DUFFY + PILKS LEAVE, STAGS MISS OUT ON KNIGHT
Saturday morning - GAME WILL BE ON:
Despite a hard frost, the game will be on today. Mez the groundsman says the pitch covers have kept the pitch fine.
Listen to the latest CHAD Stags Talk here --->
Admission charges slashed to £10 for Wrexham game
MANSFIELD TOWN have slashed admission prices for Wrexham's visit to Field Mill this Saturday, 29th January.
For one game only, adults will be charged £10 – a reduction of over a third – whilst concessions will be admitted for just £1.
The club says that it is looking to boost crowd figures and give players the increased support 'they need to complete the job of reaching the play offs'.
Chairman John Radford said: “I am hoping to improve on the club's already impressive support and get a bumper crowd down to Field Mill this weekend.
“If we can pack as many people as possible into the stands, then we can create a rocking atmosphere and roar the lads onto securing another three points against fellow promotion-contenders Wrexham.”
Duffy signs for Mariners
mansfieldtown.net, Fri 28 Jan 2011
Rob Duffy has today signed for BSBP rivals Grimsby Town.
The 28-year-old striker has agreed personal terms with the newly-relegated side and leaves us following a productive two year spell at Field Mill.
The former Welsh U21 international was signed by former manager David Holdsworth in January 2009 from Newport County and memorably scored the winning goal on his debut against Crawley.
He has since bagged 31 goals in over 70 league appearances for us and has just completed a three match suspension.
We wish him all the best for the future and thank him for his efforts whilst with us
Pilkington returns to Luton
mansfieldtown.net, Fri 28 Jan 2011
We can confirm that Kevin Pilkington's loan deal has expired which leaves Alan Marriott, Neil Collett & Chris Adamson as our available goalkeepers for the rest of the season.
FA rules state that no player can be loaned to a club more than twice in one season ruling out any extension of Pilkington's loan from Luton
Leon Knight agrees new deal with Coleraine
Fri 28 Jan 2011
Coleraine striker Leon Knight has agreed an 18-month extension to his contract with the Premiership club.
Knight looked set to return to England earlier this week with Mansfield Town interested in the the prolific forward.
"Leon is very happy here, he is an excellent player and we are delighted that he is staying," said Bannsiders chairman Hugh Waide.
Walsall were also linked with the 28-year-old, who has still to sign his contract extension at Coleraine.
Mansfield keeper Marriott hoping to root out cause of injury
Evening Post, By matt halfpenny, 27 Jan 2011
ALAN Marriott will tomorrow seek a fresh opinion on the mystery injury that has already sidelined him for almost four months.
The Mansfield Town goalkeeper had an operation on what appeared to be a hernia after being forced off in the 5-2 home defeat to AFC Wimbledon in October.
But after rehabilitation at Lilleshall, Marriott was still feeling some pain when he tried to kick the ball.
A fresh diagnosis suggested the 32-year-old was being affected by inflammation of the pubic bone.
But a long spell of rest has still not alleviated the problem – leaving Marriott to search out another specialist in a bid to get to the root of the problem.
"They haven't been able to find out what exactly is wrong with Alan as yet," said manager Duncan Russell.
"It could be a muscle or it could be an impingement in the hip joint area, or even something else.
"It's disappointing that it's not been diagnosed yet but I have been on that side of football and it is not always easy.
"With goalkeepers, because they do a lot of long kicking, it can take quite a while to rehabilitate them.
"He keeps himself in good shape and it will be fantastic to have him back eventually but he must be right first."
Marriott, who had rarely missed a game in almost a decade as a professional said: "It's frustrating but I hope to get a precise diagnosis this time."
VIDEO: Hall backs Collett to bloom --->
Paul Hall, Paul Connor and Steve Foster are being interviewed by David Jackson (BBC Radio Nottingham) and Matt Halfpenny (Nottingham Post).
mansfieldtown.net, Thu 27 Jan 2011
Assistant Manager Paul is confident that Neil Collett will continue flourish in the no.1 jersey.
After stepping in for veteran Kevin Pilkington in our FA Trophy win against Newport almost a fortnight ago, the former Coventry trainee hasn't looked back.
With two clean sheets under his belt, and the imminent return of Pilkington to Luton, Collett has now made himself first choice 'keeper - a scenario in which Hall says he will thrive.
Hall said: "Hasn't he done well. It's refreshing to me to see a young lad coming in and doing really well. We all know what a fantastic 'keeper Kevin Pilkington is so for Neil to step in a keep his place after the Newport game, he deserves his chance.
