PREVIEWS AND TEAM NEWS
'MAGPIES WILL BE UP FOR IT'
Evening Post, 04 February 2005
Carlton Palmer has done his homework on Notts County but said his players have no time to worry about their opposition.
The Stags caretaker boss has watched the Magpies on three occasions this season and feels he knows what they are about.
But he said his side cannot underestimate Notts, otherwise they will suffer a second successive defeat.
Palmer said: "I have watched them play and I have seen them play well and not so well.
"It just depends on which Notts County side will turn up and I think they will be up for it with it being a derby game and what happened last time.
"But at the end of the day, it is three points up for grabs. I am not worried about them, just about us. However, we underestimate them at our peril.
"You do not keep five clean sheets and beat teams like Scunthorpe if you are not playing well. And the two games they have just lost were always going to be difficult for them."
Mansfield lost 2-0 against Lincoln last week, only their second defeat in ten games.
But Palmer is confident they can bounce back against Notts tomorrow in their 3,000th League game.
He said: "We have lost two in ten and both games have involved us having a player sent off so we are not going to change an awful lot about what we are doing.
"We will continue in the same way but get back to keeping clean sheets.
"We will be without Luke Dimech, who is suspended, but I have not been able to get anyone else in as I would have liked, so it will be a case of reshuffling."
Palmer said derby matches do not hold the same importance to players as they do to fans.
He said: "People always ask are derby games special to play in. Well, every game is special.
"I think derby matches are only for supporters but for players it is two games in a season and another six points.
"I played in lots of these matches and the only one really special memory was when I was playing for Sheffield Wednesday and we beat Sheffield United in the FA Cup semi-final."
RICHARDSON BACKS PALMER TO GET BACK ON TOP FORM
Evening Post, 04 February 2005
Ian Richardson has backed winger Chris Palmer to rediscover his best form.
The 21-year-old made a big impact at Meadow Lane after his October debut following his move from Derby County in the summer. But his performances have been inconsistent in recent weeks and he was dropped in the 2-0 victory against Scunthorpe and the defeat against Macclesfield.
Last week he returned to the starting line-up, and played 90 minutes in the reserves this week.
Richardson believes he will soon be back to his best. He said: "He has suffered a dip in form and needs to get his confidence back and then he will start playing really well again.
"Some young players need to be taken out for a few games sometimes to help get the best out of them. Chris is a young lad with loads of ability and he did well in the reserves in midweek and is up for selection tomorrow. It is just a case of trying to get the best out of players."
Richardson is looking to bolster his squad and said his search for players will continue.
He said: "I am hoping to bring in some players and I need to add to the squad because injuries leave you short."
NOTTS (from): Deeney, Pipe, Baudet,Wilson,Ullathorne, Scully, Oakes, Gill ,Bolland, Palmer, Harrad, Hurst ,Gordon, Williams, Elliot, McFaul.
RICHO FACES TROUBLE AT BACK
Evening Post, 04 February 2005
Ian Richardson faces a defensive crisis ahead of tomorrow's visit of local rivals Mansfield Town.
The Notts County player manager is without four central defenders, while Rob Ullathorne is also struggling with a sore groin.
Emmet Friars was carried off in the reserve match at Grimsby in midweek and has been ruled out with a knee injury.
And Mike Whitlow, Mike Edwards and Richardson are all out with knee problems.
It means Kelvin Wilson is likely to partner Julien Baudet in the centre of defence as they look to gain revenge for the 3-1 defeat suffered at Field Mill back in October.
Richardson said: "I only have about 15 fit players but I am hoping Rob Ullathorne is OK, although he did not train yesterday.
"We are short on defenders so it will be a case of shuffling the pack, but there are players who can do the job.
"Friars is definitely out this weekend but his injury is not as bad as first thought so he should be all right for next weekend."
Richardson missed the match at Field Mill through injury but is confident his players can put one over their rivals at Meadow Lane tomorrow.
He said: "The lads were very disappointed to lose the derby game and they want to put that right this time.
"We have been working on things this week and focusing on the importance of the game and how we need to get back to winning ways after two successive defeats."
AIM TO PLEASE, BUT WE HAVE TO TOUGHEN UP
STEVIE RODEN TALKS TO NOTTS' STRIKER AHEAD OF LOCAL DERBY
Evening Post, 04 February 2005
Glynn Hurst today said Notts County must get tough and make themselves hard to beat if they are to avenge their defeat to Mansfield tomorrow.
The Magpies striker was part of the side that was demolished in the 3-1 loss at Field Mill back in October.
But he says the players must start showing the mentality that led them to a string of five clean sheets in as many league matches before losing their last two games.
Hurst said: "If you take away the 5-0 defeat against Macclesfield I think we were on the up and up but then we have suffered those two defeats and it has knocked us back.
"Now we have to get back to being solid and making ourselves hard to beat.
"We have not been doing that in the last couple of games and we need to get back to doing it.
