PALMER AND HOLLAND APPOINTED
**NEW : second half of Palmer interview and first half of Haslam interview from CHAD newspaper edition **
CHAD website, Wednesday 9 March 2005
Palmer and Holland appointed
CARLTON Palmer was officially named the new Mansfield Town manager this morning before a packed press conference at Field Mill.
After almost four months working for no wage as caretaker-manager, he has signed a deal until the end of next season with Paul Holland his assistant.
Now Palmer and the club are hoping the anti-Palmer brigade in the stands will give him a chance and get behind him and the team when Oxford United visit on Saturday.
Dean Foulkes, Stags Supporters Association was at the press conference and said: "The treatment of Carlton Palmer and Fraser McLachlan by some of the crowd on Saturday was absolutely disgraceful and the SSA do not condone it.
"We all want to see the club move forward and this is a difficult period after the disappointment of last season.
"Hopefully, with this appointment, we can all now move forward together. It is not about Carlton Palmer or Keith Haslam, it's about Mansfield Town Football Club and those who want Carlton Palmer to fail want Mansfield Town Football Club to fail. That can't be a good thing."
Palmer said: "Today is a new start, irrespective of what has gone, and if fans still want to come and boo me on Saturday, that's up to them - it is irrelevant now.
"It won't affect me because I have made my decision to take this job.
"I've been booed in the past by my ex-wife and by supporters at Wembley. But when you go and pick your medal up it makes it all the sweeter.
"Over my life I have made a lot of people eat their words and I am sure I can make them do that here.
"It is a big challenge here. But I have been in since November changing things around. I am much happier with our defensive side and we now have the best record in the division.
"It is no secret that we are not scoring enough goals and I am trying to bring in a couple of new strikers to address that.
"You have to have goals and the play-offs are still possible with being seven points off them and still 33 points to play for. We know it's a tall order but anything is possible."
He added: "I was a success as a player and now I want to see if I can be a success as a football manager and go as far as I did when I was a player.
"I don't think the majority of fans share the feelings of those who abused me last weekend and I hve had nothing but letters of support.
"We already have a very good nucleus of young players here with the right attitude but it always tkes time with youngsters. This is a very exciting time at the club and we are not a million miles away from something that could be very good."
Jake Buxton will miss Saturday's game with Oxford through groin and hip pain that has plagued him through the last two games.
"Jake is an honest lad and has tried to battle on but we think it's best for him to rest for a week or two," said Carlton Palmer.
"This sort of thing happens with young lads. Suddenly you're playing in a man's game and it takes its toll. The demands are hard.
"But team-wise I may have a couple of surprises for Saturday."
Palmer has organised a youth team friendly for tonight in which he will play both Rhys Day and Scott McNiven for at least 45 minutes.
He also has a midfielder coming up for a trial from Millwall and he will train with the side until Monday and then play in a reserve friendly at Port Vale.
Palmer has his eyes on another striker as well as 18-year-old Kingstonian midfielder Giles Coke who impressed in a reserve run-out last week.
CHAD website, earlier on Wednesday 9 March
Palmer to be appointed this morning
CARLTON Palmer will finally be appointed manager of Mansfield Town Football Club at a press conference this morning after a weekend of soul searching.
And he is hoping fans will now stop their barracking and get behind him and his young side when Oxford United visit this Saturday (3pm).
After almost four months as caretaker manager Palmer was hoping for a good win over Shrewsbury Town last Saturday to herald his appointment.
Instead, after a poor first half showing, he and the side were mercilessly booed by a section of the Field Mill faithful which left Palmer threatening to walk out afterwards.
But Palmer said: "I spoke to the chairman and people in the game who I respect and they have all pointed out that my record at Mansfield is a good one.
"They told me not to go and the players didn't want me to go either.
"I had a chat with Ron Atkinson, who has known me since I was 15, and he told me he had never thought of me as a quitter. He pointed out that I have always had to fight for my success down the years and it would be wrong of me to walk away now.
"So as far as I am concerned it is no longer an issue. I will leave this club for footballing reasons and nothing else.
"All I am asking for is people to give me and the players a chance. I am going to have to put the shutters up if fans are going to carry on having a go at me.
"If, in the end, the results are poor and I am sacked, then I can have no complaints. But let me build this exciting young side and see where it takes us.
"It was lovely to get so many e-mails and letters from people supporting me and I even had fans turn up at the training ground and tell me to stay. I also spoke with the SSA on Sunday who said the majority of fans were behind me."
Palmer, who is expected to sign a contract until the end of next season with Paul Holland as assistant, has also spoken with young midfielder Fraser McLachlan, who was also under fire on Saturday.
"I felt for Fraser as I know his parents and how concerned they were that he was coming here for less money," said Palmer.
"I spoke to the lad and offered him a free transfer if he wanted to get away from it. You can't print his reaction. That is the attitude I want and I have told him he will be in the side on Saturday.
"Fraser did not play well against Shrewsbury - but he wasn't on his own. But he pointed out to me that Wycombe was the only game he had started in which we had lost."
