PALMER ON SKY SPORTS NEWS + PREVIEWS AND TEAM NEWS
LARKIN: WE MUST BE MORE RUTHLESS
Evening Post, 23 November 2004
Striker Colin Larkin wants Mansfield to be more ruthless in front of goal.
And Larkin includes himself in that. He has scored just once in the last 13 matches following a blistering start to the season.
The Irishman raced to seven goals by mid-September but has only scored one more.
But the 22-year-old knows he is key to the Stags' fortunes as they have not lost this season in a match when he has hit the back of the net.
And with injuries and suspensions, Larkin is the only available striker going into this evening's FA Cup replay at Colchester.
Larkin said: "I am the only striker available, so there is a lot more responsibility.
"I know we failed to get a striker in last week but hopefully somebody will come in this week.
"It is hard up front on your own. It means there is more pressure but then, as a forward, you always have the pressure on you to score goals.
"It was disappointing not to win on Saturday against Boston. I thought my own performance was not the best but the team's was there.
"We lacked that killer touch in front of goal but we had enough chances to win.
"We are not getting any luck. On another day we could have had three or four goals. But we need to start taking our chances and that starts this evening. This is a chance to put that right."
Mansfield drew 1-1 against League One side Colchester at Field Mill, where Larkin's partner Derek Asamoah was sent off for violent conduct.
Asamoah is suspended for the replay and new loan signings Jason Talbot and Fraser McLachlan are cup-tied and injured respectively.
But Larkin is confident Mansfield can progress to the second round as Colchester have not won in their last nine matches.
The prize is a trip to League Two side Rushden and Diamonds in the second round.
"Colchester are struggling at home in the last few games and a victory would help get our confidence up.
"We should not really be involved in this replay. We should have beaten them first time around."
Carlton Palmer takes charge of his third match as caretaker-boss, with manager Keith Curle still suspended pending an internal inquiry into accusations of him bullying a youth-team player.
But Larkin is not letting it affect his game.
He said: "Everybody just gets on with it. We are still enjoying playing the games and we have to put it out of our minds. It is for others to sort out. We need to get on with our football, which is what we are doing."
STAGS (from): Pilkington, Buxton, John-Baptiste, Dimech, Artell, Murray, MacKenzie, Corden, Neil, Curtis, Larkin, White, Day, Lloyd, Hankey, Herron
Caretaker boss looks to add two new faces
CARETAKER manager Carlton Palmer was hoping to bring in two new players this week in time for Mansfield Town's tough encounter against Leyton Orient on Saturday (3pm).
Palmer, in charge while suspended pair Keith Curle and John Gannon's misconduct inquries are completed, has already captured left back Jason Talbot from Bolton Wanderers and was also hoping to land a Championship striker, who was due for talks with the club on Monday afternoon.
He has also made enquiries about another player plying his trade in the Championship, and said he expected a decision on his future to be made tomorrow morning.
Said Palmer: "It is hard to find quality players in a short space of time so I have been having to call in a few favours and I have been ringing a lot of managers.
Palmer said that he did have one striker lined up but, if that fell through, hadhave two others who he could bring in on loan."
Although he was not naming names, he did mention that Blackburn Rovers and Preston North End were clubs he had been dealing with.
Mansfield's already thin squad was down to the bare bones for last night's tough FA Cup trip to Colchester, and the club was dealt a futher blow after news that on-loan Stockport midfielder Fraser McLachlan suffered knee ligament damage against Boston on Saturday.
But following a scan on the player on Monday, Palmer said the injury wasn't as bad as first feared, and would problably only leave him out of action for around two weeks.
In the meantime, McLachlan has returned to Stockport to undergo his rehabilitation, although it is unclear whether he will return before his loan spell at the club ends.
And with on-loan Craig Woodman returning to Bristol City and Derek Asamoah serving a three-match ban, Palmer certainly has his work cut out to find replacements at short notice.
"I could bring faces in - no problem," he said. "But they have to be better quality than what we have.
"Then it can be a case of persuading a player from a Premiership club to drop this far down."
Palmer revealed that he had sent Woodman back to Bristol City after the young defender refused the chance to play in Tuesday's FA Cup replay at Colchester United.
"He didn't want to play and get Cup-tied, which I can't understand," he said.
