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Archived News from January 2003

17th January 2003 13:21

Evening Post, 17 January 2003

Mansfield Town boss Keith Curle believes he knows enough about Sheffield United defender Ben Doane to state that he will be a success in his month's stay at Field Mill.

Doane, who has played 20 games for the Blades, including six this season, is likely to go straight into the team for the big derby clash with Chesterfield tomorrow.

The all-ticket match kicks off at 11am.

Curle has played with Doane in the Blades' reserve side and knows he has the qualities to do well during his short stay.

He said the 23-year-old could help fill the void at left-back left by the impressive Adam Eaton, who returned to Preston at the start of the week.

Curle, who is understood to be looking to bring in more players before the Spireites clash, said: "Ben has come in on loan for a month and he is comfortable playing in any position across the back four.

"He has been playing regularly for the reserves at Bramall Lane and has broken into the first team.

"It is only because he has been injured that he has come out of the team.

"He is a natural defender and I know what he can do.

"I would not bring anyone in who I didn't think would improve our side and I wouldn't bring someone in on loan to be a squad player."

Curle does face a few selection headaches before the clash at Saltergate, not least whether to pick himself after he left the 0-0 draw against Wycombe last Saturday at half-time with a groin strain.

If Curle is not fit, it is likely that Matthew Gadsby will move into the heart of the defence to partner Rhys Day.

Bobby Hassell, who has been struggling with a calf injury is also rated as doubtful while Stags will definitely be without midfielder Lee Williamson and 14-goal striker Iyseden Christie, who are both serving one-match bans.

Curle assured fans that he knows exactly how important the game is to the supporters, particularly as the Spireites beat Stags 2-0 at the start of the season and eased to a 4-0 victory when the clubs last met at Saltergate, in 2000.

He said: "It would be easy for me to talk in cliches about it being just another match but we know it isn't.

"I know how much this game means to our fans and I can tell them we are going to go there and give them a real game.

"They are a big, physical side and they will be dangerous from set pieces but they are the sort of team you can get at and that is what we will be trying to do.

"We will have about 2,000 supporters there and I know they will make it sound like there are 6,000."

Curle has been delighted with the response he has had in training this week.

He said: "Every day they come in, you only have to look at them to see that they want to learn.

"They are going to go out and give their best and hopefully the fans will be able to respond to that.

"The better players want to respond to that sort of atmosphere and there are players here who want to go on and play on the bigger stage."

MANSFIELD (probable): Pilkington, Hassell, Day, Gadsby, Doane, Lawrence, Disley, Curtis, Corden, A White, Larkin. Subs: J White, MacKenzie, Bacon, Beardsley, Clarke

Evening Post, 17 January 2003

Former Stags striker Shayne Bradley has spoken about the bitterness he still feels about his time at Field Mill.

Bradley, who is likely to be on the bench for Chesterfield in tomorrow's derby, said he wouldn't be bothered if he scored a goal to send Mansfield down to Division Three.

The 22-year-old striker had his contract cancelled by former Stags boss Stuart Watkiss and found a home at Saltergate, where he has signed a deal to stay until the end of the season.

Bradley, who scored 11 goals for the Stags after being signed from Southampton, will be looking to come off the bench and score, as he has done twice since he joined the Spireites.

And he would get extra pleasure from getting one over his old mates.

He said: "I'm looking forward to the game and I would love to score the winning goal against Mansfield.

""There will be no sentiment on my part. I would not be bothered if I scored the goal that sent them down, to be honest."

Bradley's Field Mill career was disrupted by a persistent ankle problem but he is now looking to boost his fitness after finding himself behind strikers David Reeves and Glynn Hurst at Chesterfield.

He said his relationship with Watkiss had been strained and he was still bitter about his time at Field Mill.

"It was a badly torn ligament and since then it's never been right. Even now I'm not 100% fit.

"Stuart Watkiss replaced Billy Dearden as manager and I don't think he liked me as a player.

"I'm still bitter towards the club because they did not treat me well.

"I've always had faith in my ability but I never had the chance to show it at Mansfield.

""I was never match-fit and because I was the record signing there were always pressures to get me rushed back into the team when I was not quite right.

"I did not feel I was getting the support I needed and towards the end I did not want to play for them any more. It got to the stage where I didn't want to go into work."

After an operation, Spireites boss Dave Rushbury came in for Bradley and the striker, who partnered Michael Owen in the England schoolboys team, is keen to get his career back on track.

He said: "Dave rang me and gave me the chance to train with Chesterfield I really appreciate that he's given me the opportunity to kick-start my career.

"More concern was shown about my injury in the first week at Chesterfield than in two years at Mansfield.

"It's fantastic at Saltergate, I'm enjoying the training, there's a great bunch of lads and the work ethic is good."


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