STAGS DOWN THE YEAR: Carlton Palmer at the helm

05-1679-8                               16-07-2005''Stags v Derby
05-1679-8 16-07-2005''Stags v Derby

Today’s Stags Down The Years image is of manager Carlton Palmer and assistant Peter Shirtliff encouraging the Mansfield Town side during a pre-season home friendly with Derby County at the dawn of the 2005/06 season.

Former England international midfielder Palmer had taken over the previous November against supporters’ wishes as a friend of hated chairman Keith Haslam after boss Keith Curle had been suspended over alleged bullying, later proved untrue in court.

From the media point of view Palmer was solid gold with his willingness to answer questions. But from a managerial and tactical point of view he was ridiculed by supporters amid some strange decisions.

By the time he had won just once in the first 10 games of 2005/06, he bowed to the hostility from the stands and tended his resignation saying: “I have had a good career and I don’t need to take the abuse from the crowd.

“Keith Haslam, the Mansfield chairman, is a good mate of mine and I want to keep it that way so I will be stepping down as manager.”

Having confirmed his firm friendship with Haslam from the start, Palmer was never going to be accepted by the furious fans.

In the end Palmer maanged only 10 wins in 41 games for Mansfield and Shirtliff took over the reins.

Nevertheless, a final day of the season 5-0 home thrashing by Cheltenham Town saw Stags drop below Chester on goal difference for a final position of 16th after a season to forget.

Stags lost the pre-season friendly against Derby 1-0, down to a mistake by keeper Jason White, who had failed to claim a cross.

The names of players involved make interesting reading with some club legends alongside some long forgotten Stags.

Rhys Day, Jake Buxton, Gavin Peers, Jason Talbot began the game as the back four.

Boss Palmer played just in front of the back four with Gus Uhlenbeek and Stephen Dawson just in front and a striker trio of Ritchie Barker, Matty Tipton and Adam Birchall.

At half-time the Stags changed all 10 outfield players. On trial Nicholas Priet joined Alex-John Baptiste at centre half, with Gareth Jelleyman and Martin McIntosh at full back.

Fraser McLachlan, Callum Lloyd and Giles Coke were the midfield trio while Adam Rundle and Simon Brown supported returning striker Chris Beardsley up front.

What are your memories of Carlton Palmer’s brief reign?

What do you remember of some of those players from 2005/06?

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