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Archived News from July 2003

18th July 2003 14:40

Evening Post, 18 July 2003

Mansfield Town boss Keith Curle has warned his players to be brave or risk being torn apart by the international stars of Manchester City.

Kevin Keegan has confirmed he will be bringing a strong squad to Field Mill tomorrow as his side prepare to mount a challenge in the Premiership and Uefa Cup next month. It will see England international David Seaman and new signing Michael Tarnat from Bayern Munich make their City debuts.

Nicolas Anelka and Robbie Fowler could also appear.

Former City defender Curle said: "We've got to be brave. We've got to want to keep the ball and use it.

"You cannot do anything if you keep giving it away.

"They have a team of outstanding individuals, and they some world-class players so our lads have got to want to have the ball, otherwise we could be in real trouble."

But the Stags boss was keen to stress that his players were up for the challenge and would not let the fans down.

"You can only take positives out of a game like this but we want to test Man City and give them a game.

"And we will get punished for the slightest mistake.

"I'm sure our weaknesses will be exposed but friendlies are the best time to do that because we can then put them right."

Thousands of fans are expected to descend upon Field Mill tomorrow - and many eyes will be on veteran keeper Seaman, who is set to make his first start since his free transfer from Arsenal.

It will also be his first step in trying to reclaim the England No.1 spot.

"I have been told David Seaman will be taking part at some stage and, with the other big names, the fans will be in for a treat," added Curle.

"The likes of Anelka and Seaman have played at the very top and achieved at that level and have great respect within the game.

"But the main focus for us has to be on our game and not to worry about the opposition.

"It will be a great afternoon for everyone concerned and the players are just desperate to get out in front of the fans again and put last season's relegation behind them."

Meanwhile, Curle has spoken for the first time about striker Andy White's potential move to another of the manager's old clubs, Bristol Rovers.

The 21-year-old has said he wants to remain a Mansfield Town player but has refused to sign a slightly improved offer made last month.

Curle said: "Andy is down at Bristol at the moment training with them. It is a chance for them to have a look at him and more to the point, an opportunity for Andy to see what they have to offer him. We'll have to wait and see what happens."

The game at Field Mill tomorrow will kick off at 3pm. Tickets are £10 adults, £6 concessions.


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