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Archived News from January 2008

23rd January 2008 21:37

Live TV coverage:
US - Fox Soccer Channel
Denmark - TV2 Sport (info personally to Martin Shaw from presenter Lars Mathiasen)
Norway - Sport N, part of TV3 group (info from Wendy from Norway)
Sweden - Viasat Sport 1 (info from Sweden Stag)



Gabby Logan introduces live FA Cup fourth round action from Field Mill as League Two strugglers Mansfield Town face Premier League side Middlesbrough (1210 GMT, BBC ONE).

Mansfield are battling against demotion near the foot of the Football League but will relish the opportunity to upstage Gareth Southgate's team.

The two sides have only ever met once before in the Cup with the Stags running out 2-0 winners in 1967.

A repeat performance would see Mansfield reach the last 16 for the first time in 32 years.


CHAD AUDIO: Billy previews massive Cup tie HERE --->

STAGS boss Billy Dearden gave his thoughts on Saturday's massive FA Cup tie to the national media on Wednesday - and got his hands on the coveted trophy.
Reporters from TV, radio and the national newspapers were all at Field Mill, together with the FA Cup, as the build-up to Saturday's live TV coverage of the visit of Premiership Middlesbrough began.

BBC's Match Of The Day is screening the Fourth Round tie live from the Mill, kick-off 12.30pm.

CHAD AUDIO: Birthday boy Bell's Boro link
HERE --->

STAGS midfielder Lee Bell is looking forward to Saturday's FA Cup tie with Premiership Middlesbrough more than most.
For the FA Cup Fourth Round clash, to be televised live on BBC 1, is being played on his 25th birthday.

And his girlfriend and her family are from the Middlesbrough area, where he is a regular visitor.


Being underdogs should help us relax - Muggleton
MANSFIELD Town goalkeeper Carl Muggleton is hoping the fact that Saturday's FA Cup opponents Middlesbrough are hot favourites to go through will help relax the Stags as they bid to cause an upset.
"Being the underdogs takes the pressure off us so we can go out there and enjoy playing our football," he said.

"It is a nice distraction for everyone, though the big thing for us is the League.

To view a slideshow of photos from Wednesday's national press conference at Field Mill, including an appearance by the FA Cup, click on the green play icon

"It is a nice for the lads to have the experience of all the national press down hereand seeing other people around the club that you don't normally see.

"It is a learning curve for them and I hope they take a bit from it when one or two of them move on to bigger and better things.

"They shouldn't need any geeing up to play in a televised match against quality opposition.

"We will give it our best shot and 100 per cent. If that is good enough on the day, then great.

"We know all about the opposition. Throughout your career you watch the Premier boys, or Division One as it was when I was growing up.

"You see them week in week out though you do tend to keep a closer eye on a team when you know you are playing them in the next round.

"There is always the chance of an upset in the cup and I hope it can be us.

"There will be a great atmosphere with the majority of the crowd behind us and I just hope we go out there and give a good account of ourselves. "

Stags face national media glare
STAGS boss Billy usually only has to cope with a couple of radio stations and a couple of newspaper reporters at his twice weekly press conferences.
But the magic of the FA Cup lured one of the biggest gaggles of TV and national newspaper journalists ever drawn to Field Mill this morning as the glare of the national limelight well and truly fell on Mansfield Town ahead of Saturday's fourth round visit of Premier League Middlesbrough.

Dearden's answers could barely be heard amid the clicking of shutters and the room lit up to the continual flashes of camera bulbs.

And the sense of occasion was made complete by the arrival of the FA Cup itself, placed on the table next to Dearden by two security men during the interviews.

Then it was out onto the pitch for more TV footage photographs plus an endless stream of players interviews with groundsman Michael Merriman keeping out a worried eye as the hordes trampled over his sacred playing surface.

The media session put back the start of training, but a relaxed Dearden was more than happy with the attention he and his young struggling squad were getting.

"It's great and we are looking forward to welcoming Middlesbrough here on Saturday, I hope it's a hell of a game," he said.

"I am an old stager so I find it easy to handle the press. It will affect some of the younger lads more than me.

"Being a bit long in the tooth I am just trying to relax and get the players to do the same. It is a big occasion for some of them and I don't want them to go out there and freeze on the field.

"Realistically we didn't think we would get this far. It is a big occasion for the people of Mansfield, for the club and for everyone involved.

"It is a real bonus and we have gone a lot further than I thought we would do.

"We are looking forward to it though our main concern is that we survive in the Football League."
He added: "This will be the biggest match I have been involved with at Mansfield since we went to Wembley in 1987.

"It is an honour to be involved and we will carry on as far as we can. Realistically we have got no chance.

"Let's face it, if Middlesbrough 'turn up' we haven't much hope. But if they don't 'turn up' and we have a good day then we have a chance of getting something out of the game.

"Don't get me wrong – we are not here to make up the numbers and we will be trying to reach the next round when anything can happen.

"It is a massive game for this club and getting to the next round would be a great achievement.

"If Middlesborough think all they have to do is just turn up then they may have a rude awakening. But if they come here all fired up for an FA Cup tie then it should be a hell of a game. We will be trying our damn hardest.

"We won't underestimate them. They are a good side and could have won by three or four at Blackburn last week."

The game, to be televised live on BBC TV's Match of the Day, at least provides the club with a temporary respite from their League Two relegation battle.

"This game is a relief," he acknowledged. "The lads have been looking forward to it. But they know the most important game is at Lincoln on Tuesday.

"But they are buzzing a bit and we are preparing right for the Cup game.

"I will take them out for a walk across the Derbyshire Moors tomorrow.

"We will walk six or eight miles, have a bar meal and a couple of halves of Guinness. Some of the lads have never been up there before and it's beautiful.

"We go up there before each round and it has worked so far. They don't realise we go there as it is near where I live so I don't have far to travel!"

The game could also provide Dearden with some revenge.

"I can remember going to Middlesborough in the Cup with Notts County and we lost," he said.

"It was only a couple of days before I finished there so it would be nice to turn one over on them.

"Being at home is a lot different. We will have a good crowd behind us – hopefully it will be full for the first time in a few years – and I hope we can put on a performance for them."

Come what may, the manager wants the watching fans in the Mill and on TV to remember the game for his side trying to play football the right way.

"I think it will be a typical cup tie," he said. " But it is no good me saying 'stop them playing'. I want my side to go out there and enjoy the game.

"I want us to play football like we can play football. We are not a kick and rush side.

"It is not about tactics. That doesn't come into it and we won't be concentrating on that too much. It is 11 against 11 and it's about relaxing and playing against a very good opposition.

"I know the 11 I put out there will run themselves into the ground, work and work, and I hope we can get a result.

"Win, lose or draw I want people to say that we played football."


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