap on the leading pack.
He added: "I feel as fit as I have ever felt this season. In my mind I feel good and confident in front of goal. Hopefully I will get a couple on Saturday.
"It's been pleasing to get a couple of goals in the last few games. A lot of strikers build on confidence and I feel that I'm a confidence player.
"Every game I feel like I can score goals and contribute to the team like last week (against Newport) when I contributed to three goals.
"The supporters obviously want the club to be doing well and likewise we (the players) do as well. We have a good opportunity to do well on Saturday and get those three points and move closer to the play off places."
Parker has urged fans to take encouragement from last week's Trophy win whilst also believing that he and the rest of the squad have learned valuable lessons from a second half collapse against a rampant Fleetwood side who ran out 5-2 winners at Field Mill just over a week ago.
"It's been difficult but you have to take some heart from the last game with Newport," said Parker. "I think they are the first top five team we have beaten this season.
"Things have maybe not gone our way lately but you have to be mentally strong if you want to be a promotion team and maybe that is something we have to pick up on.
"What I want to do now is keep working hard. I have found my work rate in the last three to four weeks and showed that in our game against Eastbourne when I got a goal in the 90th minute."
Finally, on our pairing with near-neighbours Alfreton in the next round of the FA Trophy, Parker said that we would require little motivation for the tie following a hard fought 3-1 win over The Reds in a pre-season friendly back in August.
He said: "We played them pre-season and that was a fiery encounter and they will bring a lot of support.
"You would obviously prefer to be getting further in the FA Cup but that is the competition we are left in and we now have a good chance of getting a bit further."
In team news, Adam Smith (groin) and Matt Somner (ankle) are expected to miss the game as will Rob Duffy (knee) who serves the second match of a three game suspension.
Rhys Day (knee), Tom Naylor (hamstring) and Keigan Parker (calf) have all returned to training this week and will undergo late fitness tests
Aldershot complete Simon Grand signing from Fleetwood
Aldershot have signed defender Simon Grand on loan from Fleetwood Town for the rest of the season.
Grand, 26, has played in the Football League with Rochdale, Carlisle, Morecambe and Grimsby, and has recently completed a loan spell at Mansfield.
He becomes new Shots manager Dean Holdsworth's third signing since arriving eight days ago and joins the squad to face Crewe on Saturday.
Dean Holdsworth has already signed strikers Peter Vincenti and Tim Sills.
Grand reveals Mansfield Town move is all-but dead
Evening Post, 21 Jan 2011
SIMON Grand revealed today that a move to Mansfield Town is almost certainly dead in the water – much to his disappointment.
The central defender joined the Stags on loan from Fleetwood in October.
Grand featured in nine games and scored one goal during that time, which also saw the exit of David Holdsworth as manager.
He had hoped to tie up a permanent agreement with new boss Duncan Russell when his loan ran out just after the turn of the year.
And though discussions did take place before Grand's last game – the 7-2 drubbing at Grimsby – the 26-year-old has heard nothing since.
He said: "My agent was hoping to tie something up and I was looking forward to joining full-time, but we haven't heard anything for a while, so I'm taking it the club is no longer interested.
"We tried to sort things quickly so I would be available for the Altrincham game (on January 3). That didn't happen, and whether Russ has changed his mind since then I don't know.
"Whether he got the impression I wasn't interested, I don't know, but I was, so I'm disappointed nothing has happened. It certainly wasn't an issue over wages, because it never got that far.
"Mansfield are a great club and it would have been a good move for me.
"But now I'm looking to go out on loan again."
Latest | January 2011