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Archived News from December 2003

26th December 2003 10:05

Mansfield v Rochdale, Field Mill, 3.00pm Boxing Day

Ananova: Mark Hurst has joined Dr Martens Premier Division side Grantham
Town on a month's loan.
Evening Post

Mansfield have been hit with a double injury blow as they prepare for two
games in three days over the festive period.

Striker Iyseden Christie and Saturday's goal hero Neil MacKenzie have both
been ruled out until the New Year.

Christie suffered a severely bruised hip in the 1-0 victory at Hull and
could be out for a fortnight, while MacKenzie broke three fingers in a
freak accident at home.

And manager Keith Curle said he felt sorry for both players who were
playing well before picking up their injuries.

Curle said: "Iyseden was taken to hospital in case of internal bleeding
and was kept in overnight on a drip.

"He was discharged on Sunday and sent home to his family. It will probably
come out as severe bruising in the next couple of days.

"Then we got a call from Neil MacKenzie to say he'd injured his hand at
home, had it X-rayed, and there were three broken fingers.

"The lad is absolutely devastated after scoring such a cracking goal on
Saturday to win the game."

MacKenzie will be out for at least two weeks and then a cast may be
fitted, which could allow him to play.

It is the first time manager Keith Curle has faced injury problems in
recent weeks and he will now have to prepare for the Boxing Day clash with
Rochdale and the trip to Macclesfield without them.

Full-back Adam Eaton is also a doubt through injury.

But Curle does not think the injuries will affect his team.

He said: "I have said before that it is about the squad and they all have
a part to play. If they were not good enough to be in the starting 11,
they would not be in the squad.

"I have full confidence in them and I know they can all do the job on the

Curle was delighted with the following at Saturday's match at Hull, with
the best part of 2,000 Stags fans at the KC Stadium (in fact we have the
exact figure - Martin), and is confident they will be out in full voice on
Boxing Day.

He said: "Saturday"s win at Hull was a great occasion. Our following was
incredible and their vocal support throughout the 90 minutes was much
appreciated. I think their backing and the result shows we are going in
the right direction.

"And I'm sure they will be just as loud in the future which gives the
players an extra lift and always helps."

He said: "Although Rochdale are struggling we've had good reports on them.
They are playing better than their position denotes and I am sure they
will give us a game here.

"We have got to carry on where we left off, earn the right to play our
football and try to get another three points.

"It was a great result at Hull but now we have to take each game as it
comes. The games are coming thick and fast and that"s how we like it

Stags (probable): Pilkington, Hassell, Vaughan, Artell, Day, Curtis,
Williamson, Corden, Lawrence, Mendes, Larkin. Subs: J White, Dimech,
Disley, Beardsley, Mitchell.

Rochdale boss Alan Buckley will be without defensive duo Matt Doughty and
Michael Simpkins.

Doughty was withdrawn from last Saturday's win over Boston with a groin
strain and Simpkins followed late in the second half with a hamstring
injury. Pat McCourt and Simon Grand are likely replacements in the
starting line-up.

Buckley will welcome back Sean McClare following a three-match suspension,
meaning Chris Beech stands down, while Lee McEvilly serves the last match
of his three-game ban.
Manchester Evening News Preview: Mansfield v Rochdale
mike brookes
ROCHDALE'S new-found confidence off the back of two successive victories
will be put to the test at Field Mill against a promotion-chasing Stags.

Keith Curle's young side, fourth in the table, are the highest scorers in
the Third Division and Dale boss Alan Buckley admits: "We always knew that
it was going to be a hard game but after Mansfield's excellent win at Hull
over the weekend it will be even tougher. Having said that, I have never
gone into any game expecting to lose and this one is no different. It is
our aim to go there to cause them problems and to build on our own recent

Buckley has injury problems concerning Daryl Burgess, Matt Doughty and
Michael Simpkins, who all picked up knocks in the win over Boston but can
welcome back after a 3-game suspension, Sean McClare.

LAST SEASON: Different divisions

KEY OPONENT: Liam Lawrence, midfielder who is top of his side's
goal-scoring chart.



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