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Match Previews

Preview: Mansfield (A)

7 December 2018

Notts County travel to Mansfield on Saturday for the first Nottinghamshire derby of the season.

As well as the local rivalry, it’s Neal Ardley’s first league game in charge of the Magpies meaning there will be plenty of eyes on the One Call Stadium come 1pm.

Notts are looking for a first Sky Bet League Two win since early October and put in a spirited performance in Tuesday night’s Checkatrade Trophy defeat to Sunderland as the new boss made his bow in the dugout.

On the other hand, Mansfield occupy sixth spot in the table having only lost once all season outside of cup competitions – a 2-1 reverse against Exeter on 15 September.

They also exited the Checkatrade Trophy on Tuesday night, beaten 1-0 at home by Bury.

Form can go out of the window in a derby, though, and this one promises to be a cracker.

Ardley says…

"There are other reasons to do well besides picking up three points.

“After a tough opening to the season, fans will jump on board if we get the win and every player will be a hero for the night.

“Sometimes you can get carried away in games like this, though. We have to find the competitive edge of a derby but, at the same time, stop their threats and do what we’re good at.

“They’re a very good team who have only lost once this season and David Flitcroft is someone I’ve got on well with over the years - but for that 90 minutes we’ll be fierce rivals.”

Flitcroft says…

“Derby football is what English fans are brought up on – it’s everything that you believe in as a supporter.

“Neal's players will have another added incentive as they will be looking to impress their new boss.

“This will be my first time facing Notts at home as Stags’ manager and the match is exciting the squad and all of the staff.

“I’m happy with what we’ve done so far this year but there are always improvements that have to be made and on Saturday we need that ‘win at all costs’ mentality.”

Team news

Kane Hemmings, who spent last season on loan with Mansfield, has trained this week and could be in contention for a return to action against his former club subject to a late fitness test.

Jon Stead played 30 minutes on Tuesday night and will hope to be more involved, but Ben Hall has suffered an ankle injury and needs to see a specialist.

Flitcroft hopes Krystian Pearce will shake off a groin strain in time for Saturday while CJ Hamilton is expected to feature after playing half of the defeat to Bury.

David Mirfin is nearing a return to action but is unlikely to be fit for the derby while Alex MacDonald has bruising on a bone and is definitely out.

We’ve met before

Mansfield won 3-1 when Notts visited the One Call Stadium last season, Danny Rose grabbing a brace with Carl Dickinson netting a consolation goal.

The reverse fixture at Meadow Lane finished 1-1 with Hemmings scoring a late penalty to cancel out Terry Hawkridge’s opener which denied the Magpies all three points.

The weekend’s officials

Referee: Jeremy Simpson

Assistants: Shaun Hudson and Nigel Lugg

Fourth official: Peter Wright


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