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Archived News from April 2004

8th April 2004 14:48

Evening Post, STEVIE RODEN, 08 April 2004

Mansfield Town striker Junior Mendes is confident he can continue hitting the goals to lead the Stags into Division Two.

Mendes ended a 19-game goal famine by striking three times in as many games to get his club back on track for automatic promotion.

And the 27-year-old is determined to make the most of the last six games by adding to his current tally of 11 goals for the season.

He said: "It is never good as a striker to go through games without a goal and when it was happening I tried not to get down, instead doing the next best thing for the team by working hard and closing down defenders.

"It did not knock my confidence too much because in the recent games we have not been creating chances, so it made it difficult for everyone.

"It was not a case of missing lots of chances because that would have been a little bit different."

Mendes had scored eight goals by mid-November and had become a fans' favourite at Field Mill.

But until a week ago against Torquay, the former Chelsea apprentice had failed to hit the back of the net and it had cast doubts among the supporters about Keith Curle's determination to stick with him in the starting line-up.

But he has repaid Curle's faith in the last three outings, netting three and having numerous opportunities to score more.

He said: "I am feeling much more confident now because I am getting the chances and everybody is looking much more aware on the pitch.

"We knew the Oxford game was going to be massive and we got a superb result after putting in a quality performance.

"We feel we can beat any team in this division and with six games to go we are looking to win them all.

"But we are not even thinking of the play-offs.

"Our sights are purely on automatic promotion and the belief is back that we can get there."

Mendes said morale was low after some poor results this year but the turning point was the abandoned match against Oxford almost three weeks ago.

He said: "We suddenly got it down and played football and realised how simple it was.

"From then on we have just continued to move forward and now we are in the run-in it is a great chance to make a lot of progress.

"Now I just look back and wish I could have started scoring earlier because I feel like I can keep going now and build on my goal tally.

"I have missed a few chances in the games of late but I have scored as well - but at least we are creating the opportunities and I am not scared to have a shot."


Latest | April 2004