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Archived News from September 2002

20th September 2002 20:12

Mansfield Town will be unchanged for their home match against Cheltenham despite Colin Larkin's return to fitness.
Larkin played the first 35 minutes and scored the only goal in the reserves' 1-0 win over York on Wednesday.
But manager Stuart Watkiss will keep faith with the XI who won 3-2 at Luton on Tuesday as they take on the basement side.
Defender Mark Lever is suffering from a tight calf but should be given the all-clear.
Cheltenham will be without defender Neil Howarth for the game.
Howarth limped out of the Robins' first league win of the season against Swindon in midweek with a hamstring injury and will be out for up to a month.
Striker Julian Alsop is expected to retain his place despite an injury scare.
The 29-year-old went off against Swindon with a neck injury but has returned to training.
CHAD website
Stags unchanged to face Robins
Mansfield Town will be unchanged for Saturday's visit of fellow strugglers Cheltenham Town (3pm), despite Colin Larkin's return to fitness.
Larkin played the first 35 minutes and scored the only goal in Stags reserves' 1-0 win over York City yesterday afternoon (Wednesday).
But manager Stuart Watkiss will keep faith with the 11 who won 3-2 at Luton on Tuesday as they take on Division Two's bottom side.
"Colin came through OK and it was nice for him to get a goal as well," said Watkiss.
"It was even nicer to see a Mansfield Town team keep a clean sheet!
"It is a boost to get Colin back as it increases competition for places and he showed in the four or five games he played that he has got undoubted quality.
"But I will send out the same team as Tuesday as those lads played well and, for the first time, defended well - even, though I was upset we conceded those two late goals.
"We looked more organised and more die-hard and we did have people throwing themselves in front of the ball with a defend-at-all costs mentality which is what I expect every game.
"It's a shame it's taken us 10 games to start doing what I have been asking for.
"Let's not get carried away with one game. It was important we stopped the rot which we did. It was a performance I knew we were capable of putting on and now we have to be consistent."
He added: "We don't want to go back to some of the slack half-hearted displays we have witnessed this season. We have to be professional enough and motivated enough to lift ourselves after a decent midweek performance.
"I watched Manchester United on TV and, even at 4-1 up and the game won, their players were still working their socks off, clsoing down, ratting and tackling.
"I watched Robbie Savage on Monday as well in the Birmingham v Villa game and he was the same - he never stopped tackling and chasing. These players are not motivated by money as they are on thousands a week and set for life.
"They are motivated by football and it's no coincidence the best players are those who work hardest and get themselves up for it week in, week out."
Despite being bottom, Watkiss knows Cheltenham will be no pushovers and said: "They have just had two good wins with beating Norwich away in the Worthington Cup and then Swindon in midweek and will come here with a bit of confidence.
"Obviously we know a lot about them from our run-in with them last season when we were neck and neck. And I know Graham Allner is a good, knowledgeable manager who was at Kidderminster for many years.
"It will be a difficult game but we don't want all Tuesday's hard work wasted. We need to back it up with a home win straight after."
Central defender Mark Lever, so impressive at Luton, is suffering with a tight calf and sore ribs but should be all right to play.
But none of the four injured full backs are ready to return with on-loan Peter Clark now back at Stockport for an injection in the back of his knee next Tuesday.
BY IAN WILKERSON, Evening Post, 20 September 2002

Mansfield Town boss Stuart Watkiss is expected to keep faith with the side that beat Luton on Tuesday, despite Colin Larkin's return to full fitness, for the home clash with Division Two basement boys Cheltenham Town.

Iyseden Christie, who scored the third goal in the 3-2 win over the Hatters, is set to continue up front. But Watkiss wants the striker to maintain the level of performance he showed on Tuesday.

Larkin's return to the squad has been offset by the start of Danny Bacon's three-match suspension for the sending off he picked up in the recent reserve match against Scunthorpe.

Watkiss said: "Iyseden produced the sort of performance we know he is ccapable of but we want to see him doing it more consistently.

"He was a real handful. But he has got to make sure he is a handful in every game.

"Colin being back does increase competition for places and it's a big boost for everyone at the club because he has shown in the four or five games he has played what a quality player he is."

He anticipates a tough game against the team who Stags pipped to automatic promotion from Division Three last season.

He said: "They will be confident after good wins against Norwich and Swindon and we obviously know a fair bit about them after last season.

"The main thing is we don't want to waste Tuesday's good work by not backing it up in the home match straight after."

On-loan full-back Peter Clark will again be out after sustaining a knee injury and he will be at Stockport receiving treatment for medical insurance reasons.

MANSFIELD TOWN (probable): Pilkington, Clarke, Lever, Moore, Delaney, Williamson, MacKenzie, Lawrence, Disley, Sellars, Christie. Subs: Larkin, J White, A White, Reddington, Corden.

CHELTENHAM (probable): Book, Howarth, Mike Duff, Walker, Victory, McAuley, Yates, Finnigan, Milton, Alsop, Naylor. Subs: Brough, Brayson, Higgs, Spencer, Williams.


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