"We need to be resilient, tough and mentally strong and we have proved we can do that - now we have to do it on a consistent basis."
Notts entertain Mansfield at Meadow Lane tomorrow and Hurst is aware that for the fans it has an extra edge because of the local rivalry.
But he said: "It is just a game that we need three points out of and not just because it is a derby, but because of our league position.
"We have to look at it as another game and it is important for the fans because of the rivalry so we have to make sure we go out and don't let them down - it is as simple as that.
"It has not gone that well in the last two games and we lost at Mansfield last time so all we can do is go out and put that right.
"We have been out of sorts in the last two games, for whatever reason, and it has been quite annoying as we were looking OK. It is something that as a group of players we have to correct ourselves."
Hurst is hoping the Notts fans will turn out in force for tomorrow's crucial clash.
But he said it is up to the players to perform in order to keep them turning out in their numbers each week.
He said: "I hope the fans turn out but to be honest they have not had a lot to shout about.
"It is up to us to give them something to shout about and get them to come out on a regular basis, but until we start climbing the table and performing well that will not happen.
"If we can perform well consistently we know we have got a good fan base behind us and that we will get more and more fans to games.
"Success goes hand in hand with that.
"It is a derby tomorrow and Mansfield are not that far above us in the table.
"They are a different side to the one they had under Keith Curle.
"I thought they played exceptionally well that day and I am quite surprised that he has gone.
"But we want three points tomorrow and to send the fans home tomorrow happy and with a smile on their face.
"They have not had much to cheer about this season."
Notts County v Mansfield
Notts County defender Emmet Friars could miss out after suffering minor knee ligament damage in midweek.
Steve Scoffham is also expected to be absent as he recovers from a broken leg, and Ian Richardson and Mike Whitlow are out with knee problems.
Mansfield have selection worries, with Luke Dimech suspended after being sent off against Lincoln.
Rhys Day, Dave Artell and left-back Adam Eaton are also all unavailable through injury and illness.
Derby defender hopes fade for Stags
CHAD website, 03 February 2005
MANSFIELD Town look unlikely to be able to bring in a loan centre half for Saturday's big local derby against Notts County at Meadow Lane (3pm).
With Dave Artell and Rhys Day sidelined and Luke Dimech starting a three-game suspension, Palmer has been scoring the country for a quality player to plug the gap.
"I did have a lad from Southampton lined up," he said. "But he is away with England on U20 duty in midweek so would have missed the Swansea game.
"It was the same with another lad. Luke will be available again after the following weekend so it's not worth me bringing somone in for just two games.
"I won't bring someone in for the sake of it and I have now almost resigned myself to leave things as they are and go with what we've got as I did in training this morning."
Palmer knows how big this Saturday's game is to the club and fans but insisted: "As a player a local derby has to be treated as just another game or you can let the occasion get the better of you.
"I understand how important these games are to supporters but the most important thing at the end of the season has to be to achieve something, whatever the derby results on the way.
"I will be telling my players to ignore the crowd and the atmosphere and concentrate on taking care of our business.
"When I was a kid my second game was at Newcastle and I let the crowd and the chanting affect me. The result was I was left out the side.
"So I decided from then on that I would never let the crowd get in my head again and I just went into a zone. You would hear the odd comment from someone when the ball had gone out of play for a throw or whatever but, otherwise, I just didn't hear the crowd.
"The only derby I have felt anything different for was the FA Cup final between Sheffield United and Wednesday and that was because there was the Cup at stake.
"But I know that to win on Saturday would be a massive boost to everyone. I am more concerned that my players react to the defeat at Lincoln in a positive manner and we get back on another run.
"We will start with getting a clean sheet and then go for a victory."
He added: "We we will not take Notts lightly. Form books go out the window in derbies and, although Notts have lost their last two games without scoring, before that they went five games with conceding a goal and beat the likes of Scunthorpe.
"You have to respect them. The reason Chelsea are doing so well is, all credit to their manager, they take no one lightly and prepare properly for each game.
"Our aim remains the play-offs until it is mathematically impossible. We have only lost twice in 10 games - both times after sendings-off - but we know we now need to put a few wins together."
Wayne Corden remains a Mansfield Town player after turning down a move to another club this week.
But Palmer is unhappy with the situation.
"Don't get me wrong, Wayne is a very talented footballer. but he's just not been doing it here and he is on big money.
"He has been offered the chance to move this week on the same money he was on here. But he's chosen not to go and wants us to pay him up so he can then go elsewhere which I am not prepared to do.
"He knows his contract will not be renewed next season, the way he has been playing and the money he is earning. It's nothing personal. If he was playing well I could justify it."
"Colin Larkin hasn't been doing it either and he turned down the chance to go elsewhere last week. I am a bit disappointed in both of them. But there's nothing I can do it about it right now."
Striker Shane Smeltz and winger Adam Rundle have already signed on a non-contract basis until the end of the season but Palmer is hoping to be able to agree proper contracts with them at some stage soon.
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