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Archived News from March 2007

2nd March 2007 15:13

Hodge set to play, despite brush with law
CHAD website, 01 March 2007

BRYAN Hodge is almost certain to keep his place for Saturday's trip to Lincoln City, despite his drink-driving ban last weekend.
But Matt Hamshaw will not be part of the starting line-up.
Hodge made a superb debut on loan from Blackburn Rovers last Saturday before his brush with the law last weekend.

Dearden said: "I have not spoken to Bryan or Blackburn, but as far as I am concerned he will be in the team that travels to Lincoln.

"Part of our agreement is that he trains at Blackburn on a Monday and Tuesday so he has only just come back in here today.

"The lad was absolutely magnificent on Saturday, then went and spoiled a great day by doing something silly and driving a car while under the influence of drink.

"I have left it with Blackburn to deal with him discipline-wise.

"He is still only 19 and has to learn from this now. It has to be a final wake up call.

"Bryan was our man of the match last weekend and his ability is without question. He quickly settled down well in the dressing room and mucked in, carrying the balls and so on which you might not get from some at Premiership clubs.

"He seems to be a decent lad. So he has now got to pull himself together and think about things."

Hamshaw, missing since the death of his baby almost two weeks ago, trained with the club on Monday and was back in again today.

But Dearden said the winger would definitely not be in the starting line-up at Lincoln.

"It is brilliant to see him come back in," said Dearden.
"I am leaving it to him when he wants to play but I don't expect that to be this weekend with the funeral of their baby ahead on Monday."

Brothers Michael and Rory Boulding are back in training after shaking off the illness that swept through the club last week and give Dearden options up front.

But midfielder Callum Lloyd is definitely out after breaking down in his attempt to come back from a thigh strain.

Boss Dearden is looking forward to trying to get Stags' first win over Lincoln in eight attempts and said: "It is a bit of a local derby there so we will take a few fans with us and I know they will be very much behind us.

"We are going there very positive.

"John Schofield has done a magnificent job and Forrester and Stallard, who I had at Notts County, have been scoring goals for fun. We will have to keep an eye on them.

"Lincoln have been up there all season but seem to be having a bit of a bad patch just now. Maybe they are getting a bit nervous up there right now? We will just have to see."

City have only won three of their last 10 games and failed to win in their last two. But they remain fourth in the table and only a point off the automatic promotion spots.
Day off for Gritton
CHAD website, 01 March 2007

MARTIN Gritton admits he would have loved to be playing against his parent club, Lincoln City, when Stags visit Sincil Bank on Saturday (3pm).

Lincoln striker Gritton is on loan for the rest of the season at Mansfield and has already bagged six goals in 10 games.

But Stags boss Billy Dearden agreed not to play him against Lincoln when the deal was sorted back in January.

"It is frustrating as it has been good to get in a run of games," said Gritton.

"Hopefully I will figure on Tuesday night and get straight back into it.

"You don't like missing any games, regardless of the opposition. But I would have loved to have played at Lincoln.

"Obviously I know the lads there and have played against them in training so I am sure they would have been happy for me to play too.

"But you don't want to rock the boat.

"I hav a lot of good friends at Lincoln and, technically, I am still a Lincoln player which puts more edge on it.

"That is why these agreements are made - to avoid causing friction."

But Gritton is ideally placed to know how tough Mansfield's task will be on Saturday away to a side they haven't beaten in the last seven attempts and who have been in the Play-off/promotion spots all season.

"They are a very good team - one of the best I have played for in terms of footballing ability," he said. "They have quality throughout the side.

"Jamie Forrester, who did the damage at Field Mill, uses his experience wisely on the pitch and, along with his goals, also has one of the leading number of assists in the league.

"He and Mark Stallard are the two players who kept me out the side so I have to say they are their best players!

"But Lee Frecklington has had a great season in midfield, they have a very good defence and Alan Marriott is a cracking keeper.

"It will be a tough test for the lads but we have showed we are a match for any team."

He added: "It was frustrating not to get in the Lincoln side. But John Schofield and John Deehan are good coaches and you can learn so much from them.

"So you use that to become a better player and not a bitter one. Hopefully I used what I learned there as a springboard to come here and I hope to have future success.