"He's gone in there and proven he's a good goalkeeper. It doesn't matter how old you are because if you're good enough you're old enough."
Hall went on to herald the overall performance of the side in recent games reserving particular praise for wingers Ashley Cain and Louis Briscoe who he says have earned the right to represent their country.
He added: "Everything is going in the right direction. What we are really pleased with is that we can go out there and be confident of getting a clean sheet.
"It's something that we've concentrated on and it may have taken away from the goals for but you have to have a good base to work on.
"We identified that the midfield perhaps weren't working as a unit as well as they should have been and now we've got two widemen who arguably should be in the England C team.
"The players are dying for eachother. They are going on the pitch and you know what you're going to get from them now."
In addtion to being tight at the back and conceding just two goals in three matches, our forward line have been finding the net more regularly led by 13 goal man Paul Connor.
The ex Rochdale striker, who was captured in the summer, has hit the ground running and is well on target to reach the 20 goal mark before the end of the season.
He said: "I enjoy my football here and Mansfield gave me a chance in the summer to play football after being injured for all of last season. I want to reward them with plenty of goals.
"I obviously set my own targets but normally keep them to myself. Hopefully the team will do well as that's the most important thing. Play well first and then the goals will come.
"This is an important part of the season and if we can get a run together than there's no reason why we can't get up there."
In terms of team news, Manager Duncan Russell has almost a full squad available, with only Keigan Parker and Alan Marriott ruled out of Saturday's clash. Adam Smith, Matt Somner and long-term absentee Mark Preece have returned to training, whilst Adam Murray has regained full sight in his left eye after it was poked by an opponent on Tuesday night.
Spotlight on Mansfield Town v Wrexham
Mansfield (from): Collett, Pilkington, Silk, Foster, Sandwith, Naylor, Day, Stonehouse, Cain, Istead, Nix, Murray, Thompson, Briscoe, Williams, Smith, Medley, Connor, Mitchley.
Wrexham (from): Maxwell, Sinclair, Ashton, Creighton, Blackburn, Obeng, Keates, Harris, Mangan, Morrell, Knight-Percival, Pogba, Brown, Tolley, Cieslewicz, Andrews, Taylor.
Team news: Mansfield's Keigan Parker (ankle) is unlikely to be fit, meaning Danny Mitchley may continue up front.
The only other foreseeable major issue is who will play in central midfield.
Adam Murray came off early on against Darlington in midweek with a facial injury while his replacement Kyle Nix also picked up a knock.
Adam Smith (groin) has resumed training, but is unlikely to start.
Andy Morrell took a blow on his nose that saw him forced off in Wrexham's 3-1 win at Cambridge United last weekend.
They hope he will be fit to retain his place but former Forest striker Gareth Taylor, who scored twice in a midweek reserve victory over Tranmere, stands by.
One to watch: Andy Mangan. Has netted three goals in his last five league games, either side of a red card in the 1-1 draw with the Stags in November.
Manager: Dean Saunders. It looks as if Wrexham are finally reaping rewards for their patience with the former Welsh international, who has led the Red Dragons up to fourth in the table after first taking charge in October 2008
Top scorer Connor insists he wants to stay at Mansfield Town
TOP scorer Paul Connor today pledged his allegiance to Mansfield Town, declaring: "I'm enjoying my football here."
The 13-goal striker's form has seen him linked with other clubs – most notably Tuesday night's opponents Darlington – ahead of the close of the transfer window early next week.
Connor hails from nearby Bishop Auckland and still has family in the area.
But the 32-year-old is keen to repay the faith the Stags showed by signing him in the summer.
"I'm just the same as everyone else in that I have heard the speculation, but I'm enjoying my football here," said Connor.
"Mansfield gave me a chance to play after being out injured at Lincoln for most of last year and I want to reward them with plenty of goals.
"I have been used to it throughout my career. Goalscorers are hard to find and when you start to score then people do show an interest.
"The fact there is interest means I am doing well – and long may that form continue. Hopefully I can keep doing a job for the team.
"I'm happy here and not interested in moving. There is no reason why I want to move and things are going well."
Tomorrow, Mansfield host high-flying Wrexham, with whom the Stags drew 1-1 at the Racecourse Ground in November, thanks to Connor's strike.
A win over the in-form Red Dragons, currently in the play-off spots, would act as a real tonic in their own bid for a top-five spot.
Connor said: "We take heart from that game because I felt we were the better team, even before they had a man sent off.
