PREVIEWS AND TEAM NEWS
Stags up against Field Mill old boy
STAGS travel to the all-ticket game at Northampton Town tomorrow (Saturday, 3pm)with boss Keith Curle declaring: "This one is very winnable."
The Cobblers' results have improved of late since former Stags defender Colin Calderwood took over as manager, though they lost 1-0 at Bury last weekend.
"They were four unbeaten before that, but we have enough to beat them," said Curle.
"If we can get a good foothold in the game, we will be asking them questions on the field. We'll see if they've got any answers.
"They like to play a narrow game, get men behind the ball, and don't like to give anything away.
"They work their socks off and I would imagine the new manager by now will know his players and the best team, shape and formation to use. But we are going there for a win and, if we don't get it, I will make sure we are very hard to beat."
Curle has a full squad to choose from – Adam Eaton aside – with Junior Mendes (knee) and Tom Curtis (hamstring) shaking off knocks to travel with the squad and Tony Vaughan and Jason White both feeling better after illness.
Stags fans are reminded that the game is all-ticket, none will be available on the day, and ticket sales close at Field Mill at 4.30pm today (Friday).
Ananova: Preview: Northampton v Mansfield
Northampton defender Ian Sampson returns to the squad for the home clash with Mansfield after serving a one-match suspension.
Paul Reid has recovered from a knee injury but is unlikely to be risked without a reserve game under his belt.
Tom Youngs, Jeremy Gill (both knee), Peter Clark (foot) and Ashley Westwood (shoulder) are definitely out as is Chris Carruthers who is with the England Under 20's in the United Arab Emirates.
Mansfield boss Keith Curle is expected to name an unchanged squad.
Junior Mendes has recovered from a hamstring niggle, Tony Vaughan is back from an ankle problem and Tom Curtis having shaken off a bout of flu.
Adam Eaton is close to first-team contention after completing 75 minutes of the 3-0 friendly victory over Chesterfield.
Northampton Town v Mansfield Town
CONFIDENT OF VICTORY – Cobblers midfielder COBBLERS club captain Paul Trollope has singled out in-demand winger Liam Lawrence as the Mansfield Town danger-man tomorrow.
The Stags ace is being tailed by a number of clubs, with division one outfit Rotherham United last week bidding £150,000 for him.
Mansfield boss Keith Curle says the player is worth at least double that, and Lawrence certainly impressed Trollope when the Cobblers crashed 2-1 at Field Mill on the final day of last season.
Lawrence was outstanding down the right and scored the winner from the penalty spot, a goal which took his tally for the season to 12.
He has continued that sort of form into this season as he has already scored nine times and Trollope said: "I remember Lawrence from the last game of last season and he's a good player.
"Apparently he has a few clubs looking at him and he has scored a few goals as well, but as a team I think Mansfield have goals in them.
"It's going to be a tough game, but being at home and with the run we are on we can win it.
"Last Saturday at Bury was a blip but we have to learn from it and make sure we are really flying tomorrow."
Mansfield come into tomorrow's game sitting pretty in fourth place in Nationwide League Division Three, just two points behind leaders Oxford United.
The Stags have reacted well to their relegation from division two and if the form book is anything to go by there should be plenty of goals at Sixfields tomorrow.
Curle's outfit are the division's top scorers with 43 goals in 19 games, but they have also conceded 26 times which is three more than the 16th-placed Cobblers.
Trollope, who scored in the corresponding fixture last season, believes a rejuvenated Town can see off Mansfield tomorrow, and ensure Colin Calderwood's men make some ground on the leading pack.
"Mansfield are flying but at the moment, especially at home, I think
we fancy our chances against anybody," said Trollope. "It is a good game for us to bounce back from the defeat at Bury.
"Going to Gigg Lane was tough, but we have to get our mentality right for tomorrow's game now.
"The bigger games are the ones you really want to play in, and having a home game against a side that's so high in the table is a great chance for us to bounce back."
Latest | November 2003