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Archived News from March 2005

12th March 2005 22:27

Evening Post, 12 March 2005

Stags chairman Keith Haslam admits Carlton Palmer's 14-month contract is a 'see how you get on' deal.

"We'll see how things go," he said. "We've got a good relationship.

"We've had disagreements, but that's healthy and one thing we have agreed on is the direction we want to go."

Haslam expects Palmer to wheel and deal in the transfer market.

"It's not about funds for transfer fees these days, it's about funds for wages," he said. "It's about what players you can get to fit in with your budget.

"We don't want to jeopardise the future well-being of the club.

"We've got a catchment area of 350,000 and this club has got a lot of potential."

Haslam admits that persuading Palmer to work for free since November constituted a "good deal" - adding that he would have liked the arrangement to continue!

"We weren't able to appoint anyone before, but Carlton has got a passion for football and he was only too willing to help out," he said. "He wanted to get back into management.

"It's been an uncertain period. All I can say to our supporters is get behind the club - and Carlton is an integral part of the club.

"The right time for the fans to judge Carlton is at the end of next season. If we get into the play-offs this season it will be a bonus."

Haslam added: "If we can get the players we want, we can look at having a good campaign next season.

"We've had some exciting times in recent years, but it's been a difficult season."

Palmer says his aim for this season is still a play-off place.

"We want to win as many matches as we can between now and the end of the season," he said. "We're working on improving the fitness and understanding of how I want the team to play.

"We'll have a system for home games and a system for away games.

"I think 4-5-1 is a good system away from home. It depends who we are playing, but Everton and Bolton have been successful with it and Manchester United have got back in the championship race using it at home and away. In the majority of home games we will play 4-4-2."

Derek Asamoah joined Lincoln City for a small fee yesterday. And the Stags have released Tom Curle, son of former manager Keith Curle. An official statement says that Curle junior has "agreed to a mutual termination of his contract".

Evening Post, 12 March 2005

Mansfield Town's new assistant boss, Paul Holland (pictured below) believes he has already forged a well-balanced partnership with manager Carlton Palmer.

"I've had an association with Mansfield since I was 13 and I see this as the next step for me," said Holland.

"Carlton has got good ideas, has a lot of experience and is a strong character. I can learn from him. And he's keen to promote youth development.

"I see him as a friend and he's been good to me. I think we'll work well together.

"It's been a difficult time for everyone. But we've got the best defence in the league and the season is still alive."

Lincoln City have completed the signing of striker Derek Asamoah for a nominal fee from League Two rivals Mansfield Town.

The 23-year-old has signed a contract until the summer of 2006 with The Imps after Stags boss Carlton Palmer transfer-listed the former Hampton & Richmond player.

Asamoah's spell at Field Mill turned sour when Palmer replaced Keith Curle as Mansfield manager, despite making the switch to The Stags on a free transfer from Northampton Town last summer.

He was eventually listed after breaching club discipline with the Nottinghamshire-based outfit earlier this month and his availability alerted Imps boss Keith Alexander.

The Imps manager was delighted to have completed a permanent deal with Asamoah.

"Derek is a player who we've been looking at for quite a while," Alexander told the club's official website.

"He's a player with a lot of pace and that's an area in which I think we've been lacking in recent weeks, so hopefully he'll come in and do a good job for us."
mansfieldtown.net reports that Tom Curle has been released by the club:
Tom Curle has agreed to a mutual termination of his contract allowing him to continue his footballing career away from Mansfield Town Football Club.

We would like to wish Tom all the very best of luck for the future.


Evening Post, 11 March 2005
Derek Asamoah looks set to join Lincoln City for a small fee as new Stags boss Carlton Palmer continues to shake up the squad.

Mark Roach with the comings and goings at Mansfield Town

"There's a deal on the table for Derek and we will have to replace him," said Palmer.

"I've asked about another striker this week - and we have to make a decision on Colin Larkin."

Palmer says he has been talking to a striker and two midfielders about potential moves to Field Mill this week. They are all being tested in a reserve friendly against Port Vale at Field Mill on Monday.

One of the midfielders is 18-year-old Giles Cook, who plays for non-league Kingstonian. The striker and another young midfielder, currently with Millwall, have not been named yet.

Jake Buxton will be rested for tomorrow's first team match against Oxford, as he has a groin injury.

But Rhys Day looks set to be involved again and Scott McNiven, back in the reckoning after four months out for testicular cancer treatment, could earn a place on the bench against his former club.

Day and McNiven were not involved in the Stags' youth- team friendly on Wednesday night as originally planned.

On-loan Birmingham striker Andrew Barrowman looks set to partner Richie Barker up front tomorrow.

But Shane Smeltz has been released. The New Zealand international striker is on trial at Rushden & Diamonds.

Palmer says one of his main aims is to build a squad which can challenge for automatic promotion next season.

