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Archived News from July 2003

5th July 2003 19:49

Evening Post, 05 July 2003

Mansfield boss Keith Curle today refused to panic about transfer activity in Division Three, insisting he already has the basis of a promotion-challenging squad.

And he was firm that he would not be bringing players in just for the sake of it. Curle has yet to bring in any fresh faces as he looks to guide the club back into Division Two at the first attempt and he said he will not be rushed.

"I am talking to players and agents all the time but, really, the nucleus of our team is already here and I think that gives us an advantage," he said.

"People might be worried that other teams are signing four or five players, but I'm not.

"If you bring in that number of players then they have to gel and that takes a bit of time.

"We have come back to training earlier than a lot of clubs and you have to look at it as a progression.

"Anyway, no-one is going to come to Field Mill and simply be able to pick up their money.

"I'm not into giving footballers a meal ticket and they won't get one here.

"Really, we are that far away. We have a good base and, when people say we should be looking to get a striker, we have to remember we have got six already.

"I do have a couple of irons in the fire but the main focus of the team is already here."

Curle is delighted with the way his squad have been training, a week since they returned from the summer break.

They will face their first pre-season friendly, a behind-closed-doors affair against Rotherham a week on Wednesday, and Curle said changes off the pitch have helped enormously.

He is particularly delighted with the help Forest Town Welfare have provided at the club's new training facilities.

He said: "At the end of last season, it was really backs-against-the-wall stuff and we needed to concentrate everything on getting out of trouble.

"We gave it a good go but now we have been able to make a few more changes off the pitch and the people at Forest Town cannot do enough for us.

"It is certainly helping the players and they are beginning to reap the benefits from some excellent facilities.

"We have come back earlier than a lot of teams and I think the foundations are in place."

The only absentee from training so far has been left-back Adam Eaton.

The former Preston defender is still recovering from the effects of a hernia operation but Curle remains confident he will be joining the rest of the squad in the near future.

Evening Post, 05 July 2003

Determined Michael Sisson is likely to earn himself a contract with Notts County, once the club's takeover is complete.

The former Mansfield Town man has trained with the Magpies for almost six months, to prove his fitness, after more than 18 months on the sidelines with a serious knee ligament injury. Now Magpies manager Billy Dearden is set to reward the midfielder's persistence with a new contract.

"As soon as the situation has been resolved with the takeover of the club - and as long as he doesn't have any fitness problems in the meantime - it is something I would like to do," he said.

"To be honest, there is nobody more deserving of a contract.

"And I would hope to agree a deal with him once things are sorted out.

"He has been training with us for the last few days and, barring any further fitness problems, it is something I will be looking at."

Dearden knows all about Sisson's ability from his time as manager at Field Mill.

But he has also been hugely impressed by his strength of character.

"I don't know many players who would have had the character or perseverance to continue for as long as he has," he said.

"He has been with us for around six months now, in training and playing in the reserves.

"And in that time we have not paid him anything.

"But he has worked hard to prove himself and he has done well."

Notts, in the meantime, today insisted radio reports suggesting they had abandoned plans to hire Steve Parkin as assistant manager were 'completely incorrect'.

Parkin took part in pre-season training yesterday and, according to spokesman Sam McEwan, is very much part of the club's plans.

"I can assure fans that the appointment of an assistant manager has not been put on hold," he said.


Latest | July 2003