CURLE LOOKS FORWARD TO CHESTERFIELD GAME
MANSFIELD Town have lost the services of star left back Adam Eaton as they prepare for Saturday's trip to bitter local rivals Chesterfield (11am).
On-loan Eaton has been recalled by depleted Preston North End following a string of excellent displays with Stags.
Originally Preston had agreed he could stay another month. But that changed on Monday when he was recalled to Deepdale.
With Keith Curle (calf strain) and Bobby Hassell (bruised calf) not training today and Iyseden Christie and Lee Williamson serving one-game suspensions this weekend, it is not the ideal build-up for Curle ahead of such an important game.
So the player-manager is on the hunt for another left back, and possibly a striker, before the trip to Saltergate.
"Adam did everything I knew he could do and he enjoyed his time here at Mansfield," said Curle.
"He contributed to the team and I was very pleased with him. It was nice he left as man of the match on Saturday.
"Preston have injuries and suspensions and need him back as cover but, as far as I am concerned, that does not mean the door is locked on him here.
"The loan was a good opportunity for us to have a look at Adam and Adam to have a look at us. It was good for him to get some first team football in and he can now go back to Preston and do well for himself.
"There is a lot more to him than fans have seen. He can play a bit more than that but I had told him the most important thing was for us to stop conceding goals.
"It would be nice to see him back here either this season or next season - we'll just have to see what happens with him."
Curle is no stranger to the special atmosphere created by a local derby and is looking forward to his first taste of Stags-Spireites clashes.
"I have played in the Manchester and Sheffield derbies, London derbies with Wimbledon and West Country derbies with Wolves - all big games," he said.
"So there is no way this one will get treated any less than any of those.
"I know well how important these games are to supporters, especially at this football club."
Stags lost both times against Chesterfield last season and were beaten 2-0 at Field Mill back in August. So they certainly owe them one.
But Curle added: "I am not really concerned with what has happened in the past.
"All I am interested in is the six weeks or so since myself and John Gannon took over. I want to see us improving and going forwards.
"We have watched Chesterfield and they are solid and organised and have people who can play is we let them."
Curle said the absence of players like Christie and Williamson this Saturday were simply opportunities knocking for other players.
"We have a lot of competition for places here right now and if we go up there andget a good result there are no guarantees those two will get back in," he said.
"I told everyone when I came here that they would get a chance. But they have not got two or three games to get themselves settled in. They must come in and do it straight away.
"I was pleased with Matt Gadsby on Saturday. He is a natural defender and did well at full back and covering for me in the middle in the second half.
"Also that was my first real chance to have a look at Jamie Clarke and I was pleased with him too.
"He played at Crewe but not in a settled back four. On Saturday he did well and can cover a lot of positions for us."
Latest | January 2003