"It's about getting a nice blend of players," he said.

"The younger element is important for clubs like Mansfield. If we get the youth set-up right and we bring players through and sell them on it will help make the future secure for the club.

"The classic example of how that can work well is Dario Gradi at Crewe. He always produces a good side and good young players.

"Our minimum requirement for next season has to be the play-offs, but you need a bit of luck with a small squad."

Palmer joked that his accountant had reservations about him working for free during his spell as caretaker-manager. He has also given up lucrative commentating work as well.

"I enjoyed working for the BBC but I love football," he added. "It was a difficult situation but it wasn't a problem. I know the chairman well and I trust him."

Mansfield: Pilkington, Neil, Jelleyman, John-Baptiste, Dimech, Brown, Rundle, McLachlan, Murray, Barker, Barrowman, White, Day, McNiven, Curtis, Larkin.

Evening Post, 11 March 2005
Mansfield Town will have to counter some South American flair to beat Oxford United tomorrow.

Graham Rix was sacked as the U's boss in November and Oxford appointed Diego Maradona's former strike partner Ramon Diaz as his replacement.

Diaz brought six backroom staff with him from Argentina, including head coach Horacio Rodriguez, whose role includes team selection.

The Diaz and Rodriguez management team guided River Plate to five Argentinian league titles and the duo also enjoyed success in Japan.

Diaz won the League Two manager of the month award in January, but three defeats in five games in February has scuppered Oxford's play-off hopes.

Diaz and his team are in talks with Oxford United owner Firoz Kassam about a takeover.

Diaz brought in Uruguayan left-back Mateo Corbo and several Argentinian players - including Luca Cominelli and highly-rated 22-year-old River Plate midfielder Juan Pablo Raponi. The manager has also signed his sons - winger Emiliano and 18-year-old right-back Michael.

Oxford from: Tardif, Mackay, Ashton, Robinson, Hackett, Quinn, Raponi, Corbo, Cominelli, Mooney, Basham, Davies, Bradbury, Diaz, Wanless, Roget, Clarke.

Diaz Takes the lads to Mansfield
By Big_ox
Date: 11/3/2005

Oxford will be aiming to get back to winning ways after a recent poor run. Mansfield will also be aiming for 3 points but ousting Carlton Palmer will be top priority for the Stags fans.

Oxford Visit Field mill and Mansfield town
Who can forget last season's fixture at field mill, or rather last seasons 2 fixtures at field mill after adverse weather conditions caused the first match to be abandoned at half time.

In the re match Mansfield town ran out 3-1 winners with goals from Junior Mendez, (16), Colin "pop" Larkin (19) before Deano pulled one back for the yellows (34). Just 3 mins later Rhys Day gave the stags a 2 goal cushion again and that's how the game ended, all over bar the shouting in the first half.

Last time at Field Mill
Mansfield 3
Oxford 1

Since then Oxford favourite Scott Mc Niven has since joined the Stags and been the centre of some unwelcome attention after a tumour was removed.

Scotty has played 18 times for the stags up until his illness forced him out he has yet to return to first team action.

Earlier on in the season (the second game) the two sides met at the Kassam and it was just a solitary Tommy Mooney goal enough for the yellows to secure the points.

Leo Roget was sent off just after the re start.

It was even up to 10 men a side when Lee Williamson saw red for Mansfield on 75.

Lat meeting between clubs

Oxford 1
Mansfield 0

Oxford have a terrible league record at field mill (they did win there in the league cup in 1987) but their ONLY league win at Field Mill was 1st January 1966 with a 4-1 score line, so lets hope the spirit of 66 returns on Saturday.

Oxford will be desperate to return to winning ways after losing 4 of their last 5 matches. The last Victory came AT Cheltenham when a Tommy Mooney last min goal secured a much needed win for the yellows.

Mansfield have also struggled to pick up points of late with only one win (over Bury 2-0) in their last 5 games they have drawn their last 2 outings though 0-0 at Rushden and 1-1 at Home to the Shrews.

History is on our side with Oxford winning 10 of the 23 encounters between the clubs, Mansfield winning 9 and 4 draws.

Can the yellows get back top winning ways?

They should if Stagmad is to be believed.

I asked Stagmad for his comments on the way his club are going and he replied “tactically at the moment we are completely inept it's a case of boot it as far as you can and hope for the best"

So there is hope especially as the Mansfield fans are after their manager Carlton Palmer to resign.

Keith Curle Invited Carlton (gangly) Palmer to train with the club last season and then he progressed to coaching the young lads. The Mansfield supporters were suspicious he was trying to get Curle Ousted and take over the running of the club himself.

Their fears were made reality when some mysterious charges were brought against Keith Curle and Palmer replaced him at the helm.

Instead of getting behind the players he publicly criticised them and even named some not good enough to play for the team and then he even turned on Keith Curle the "Friend" who got him into the club. (With friends like that who needs enemies?)

