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By Editor
Last updated : 28 October 2005
http://www.thisisgloucestershire.co.uk/

Veteran Mansfield Town goalkeeper Kevin Pressman will be under pressure at Whaddon Road tomorrow (3pm).

Only Stockport County have conceded more goals than Mansfield's 25 in Coca-Cola League Two this season and Cheltenham Town manager John Ward is looking to add to Pressman's problems. The former England B and under-21 player, 37, made his name at Sheffield Wednesday, for whom he made the first of 476 appearances.

He made 13 appearances for Leicester City in the Championship last season and has played in 14 of Mansfield's 15 League Two games this season, but has been unable to prevent the club slipping into the bottom three.

Pressman's former Wednesday team-mate Peter Shirtliff took temporary charge of the team last month following the departure of Carlton Palmer.

"They score goals, but they do concede them as well and we must try to get into their half of the pitch early and quickly," said Ward, who is not expected to make many changes despite the 3-1 defeat at Darlington six days ago.

Five-goal centre-forward Kayode Odejayi will be the main threat for Cheltenham, but Ward is also looking to recent scorers Damian Spencer and Adam Connolly to pose problems.

"Damian Spencer made one and scored one at Shrewsbury in the LDV and Adam Connolly has scored in the last two games. We can score goals, better than we did last season," said Ward, whose team scored 51 goals in the league last season.

Midfielder Connolly's goal at Darlington followed his effort in the 2-0 LDV Vans Trophy southern section first-round win at Shrewsbury Town.

Cheltenham have lost their last two games at Whaddon Road - the most recent against Grimsby Town (3-0) - but Ward believes his team have been playing better than the results suggest.

"We conceded three against Grimsby and at Darlington, so we must do better at that end of the pitch, but I'm looking to improve at both ends," he said.

"The goals we conceded late in both matches were when we were chasing the game.

"We'd played reasonably well, but we know we have to do better."

Ward, who saw Mansfield lose 3-2 at home to Championship side Millwall in the third round of the Carling Cup in midweek, does not have too many selection options.

Midfielder John Finningan (shoulder) is still a long way short of fitness and striker Steve Guinan (back) is also absent.

Ward believes central defender Michael Taylor (foot) is closer to match fitness than strikers Gary Bradshaw (groin) and Ashley Vincent (knee)

"I'm not going to make many changes," said Ward, who had only one attacking player, Sosthene Yao, on the bench at Darlington.

"Mansfield won't be easy. They will be tough. They played pretty well against Millwall.

"Simon Brown is their joint leading scorer and he is a good player.

"Richie Barker is a cagey old centre-forward and knows how to play in that position."

Mansfield have won their last two League Two games at Field Mill 4-0 - against Barnet and Shrewsbury - but they have yet to win away this season.

Cheltenham Town: Higgs, Wilson, Duff, Caines, Armstrong, Melligan, Connolly, Bird, McCann, Spencer, Odejayi, Gill, Victory, Brown, Townsend, Yao, Taylor, Vincent.
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Centre-half Michael Townsend is back in Cheltenham Town's Coca-Cola League Two squad for tomorrow's game with Mansfield Town (3pm).

Manager John Ward withdrew the 19-year-old (above) after he had played the first 12 league matches this season. Ward's judgment was that Townsend's introduction to that level of football had been demanding and that a break would help him.

"I saw him play for the reserves at Cardiff last week and he was excellent. That says to me that he's fine and the boy's ready," said Ward.

"We did the same with Gavin Caines when he needed a break and I wouldn't worry about putting Townsend in."

Steve Guinan's injury-laden season continues and he is not ready for tomorrow.

He was on the way back from a foot injury when he damaged his back during the reserves' match against Cardiff.

"He won't be right for Saturday. It's eased a lot and he's got nearly a full range of movement," Ward said.

"There was a little internal bleeding and bruising and it's been a very unfortunate spell.

"It's meant that without him, we don't have a lot of attacking options on the bench."

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Mansfield Town Match Reports

Sky Bet League Two Tue 17th October 20:00

Barnet 1 - 1 Mansfield Town

Last game - Match Centre


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