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Archived News from December 2004

1st December 2004 15:45

CHAD website
Stags stars to leave?
TWO more of Mansfield Town's current squad may be leaving the club.
Alex Neil (left) and Luke Dimech (above) have been told they are not in caretaker manager Carlton Palmer's long-term plans, should ge get the job on a full-time basis, although Dimech may yet get the chance to prove him wrong.
But Neil looks set to follow Neil MacKenzie out the door.
"I have circulated Alex's name as being available," said Palmer.
"On Saturday we didn't get much from the two lads who were playing wide, although Wayne Corden gets the benefit of the doubt as he was struggling with an injury.
"But Alex and Wayne both had to come inside and that narrowed the pitch for us for the second half.
"I have to prioritise and if Alex is not in my side, I cannot afford to have someone earning the wages he earns just sitting on my bench.
"Luke is different and will defnitely play at Darlington next week with Dave Artell suspended.
"But he doesn't feel comfortable at left back or right back and we already have three good centre halves here in Artell, Rhys Day and Alex John-Baptiste.
"I could really do with a centre half-cum-right back. But, in this game, who is to say what will happen?
"I thought Luke played very well on Saturday and if he keeps playing well he will stay in the team, for sure."
mansfieldtown.net reports that caretaker manager Carlton Palmer cannot wait to get a full strength team back. Since the suspension of Keith Curle, Palmer has been hit with injury worries and suspensions that have made it difficult to select a full strength 16.

Rhys Day who injured himself weeks ago in a two footed challenge that saw him limp of the pitch has this morning gone under the surgeons knife to rectify a problem to his ankle and it is envisaged that he ill be absent form the side for up to two months.

Colin Larkin has appendicitis so he will be out for the next couple of weeks or so.

Then there is Dave Artell who will be missing due to a one match suspension for accumulating 5 yellow cards.

Good news, however is that Derek Asamoah and Alex John-Baptiste will be back from their recent suspensions.

A philosophical Palmer said: "Well, that's football, it's no good feeling sorry for ourselves. We have to get on with it and do the best that we can and if you work hard the results will come we saw that on Saturday where we dug in and made things difficult for Leyton Orient. Pilkington didn't really have a lot to do and the goal although well struck was one them that could have gone anywhere."

Palmer is pleased that the Stags haven't got a game until next Tuesday as it gives the squad time for proper preparation, something that has not been possible with the games coming thick and fast. "This gives us time to prepare and wok on a game plan something that we didn't have time to do before the weekend." He told the official Website this morning. "We are hoping to conclude the Simon Brown deal tomorrow and we have more time to prepare for the game. I will be having a good look at the player fitness levels. A friend of mine who has worked with me over the years will be coming in tomorrow regarding fitness etc so hopefully everybody will be ready and know what to do come Tuesday when we go to Darlington." he added.

Meanwhile, Alex Neil's name will be circulated as a free transfer. Palmer has spoken to the player and explained the reasons behind it: "I feel that we are not getting enough of our two wide players. Wayne Corden has been carrying a knock to his ankle so I will give him the benefit of the doubt. But with both players coming on the inside and narrowing the pitch I feel that we should be getting more from them. I told Alex that unfortunately at this level you have to prioritise where your areas are and at this football club we cannot afford to have a player on Alex's wages sat on the bench so he is free to go somewhere else if he can find a club." he told the official site today.

Palmer has also spoken to Luke Dimech: "Luke told me that he doesn't feel comfortable in either of the full back positions which means we have three centre halves when Rhys is fit so we feel that if we can get him out to another club this will allow us to progress in other areas - to bring players in to cover them areas for instance bringing in a centre half that does feel comfortable in the right back role to cover that position when needed." he added.

The caretaker manager also admits that these decisions have been made lightly and are difficult to make: "Before telling the players I had to think long and hard but sometimes for the good of the club these difficult have to be made. Having said that Luke played very well on Saturday and with Dave Artell being out through suspension against Darlington that gives him the opportunity to play and who knows what will happen in the future. The one thing that is sure if he carries on playing well he stays in the team!"

Saturday is a FREE day for the supporters, but the Players of Mansfield Town will be going on a team bonding day. Carlton Palmer in role as caretaker manager feels that the team is a little deflated and need to bond off the pitch to enable to express themselves on it: "On Saturday we will be taking the players on a team bonding day out with some go-karting in the morning, then take the lads for some lunch to get them ready for training on Sunday Morning. I have said to the players this is a means for us all to get together. These are difficult times and we have to pull together although in the four games that I have been in charge I am pleased with their efforts and I believe that we haven't deserved to get beat except Colchester away, that wasn't entirely unexpected so it is important we keep our heads up and we will get a break at some point." he said.

For more details visit http://www.mansfieldtown.net


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