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Archived News from December 2006

30th December 2006 20:46

Evening Post, 30 December 2006
Billy Dearden believes his recent scouting work will help when it comes to strengthening his Mansfield Town squad.

But the new Stags boss hopes his players will perform well enough to prove there is no real rush for bringing in new faces.

He said: "I have seen Mansfield play and there are some talented players in this squad.

"I just want to get my experience into the dressing room and the club straight away.

"I have been watching three or four games a week while working for other clubs, so I know where to go and with my name in the game my contacts are as good as anybody's.

"But I do not know about money available.

"That does not bother me because I have never had money to spend anyway. But I would like to think we can bring players in otherwise I would not have come here.

"If they keep playing like they did at Darlington, I cannot see a problem. But, at some time, the team will need strengthening."

One problem Dearden could encounter is top striker Richard Barker, who came close to leaving Field Mill earlier in the season, after chief executive Keith Haslam accepted an offer from Hartlepool for the player.

He has 15 goals this season and Dearden knows there is speculation about his future and will talk to the striker.

Dearden added: "There has been speculation and I will talk to him. But like anything else if something has been agreed before I came here I cannot do anything about.

"Without his goals Mansfield would be struggling. Nobody comes into a club and puts their leading goalscorer on the transfer list."
EVENING POST, 29 December 2006
Ask any goalkeeper at any level what they crave the most and they will invariably tell you 'clean sheets'.

So it brought great delight - and no doubt a fair degree of relief - to Jason White (pictured right) when he was between the sticks when Mansfield recorded their first shut-out on away soil in League Two this season at Darlington on Boxing Day.

The 2-0 win was a much-needed tonic in the aftermath of the departure of Peter Shirtliff and a welcome reward for an overworked Stags defence.

White is also hopeful that it will help cement his place in the first team as he looks set to continue his battle with Carl Muggleton to be first choice keeper into 2007.

Much of the credit for that win in the north-east must go to caretaker-boss Paul Holland, who clearly helped the players relax and express themselves on the pitch.

But White believes there is another underlying reason that has sharpened the focus of the players following Shirtliff's exit. And he is hoping that will spur the Stags on to victory again at Accrington Stanley tomorrow.

"It was nice to get back on the pitch after what has happened off it," said White.

"We have tried to put it behind us and stuck together and that helped us get the result at Darlington.

"I don't think the gaffer expected to go and it has brought it home to the players that they are vulnerable too if they don't start performing.

"We just went out at Darlington and passed the ball and enjoyed it - and when you enjoy it you play your best football.

"I was pleased with my own performance and the clean sheet. I came in last week and did okay and Dutch (Paul Holland) decided to stick with me.

"But you can only get clean sheets if the lads in front of you are doing their jobs and hopefully that will continue at Accrington."

White is not about to get carried away because of the Darlington win - which is only their second of the season in League Two away from Field Mill.

He is well aware that Mansfield are still too close to the relegation zone for comfort, only seven points off the bottom.

He said: "I don't think the pressure has lifted despite winning our last game because we are still in a similar situation as when Peter was here.

"We have to keep things going to try to get a result at Accrington, even though they are not a bad side at home."

It is hoped Jon-Olav Hjelde and Danny Reet will return after illness while Matt Hamshaw (calf) faces a fitness test.
Coleman's wish
By Suzanne Geldard

JOHN Coleman hopes it will be third time lucky against Mansfield Town.

Accrington Stanley have recorded a draw in League Two and a defeat in the FA Cup against the Stags, who are under new management after Billy Dearden returned for his second spell in charge yesterday.

"They battered us the first time and we drew," Coleman said. "We lost the next game 1-0 when we should never have been beaten so hopefully we will go one step further now."
Talks on Barker future
CHAD website, 28 December 2006

NEW Stags boss Billy Dearden admits he does not know what the week holds regarding the future of Stags skipper Richie Barker.
Mansfield's 15-goal hero has been linked with a move to League Two rivals for the second time this season and the transfer window opens up on Monday, ironically when Hartlepool are the visitors to Field Mill.
Dearden admits one of his first tasks will be to sit down and speak to his captain to find out what is happening.
"Obviously on one comes into a club as manager and immediately pushes their leading scorere out.
"But if a deal has already been done then there won't be much I can do about it. I don't know what the situation is and I will be speaking with Richie.
"I want him here. But if he did go I would look to bring in a replacement with the same experience. You can't just keep going with the kids."
Chief executive Keith Haslam was unavailable for comment.
Wycombe to move for Mansfield duo
By Mandeep Sanghera, BBC.co.uk

Carling Cup semi-finalists Wycombe are set to launch a bid for Mansfield duo Giles Coke and Alex Baptiste.

The move could set off a transfer scramble as Coke, 20, is also a target for Northampton and was the subject of a previous £50,000 bid from Wolves.

Defender Baptiste, 20, and midfielder Coke are both out of contract at the end of the season.

Baptiste has also been eyed by Norwich and Nottingham Forest for a move in the January transfer window.

Wycombe will face Chelsea in the last four of the Carling Cup next month.

Be prepared warns Dearden
CHAD website, 28 December 2006

NEW manager Billy Dearden has warned his new charges they will need to adapt to much different surroundings at Accrington Stanley on Saturday (3pm) after that superb Boxing Day win at Darlington.
"Darlington is a superb facility to go and play football at and the players have to realise it will be a very different arena on Saturday," he said.
"There is a bit of a slope on the pitch and it will be a very hard game."
Dearden will check on the fitness of midfielders Matt Hamshaw (calf strain) and Giles Coke (back spasm) and have a lengthy chat with assistant Paul Holland before naming a side to head to Dearden's home county of Lancashire.
Ailing Accrington have not won in their last 10 League games and have a list of players out through injury and suspension.


Latest | December 2006