SORRY LAWRENCE ADMITS: `I WAS STUPID`
Evening Post, 19 August 2003
Stags midfielder Liam Lawrence has apologised for going nightclubbing less than 48-hours before a big game, admitting: "I was stupid."
The 21-year-old was spotted in a Mansfield nightclub on Thursday despite manager Keith Curle's orders to stay in.
The midfielder said he gave in to temptation and went out for about an hour, from 10.30pm, to celebrate a friend's birthday.
Lawrence said he was only drinking water and was in bed by midnight.
He was hauled into the manager's office after training on Friday afternoon.
Curle dropped him from the squad that faced Leyton Orient on Saturday - a game they drew 1-1.
Lawrence said: "The gaffer told me I had been spotted. I admitted where I had been straight away and said I had not been drinking.
"I knew I should not have been there. I should have just said 'no' and stopped in. I am young and I have been stupid but I will not do it again. I have learnt my lesson from this.
"All I have done is let down myself, the management, the players and the fans. I apologise to them all."
Fans' favourite Lawrence, who has been tipped for a move into a higher division, trained with the reserves yesterday, while the rest of the team went swimming.
Curle said in yesterday's Evening Post that Lawrence now has to earn his respect before he is considered for selection.
And the midfielder has insisted he is determined to do so and win his place back in the starting line-up.
Lawrence added: "I accept I have done wrong and now I will be working hard to earn the gaffer's respect. I will do that.
"If I want to play better and do well for this side I have got to do that - not going out late before a match.
"I am determined to prove myself to the manager and work hard. I want to get back in the team as soon as possible.
"It was horrible watching from the stands and I was gutted when Orient equalised at the end.
"I have now got my fingers and toes crossed in the hope I will be back in the team very soon.
"I will not be going out for a while, I will be getting my head down and working hard."
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