PREVIEWS, PLUS CONLON OUT TO PROVE A POINT
ARNOLD ON VERGE OF STAGS DEAL
Evening Post, 06 March 2007
Nathan Arnold is on the verge of signing a new two-year deal with Mansfield.
The talented 19-year-old has been on the fringes of the first team all season and scored in the 2-1 win at Lincoln on Saturday.
Arnold has revealed he has already entered discussions with Stags boss Billy Dearden about staying at Field Mill until the summer of 2009.
He is optimistic he can use that time to follow the example of Alex John-Baptiste, Jason White and skipper Jake Buxton by making the step up to first-team regular.
"The gaffer has had me in his office and told me he is offering me a two-year deal," said Arnold.
"It is not the best money to be honest but I'm not too bothered about that because I just want to get into the team and prove myself.
"The manager told me he had already seen me play against Doncaster and Darlington before he came to the club and that he was aware of my abilities.
"Jake and Bap are good examples to follow and the manager showed last time when he was here that he is prepared to give youth a chance."
Arnold has been impressed by the way Dearden has gone about things since being installed as manager just before the turn of the year.
And the winger-cum-striker believes that is down to the 63-year-old's vast experience.
He said: "He doesn't have anything to prove. He is enjoying it and has told us to do the same - to go out and play with smiles on our faces."
Yeo looks set to miss Stags clash
Chester manager Mark Wright will be without Simon Yeo for the trip to Field Mill to play Mansfield on Tuesday evening.
The striker was withdrawn in the early stages of the 1-1 draw with Torquay due to an ankle problem that could keep him on the sidelines for a couple of weeks.
Centre-back David Artell was brought off in the same game with a deep cut but he is expected to be ready to face his former club.
There is a question mark over versatile defender Simon Marples, who has missed the last couple of games with a hamstring problem.
New signings Brad Maylett and Royce Brownlie made their debuts on Friday and both are expected to start against the Stags.
City are winless in their last three matches.
Stags nurse bruises ahead of Chester visit
CHAD website, 05 March 2007
IN-Form Mansfield Town have been told to take it easy today as they nurse bumps and bruises ahead of tomorrow night's visit of Chester City (7.45pm).
Stags' superb 2-1 win at local rivals Lincoln City on Saturday meant they had taken seven points from three successive games against promotion-chasers.
Now they are waiting on Jake Buxton, John Mullins and Stephen Dawson to shake off minor knocks sustained on Saturday and training today will be light.
On-loan striker Martin Gritton will be available again tomorrow after sitting it out against his parent club on Saturday.
But the club will leave it up to Matt Hamshaw if he wants to be involved so soon after today's funeral of his baby.
Assistant manager Paul Holland said: "If Matt wants to be involved tomorrow then that's fine. But if he needs a couple of days off we will back him all the way.
"Apart from that we have the usual list of bumps and bruises but everyone should be fine to play.
"We were looking a bit tired and leggy in he last 10 minutes on Saturday but we do not have the size of squad to change things round."
He added: "After we let ourselves down against Grimsby the performances have been good.
"Billy has really settled things down here since he came in and the fear factor seems to have gone out of our game.
"Players are still making mistakes but don't then look afraid to get on with it and try the same things again.
"We said when Peter Shirtliff was here that we were only two results away from turning the season round which has since proved the case."
Visitors Chester were held 1-1 by Stags at the Deva Stadium on 27th January, despite Stags playing much of the game with 10 men after Barry Conlon was shown an early red card.
City are only two points and two placs ahead of Mansfield in the table and have only won twice in 10 games, failing to win in their last three games.
Conlon out to prove a point
CHAD website, 05 March 2007
STAGS striker Barry Conlon admits he has a point to prove when Mansfield Town take on Chester City tomorrow night.
For Conlon was sent off as early as the 10th minute in Mansfield's 1-1 draw at Chester on 27th January.
But he was on the scoresheet with a penalty in the 2-1 win at Lincoln on Saturday and aims to right his wrongs at Chester with another goal at Field Mill tomorrow.