"My situation is that I didn't come here just to get games and then go back there.

"My contract is up this summer and my future at Lincoln is in doubt. That situation will be resolved in the summer.

"I am completely focused on playing for Mansfield and have no real contact with Lincoln.

"I am still enjoying my time here and would definitely love to stay."
Evening Post, 02 March 2007

You can rest assured that Mansfield manager Billy Dearden will have planned meticulously for the Stags' derby visit to Lincoln.

But it cannot have harmed his preparations to have a City insider to help plot their downfall.

In-form striker Martin Gritton is still an Imps player after signing on loan for the Stags until the end of the season.

But he is sure to have passed on a few helpful hints to his current boss as the Stags travel to Sincil Bank looking to end a run of seven games without a win against Lincoln.

For his part, Gritton is gutted that he can take no part in tomorrow's game as part of the agreement between Dearden and Lincoln boss John Schofield that took him to Field Mill. Because after scoring six goals in ten games, the Scotsman, naturally, can't wait for the next match.

"It is very frustrating that I have to sit and watch. It's been good to have the run of games that I have," said Gritton.

"But the good thing is that we have got another game almost straight away on Tuesday so hopefully I will figure in that and I can get started again.

"I don't want to miss any opportunities to play at the moment, whoever we are playing against. I have some good friends at Lincoln and technically I am still one of their players - and that puts an extra edge on it.

"That's why the agreement has been put in place between the two managers, so that it doesn't cause any friction.

"I would have loved to play. I played against the Lincoln lads a lot in training and I'm sure their lads would have liked to play against me.

"But the game goes beyond that because points are at stake."

Gritton came on as a late substitute in Lincoln's 4-2 victory at Mansfield last August, Mansfield's first home defeat of the season.

The Imps' top scorer Jamie Forrester scored all four goals in partnership with former Notts County hitman Mark Stallard.

And Gritton believes the two men who kept him out of the side and prompted his loan move away from City will again be the main threat.

He said: "Lincoln are one of the best teams I have played for. They have individuals in their side who can win them the game.

"Jamie Forrester did the damage down here. He's a very intelligent player who uses his experience wisely.

"I think he is one of the leading players in the assists charts, as well as scoring, and Stallard is also a threat alongside him.

"They will be a real danger but they have other good players too. Lee Frecklington is a tremendous midfield player and Scott Kerr complements him well. (Alan) Marriott is a really good keeper.

"I have seen them all play brilliantly but I have also seen them have bad games. The Mansfield lads will just be hoping they have bad games tomorrow."

Gritton, 28, insists his future will not be sorted until the summer but admits it is more likely he will be with Mansfield than Lincoln. He said: "I would definitely like to stay."
Evening Post, 02 March 2007

The decision on when Mansfield's grieving Matt Hamshaw will return to first team action is up to him.

He and his wife, Kerry, lost their baby, causing the right-winger to miss the Stags' last two games.

With the funeral taking place on Monday, Hamshaw is unlikely to figure in the squad at Lincoln tomorrow.

But the former Sheffield Wednesday man has been back at Field Mill this week to work on his fitness.

Boss Billy Dearden says Hamshaw will go straight back into the squad once he is ready, but insists it will be up to the 25-year-old to choose exactly when that is.

"It was great to see Matt back at the club on Monday and again yesterday," he said.

"He has told me they have been overwhelmed by the response from the people of Mansfield, the people at the football club and the supporters."

Dearden has also praised youngster Nathan Arnold's professionalism after his aunt, who he was close to, died last week.

Gritton: Sitting out is a blow

Mansfield striker Martin Gritton has admitted that he is disappointed to be ruled out of the trip to parent club Lincoln on Saturday.

Gritton has scored six goals in 10 appearances for the Stags since signing on loan from City in January but is ineligible to face The Imps.

He said: "You don't like missing any games, regardless of the opposition. But I would have loved to have played at Lincoln.

"Obviously I know the lads there and have played against them in training so I am sure they would have been happy for me to play too.

"But you don't want to rock the boat. I have a lot of good friends at Lincoln and, technically, I am still a Lincoln player which puts more edge on it.

"That is why these agreements are made - to avoid causing friction."


Latest | March 2007