LEEDS PREVIEWS / HEARN AND SWISS KEEPER TO FEATURE
Swiss ‘keeper to feature against Whites
mansfieldtown.net, 21st July 2014
Un-named shot-stopper to play against Leeds United tomorrow night.
Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/swiss-keeper-to-feature-against-whites-1772154.aspx#cJMHpA6sYTUh0oG8.99
Boss Paul Cox has confirmed that a trialist goalkeeper from Switzerland will feature in tomorrow’s clash with Leeds United at One Call Stadium.
The Stags’ manager, who was speaking at a press meeting earlier today, will cast his eye over the un-named shot-stopper as he nears making a decision on which ‘keeper to bring to the club.
Trialist Dimitar Evtimov kept goal in the 3-1 victory over Notts County nine days ago, before a custodian from Birmingham City was in the net for last week’s 3-1 reverse to Aston Villa.
Our boss also hinted that some new signings could be made in time for Friday’s match at Grimsby Town.
“We’ll have a look at a Swiss keeper against Leeds. He’s looked good in the week’s training he’s had with us, but we want to see how he performs under some stress,” said Cox.
“We need to make sure we bring in the right person. Dimitar (Evtimov) did well against Notts County but, with all due respect, he didn’t have a lot to do that day.
“The ‘keeper that played against Aston Villa was put under a lot of stressful situations, particularly in the last 20 minutes, and performed admirably.
“We’re still talking to Birmingham and could still do something, but we must be respectful because he is still a Birmingham City player.”
Our boss continued: “The Leeds game is all about fitness and getting the boys extra minutes under their belts. I’ve got one or two more trialists to come in then I need to make some good decisions on them.
“I’m not putting a time-frame on anything, but coming into the Grimsby game there may be another two signings on board.
“We’re very, very close to finalising a new ‘keeper so there may be three additional players, which more or less takes us up to our quota.
“One of the two outfield players may be from the trialists we’ve looked at. Someone may just jump out. The other could be one of the ones we have spoken about who we’ve been tracking through pre-season and have had to show patience. I want to bring in the right player at the right price.”
Meanwhile, the future of midfielder Anthony Howell remains unclear.
The 28-year-old has featured in our recent clashes with Notts County and Aston Villa, but hasn’t yet signed a new deal that he was offered at the end of last term.
Yesterday, Howell also played for Cambridge United in a friendly with Shakhtar Donetsk.
“I’ve been honest with Anthony and told him don’t put all you eggs in one basket,” added Cox. “I know that he played for Cambridge at the weekend. I’ll have a chat with him at some point today and see where the land lies, but I have no news yet.”
Hitman Hearn ready to fire
mansfieldtown.net, 21st July 2014
Striker may figure when Leeds United visit One Call Stadium.
Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/hitman-hearn-ready-to-fire-1772243.aspx#KozKjIT86fk7WbM7.99
Supporters could get their first glimpse of new signing Liam Hearn in tomorrow night’s prestigious pre-season friendly with Leeds United at One Call Stadium.
The 28-year, who joined us on a free transfer last month, has been out of action since November when he suffered a serious knee injury whilst playing for ex-employers Grimsby Town in a match with Barnet.
But now back fully fit and raring to go, Hearn has impressed boss Paul Cox in training in recent days and could be unleashed when the Championship giants come to North Nottinghamshire.
Also set to play tomorrow night is full-back Lee Beevers, who was granted extra time to recover from an operation to secure the shoulder that kept dislocating.
Defenders Luke Jones and Ryan Tafazolli are both back in contention and likely to figure at some stage as are Amari’i Bell and Fergus Bell, both of whom suffered knocks in last week’s defeat to Aston Villa.
However, Sam Clucas will miss out with an ankle problem, however, his injury isn’t as bad as was first feared.
“It’s all positive news on the injuries,” said Cox. “Sam’s injury isn’t as bad as we first feared. He should be back the week prior to the Walsall game at worst.”
He added: “[The match with Birmingham City being postponed] has given the lads a bit of time to get their second breath. I gave the boys the weekend off so they will come back fresh and ready to go again.”
A full preview for tomorrow night’s match will be available on http://www.mansfieldtown.net later today.
Hitman Hearn ready to face Leeds
chad.co.uk, 21 July 2014
Stags fans are likely to get their first glimpse of goal machine Liam Hearn as Mansfield Town prepare to take on Championship giants Leeds United at One Call Stadium tomorrow night.
And manager Paul Cox said he may have two or three new signings made by the time Stags head to Grimsby for another friendly on Friday.
Summer signing Hearn has been wrapped in cotton wool so far as he looks to get his career back on track following a serious knee injury last November.
But Hearn has been looking strong and eager in training and Cox is ready to give him a run-out tomorrow.
Also set to play is Lee Beevers, after he had also been given extra time to recover from a summer operation to secure the shoulder that kept dislocating, as well as a Swiss keeper on trial as Mansfield continue their search for a new number one.
Ryan Tafazolli and Luke Jones, both nursing pre-season niggles, will probably have to wait until Friday’s trip to Grimsby while Sam Clucas, who hurt his ankle in Thursday’s home defeat by Aston Villa, will rest up until the following week before the home clash with Walsall.
“It’s all positive news on the injuries,” said Cox. “Sam’s injury is not as bad as we first feared. He should be back the week prior to the Walsall game at worst.”
“We will have a look at a Swiss keeper against Leeds. He has looked good in the week’s training he has had with us. But we want to see how he performs under some stress.
“We need to make sure we bring in the right person. Dimitar (Evtimov) did well against County but, with all due respect, he didn’t have a lot to do that day.
