RUSSELL, PILKINGTON, KEN MCKENNA REACTION
video interval with Duncan Russell --->
Stags boss Russell promises new signings following Alty defeat
DUNCAN Russell has promised changes in personnel at Mansfield Town after seeing his troops slump to an ignominious 1-0 home defeat to rock-bottom Altrincham.
The Stags' 2011 went from bad to worse as New Year's Day 7-2 thumping at Grimsby was followed by another defeat yesterday, this time at Field Mill.
The performance and result left plenty of Mansfield fans seething.
And Russell insists he is planning to make 'two or three' raids into the transfer market, with new faces possible for the trip to Eastbourne.
It follows the news that Kevin Pilkington's loan has been extended by a month from Luton, albeit with a 24-hour call-back clause.
Defender Rhys Day is set to follow, despite Darlington and other clubs being keen to secure his services.
The club are also in negotiations with Fleetwood's Simon Grand, who was unable to play against Altrincham because his loan has expired, and Brighton's Steve Cook.
"We have got our eye on two or three players and I would like things to happen before the weekend," said Russell. "They would be big additions to the squad if we can get them in.
"I have said to the lads if they get results then we don't need to bring people in but we have lost our last two.
"We have got two wingers but there is not a lot of pressure on them for their place in the side."
Russell believed his team deserved at least a point against Altrincham. He said: "We created so many chances in the second half."
Pilkington: Stags deserved better against Alty
KEVIN Pilkington felt Mansfield Town deserved better as they sank to a 1-0 home defeat against bottom-of-the-table Altrincham.
The Stags goalkeeper was forced to pick Damien Reeves' 59th minute strike out of his net, a goal that proved to be the winner.
At the other end, the Stags pressed hard for an equaliser but were kept at bay by the Robins, who recorded only their second away win of the season.
"The first half was a lot better than at Grimsby on Saturday, which was absolutely shocking and embarrassing," said Pilkington.
"But it was disappointing to concede the goal the way we did from a set-piece. People have certain responsibilities to deal properly with them.
"After that, we created numerous chances and we kept putting the ball in the right areas but we didn't finish them off.
"We needed to bounce back after the Grimsby game. We have not played unbelievably well or anything, but we certainly had enough chances to win the game.
"You have to give some credit to Altrincham because they came here to get men behind the ball and they did it very well.
"The lads have wanted to get the win and I don't think there was any lack of appetite but unfortunately we have come up against a team that is very resilient.
"It makes Eastbourne a very important game for us now."
Pilkington wants to stay for the rest of the season
By matt halfpenny, Evening Post
KEVIN Pilkington today insisted he wants to stick around at Mansfield Town for the rest of the season.
The Stags goalkeeper has endured a difficult start to 2011 along with the rest of his team-mates, having followed a 7-2 defeat at Grimsby with a 1-0 home defeat to rock-bottom Altrincham.
But Pilkington has nevertheless enjoyed his time since re-signing for the Stags on loan from Luton Town in October.
That temporary spell has been extended by a month, although the club have to agree to a 24-hour call-back clause.
But he is hoping the agreement can be stretched further with his prospects of starting at the Hatters looking slim.
"I have never been in a situation like I experienced at Grimsby before but apart from the last couple of games, it's been good to be back at Mansfield," said Pilkington.
"I want to be playing games – and I have been doing.
"It would be nice to be here for the rest of the season, if that can be agreed, but obviously Luton will have a fair degree of say in that."
With Alan Marriott injured for the foreseeable future, Mansfield only have youngster Neil Collett to call on should Pilkington leave.
Manager Duncan Russell added: "It is not ideal to only have Kevin on these terms and means I realistically still have to look at another keeper."
Alty's joint Press Officer, John Edwards writes:
"Ken McKenna saluted Altrincham's new-found defensive resilience as two clean sheets helped garner four points from a productive Bank Holiday programme.
Though still bottom of the Blue Square Bet Premier, Alty's hopes of beating the drop were given a massive lift by a 0-0 home draw with Wrexham and morale-boosting 1-0 win at Mansfield.
As they head for another tough test at Rushden and Diamonds on Saturday, a show of defensive strength marshalled by the in-form Marc Joseph has provided fresh optimism for McKenna, who made seven changes to the starting line-up at Mansfield on Monday.
'To have defended so well in two difficult games in the space of 48 hours was very pleasing and gives us real hope in the battle to stay up,' said the Alty boss. 'You've always got a chance if you can keep a clean sheet, and we showed great discipline in both games.
'I was very mindful of how close together the games were and how difficult it is for a squad of part-time players to replicate the same level of performance, when you've only got 48 hours in between.
'There were always going to be changes, to freshen things up a bit, and it was good to see we could make use of the squad and still come up with a good performance and excellent result.
'It could have been even better, because I felt we could have nicked a winner against Wrexham, but, to be fair, I was really pleased with the way the lads shaped up and responded to the challenge both times.
'Stuart Bimson (assistant manager) [pictured right] had a good look at Mansfield in their game at Cambridge United, and though they came away with an emphatic win, we felt there were areas we could work on and possibly exploit. I was always quietly confident we could get something there, and so it proved.'
The Mansfield win, secured by a close-range header from Damian Reeves, was all the more commendable after injuries ruled out impressive on-loan defender Carl Piergianni, who could be missing for several weeks with ligament damage, James Smith, Michael Twiss and Chris Denham".
Latest | January 2011