This will be Palmer's second managerial job after his ill-fated time at Stockport when he trimmed the playing staff as requested and did well with a side of youngsters and loan players only to be sacked the following season by new owners.
"I won't lie, my sacking at Stockport did sour me," he said. "I put everything into that job and didn't deserve to be treated that way. But I love the game.
"It is a big gamble for me to go back into management. But I have taken gambles my whole life and always come out on top.
"I have a business of my own that is going well, all my media work and I am lucky that I don't need the money. But I spoke to people who care about me like Ron Atkinson, Graham Taylor and Howard Wilkinson and they all said do what you love.
"It was a big temptation to stay with the BBC and a lot of my family wanted me to do that. That was a three-year contract and I do have three young kids to think about.
"Also, I am a very emotional person and can be very up and down. If we win it's the best thing in the world, if we lose it's the worst thing in the world.
"By leaving the BBC it is going to drop me well down the pecking order as there will be a lot of lads like Paul Ince who will pack up this summer and get into the media work.
"I could have been off to the World Cup. But I do not want to be in a comfort zone. I want to be manager of Mansfield Town.
"All I ask is that fans give me a bit of time to sort things out here and, hopefully, we will get a little luck along the way too.
"I know fans think they have been kept in the dark over one or two things. But you can't always say what you would like to say.
"I didn't want to go into detail about Derek Asamoah as I don't want to make it that he can't work again. I have had problems with him and I can't work with people who don't respect the other players and the manager
" I know people say he is a flair player but, as a flair player, you also need to have an end product. Adam Murray has scored as many from midfield while Richie Barker has scored as many from far fewer matches. Derek has only scored five times.
Keith Haslam interview from CHAD:
"People say I could have interfered and retained them but I have to support the manager. I do not always agree with every decision my managers make, but they must be allowed to formulate their own team and live and die by the results that team produces.
"I have no problem with any of the four lads that left and am on very good terms with all four of them."
The team has largely struggled to score goals. Why hasn't a decent striker been brought in?
"In the summer Keith Curle brought in Chris Tate and Joe O'Neill and, with all due respect, they were not up to it.
Derek Asamoah has not scored many either. His return of about 14 goals in about 140 games is not a good striker's return. He is pleasing on the eye and does have ability. But we need goals.
"Keith Curle did have opportunities to bring players in like Parkin from York, Hurst from Sheffield Wednesday and Eastwood at Southend.
"He didn't fancy any of them but all have gone on to score goals.
"I told him at the time when the loan players' loans were coming up that we needed more firepower. But nothing materialised.
"Another thing that hasn't helped has been the long term injuries to Rhys Day and Dave Artell. Both made us very dangerous at set pieces, chipping in with goals or helping set up others.
"We have had no luck with injuries this season - they have all come at cruel times.
"By the time Carlton came in for that FA Cup game we had a very depleted squad and ended up having to play Colin Larkin up front on his own and Asamoah out wide. It was hardly a good introduction for Carlton."
Why has Carlton Palmer been able to bring in new players and Keith Curle wasn't?
"That isn't true. Carlton is bringing new players in because we need them. Keith Curle had the opportunity and I asked him to do so. But the players were not forthcoming."
"Also we need to bring in a lot of new players for next season to have a bigger squad as, with the implimentation of the new transfer window, we won't be able to bring in loan players."
There are rumours that Keith Curle could legally return if he wins a High Court case against the club. Is that true?
"Keith Curle will not be coming back here. The whole issue has had to be done in a proper manner following employment law and has taken much longer than any of us wanted.
"I can understand fans' frustration - it has all been very unsettling. But it had to be done in a fair and decent manner which our lawyers tell us it has been.
A section of fans are very unhappy that Neil MacKenzie and Wayne Corden have been allowed to leave. What is your view?
"The truth on Neil MacKenzie is that it was a deal set up by Keith Curle. He offered MacKenzie to Macclesfield but Brian Horton said he had not seen the lad play.
"By the time he came back to us a couple of weeks later to say he would take him, Keith had been suspended and Carlton was in charge.
"But MacKenzie was never favoured by Keith Curle while he was here.
"On Wayne Corden, his confidence had dipped, even before the play-offs, and he was always the first one substituted by Keith Curle.
"At one stage Keith told me he didn't want to play Wayne away from home anymore as he was more of a liability than an asset.
"When Carlton arrived he put an arm around Wayne and tried to give him some confidence. But his performances did not improve and it was agreed he would move on.
"Then Wayne's agent became involved and asked us about a settlement figure on Wayne's contract. We told him that if a club would take his contract on then it would be a straight move and, if there was any shortfall then we would discuss it.
"But his agent intimated that if we didn't pay up, Wayne would just sit on his backside for the rest of the season which was holding a gun to our heads.
"We eventually agreed a fee and I asked Wayne where he was going. He said he didn't know but straight after leaving I heard he had signed for Scunthorpe which I found disappointing.
"I would rather he had been honest with me after the years he had here."
