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Mansfield boss Duncan Russell says forget Wembley date


Playing at Wembley will be amazing - Russell

Mansfield Town boss Duncan Russell has told his players to forget about their Wembley date in the FA Trophy final in May or risk losing their place.

The Stags edged past Luton Town in the semi-final to book their spot on 7 May.

But Russell told BBC Radio Nottingham: "It's a fantastic achievement but I don't want them speaking about Wembley any more now - it's gone.

"We'll worry about that closer to the time. They have to remain professional, they are playing for their places."

Mansfield, who still have 13 games left in the Blue Square Bet Premier season, progressed thanks to a last-gasp penalty which earned them a 1-1 draw at Kenilworth Road and a 2-1 aggregate victory.

And Russell said the trip to Wembley will be a wonderful reward after a turbulent few seasons which has seen lose their place in the Football League and suffer an uncertain time off the pitch.

"I'm so happy for all those involved at Mansfield Town - not just the football club but everybody in Mansfield," Russell added.

"The fans have not had a lot to shout about in the last couple of years. Things like this bring a town together.

"It's massive. The club have to benefit from it and use it wisely."

And Russell, who was part of the coaching set-up when Milton Keynes won the Football League Trophy in 2008, was also relishing the chance to walk out as a manager at the home of football.

"To walk my team out at Wembley will be unbelievable," Russell added. "I'm very proud I will wait for May 7th and will thoroughly enjoy it."

Hungarian goalkeeper David Grof, who only joined the Stags in February and has been playing because of an injury to fit-again first-choice keeper Alan Marriott, was stunned by the prospect of playing at the home of English football.

"I can't believe it," he said. "It's a dream come true - not just for me but for my whole family. It's unbelievable.

"When I grew up, English football was the best for me and I have been following it since I was little.

"I always wanted to play in England and now I am actually going to the national stadium. Honestly, it's unbelievable. I'm only 21 so playing there so quick is amazing."

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see also
Luton 1-1 Mansfield (agg 1-2)
19 Mar 11 |  Non League
Stags appoint Russell as manager
21 Dec 10 |  Mansfield

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