"Wrexham are a similar side to Darlington and are on a good run (11 league games unbeaten) but we have the potential in our side to beat them.
"I think this is an important time of the season for us. We have got ourselves in a good position, four points off the play-offs
"If we can win a few games on the bounce then we have every chance of getting in a great position come the end of the season."
Connor has season-best target in his sights at Mansfield
Evening Post, 29 Jan 2011
IT comes as a surprise to learn that Paul Connor has never enjoyed a 20-goal season in almost 15 years as a professional – though he has come mighty close.
The Mansfield striker has always had a habit of finding the net, wherever he has earned his keep.
The 32-year-old hitman needs just two more goals to reach 100 in senior football for the likes of Stoke, Rochdale, Swansea, Leyton Orient and Cheltenham, among others, prior to his arrival at Field Mill.
With such a solid track record, it is understandable the former Middlesbrough trainee has commanded aggregate transfer fees of £250.000 – not bad for a man who has never played top-flight football.
But for Connor, solid has never become spectacular. He has yet to experience a campaign where he has bagged a prolific, rather than useful, amount of goals.
However, with 13 goals to his credit already this season, and Mansfield still in the FA Trophy, the Bishop Auckland-born player may never have a better chance to post a season-best tally.
"I think the best total I managed was at Rochdale when I got 19 in a season," said Connor.
"I have always set my own targets and I keep them to myself, but now I have to think about kicking on from the tally I have so far.
"If I'm playing well enough, then I know the goals will come after that. I'm happy when I'm scoring, but I always want to score more – and I could have had more.
"I have hit the bar and post in games a few times and I had one disallowed at Darlington which I felt was harsh.
"I feel in good form. I came back against Altrincham and wasn't firing on all cylinders but with more training I have got sharper.
"I felt it went well against Newport and it's just nice to have the chances. It's down to me to get into the box and find the positions."
Mansfield fans were often left frustrated by the amount of changes made by previous boss David Holdsworth, even when players were not injured.
Current boss Duncan Russell has already put on record his desire to keep an unchanged team if possible – providing they are performing.
It's a stance that has gone down well with Connor, who believes Mansfield are benefiting from some continuity.
He said: "I think it definitely helps having a settled side. But that's down to the lads to do well and keep their shirt.
"If we produce the goods then we will stay in the team – that is what's happened in the last few games.
"Sometimes a manager has to change the team around because the players are not playing well enough to keep their shirts.
"At the moment the lads are doing fantastically and they deserved their places, but it's up to us to keep that level up now."
Connor feels it has taken time for Mansfield to adapt to the way Russell and assistant manager Paul Hall want the Stags to play.
But the summer signing from Lincoln is hoping they can prove their methods are sinking in with a home victory over high-flying Wrexham this afternoon.
"All managers have their own ideas and Duncan has come in and put his ideas across and he wants us to be a bit tighter," said Connor.
"There were a couple of games where we let a lot of goals in, but the last few games we have done well defensively.
"It does take time to get things right and does not happen overnight. You have to get the right personnel and get them playing together.
"But it does happen eventually and I think we are starting to get the rewards."
Sandwith ideal right-hand man, says Mansfield's Foster
Evening Post, 29 Jan 2011
STEVE Foster today praised the way Kevin Sandwith has slotted in beside him in the centre of Mansfield Town's improving defence.
The former Oxford man arrived at Field Mill in the summer having played much of his career at left-back for a host of clubs in the Football League and Blue Square Premier.
It was almost by accident that his partnership with veteran Foster came about when The Stags were short on defensive numbers for their FA Trophy clash with Newport County.
But the pair performed well in a 4-2 defeat that saw the goals conceded come from a deflected own goal and a set piece.
And they have since kept consecutive clean sheets in the 1-0 win over Histon last weekend and 0-0 draw at Darlington on Tuesday night.
Foster has been very impressed with what he has seen from Sandwith and said: "We were down to the bare bones when we played Newport, which is what brought Kevin and I together in the middle.
"Sometimes funny things can happen like that, but it has been turning out well so far.
"He was given the job of playing as a centre half and , being a very good defender, he adapted pretty well.
"He has competed well in the air and on the ground, especially with some big forwards we came up against for Newport and Darlington.
"I think we complement each other well as pair and we have got a little partnership going."
Foster's Mansfield career looked in doubt after two red cards under previous boss David Holdsworth.
But he has been a rejuvenated figure since regaining his place and is aiming to help the Stags to a fourth game unbeaten at home to Wrexham this afternoon.
