LARKIN MAY GET NEW CONTRACT / CHAD LATEST
PILGRIMS LAND EASTER BUT LARKIN SAYS NO
Lincs paper, 16 March 2005
Boston United have signed striker Jermaine Easter from Coca-Cola League Two rivals Cambridge United.
The 23-year-old, who has scored seven goals in 19 starts for Cambridge this season, has joined the Pilgrims until the end of the campaign.
Director of football Jim Rodwell said: "He is a quick and lively player and I'm sure he will be a good asset for us."
But the Pilgrims' attempts to sign Mansfield Town striker Colin Larkin have failed. A five-figure transfer fee had been agreed between the clubs, but Larkin, who becomes a free agent in the summer, turned down the opportunity of moving to York Street.
United boss Steve Evans added: "The boy has chosen to stay at Mansfield and fight for a first-team place."
Palmer aims for early retained list
CHAD, 15 March 2005
MANSFIELD Town players will learn their futures before the trip to Bristol Rovers on Saturday (3pm).
Manager Carlton Palmer, keen to get on with his rebuilding job, has made up his mind on most of his playing staff and feels it would be beneficial to tell them now.
Stags are looking to bounce back from Saturday's dreadful performance in a 3-1 home defeat by Oxford United and Palmer said: "It must be unsettling for players out of contract in the summer to now know their futures so that needs resolving as soon as possible.
"I have made my mind up about most of them, though I am still not sure about Colin Larkin.
"Of the players I have released so far, Neil MacKenzie got pulled off at half-time on Saturday, Derek Asamoah was substituted and didn't play well apparently, and Wayne Corden didn't even start for Scunthorpe.
"So I have no worries about my decision on those.
"But Colin is one who could come back to haunt me.
"He has spoken to Boston United about a move this week but he has told me he wants to stay here if possible and I will give him a new contract if he can get his act together.
"He did look lively when he came on against Oxford. But we need to see that all the time and we need a better goals return from him.
"He's scored 10 for us this season and I think, the last three seasons, he has scored seven, seven and six.
"Colin has always had great potential but that potential now has to become a reality.
"I believe he has ability, movement and pace enough to score 20 goals at this level. So it is a decision I have to make."
Palmer must decide on him before the impending transfer deadline a week on Friday.
After Stags fans upset Palmer by booing him and his side before and during the home draw with Shrewsbury seven days earlier, the home fans did as asked this Saturday and got behind their team until the break.
"On Saturday our supporters were brilliant when we came out and did all I asked.
"But our performance was dreadful and the boos that came later we deserved.
"I do apologise to the fans - we were poor throughout.
"What really hurt was the lack of desire and heart shown when we were still in with an outside chance of making the play-offs.
"We did have problems. Jake Buxton and Alex John-Baptiste were ruled out, Alex Neil was only passed fit before kick-off after not training all week and Adam Murray only played after an ankle injection.
"And we had two players who had to come into the defence who hadn't played since early November. But they were not the reason we lost the game.
"We lacked any real fire in our bellies."
Palmer added: "I think fitness is still an issue.
"When we ran the players really hard twice a week we had those two superb displays against Notts County and Swansea.
"But when we started having two games a week we couldn't work them that hard and the performances have dipped.
"It has had a major effect.
"We need to make a serious challenge next season, we know what we need and there will be changes of personnel between now and the end of the season.
"If players who are leaving aren't doing it for themselves I will throw kids in who will at least give their lot."
Stags are sweating on four players who could miss Saturday's trip to the Memorial Ground.
Jake Buxton (groin), Tom Curtis (ankle) and Adam Murray (ankle) are all doubts as is Alex John-Baptiste, who is awaiting blood test results after feeling ill with what may be connected to the glandular fever he hoped he was rid of.
Stags will be up againt old boy Craig Disley, who netted for Rovers in their 1-1 draw at Bury on Saturday. That made it a club record 18th draw of the season for Rovers who are eight games without a win.
"It's a big game for me and one I've been looking forward to for a long time," he said. "There are only about four lads left from when I was there, but it will be good to see them and hopefully we can put one over on them."
Disley missed Rovers' 2-0 win at Field Mill on the opening day of the season.
Stags boss Palmer admitted: "Disley is a very good player and should never have been allowed to leave here.
"I tried to sign him when I was at Stockport and I have tried to get both him and Lee Williamson back here."
A proposed reserve friendly against Port Vale on Monday was cancelled when Vale cried off with injuries.
"We had two lads up from Millwall to look at, but when the game was off, one of them went to Darlington," said Palmer.
Stags striker Derek Asamoah made his debut for Lincoln City after moving there for a nominal fee last week and, when he was substituted, on came former Mansfield team mate Guy Ipoua.
Non-contract Kiwi striker Shane Smeltz, who left Field Mill for a trial at Rushden and Diamonds last week, scored twice for Ryman Division One side AFC Wimbledon.
Winger Tom Curle, son of former Stags manager Keith Curle, was released by the club this week.
mansfieldtown.net reports on the future of Colin Larkin at Field Mill.
Has Colin Larkin got a future at Field Mill?
"Yes", says Carlton Palmer.
"We've got some things that need redressing", Says Palmer
Following the disappointing performance from the Stags on Saturday against Oxford United Stags Boss Carlton and his management team have highlighted areas of the team that need some fine tuning.
"I am very disappointed at the performance on Saturday so this morning we have analysed the game and picked up on a few areas that need working on. We have got a new team in the back room staff, myself, Dutch (Paul Holland), Ivan (Hollett) and Paul and we have not only picked up on improvements to the playing staff but talked about things that we can do to improve the way the club runs generally.
"We have discussed the things that we feel needs to be done to help this club move forward and that could include a change in personnel before the end of the season.
Palmer has already made a number of changes to the squad with mixed feeling s from the Stags supporters but he says that speculation that Colin Larkin will be leaving to join Boston are at present unfounded:
"Colin Larkin has been talking to Boston about the possibility of joining them but I also spoke to Larks this morning about a new contract here at Mansfield Town on the basis of him getting his act together. He has said that he wants to stay here and play for Mansfield Town but we need a better return from him.
"I definitely believe that he has the ability, movement and the pace to score twenty goals in this division and I think he believes it as well so if we can get that right we will have a good quality player that can do it in this league.
"He looked lively when he came on as sub on Saturday and I was pleased with his performance. Despite what some fans are saying Colin Larkin has a future at this club" Palmer told the official website.
Meanwhile Teamtalk reports:
Mansfield boss Carlton Palmer has been handed a boost with the news Jake Buxton is ready to make his return from injury.
The influential defender has been struggling with a hamstring strain but is set for a return when the Stags travel to Bristol Rovers on Saturday.
The news will come as a welcome tonic for Palmer, whose first game in full charge of the Stags finished in a 3-1 defeat to Oxford at the weekend.
Another tonic for the ex-England man comes with the news Dave Artell is also making good progress in his recovery from injury and could be back in action before the end of the season.
Latest | March 2005