"Bristol City have told him he isn't in their current plans and I was offering him another month on loan here.
"He was happy enough to play in the LDV Vans Trophy, yet Bristol City are still in that.
"I only want players here who want to play for Mansfield Town."
Palmer also asked fans to show some patience.
"It has been a hectic time for me since coming in last Thursday," he said
"I had a big game just two days away and a small squad.
"I have told the players where I think we can improve, but there is not a lot wrong.
"We do need to score more goals and I am trying to address that situation now.
"We certainly have to improve on our away record. You don't win promotion by having a good home record.
"We've talked about it and the lads feel they've not had the rub of the green in certain away games.
"I believe, with what we have here, we are among the top four sides in the division."
Palmer said that after the cup tie, he would be focussing his attentions to the forthcoming league encounter at home to high-flying Leyton Orient on Saturday.
"They are all difficult games in this division and this is the problem if you take your foot off the gas," he said.
"But we will address our injury situation before the game and certainly come Thursday, we will be looking for the three points."
23 November 2004
Palmer soldiering on
by Adam Marshall - Last Updated 22 Nov 2004
Carlton Palmer is keen on managing Mansfield Town permanently despite appreciating how difficult the job is for him at present.
The former England midfielder stepped into the breach when Keith Curle was suspended for an unspecified breach of discipline and the uncertainty around the Nottinghamshire club has not helped matters.
"It's difficult," Palmer told Sky Sports News. "I knew that when Keith rang me and it would have been difficult for anybody under the circumstances.
"But I just get on with it. That's life.
"Nothing in life is easy, you've just got to get on with it and do the best you can.
"I got disappointed with the crowd in the first game but, in retrospect, it's difficult for them, I suppose. They are not aware of the situation and they don't know what's going on and I understand that."
The FA Cup replay at Colchester United on Tuesday will be a tough test for The Stags.
"They're well organised, disciplined, know their jobs and they'll be there or thereabouts come the end of the season," he affirmed. "Around the play-off mark."
Palmer is keen to take the reins on a permanent basis if Curle does lose his job.
Injury-hit Stags look to cause upset at Colchester
STAGS caretaker boss Carlton Palmer said Tuesday's FA Cup replay at Colchester will be a difficult game - even without the suspensions and lengthening injury list which are currently plaguing the club.
But he remained in high spirits, even though Mansfield have just ten senior outfield players to choose from going into the game.
"The situation just means that there will be opportunities for some of the younger players," Palmer told Chad.
"But as long as they keep on giving me 100 per cent, I will be happy.
"The players that went out against Boston on Saturday played some excellent football, and we have got to stay positive with the players we have available."
If Stags cause a major upset and progress past Colchester, they will face another tricky away tie at Rushden and Diamonds.
"I am not even thinking about Rushden at the moment," Palmer added.
"This is a very big game for us and I am not looking beyond that."
On-loan midfielder Fraser McLachlan is facing a fitness fight ahead of Mansfield's FA Cup first-round replay at Colchester.
McLachlan, who joined the Stags on a month's loan from Stockport, limped out of the 0-0 draw at Boston after sustaining a knee injury and is rated 50-50 to face the Us at Layer Road.
Rhys Day's ankle injury means the centre-half will not be risked and Adam Eaton has also been ruled out while recovering from a hip operation.
Derek Asamoah serves the second game of a three-match ban, while Scott McNiven will be out after being diagnosed with cancer.
But Bolton defender Jason Talbot, who has also joined on a month's loan, has been cleared to play by the Trotters
BBc Nottingham online:
Updated 08.21am 22.11.04
Mansfield Town winger Wayne Corden is out of tomorrow's FA Cup replay at Colchester. Corden suffered an injury in the draw at Boston on Saturday, while loan signing Fraser McLachlan is a doubt for the trip to Essex.
Updated 08.21am 15.11.04
Mansfield Town supporters are today anxiously awaiting a result to the inquiry into allegations made against the manager Keith Curle. Curle was suspended last week over accusations concerning a training ground incident. His assistant John Gannon was also suspended on Friday evening for a separate incident.
Meanwhile, if Mansfield Town can overcome Colchester in their replay, they'll travel to Rushden and Diamonds.
Latest | November 2004