"It didn't go too well for me in the Chester game as I got red-carded early doors and let myself down and the team down in a way," he said.
"So I am really looking forward to tomorrow night's game.
"The gaffer has told me the best reply tomorrow is for me to play my normal game, work hard and stick the ball in the net.
"That would be the best way of getting my revenge- nothing malicious.
"Maybe Chester will try to rile me. That is up to them and, if they do, it will be up to me to react in the right way.
"I am not going to lose the physical side of it, but I will play my normal game and try to keep my head right."
He added: "It was nice to get a goal on Saturday.
"I know Stephen Dawson and Simon Brown fancied the penalty but once I had the ball on the spot, they had no chance!
"I knew where I was going to put it and luckily enough it went in.
"I am really enjoying it here, the lads are great and we have a good changing room.
"It is too early to start looking at next season. But I will try to keep scoring goals and, at some stage, I will speak to the gaffer about staying which is definitely something I would seriously think about as I am enjoying myself."
CONLON BIDES HIS TIME ON TALKS
Evening Post, 05 March 2007
Barry Conlon will wait until the end of the season before holding talks over his future.
The striker will be a free agent in the summer and says no discussions have taken place over a longer-term deal at Field Mill.
The 28-year-old has proved a success since signing from Darlington in January, scoring four in eight appearances for Mansfield.
His first-half penalty on Saturday set Billy Dearden's men on the way to a 2-1 win and was his first goal since returning from a three-match suspension.
But Conlon says he will concentrate on rediscovering the form he showed when first arriving at the club before considering his future.
"I will leave it until closer to the end of the season and I'll have a chat with the gaffer to see what comes up," he said. "That was my first goal since coming back and it's always nice to get a penalty or something like that to get you back going again.
"I got myself going before the sending off and I want to get back to that.
"It's four in eight, but you could say seven because I only played about five minutes of the one I got sent off in. It's not bad - I want to keep going like that to the end of the season."
Whether or not he remains at Field Mill, Conlon believes Mansfield's young squad have a bright future ahead of them.
"There's loads of potential," he said. "We've got good young footballers and hopefully we can carry on with some good results between now and the end of the season.
"This season is a matter of getting results between now and the end, but it would be nice to keep the squad for next season when I think there will be every chance.
"The lower sides in the table seem to be where we struggle. But we've played a lot of top teams and seem to get results. We just need to get that going and that comes with experience."
Conlon partnered Simon Brown in attack on Saturday, with Martin Gritton ineligible.
And the Irishman believes their partnership worked well, with Nathan Arnold adding extra pace on the wing.
He said: "There was loads of pace. I tried to play more central instead of going out wide and when you've got that kind of pace around you, you just try to win flick-ons because they will get on the end of them. That's what caused Lincoln problems."
DEARDEN'S PRAISE FOR ARNOLD
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11:00 - 05 March 2007
Billy Dearden heaped praise on Nathan Arnold following Saturday's victory at Lincoln but the Mansfield manager insisted he will keep the reins on him.
Arnold - making his first league start of the season - scored the winner at Sincil Bank to earn the Stags their first victory in eight meetings with Lincoln.
It was his third strike of the season and followed his late equaliser against MK Dons last month.
But despite Arnold's impressive performances, Dearden is keen to keep the pressure off him.
He said: "There are reasons for holding him back because we can expect too much from him at times. He's got ability and he can beat people.
"You can't give players that. You can't give them that kind of ability. He's got a decent strike on him as well.
"I'm chuffed to bits for the young lad to get his goal because he's been absolutely magnificent while I've been here.
"I can't speak highly enough of him. He's quick and he's quick between the ears as well."
Barry Conlon's first half penalty gave Mansfield the lead, with Arnold's strike doubling their advantage.
Jamie Forrester pulled one back after Lee Beevers was sent off, but it wasn't enough to end Stags' impressive run against League Two's promotion contenders, after drawing with MK Dons and beating Wycombe.
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