“The Birmingham keeper that played against Villa was put under a lot of stressful situations, particularly in the last 20 minutes, and performed admirably. We are still talking to Birmingham and could still do something. But we must be respectful he is still a Birmingham City player.
“The Leeds game is all about fitness and getting the boys extra minutes under their belts.
“I have one or two more trialists to come in tomorrow. Then I need to make some good decisions on them.
“I am not putting a time frame on anything. But coming into the Grimsby game there may be another two signings on board.
“We are very, very close to finalising a new keeper so there may be three additional players which more or less takes us up to our quota.
“One of the two outfield players may be from the trialists we have looked at. Someone may just jump out. The other could be one of the ones we have spoken about who we have been tracking through pre-season and have had to show patience. I want to bring in the right player at the right price.”
Leeds have made five summer signings so far with Swiss international defender Gaetano Berardi coming in this week for an undisclosed fee from Serie A side Sampdoria, subject to international clearance, to join goalkeeping duo Marco Silvestri and Stuart Taylor, midfielder Tommaso Bianchi and striker Souleymane Doukara.
After the shock of having to cancel last Saturday’s Birmingham friendly on police advice, Cox is now hoping to find a replacement game.
“With Birmingham being off I would like to get in another game, even if it is behind closed doors, to help the squad knit together before the season starts,” he said.
“Losing the Birmingham game was a bit surreal. But it was something out of our control and you just have to get on with it.
“It has given the lads a bit of time to get their second breath. I gave them the weekend off so they will come back fresh and ready to go again.”
Midfielder Anthony Howell, who has been unable to agree a new deal with Mansfield, turned out for Cambridge in a friendly at the weekend.
Cox added: “I have been honest with Anthony and told him don’t put all you eggs in one basket.
“I know he played for Cambridge at the weekend. I will have a chat with him at some point today and see where the land lies. But I have no news yet.”
Craig Priest’s Mansfield Town column: Nick Townsend is the right choice to replace Alan Marriott
chad.co.uk, by Craig Priest, 21 July 2014
The postponement of Saturday’s match with Birmingham City was not only bizarre, but also highly frustrating, not only for us supporters but for Paul Cox and his management team as the quest to replace the much loved Alan Marriott continues.
You can watch keepers all day long in training. This assessment counts for little though as it’s game time assessment that really matters.
I’m sure Cox will be looking to arrange a behind closed doors match to make up for the loss of the Birmingham game, but as each day passes, the new season draws closer - if we’re to start well, we need our back four to feel settled with a regular shot-stopper behind them.
This also works in the same respect for the keeper too, it’s obvious now that an experienced Football League keeper is pretty much out of the question - our target is young keepers on a minimum of a six month loan deal.
This has it’s pros and cons but they are pretty much irrelevant, all that matters is we give them a degree of stability that can then be passed on to our defence and through the spine of our side.
The two we have looked at so far are good choices, Nottingham Forest’s Bulgarian youngster Dimitar Evtimov and Birmingham City’s Nick Townsend, if I were Paul Cox I’d have one more game (Tomorrow’s encounter with Leeds United) to look at one more keeper, rumoured to be an unnamed swiss keeper, before settling on one and letting them spend the remainder of pre-season becoming accustomed to life as Mansfield Town’s number one.
Evtimov had little to do against Notts County but what he did, he did well, whilst Townsend had much more to do against Aston Villa and to be fair, put in an impressive display despite conceding three goals.
It would perhaps be unfair to compare the two based on one game each, especially when the games in question were so different in terms of the style of play and opposition.
At some stage though, Cox is going to need to make that choice - if I were in his shoes, at the moment on balance, I’d opt for Townsend. I felt he came across as a confident keeper who wasn’t afraid to make decisions or recover from errors easily.
His shot-stopping was top notch and, particularly in the second half against Villa, kept the scoreline respectable, his handling too seemed comfortable.
Neither Townsend or Evtimov have got Football League experience, Townsend has spent a month on loan at Lincoln and departed with nothing but positive feedback, but it will be very much a case of throwing them in at the deep end and hoping they can swim!
Another name rumoured to be in the frame is Sheffield United’s George Long. Long is another young keeper, aged twenty, but has much more Football League experience than the other two names that we know of.
This raises two questions, would Sheffield United be willing to loan him out on the cheap and if so, would he be allowed to play in the Capital One cup tie, if not - who do we have in reserve?
Moving away from keepers now and onto the several other A.Trialist’s that have appeared in Stags colours this past week or so, I think one-two more games looking at them is enough before we get a settled starting eleven in place.
None have been officially named but, as with the keepers, rumours and research suggests that on trial at the moment we have Rob Taylor (formerly of Port Vale), Shaun Harrad (last known to be on the books of Alfreton) and Sam Togwell (a former in-mate of Chesterfield FC).
The later didn’t appear against Aston Villa which could suggest the end of that particular line of enquiry, whilst Harrad has made substitute appearances against Notts County and Aston Villa and Taylor has started in both matches.
Harrad for me doesn’t offer us too much, we have Liam Hearn still to come in the next few weeks and have Ollie Palmer, Matt Rhead and the impressive Alex Fisher as well. Taylor on the other hand, is a player I’d be squeezing the budget just enough to sign.
He’s looked quite handy at both right wing-back (Notts County first half) and left wing-back (Aston Villa first-half), he looks strong in the tackle, has some pace about him and can deliver a mean set-play - these are valuable assets when you’re running with a smaller squad.
Whatever the case, the games keep coming thick and fast - the dawn of the new season is not far away now, let’s hope it’s not a case of jeepers keepers ahead of the season’s opener and us supporters, can approach it without the need of panic - who can forget two days before our season’s opener in the conference when Billy McEwan only had around six players signed!
Only in the life of a Mansfield Town supporter I guess!
Latest | July 2014