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Archived News from September 2003

30th September 2003 13:04

Bristol Evening Post, 30 September 2003

Adam Barrett will put friendship to one side when he comes up against his former Mansfield Town teammates at the Memorial Stadium tonight. The Bristol Rovers skipper faces his old club for the first time since leaving Field Mill in July 2002.

And he admits: "It's one of those games you want to win that little bit extra.

"Playing against former colleagues adds a bit of extra spice for me personally. Although it will be nice to see a few old friends, I hope it won't be too friendly!"

Barrett spent two seasons with Mansfield after completing a £10,000 move from Plymouth Argyle in the summer of 2000.

He was a member of the Stags team that won promotion to the Second Division 18 months ago, but left following a contract dispute.

Yet he insists there are no hard feelings and claims he only has good memories of his time at Field Mill.

He explained: "We'd just won promotion and I was out of contract. I wanted to stay, but then the Sky Digital deal collapsed and suddenly there was no money.

"They couldn't offer me the money I wanted and I couldn't accept a pay cut when we were going to be playing in a higher division. In the end, it was a matter of principle.

"But there are no hard feelings on my part and I'm looking forward to seeing some old friends again."

Several players remain at Field Mill from Barrett's time and the central defender has been able to provide Pirates boss Ray Graydon with inside information ahead of tonight's Third Division clash.

Barrett revealed: "They have some very talented young players and they will be a threat in this division. They are a tough side and will definitely be there or thereabouts at the end of the season."

Barrett singled out former team-mate Iyesden Christie as a potential threat, describing the striker as "a jack in the box character".

He added: "He's one of those players who has offdays, but when he's on song, he's a dangerous customer. He showed that last year when scoring 22 goals in a relegation season."

According to Barrett, Rovers will go into tonight's game in confident mood after beating Cheltenham and keeping a clean sheet at the weekend.

He said: "We've been solid as a unit this season and kept quite a few clean sheets.We had our hands full against Cheltenham on Saturday and dealt with that, and I'm confident we'll deal with whatever Mansfield throw at us.

"If we stay solid at the back, I'm sure we can nick one or two at the other end."

Graydon deployed an attacking line-up against Cheltenham, but has been prevented from naming an unchanged line-up by injury.

Winger Wayne Carlisle sustained a badly-bruised ankle at the weekend, was unable to train yesterday and is not expected to feature tonight.

Graydon said: "Wayne is a very serious doubt and I'll consider my other options before deciding what to do.

"If I have to change it, at least I have other players in the wings desperate for a chance."

Mansfield managed to win 2-1 at Cambridge despite having two players sent off on Saturday and Graydon said: "They represent a big challenge for us.

"They're just above us in the table and I'm sure Keith Curle (the Stags manager) will want to come back to Bristol with a Mansfield side that are firing on all cylinders.We will have to be ready for that."


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