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Archived News from January 2012

8th January 2012 19:19


Hutchinson hoping on Stags debut
chad.co.uk, Thursday 5 January 2012

FORMER Celtic and Middlesbrough striker Ben Hutchinson will be hoping for a Mansfield Town debut on Saturday against Forest Green Rovers.


“If he is registered in time then he is definitely in my thoughts,” said manager Paul Cox of the man he has just taken on a free transfer from Kilmarnock

“A lot of people have said things about Ben and Gary Robert since they joined, saying Ben's goalscoring record is not fantastic.

“But I do believe he has woken up of late and has the ability to score a lot of goals at this level.

“He is only 24, yet he has already played in the Champions League. The Scottish Premier and the Premiership. Now he finds himself in the Conference with Mansfield Town.

“Yet Ben has all the ability in the world. Now he will want to progress back up to where he has come from.

“Sometimes it's easy to think about Gary Roberts and Ben Hutchinson as about 35. But they and Matt Green are all 24-year-olds who might have their best years with Mansfield Town Football Club.”


Murray looking forward to forging partnership with Stags new boy Roberts
chad.co.uk, Thursday 5 January 2012

Stags skipper Adam Murray is looking forward to forging a formidable central midfield partnership with new boy Gary Roberts.


The pair played for the first time together at York on Sunday and Murray said: “From what I've seen of Gary, he is a very good player.

“He is clever and can see a pass, but he can also do the other side of the game which is good for me.

“To be honest I am hoping he will let me get forward a bit more.

“First I have got to keep my place in the side to play alongside him.

“I have been sitting deep this season so it would be nice if I could get out of the centre circle!

“I am hoping we can take it in turns to get forward. I like to get forward and make things happen and it would be nice to get a few goals.”


No suspension for O'Neill as Stags take on Forest Green
chad.co.uk, Friday 6 January 2012

STAGS were given a big boost ahead of tomorrow's home clash with Forest Green Rovers when they learned that right back Luke O'Neill will be able to play, despite picking up his fifth booking of the season at York on Sunday.


The club believed he would be missing but have been told by the league that players' cautions from the first half of the season were wiped out on New Year's Day, so O'Neill is now back down to one.

With Keiron Freeman going back to Nottingham Forest at the end of his two-month loan, O'Neill could yet find himself switching to left back on Saturday, depending on the fitness of Joe Kendrick.

“Joe was excellent for us at the start of the season but then had that bad back injury,” said manager Paul Cox.

“He has been training for the last two weeks so we will have to see what condition he is in for Saturday. We will have John Dempster back from suspension too. And, with the window open, we can always bring someone else in if we want to.”

With Stags having drawn 12 games already this season and Forest Green, a point and a place behind them, having drawn 11, it is obvious what most folk doing the pools will mark on their coupon on this game.

Rovers are expected to play with only one striker and look to hit Stags on the break.

But Stags will be going all out for the win they desperately need – and that may sometimes mean throwing caution to the wind.

“Forest Green are the masters of four-five-one and they will sit back and hope to get one on the break,” said Cox.

“We have got to be brave. And the crowd have a massive part to play too.

“We are now at the business end of the season and it is a waste of time us sitting back and seeing if we can win it 1-0.

“We have to try to win it and that may mean us leaving ourselves open at times.

“They are up there with us on draws and are excellent at grinding out results. We have to break them down and be positive.

“Our last three performances warranted nine points. It is a simple equation. We have to stop drawing and start winning.”

Stags should have a full squad to choose from apart from central defender John Thompson, who is waiting for the results from a specialist examination on his neck/shoulder problem


'Bad boys' can thrive at Stags – Cox
Nottingham Post, Friday, January 06, 2012

SO-CALLED 'bad boys' Ben Hutchinson and Gary Roberts can become two of the Blue Square Bet Premier's best players – and help Mansfield Town thrive in the process.


That's the view of Stags boss Paul Cox, who has taken on the task of helping the pair rebuild their careers on the bottom rung of the professional game.

?Hutchinson has failed to live up to the early promise that saw him move from Arnold Town to Middlesbrough and later Scottish giants Celtic, amid personal problems.

He has signed a deal until the end of the season having been released by Kilmarnock.

Roberts was reportedly kicked out of Port Vale for drink related issues after twice turning up for training in what manager Micky Adams deemed an 'unfit state.'

The midfielder is now tied to Mansfield until the end of 2012-13 and will hope, along with Hutchinson, to figure in tomorrow's home game with Forest Green.

Cox is adamant both players can shine.

"With all due respect to Mansfield, players who have been in the Champions League and in the Championship wouldn't be here if they hadn't had a few issues," he said.

"You can look at their pasts and the mistakes they have made, but they are only human and you have to remember they are both 24, not 34.

"There is still very much time for them to get back to

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Meikle: Hutchinson raring to go at Stags
Nottingham Post, Friday, January 06, 2012

IT'S the question on the lips of everyone who is looking forward to Mansfield Town's first home clash of the New Year: "Will Ben Hutchinson start against Forest Green Rovers?"


The signing of the 24-year-old former Middlesbrough and Celtic front man has understandably caused a buzz in north Nottinghamshire.

?Not every day do the Stags sign someone who has played Champions League football, after all, especially at an age where the player is far from over the hill.

Hutchinson's move from Kilmarnock until the end of the season was finalised in the week, meaning he is now available to play for the first time.

