Previews from Evening Post and Teamtalk
TANKS: LET'S ENJOY THIS
Evening Post, 12 April 2002
MANSFIELD Town defender Allen Tankard today called on his team-mates to enjoy the next two games, rather than get nervous about them.
Stags drew with York earlier in the season when Lee Nogan put the Minstermen in front and Stags needed a
Stags are still relying on Cheltenham to slip up, but find themselves in the box- seat after beating the Robins 2-1 on Tuesday
But Tankard believes the team are under no pressure as they travel to York City tomorrow, knowing three points will push them even closer to automatic promotion.
They face Carlisle in an all-ticket game at Field Mill on the last day of the season.
During his time at Port Vale, Tankard was involved in a number of relegation battles and admits that is when players face the real pressure.
The 32-year-old left-back said: "All the games are big now. We have got to aim to win both games and we are definitely capable of doing that.
"I have mainly been involved in relegation battles and they are a lot more nerve-wracking.
"But it will be the job of the more experienced players to make sure we keep calm.
"If we perform like we can do then I don't think there will be any problems because we should be able to beat teams like York and Carlisle.
"Everyone should be looking forward to it. It could be a great couple of weeks and it is great to be involved."
Cheltenham are at home to Oxford tomorrow before travelling to Carlisle on Tuesday and Plymouth next Saturday.
They can still go up if they win all three of those matches, but Tankard believes the threat of Rochdale, who face Lincoln away and then Bristol Rovers at home, could be greater.
He said: "There are still many things that can happen and my wife keeps having a go at me because I am always looking at Teletext.
"I think Rochdale will be the main danger, because I cannot see Cheltenham beating Plymouth.
"And there is no reason why we cannot get six points from the two games."
Manager Stuart Watkiss does not want his players to think the hard work is done after the Cheltenham win.
Goals from Chris Greenacre and Andy White gave Stags the points in front of 8, 643 fans, the largest attendance since the redevelopment of Field Mill.
Greenacre, Lee Williamson, Adam Murray and Bobby Hassell are all expected to be fit, but Watkiss has warned them the job is not complete.
He said: "The York game is a reality check. It was a great night, but we have got to put it into the past.
"It's no god having a great result in midweek and then falling flat on your face on Saturday."
YORK CITY (from): Fettis, Edmondson, Wise, Brass, Jones, O'Kane, Wood, Brackstone, Fox, Parkin, Proctor, Nogan, Howarth, Law, Cooper, Hocking, Potter.
MANSFIELD TOWN (probable): Pilkington, Hassell, Reddington, Barrett, Tankard, Sellars, Williamson, Murray, Corden, Greenacre, White. Subs: Bingham, Clarke, Pemberton, Disley, Kelly.
Boss calls for players to focus
Stuart Watkiss should have Chris Greenacre, Lee Williamson, Bobby Hasell and Adam Murray fit for the York game as they push for promotion.
After beating promotion rivals Cheltenham 2-1 on Tuesday night to leapfrog back into third spot, Watkiss is conscious that some may feel the job is already done.
But he said: "This York trip is a reality check. We had a good night on Tuesday, but it's gone now. It's in the history archives and it is the easiest thing in football to have a great result in midweek and then fall flat on your faces on the following Saturday.
"There will be a lot of fans going up to York and we must make sure we are bang right for this one and don't let them or ourselves down.
"If we lose at York we will undo all the good work we did on Tuesday."
Watkiss added that he still felt it was not a two-horse race and Rochdale were firmly in the hunt as well.
"Rochdale are every much a threat as Cheltenham in my view," he said. "I believe they will win their last two games and are waiting for one of us to slip up.
"And, let's face it - difficult as they may be - if Cheltenham win their last three games then they are up anyway - simple as that.
"But I think if we win our last two it will be good enough as Cheltenham have a difficult run-in.
"All we can do is win at York, keep our feet on the ground, and assess the situation tomorrow night.
"I believe the pitch at York is not the best right now so we might have to be a bit more direct at times than we'd want. York are no mugs and they've had a decent run of late. We won't be taking them lightly."
Injured quartet Greenacre (knee), Williamson (dead leg), Hasell (hamstring) and Murray (knee) have not trained since the Cheltenham match, but are all hopeful of making the starting line-up.
Williamson is likely to come in for Craig Disley in midfield while Allen Tankard is likely to be preferred to Martin Pemberton at left back.
Stags fans are advised the game is not all-ticket for them and should arrive early as away capacity is limited.
Mansfield (probable): Pilkington, Hassell, Barrett, Reddington, Tankard, Sellars, Williamson, Murray, Corden, Greenacre, White.
Tankard looks for promotion
Veteran full-back Allen Tankard is relishing the prospect of tomorrow's promotion crunch game at York as The Stags look for automatic promotion.
Stags need to win to keep their automatic hopes on the boil and Tankard said: "Most of the crunch games I have played in have been relegation battles which are far more nerve-racking than this.
"This is a fantastic event that is to be enjoyed and, if selected, I hope I can go out there and calm some of the younger lads down.
"It's all about us now. If we perform as we can do and hold our nerve, we know we can beat York and Carlisle and it could be a fantastic couple of weeks ahead.
"The lads have got the bit between their teeth after Tuesday's win and we know what we have to do. My wife is fed up of me studying Teletext!
"I can't see Cheltenham winning at Plymouth so I think it's in our own hands now."
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