"After the second off against Forest Green (the other was against Luton) it did look like my days were numbered.
We had a couple of injuries which helped me get back in and now it's up to me to perform to stay there."
Hall aiming for top after getting big break with Mansfield
Right now, at Mansfield Town, Paul Hall may be on the bottom rung of the professional ladder in terms of off-the-field duties, but he does not lack ambition to reach the top – far from it.
The former Jamaica international, who played for the Reggae Boyz in the 1998 World Cup Finals in France, is only 11 games into his term as the Stags' assistant manager under Duncan Russell.
It is still early days in establishing his name as a well-respected coach in the manner he did as a player with Portsmouth, Walsall and Rushden, among others.
But it seems Hall has already earned the respect of the Mansfield squad, who have been quick to trumpet the positive impact he has made on the training ground.
Only time will tell whether Hall, together with Russell, make a success of it at Field Mill. Results, of course, is what it's all about.
But after waiting patiently for his opportunity, the 38-year-old is determined to forge a successful, long-term career in the dug-out.
"I have ambitions to manage one of the teams I have played for and the country that I played for," said Hall.
"If you set your aims to manage in the Conference, then that is as far as you will get. If you set your aims higher, then who knows?
"I want to manage teams at the highest level and the challenge I have at the moment is a good one. I am getting an introduction to working with players on a day-to-day basis.
"I'm a frustrated footballer who still wants to play. That is the same as when people like Terry Venables always wanted to get involved – and that's something you never let go of.
"I can't sit down when I'm watching a game. Only when my back's hurting me! But I think if you can visualise playing then it helps you organise the players a bit more.
"The rest of this season is huge for me and Russ. We are here until then but what happens after that is up to us. It's our big chance.
"Our record so far is not that bad, but we need to keep things going and the best way is to get on a run."
The next hurdle comes tomorrow when Mansfield take on Wrexham, one of the form teams in the Blue Square Bet Premier Division.
Hall is hoping the Stags can take a leaf out of the Welsh side's book (11 unbeaten in the league) as they look to build on their own three-game unbeaten streak. To do that, Mansfield will have to alter a record that has seen five defeats and a draw in six matches since both clubs exited the Football League at the end of 2007-08.
Hall said: "I used to play for Wrexham, so I know what a big club they are and you only have to visit their ground to see that.
"I'm quite confident against them because of the way we played at their place. When we sat in their manager's office (Dean Saunders') he was saying that we have a good team.
"We had a lot of chances to beat them and we should have beaten them, so I think we have a psychological edge."
After shipping 17 goals in six games since the Russell-Hall partnership took permanent residence, Mansfield have now kept two clean sheets in a row.
No-one expects that every single game, but he believes the team have turned a corner defensively.
"We have to take encouragement from the way we have defended in the last two games," said Hall. "That is not just luck. It is something we have concentrated on and worked on. I don't know if that has taken away a little from our ability to score.
"But you should always have that base and I believe we have players to create chances and score goals."
Midfelder Lee Hendrie has signed a two-year deal with Indonesian club Bandung after rejecting a move to Mansfield earlier this month.
Mansfield waiting on Murray
chad.co.uk, Thu Jan 27 2011
STAGS are hoping skipper Adam Murray will be fit to take his place in what is likely to be an unchanged side to face high-flying Wrexham at Field Mill on Saturday.
Murray suffered an eye injury early in the 0-0 draw at Darlington on Tuesday and had to leave the field.
Although sore and badly bruised, the eye is now open again and the club are hopeful he can play on Saturday.
With Adam Smith and Matt Somner now back in training after injury, the only man likely to miss out on Saturday is striker Keigan Parker who turned his ankle in training and missed the game at Darlington.
Wrexham have not lost for 11 games but Stags assistant manager and former Wrexham player Paul Hall said: “I don't think anyone really wants to be playing us at the moment.
“We are unbeaten in three and seem to have stopped leaking goals with two clean sheets in a row. So they will be coming up here expecting us to give them a real game and we mustn't disappoint them.”
With admission prices slashed to £10 this weekend (and just a pound for concessions), Stags can expect an improved crowd on an afternoon which will begin with a joint demonstration between the two sets of fans against the threats both clubs face over their futures at their respective grounds.
This will start behind the West Stand on the grass bank at 2pm and involve Stags and Wrexham fans jointly displaying a banner stating 'this ground is for football' and handing out red and yellow cards to other fans outlining their struggles.
Latest | February 2011