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Archived News from November 2002

28th November 2002 16:34

Evening Post, 28 November 2002

Mansfield Town defender Allen Tankard's return to reserve-team football lasted only five minutes yesterday when he limped off with a recurrence of his knee problem in the 6-3 win over Lincoln City.

The 33-year-old defender has yet to make a first-team appearance this season after playing an integral part in last season's promotion campaign.

Assistant manager Neil Richardson said that, even if Tankard was to make great progress, he doesn't believe he will be back in action until the middle of January.

He said: "The game was only a few minutes old when Tanks said there was a problem and he had to come off. It's a real blow.

"He will need to have a complete rest for two weeks and will then need a couple of weeks' training and at least two reserve games before he is considered for the first team."

However, there was good news on the other players returning from injury as Bobby Hassell came through 70 minutes after his knee problem and is expected to be included in the squad for Saturday's trip to Port Vale.

David Jervis and Dion Scott were both able to get through 90 minutes and both got on the scoresheet. Colin Little also played a full game and scored the last two.

Youth-team striker Chris Beardsley also netted as Stags cantered to a 5-0 lead in the opening 30 minutes before allowing the Imps to hit back with goals from Adie Mike and Adam Buckley before half-time.

Little made it six but the scoring was completed by a headed own goal from Danny Holyoak.

The reserves are at home again on Wednesday when they entertain Scarborough at Field Mill (2.00).

Bobby Hassell Back in Action - Will this save the Defence?

Despite the a good result, Stags Boss Stuart Watkiss couldn't help feeling disappointed but as always could find some positives to pull out of the game:“It was a shocking result, that's the only way to describe it. It typifies our season 5-0 up in the first half only to concede three goals by the end of the game. The midfield and forward play, passing the ball, creating chances and scoring goals isn't a problem but our defending needs to be better.” He said this morning.

Following on he added:
“ At the beginning of the season I felt the defensive problem was team wide and I publicly critizied the midfield but now the forwards and Midfield are playing well enough to survive at this level it is now the defence that needs work. And, not only in the first team but the reserves as well, as this result shows. What the defence need to realise is: We are no different than any other professional football club, if we see somebody better out there we will attempt to bring them in – we can't persevere with players that are not committed or switch off, you can only give them so many chances.

I feel sorry for Kevin Pilkington, we have conceded more goals than any other club in the league and when you look closely at how many have been Kevin's fault the answer is NOT MANY.”

“We have missed Tony Vaughan since his return to Forest, his class and experience stood out a mile in fact I will go as far as to say that if he had been playing on Saturday we would have won – his proven pedigree made a big difference. Obviously we will be looking to bring in players of his standard but unfortunately our finances are a dictating factor. It is simply a case of, the players of the quality we crave, we cannot afford”

Stuart went on to say a special mention to third year scholar Chris Beardsley who once again did an excellent job and contributed to the 6-3 win in no small part. “Chris missed all of last season with a stress fracture to the back, effectively missing 1 year of his football education, yet this season he has scored somewhere in the region of 15 goals from 13 games and if he carries on like this we may see him making his first team debut against Crewe Alexandra next week”

Other positives to come from this game was Bobby Hassell will be returning to first team football this week against Port Vale and Colin Little, on loan from Crewe after scoring two goals yesterday will be making an outing at Vale Park. And Neil MacKenzie was looking better, passing the ball more which has been a great concern to Watkiss.

Neil MacKenzie could be making more first team starts if he carries on playing the way he did yesterday and knows that as long as he keeps to team orders and tries to put the practice moves into general play he will have a first team place on a regular basis something that Watkiss is looking forward to as he knows that Macca is a capable player when he puts his mind to it.


Latest | November 2002