PREVIEWS - MARRIOTT OUT TIL JAN +OTHER INJURY NEWS
Russell warns against complacency
mansfieldtown.net, Thu 11 Nov 2010
Assistant Manager Duncan Russell says that now is not the time for complacency after a getting a win under our belts at Kettering midweek.
Speaking to the press earlier today, the manager's no. 2 felt that despite our good showing at Rockingham Road, the threat posed by relegation contenders Forest Green this Saturday should not be underestimated.
"They're (FGR) probably a bit of a wounded animal at the moment," he added. "Languishing second from bottom, you've always got to be wary of a wounded animal.
"They will give us a hard game and a good game I would've thought. I think in their last six games they've lost three, won two and drawn one so hopefully we will go down there and acquit ourselves well.
"We want the result. We don't go out to draw games, we go to win games and that is what's important to us.
"If we take our foot off the gas on Saturday, we won't get a result so we've got to go into the game on the back of a victory and put the effort in.
"If we can go on a run and get everyone fit again, there's no reason why we can't have a really good campaign over Christmas."
Meanwhile, in team news, Gary Mills' loan spell with Forest Green has expired but he is likely to sit out of Saturday's fixture with a hamstring problem. Gary Silk will be sidelined with a hamstring tear as will Rob Duffy (groin) and Rhys Day who serves the final match of a three game suspension
Steve Cook's chances are rated at 50/50 after the Brighton loanee suffered a dead leg at Kettering as are Kyle Nix's - who is expected to undergo a scan on an ankle injury.
Paul Stonehouse has trained all week and will be in contention for a place in the side as will Paul Connor who has been sitting out with a hamstring strain. Luke Medley (knee) has been back in training and will be assessed in due course.
Finally, in a message to the fans, Russell praised the level of support we have been getting on our travels and has appealed for more of the same in deepest Gloucestershire this weekend.
He said: "We've got a great away support, they were in good voice on Tuesday night and I'd say 'we need you, you are our 12th man so please come along and encourage them'.
"You do make a massive difference to us and hopefully we can give you another result for your journey home."
'A big fixture for me' - Stonehouse
mansfieldtown.net, Thu 11 Nov 2010
Left back Paul Stonehouse is hoping to make an appearance against his old side at the New Lawn on Saturday.
The 23-year-old became our fifth signing of the summer when he made the switch from Forest Green after making over 170 appearances for the Gloucestershire outfit.
Stonehouse missed out on our midweek victory over Kettering with a thigh strain but will be in contention for a place this weekend.
He said: "I'm really looking forward to it. I had some good times there and it's always good to go back to an old club.
"I feel fine now. The injury was just my quad and I think it was more precaution on Tuesday as the Gaffer didn't want it to go completely.
"I'm fit for Saturday and hopefully I can feature in the game.
"It's a big fixture for me and hopefully I can play but with the team winning on Tuesday, you can't expect to go straight back in."
Our opponents are currently second from bottom in the BSBP after winning just three of their games so far this season. Despite the Rovers' lowly position and poor form, Stonehouse is still expecting a tough game at his old stamping ground.
He added: "They're down near the bottom so they're scrapping for their lives at the moment. I expect them to make it a tough physical encounter and we're going to have to go there and match them, play our football and hopefully we can get the win."
Meanwhile, Stevenage loanee Peter Vincenti expressed his satisfaction at seeing the back of a run that saw the Stags go six league games without a win
He said "It was a very important victory. Kettering is a difficult place to go, especially on Tuesday night with the conditions.
"With the recent run we've had and the bad luck we've been getting, it was an excellent victory to get."
The former Millwall trainee added that he has settled into the squad well since his arrival at Field Mill last month and that the players will take confidence from ending a barren run at Kettering into the game at Forest Green.
"I've enjoyed it (my time here). The lads are all great. Like I said when I first came up here, it was very easy to come into. There are top lads, top management and a top squad here so it was a great club to come into.
"They (FGR) are down the bottom so they will be looking to get the three points but likewise so are we. We got a very good victory against Kettering on Tuesday.
