Mansfield Town’s former Derby County man Andy Garner can’t wait to cross sword with the Rams again tomorrow

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Mansfield Town first team coach Andy Garner can't wait to cross swords with his former club Derby County again in tonight's mouthwatering final Papa John's Trophy home group game.

The Rams have already won 2-1 in a Carabao Cup thriller at the One Call Stadium this season.

“We want to get back on track after Friday's draw and a win would give us a boost heading to Barrow on Saturday,” said Garner.

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“There is a little bit of money involved if you win a game. But we like to win every match.

Mansfield Town coach Andy Garner - relishing clash with his former club tonight.Mansfield Town coach Andy Garner - relishing clash with his former club tonight.
Mansfield Town coach Andy Garner - relishing clash with his former club tonight.

“Derby is a local club for me as a player and as a coach. I have many memories of Derby and they're a fantastic club.

“Obviously we had Paul Warne (new Derby boss) here pre-season with Rotherham United so he will know everything about us.

“It will be interesting to see what team they put out. They had a fantastic result at Cambridge on Saturday and will want to keep that momentum going.

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“Playing Derby will be a fantastic game and I am sure they will send out a decent side.”

Garner believes Warne can achieve with the Rams this season after their relegation to League One.

“Paul's record stands for itself. He did a fantastic job at Rotherham,” he said.

“Derby is a big club and there are a lot of expectations, but I think he is a good fit for it.

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“He has the pedigree. Hopefully his players respond and I think he has enough in that squad to do well this season.”Garner fondly remembers his spell at Derby with boss Nigel Clough.

“Derby was our first job after moving from Burton and it was incredible for me, having been a player there,” he said.

“So that was one of my most disappointing days when we got the sack from there.

“We survived four years and it was incredibly hard. At the time they were massively over budget and just wanted to get the money down.

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“The gaffer did that and got about £9m off the wage bill. It took a long time to recruit players but we did get some fantastic players in. We thought we were about getting it right but unfortunately people above thought differently.”

He continued: “Our approach will be trying to win the football match tomorrow – simple as that. It's a big week for us.

“It's good to have a game straight away after a disappointment and we're looking forward to it.

“We have a full squad and I would assume some of the players who haven't played for a bit will be taking part.

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“We hope Hiram Boateng can play. He has had no reactions from last week's training and is pencilled in for a start.

“He is an important players and he's been out for some time so it will be nice to get him onto the pitch.

“But Kellan Gordon has a bit of a sore groin. It was sore on Friday too which is why we took him off.”

Stags are looking to get back on track after seeing a 2-0 lead vanish when bottom club Hartlepool United roared back for a 2-2 draw on Friday.

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“We have had all weekend to think about and we're still disappointed, though we did play some really good football,” said Garner.

“When you're 2-0 up with 20 minutes to go you expect to win the game.

“But it happens. We made two mistakes in the whole 90 minutes and this time we didn't get away with it - sometimes you do.

“We now have to move on and learn from it.

“Riley Harbottle could have smashed the ball towards the corner flag instead of the backpass. They can't score a goal from out there. But he is still young, it's his first proper season, and he has been great for us. He is devastated and we now need to lift him.”

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A win for Stags tonight would see them one of two qualifiers for the knock-out stages. There will be no extra-time, a draw will result in penalties.

The Rams have sold out their 1,723 ticket allocation for the North Stand.