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Archived News from December 2002

20th December 2002 20:50

Mansfield Town manager Keith Curle was today due to unveil the signing of Tom Curtis from Portsmouth.

The 29-year-old midfielder was expected to sign a one-and-a-half year contract.

Stags beat off at least one other club to secure the signature of a player who started his career at Derby County, before moving to Chesterfield.

He played 240 games for the Spireites scoring 12 goals before moving to Portsmouth in 2000.

Last season he played nine games for Pompey and spent a period on loan at Walsall.

Meanwhile Curle is planning a complete reconstruction of the country's leakiest defence, after telling Neil Moore and Mark Lever they do not feature in his plans.

Moore, who joined the Stags from Telford in the summer, is returning to the Nationwide Conference on loan with Southport for the rest of the season.

And Lever is discussing a similar loan move to Division Three outfit Lincoln City, after only joining the Stags in August.

Despite scoring as many goals as Division Two leaders Wigan Athletic, Stags have conceded 53 in their 21 league games and are rooted to the bottom of the table.

And Curle, who played in the heart of the Stags defence that kept only their second clean sheet of the season in last week's 4-0 success over Blackpool, hopes he can bring in current loanee Rhys Day on a permanent move from Manchester City.

Curle said: "Rhys has been told that if he can get himself fixed up then he can leave, so I need to sit down and have a chat with him.

"I would certainly be interested in signing him on a permanent basis if he can show the level of performance he did on Saturday."

Day's current loan runs out on December 28 but Curle sees no problems in extending his spell if he cannot gain his registration.

He said: "Hopefully we will be able to get him here permanently before his spell comes to an end."

Curle said the moves involving Moore and Lever were not financial.

"Neil lives in the north-west and it was unfair to expect him to travel when I couldn't even guarantee a place on the bench," he added.

"With Mark, Lincoln were keen to take him for a month but I said I wanted him there for the rest of the season and he is talking to them."

Neil MacKenzie is the only injury doubt for tomorrow's trip to Barnsley.

MANSFIELD (probable): Pilkington, Hassell, Day, Curle, Eaton, Lawrence, Disley, Williamson, Corden, Christie, A White. Subs: J White, Gadsby, Larkin, Bacon, Clarke.


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