"We will take the good form we are in into the game and will be going there to get the three points."
Mansfield goalkeeper Marriott in injury setback
MANSFIELD Town goalkeeper Alan Marriott is set to be out of action until the New Year, boss David Holdsworth revealed today.
The influential goalkeeper, 32, has been out of action since coming off in the Stags' 5-2 home defeat to AFC Wimbledon last month.
He has since had an operation on a groin injury and has had rehabilitation work at Lilleshall.
But Marriott has suffered a setback in his recuperation that saw him target an end-of-November return.
"Alan is still getting a little bit of pain and it doesn't seem to be improving, which is a concern," said Holdsworth.
"We were hoping he would be back at the end of the month because he is a big influence for us.
"We are crossing our fingers, but we are looking at after Christmas now."
Kyle Nix, injured against Torquay last weekend, could be out for a similar time with ankle ligament damage.
As a result, the club are set to recall midfielder Gary Mills from his loan at Forest Green.
The length of Gary Silk's absence with a hamstring problem is more difficult to pin down.
Holdsworth said: "Nixy is due to have a scan but he couldn't have one straight away because of the swelling.
"With regard to Gary, some heal quicker than others, but it is going to be a couple of weeks, maybe longer."
Rob Duffy is set to be sidelined for two more weeks.
Overnight stay as Stags take no chances
CHAD.co.uk, Thu Nov 11 2010
MANSFIELD Town are taking no chances with their preparation for Saturday's crucial game at struggling Forest Green Rovers.
The Stags will head south to Gloucestershire first thing tomorrow and use Bristol City's training facilities before trying to prove the 2-0 win at Kettering Town on Tuesday was the turning point and not a one-off after six previous winless BSBP matches in a miserable run.
Rovers, who have just signed former Bolton full back Chris Stokes on a non-contract basis, have won two and drawn one of their last three games, which include two FA Cup games.
But their BSBP record is less impressive, winning only once in 14 outings.
Stags assistant boss Duncan Russell said: “Forest Green are like a wounded animal right now and you have to beware a wounded animal.
“They will give us a game. We can't just got there, turn up and expect to win. We have to prepare to our optimum, then it will be up to our players to get a result.
“Going overnight will help us. Instead of a two or three hour coach journey to then get off and play football, the players will be properly rested.”
Gary Mills has just returned to Field Mill from a loan spell at Forest Green though has a hamstring strain and won't be in contention along with Gary Silk (hamstring), Kyle Nix (ankle), and Rob Duffy (groin).
And Rhys Day completes his three-game ban.
But Paul Stonehouse, Paul Connor and Luke Medley are now all fit again after injuries and Stonehouse especially will be hoping for a place in the starting XI on his first return to the club he signed from in the summer.
The fact that the Stags kept a clean sheet in midweek, however, could see Stonehouse disappointed.
Rovers are expected to field former Stags players Luke Jones and Craig Armstrong.
Spotlight on Forest Green Rovers v Mansfield Town
Evening Post, 15 Nov 2010
Line-up (from): Bittner, Hodgkiss, S. Jones, Quinn, Armstrong, Klukowski, Turk, M. Fowler, McDonald, Dyer, Styche, Caines, Bartlett, Else, Kamara, Enver-Marum, Z. Jones.
Line-up (from): Pilkington, Collett, Cook, Foster, Grand, Sandwith, Stonehouse, Briscoe, Cain, Istead, Murray, Thompson, Smith, Vincenti, Parker, Connor, Medley, Mitchley.
Team news: Forest Green will be without midfield playmaker Lee Fowler, who has a knee injury.
Gavin Caines (back) has been struggling but may be on the bench anyway after Forest Green secured a midweek 0-0 draw at Eastbourne.
Stags midfielder Gary Mills, on loan at the New Lawn, will not be permitted to play for Rovers.
Rhys Day serves the last game of a three-match ban for Mansfield.
Alan Marriott and Rob Duffy (both groin), Gary Silk (hamstring) and Kyle Nix (ankle) are all ruled out.