It is by no means cast in stone, however, that he will make his debut, especially as Mansfield acquitted themselves so well in the New Year's Day 2-2 draw at York City.

Whether he does, of course, will not be revealed until around 2pm tomorrow afternoon, shortly before kick-off.

But one thing that is assured, according to Hutchinson's team-mate and long-term friend Lindon Meikle, is that he is ready.

The two players came through the ranks together at Eastwood's academy when it was being run by now Stags boss Paul Cox.

And Meikle insists the Stags' new striker is looking just as sharp as the last time he saw him in action at close quarters.

"He could go straight into the side if the manager decides to go with that, I have no doubts about that," said Meikle.

"We've had little training games this week and he has looked really sharp. He's quite ready to play.

"I think Ben coming down to the level of Mansfield means he is going to work hard.

"He's always been a hard worker anyway, but maybe having been away in Scotland has messed with his head a bit.

"There's no worries about him handling it as this level physically. It is not as if he was in a Premier League team's academy from the age of 11.

"He's had a few years at Eastwood and Arnold and so knows all about the nitty gritty."

Hutchinson has been with the Stags on and off for over a month now while seeing out the final days of his contract at Kilmarnock.

During that time he has played in two friendly matches – against Eastwood and Solihull – and scored three times.

Many fans may not have yet seen the former Arnold man in action, but says his abilities are far-ranging.

He said: "Ben was always very good technically – one of the best around. You don't play for Middlesbrough and Celtic if you aren't a good player.

"He can produce that bit of magic and score goals from anywhere, but he also knows when to play it simple as well.

"He mixes it up well and he's just a good player all round. He's strong, got a bit of pace, can head it and is a good finisher."

Another new boy to arrive at Field Mill in the last few days is Gary Roberts, signed after his departure from Port Vale.

Meikle has been instantly impressed with the central midfielder, both on and off the ball.

"Gary came straight in the centre of a muddy pitch at York and did a very good job for us," he said. "The really good thing about him is that he sees the pass and plays it straight away without hesitating.

"That's great as a winger because you know if you make a good run he will see you and pick you out more often than not, but he can also get stuck in as well as being an architect."

One player who will not be involved tomorrow is Kieron Freeman, who has returned to parent club Forest after a two-month loan to fight for a first-team place.

Meikle said: "Kieron is someone I have been picking up every morning for training but then he phoned me up this week and told me he wouldn't be coming in anymore.

"I thought he might be staying for another month, but obviously he has his reasons for going back to Forest."

Meikle, who hopes Stags can start a winning run against Rovers, feels the team are close to getting it right.

"We have played York twice, home and away, who are meant to be the best footballing side in the league, and we have matched them," he said


Spotlight on Mansfield Town v Forest Green Rovers
Nottingham Post, Friday, January 06, 2012

Mansfield (from): Marriott, Redmond, O'Neill, Sutton, Riley, Dempster, Day, Freeman, Kendrick, Dyer, Briscoe, Murray, Roberts, Howell, Worthington, Stevenson, Meikle, Kelly, Green, Hutchinson.


Forest Green (from): Bittner, Hodgkiss, Turley, Oshodi, Stokes, Forbes, Thomson, Klukowski, Taylor, Graham, Griffin, Norwood, Uwezu, Allen, Bulman, Turk.

?Team news: John Dempster is back in contention for Mansfield after serving a one-game suspension in new Years Day's 2-2 draw at York for five bookings.

Ben Hutchinson is available for the first time after signing a deal at Field Mill following his release from Kilmarnock.

But John Thompson's absence continues as he waits for the results of an examination by a specialist that should reveal the extent of his neck and shoulder injury.

Luke O'Neill is not suspended – even though he reached five bookings at York – as the suspension cut-off mark is raised to ten bookings after the turn of the year.

Forest Green's highly-rated striker Reece Styche (knee) is a long-term absentee.

Midfielders Al Bangura and James Rowe (both knee) have been ruled out and as a result the club are casting an eye over former Swindon man Matt Clark.

Rovers are also keen to bring in a striker ahead of their trip to Field Mill, so at least one new face could feature.

One to watch: Yan Klukowski. The 25-year-old midfielder has scored an impressive seven goals in his last ten games for Forest Green.

Manager: David Hockaday. Has made his side a more competitive force this season and, like Mansfield, they are draw specialists, having ended 11 of their 27 matches all square


Dyer determined to up Stags goal output
Nottingham Post, Wednesday, January 04, 2012

ROSS Dyer is determined to up his goal output in the second half of the season – just as Louis Briscoe did last season.


The powerful former Forest Green and Hednesford front man has four goals to his credit so far this term.

But he feels he should have taken more of his chances, an example being his misses in the recent home games against Gateshead and York.

In 2010-11, winger Briscoe scored only three goals before Christmas, but managed an astonishing 16 between the New Year and end of the season.

And while Dyer does not expect that kind of explosion, he does believe it is one area of his game where he can make significant improvements.

"If you asked any striker they would probably say they want to score more goals – and I am no different," said Dyer. "If I got a few more it would be beneficial, not just for me but for the team as well.

"It's always frustrating to miss chances and when you get home you go over it in your mind.

"It's all about confidence. If you get on a run and score a few in a few games then it takes the pressure off."

While their goals against record compares favourably with the rest of the league, Dyer feels more goals from the team in general would also help Mansfield prosper.

He said: "We have done well to tighten things up at the back and if we had scored another goal in each of the drawn games recently then we'd have a lot more points."



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