A section of fans do not want Carlton Palmer as manager. Why do you feel he is a good choice?
"Carlton is an honest, enthusiastic individual. He is outspoken and he does have a personality. I don't believe you need to knock that out of a person.
"I think the majority of our fans are willing to give him a chance and it is just a minority having a go at him.
"A section of fans started booing him when he took Wayne Corden off in his first game - yet Keith Curle did that almost every game and never got that reaction.
"I don't know why. Maybe it's from his previous reputation from his playing days. But ask any manager who he has played for and they will tell you how much they respect him.
"He never gives less than 100 per cent. That is all we are asking of him. He is still a young manager and very ambitious.
"If he can transfer his passion for football into the team he wants to build then it will go a long way.
"I am making the appointment in the best interests of Mansfield Town Football Club which will be here long after me, Carlton and many of the fans have gone.
"I know most will support the appointment. Those who don't will probably have a go at me.
"But you don't come into football wanting to be liked. If the team are doing well the manager is doing well, if the team is doing badly, often it is the chairman who is the scapegoat.
"People should judge this club overall on what is happening on and off the pitch. This is a transitional year.
"Since the start of the season we have lost the manager, secretary and commercial manager. But we have all that sorted out now and can go forward.
"I will not be bullied or intimidated into not appointing Carlton. I can understand fans' frustrations over the way things have gone this season - yes, we have gone backwards.
"I know most of them mean well and want the same as I do. In the interests of their club I hope all true Mansfield Town supporters will come along and support the club, whoever is in charge."
Palmer earns permanent Stags role
Former Stockport manager Carlton Palmer has signed an initial deal until 2006 to become full-time boss at Mansfield.
Palmer, 39, arrived at Field Mill in November in a caretaker role following Keith Curle's departure, and revealed that he was not paid for his efforts.
"I was working for the BBC at the time and I really enjoyed it, but Ron Atkinson said either I wanted to be a successful manager or I didn't.
"So I just got on with it because I have the desire to prove myself."
Curle was suspended after allegations of bullying a player and subsequently sacked.
His attempts to be re-instated were subsequently rejected by an independent appeals body.
Palmer admitted that the unusual situation presented Mansfield with problems.
"It meant the club couldn't be paying another manager, although my accountant wasn't very happy about it," he quipped.
Palmer: I was working for free
by Simon Fudge - created on 9 Mar 2005
New Mansfield Town boss Carlton Palmer has revealed that he has been working for free at Field Mill.
The former Stockport County manager took temporary charge at The Stags when predecessor Keith Curle was suspended back in November, with the former England man being eventually sacked the following month.
Curle then failed in his appeal to have his dismissal overturned last week, thus allowing Palmer to sign a contract until the summer of 2006 with the League Two club.
The former Leeds United and Sheffield Wednesday player admitted his desire to return to football management allowed him to get through an initially difficult period in the Mansfield hot-seat.
"The Keith Curle situation meant the club couldn't be paying another manager, although my accountant wasn't very happy about it," Palmer said.
"I was working for the BBC at the time and I really enjoyed it, but Ron Atkinson said to me I had two choices: I either wanted to be a football manager and make a success of it or I didn't and should get out to do something different.
"So I just got on with it because I have the desire to prove myself as a successful manager."
EVENING POST, 09 March 2005 :
AS YOU WERE FOR PALMER
Kevin Pilkington says it is business as usual following today's appointment of Carlton Palmer as Mansfield Town manager.
Palmer has been given the manager's job until the end of next season - and former Stags youth team boss Paul Holland has been confirmed as his assistant.
Pilkington, who was club skipper at the start of Palmer's reign, said: "We've all been expecting it and it won't make much of a difference.
"We will just carry on as usual. It's been dragging on for a long time and it's a relief that things have been settled."
Pilkington hopes the fans will get behind the team more now.
Palmer's appointment ends his four-month reign as caretaker boss, a role he undertook on a voluntary basis.
The deal was agreed in principle last week. But, after he was subjected to abuse from a section of home fans during Saturday's 1-1 draw against Shrewsbury at Field Mill, Palmer threatened to walk out.
He had a change of heart after talking to chairman Keith Haslam and said he would not let the fans force him out.
"I thought long and hard about it after what happened on Saturday," said Palmer.
"I love football and I've had support from the chairman, the directors and fans who have written to me, and I've decided to take the challenge on.
"I've already achieved my first priority which was to make us hard to beat.
"I know which players I want to keep for next season and I want to bring in a striker who will score 25 goals a season for us, but that is going to be difficult."
Palmer is hopeful that he can secure the services of 18-year-old Kingstonian midfielder Giles Coke.
Palmer remains confident that the Derek Asamoah situation will be resolved shortly.
"He's had talks with Boston and other clubs have inquired about taking him on loan, but we are only interested in a permanent deal," he said.
Ilkeston Town have signed Worcester City centre-half Colin Hoyle. Hoyle, 32, from Derby, has also played for Boston United and Burton Albion. He goes straight into the squad for the trip to Eastwood tonight.
Latest | March 2005