{ the news }
An independent supporters' website dedicated to Mansfield Town FC
Archived News from May 2003

28th May 2003 18:40

Evening Post, 20 May 2003

Determined player-of-the-year Liam Lawrence believes anything below a play-off place for Mansfield Town next season should be considered a failure. The Stags fell into Division Three despite scoring 66 goals, only two less than champions Wigan. And the midfielder, who took all the supporters' player-of-the-year awards, believes Keith Curle's side are in a strong position to go back up at the first attempt. The play-offs could be extended to ninth place this season and Lawrence does not want to contemplate not being at least involved in the end-of-season showdown. He said: "I think the players we have got are certainly good enough to make the step up again and I'm sure the manager will be looking to bring in a few new faces. "Really, with the players we have got, it will be a really bad season if we do not at least get into the play-offs." Lawrence said he was able to look upon the season positively in terms of his own performances, despite the fact that Stags dropped back into the basement after only one season away. He helped himself to 12 goals, which was a dramatic improvement on the two he netted in the promotion campaign. He added: "It has been a very long, hard season and obviously we are all very disappointed that it ended in relegation, especially for the fans because they deserved so much better. "But from a personal point of view, I don't think I have done too badly and it was good to get a few goals this year. "Last year, I was expecting to get on the scoresheet quite a bit but I only got a couple. This year, I scored a couple of penalties and also got ten from open play so I am particularly pleased about that." Having tasted life in the Second Division, Lawrence wants to bounce back at the first time of asking and eventually prove that the Stags should not have been relegated in the first place. "I think we can only benefit from the experience we have gained from playing at a higher level," he added. "It was a big jump and we found ourselves playing against a higher standard of opposition but we can learn from that.
"We should approach next season with confidence and it will all be about how well we start off. "Then it will be a case of trying to stay at the top because I think we are more than capable of getting promoted. "That's not saying it will be easy because we will have to avoid being complacent if we win a few games. We have to get a bit of consistency going."


Latest | May 2003