Battling to be fit to start after both being on the bench at Kettering are Paul Connor (hamstring) and Paul Stonehouse (thigh and shoulder), while Luke Medley (knee) will also hope to be back in contention.
One to watch: Luke Jones. Considered by many unlucky to be released by the Stags at the end of last season, the central defender has impressed in Gloucestershire and taken over the captain's armband.
Manager: Dave Hockaday. The Forest Green boss is a good friend of Mansfield manager David Holdsworth. He has pulled off a real coup in signing highly-rated central defender Adam Quinn on loan from Crawley.
Thompson looks for Stags win at Kettering to be turning point
Evening Post, 15 Nov 2010
TYRONE Thompson is convinced Mansfield Town's first Blue Square Premier success in seven at Kettering can be a turning point.
After a flying start to the season, the Stags had endured a barren run that had seen them drop down the table.
But a Kelvin Jack own goal and a strike from Louis Briscoe saw the pressure eased at Rockingham Road in a 2-0 success.
Midfielder Thompson, recalled following an injury to Kyle Nix, grew in stature as the game wore on – just like his team-mates.
And now Mansfield are out to make it six points on the road inside five days when they visit struggling Forest Green tomorrow – a venue where they were 4-1 victors last season.
"It was a brilliant feeling getting the three points at Kettering," said Thompson.
"It wasn't pretty at times but all that matters was getting that win on the board.
"I think in recent weeks things haven't always gone our way, so it was good that it finally did and we can move forward now.
"The aim has to be to carry it on. Winning certainly breeds confidence.
"When you have been on a run like we have, players do start to question the slightest little things when they are going against you.
"But now we have to use that as a stepping stone and I think you could see that in the way the team responded once we had gone a goal in front.
"We want to win every game we go into, so the one at Forest Green is no different.
"People say there are no easy games in this league but we have to go there in a confident frame of mind and give a good account of ourselves.
"It is one of those games you are looking to win if you want to be up there at the top."
Stonehouse out of his Rovers return
PAUL Stonehouse's emotional return to the Forest Green pitch with Mansfield Town tomorrow could be scuppered by a double injury.
The popular left-back joined the Stags last summer after progressing from the Rovers academy to captain the first team.
He was the only player to feature in every one of the Nailsworth club's games last season, yet ironically he is struggling with shoulder and thigh problems ahead of his first scheduled game back.
Forest Green head into tomorrow's fixture one place off the foot of the Blue Square Bet Premier, with Tuesday night's goalless draw at Eastbourne Borough taking their tally to 15 points from 18 outings.
Manager Dave Hockaday prefers to take a shorter-term view, with his side beginning to feel the benefits of a return to full-time training.
Hockaday said: "We viewed the York City game (on October 30) as the start of a new phase of the season, with the players going full-time and a few off-field issues sorted out.
"A return of four points from two games is good and we look meaner, tighter and more compact as a team.
"I'll have no complaints if we carry on being mean and horrible – if that's what it takes to pick up points."
Set to name an unchanged XI – a rare luxury in another tumultuous campaign – Hockaday must again do without injured playmaker Lee Fowler (knee).
On-loan Mansfield midfielder Gary Mills is ineligible and winger Malvin Kamara will be on the bench at best after being given an individual training plan to boost his match fitness.
The Stags, who picked up their first league win in seven outings at Kettering Town on Tuesday, have a host of first-team regulars missing.
As well as Stonehouse and fellow ex-Rover Mark Preece, the Field Mill treatment room is currently occupied by Alan Marriott (groin), Gary Silk (hamstring), Kyle Nix (ankle) and Rob Duffy (groin).
Former Cheltenham Town striker Paul Connor, who scored twice against Forest Green on the opening day of the season, faces a late test on a hamstring problem but is expected to feature.
Despite the opposition's problems, Hockaday expects a tough and potentially bruising encounter.
"Mansfield are a big, powerful side and their manager (David Holdsworth) always has them well organised," he said.
"We will need to match them in that department and back ourselves to cause them problems in the final third – something we're definitely capable of."
Latest | November 2010