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Archived News from November 2002

22nd November 2002 14:03

BY IAN WILKERSON, Evening Post, 22 November 2002

Stags manager Stuart Watkiss is "devastated" after a decision was taken not to renew Michael Sisson's contract just a month before he was set to return from a two-year injury battle.

The midfielder, whose 24th birthday is on Sunday, has been released to ease the Field Mill wage bill.

Sisson, who injured his cruciate and medial ligaments against Exeter in September 2000, has had a series of operations.

He was offered a month-to-month deal at the start of the season but time has now been called on his Mansfield Town career.

He made 31 appearances, scoring two goals.

Watkiss said: "Michael has been released for financial reasons when he is probably a month away from fitness.

"Obviously, we are responsible for him getting fully fit and he will continue to come in.

"It's very sad because he has been at the club for a long time and he has not had any luck with injuries.

"It's all down to finances - and that is where the chairman is coming from - but everyone at the club is devastated and we are now left with 19 professionals, which I don't think is enough for this level of football."

Stags face a tough test against high-flying Bristol City tomorrow, who will be without former Field Mill hero Lee Peacock, who was injured in their 7-0 FA Cup win over Heybridge Swifts.

Peacock scored 29 goals in 89 appearances for Stags before joining Manchester City for £500,000 in November 1999.

Watkiss will be looking for his team to extend their unbeaten run to four matches.

He said: "I'm sure Lee is very upset that he is not going to be involved but I'm not, because everyone here knows what a good player he is.

"We have improved in the last month or so and it will be a good test of just how far."

On-loan striker Colin Little is only rated at 50-50 and Mark Lever is doubtful.

MANSFIELD (probable): Pilkington, Clarke, Gadsby, Moore, Lawrence, MacKenzie, Williamson, Disley, Christie, Larkin, Corden. Subs: White, Holyoak, Lever, Bacon, Jervis.

BRISTOL CITY (probable): Phillips, Coles, Butler, Hill, Bell, Murray, Doherty, Burnell, Tinnion, Roberts, Beadle. Subs: Brown, Foster, Lita, Woodman, Clist.


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