Last week Palmer said if the fans wanted him to go he would go. So the fans decided he should go so he signed a contract. (Looks like Graham Rix all over again but this time for someone else)

Since taking over Palmer has taken the heart out of Mansfield with the best players either going or gone

Stagmad describes him as the worst manager they have ever had. (he sounds to me just like Graham Rix a bully abusing his "power".

Mansfield players to watch

Alex Baptiste is a rising star in the heart of defence. Only 19 but has already established himself at Mansfield signing after being a trainee at the club. A star of the future.

It seems Mansfield are good at the Back but Midfield and the forwards have little or nothing to offer.

Richard Barker is a solid forward coming to the stags from Rotherham but like our own Tommy Mooney he has not received the service he needs / deserves.

Let's hope (After tomorrow) Mansfield get the team and results the fans deserve. From tomorrow onwards let's hope oxford get the results we need and deserve.

Have a safe trip all those of you travelling up to field mill

Many thanks to Stagmad for his input and also many thanks to Steve Daniels for his excellent pics.

All the best

Big Ox

What's in store at Mansfield this time?
by Jon Murray on 11 March 2005

IT seems as though every time Oxford United visit Mansfield, something remarkable happens.

Exactly a year ago, the league fixture at Field Mill was abandoned at half-time because of wind – and that's not a common occurence in football.

But it was forced on referee Howard Webb because the ball would not remain still enough in the ferocious gale for free-kicks or goal kicks to be taken.

The day was already like none other because Oxford United had suspended their manager, Ian Atkins, and ordered him not to be at the game, so David Oldfield was in temporary charge. Watching in the stand, interestingly enough, was Graham Rix.

And when the game was re-staged, on a Tuesday night in early April, defender Jon Ashton gifted the Stags an unbelievable goal by passing the ball back straight to striker Colin Larkin, thinking he was goalkeeper Simon Cox. It proved a major blow to United's play-off hopes.

On paper, tomorrow's game has little riding on it for Oxford because four defeats in their last five have effectively ended their hopes of this season extending beyond May 7.

But there is extra intrigue with talks taking place between chairman Firoz Kassam and Ramon Diaz and his assistant Jean Marc Goiran.

Diaz and Goiran admitted in the Oxford Mail last week they were putting certain proposals to Kassam and a hand-over of at least some of the power in the running of the club seems imminent.

Last Saturday's 2-1 defeat by Grimsby confirmed the current team are not good enough defensively, as just two clean sheets in 19 games demonstrates.

Mansfield have been finding scoring goals difficult.

Carlton Palmer was confirmed on Wednesday as their permanent manager, yet his record as a caretaker had hardly been outstanding.

In 21 league and cup games, Mansfield had won six, drawn eight and lost seven.

And at home, they have not scored more than one goal in a match since October.

Large sections of fans barracked Palmer during last weekend's 1-1 draw with Shrewsbury, prompting him to say he was seriously considering walking away.

However, after a meeting with the chairman this week, he has agreed to sign a 14-month contract.

Palmer, sacked from his first managerial post at Stockport, arrived in November following Keith Curle's departure.

"I was working for the BBC and I really enjoyed it, but Ron Atkinson said either I wanted to be a successful manager or I didn't," he said.

"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 was subsequently sacked. His attempts to be reinstated were rejected by an independent appeals body.

"It meant the club couldn't be paying another manager, although my accountant wasn't very happy about it," Palmer quipped.

11th March 2005
Waiting for the Mansfield

United travel to Field Mill tomorrow to take on Mansfield in a fixture that has lost its importance for the Yellows, and is of no significance to Oxford either. United will be keen to reverse recent fortunes, which has seen them lose four of their last five games, and individual players will have the desire to play well as contract negotiations are due to commence shortly. Despite the lack of confirmation of the status of the management team for next season, it seems reasonable to assume that Ramon Diaz and Horacio Rodriguez will be involved to some extent after the Summer.

There will almost certainly be some changes to the side that lost at home to Grimsby last Saturday, with skipper Lee Bradbury back from suspension. Craig Davies could feature up front after playing well for the first half hour of the reserves' game against Carterton on Tuesday, although he was forced off with a knee injury. Amine Karam gave a scintillating left-wing display in that match, but whether he will be considered for first-team duty at this stage is unlikely. Lucas Cominelli played well against Grimsby, and he could be prefered to compatriot Juan Pablo Raponi, or else maybe both Argentineans will play, with Bradbury playing wide right in place of Chris Hackett. Who knows?

Mansfield won't have Scott McNiven back in their line-up yet, although he has now recovered from his operation for testicular cancer. Lack of reserve games over the past few weeks mean that McNiv lacks match fitness. With Mansfield having a pretty poor home record recently, and Oxford's recent form being pretty shakey, Rage Online is going for a surprise 1-1 prediction.


Latest | March 2005