SHIRTLIFF LAYS DOWN EASTER CHALLENGE
Shirtliff lays down Easter challenge
CHAD, 12 April 2006
STAGS boss Peter Shirtliff is convinced his side's Play-off hopes are not over yet and has challenged them to earn a maximum six points against London sides Leyton Orient and Barnet over Easter.
Although Saturday's sterling 1-1 draw at Lincoln City, coupled with Peterborough's win at Bury, stretched the gap to seven points, Shirtliff said it was far from over in a topsy-turvy league with five matches still to play.
"If we beat Orient next Saturday the outlook could be different again.
"And if we can take six points over Easter, let's see what happens.
"All we can do is get as many points as we can from every game. If we take maximum points over Easter, who knows what can happen?
"The Play-offs were always a tall order but we will keep on going to the end and see what happens.
"It is far from over yet. Just take a look at the fixtures. Who would have thought Bristol Rovers would have got beaten at home by Rushden?
"This league is so unpredictable and we are not out of it yet by any means."
Stags begin Easter with Saturday's home visit of fourth-placed Leyton Orient. But it holds no fears for Shirtliff, who said: "We have been doing really well at home recently and we just need to keep that record going."
Then it's off to relegation-haunted Barnet on Easter Monday (3pm) as Stags try to stretch this impresive one defeat in 11 games run they kept going at Lincoln, where Allan Russell returned from injury to snatch a deserved last minute goal for a 1-1 draw.
Shirtliff has three injury worries for the Easter weekend with Jon Hjelde (calf), Gareth Jelleyman (knee) and Adam Birchall (ankle) currently on the treatment table. Birchall has the best chance of recovering
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