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Archived News from September 2004

17th September 2004 14:09

Evening Post, 17 September 2004


12:00 - 17 September 2004
Keith Curle says he is happy to stick with his 18-man squad for the time being.

The Stags are thought to have collected a £20,000 fee after Lee Williamson's move to Northampton last week, and will receive an initial down payment of £175,000 from Sunderland for Liam Lawrence.

Mansfield will get £10,000 for every ten appearances Lawrence makes for the Black Cats up to 50, £100,000 on promotion, £50,000 on his first competitive international appearance and a 25% sell on fee, a ruling that satisfied Stags chairman Keith Haslam.

"The committee came to what I consider to be a fair decision and we have been compensated for Liam's development rather than just for his transfer value," said Haslam.

But despite the influx of cash, Curle is in no rush to bump up the size of his squad.

While other clubs struggle with injury problems, Curle has had the luxury of selecting from a fully fit squad.

"It's about getting the right blend and the right player being available at the right time," he said.

"I haven't asked the chairman if there is money available because that's not the issue.

"When you get involved in transfer dealings, it's all about timing.

"I could name players I can bring in in every position, but I'm not desperate to bring another player in for the sake of it."

Curle could name the same side for a fourth game in a row against Rochdale tomorrow, and the same 16 who were involved at Cambridge.

The Stags boss appears to have developed a nice balance of players in his squad this season, and says his team are capable of reacting to suit any type of conditions.

He said: "If teams want to have a game of football, we'll have a game of football; if teams want a battle, we'll go toe-to-toe with them. We'll battle with the best of them.

"The players have the right mental strength. They know they can play, but there's a responsibility as and when required to put their head in and put their foot in."

Curle says the 2-2 draw at Cambridge on Saturday - which was secured on the back of successive 4-1 wins - was a prime example of players having the right attitude.

"The game at Cambridge proved to myself, John Gannon and the players that they are part of a unit.

"A few of the players felt that they would have got beaten in games like that last season.

"This season is different. The attitude, determination and application was strong enough to grind out a draw at Cambridge.

"It wasn't pretty but I have watched the video again and it highlighted that our players did a good job to come back from behind twice."

Wayne Corden is set to make his 200th appearance for Mansfield tomorrow, but Adam Eaton could miss out on a place in the squad again.

The left back, who still has a problem with his groin, was not involved in the reserves' defeat at Port Vale on Tuesday.

Although Curle is happy to stick with an 18-man squad for now, he is taking a look at young Millwall right winger Goma Lambu.

The player was involved in the reserves game at Port Vale.

Stags: Pilkington, McNiven, Buxton, Artell, Day, John-Baptiste, MacKenzie, Neil, Corden, Larkin, Asamoah, O'Neill, Tate, Murray, Curtis, White, Dimech, Eaton.

Evening Post, 17 September 2004
Rochdale are expected to start with new signing Ernie Cooksey on the bench. The midfielder signed on a free from Oldham yesterday.

Centre back Greg Heald (hamstring) and midfielder Scott Warner (shoulder) are still missing but Rochdale are likely to name an unchanged 11 from the side which drew 1-1 against Darlington on Saturday using a 4-5-1 formation.

Jamie Clarke, who joined from Mansfield in the summer, is likely to start in midfield, with 19-year-old Arsenal loanee Ashley Probets expected to be on the bench.

Loanee Bryan Cash plays his last game before returning to Nottingham Forest next week, while New Zealand international Leo Bertos will play in midfield.

Lone striker Grant Holt has found the net five times this season.

ROCHDALE: Edwards, Evans, Griffiths, Burgess, Gallimore, Cash, Clarke, Jones, Briscoe, Bertos, Holt, Cooksey, Gilks, Probets, Tait, Leighton, McGivern.


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