Return to Field Mill not about revenge for midfielder Anderson despite his 'bitter' exit from Mansfield

There are a whole number of reasons why the Cobblers would want to take all three points at Mansfield Town this weekend, but you couldn't blame Paul Anderson for having a little extra motivation when he steps out at Field Mill.

Friday, 20th December 2019, 3:16 pm
Updated Friday, 20th December 2019, 3:17 pm
Paul Anderson moved to Mansfield after his release from the Cobblers in 2017

After all, it was at Mansfield where his career began to unravel. After making 40 appearances in 2017/18, he was then frozen out by new manager David Flitcroft to the extent where he didn't even make the reserve team.

His contract was mutually terminated on transfer deadline day in January, and shortly after that, he gave an interview in which he admitted he felt some 'bitterness' towards the Stags.

"It is what it is," he told BBC Radio Nottingham. "Football is football and business is business. The manager has his own agenda, the club are doing well and I have to sit there.

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“Unfortunately I was one of the few that was collateral for it to be successful really. There is probably a little bit of bitterness because at the end of the day I have worked so hard all my life."

Despite that though - and despite not starting a single game throughout last season - he insists Saturday's return to Field Mill, the first time he's been back since leaving, is not about showing the club what they missed out on.

"I've had many clubs in my career and my time at Mansfield has been and gone," he said. "That's in the past and I don't mind what Mansfield get up to now.

"It's about myself and what Northampton Town do. I'm doing absolutely everything I can to help this club, whether that's against Mansfield or another team on a Saturday or a Tuesday.

"So I'll just focus on ourselves and hopefully we get the result we need."

Anderson was one of numerous players to sign for Mansfield in 2017 when the ambitious Nottinghamshire club splashed the cash in an attempt to assemble a promotion-winning side.

It didn't work out though, and over two years later they remain a League Two outfit, currently struggling down in 18th in the division ahead of hosting the Cobblers this weekend.

"They've been an ambitious club over the last few years," said Anderson. "They've put in a lot of money to try and get promoted and they've missed out a couple of times.

"I was gutted to see the last manager (John Dempster) go because he was a big help to me when I was at the club.

"He's a very good guy but unfortunately results don't go your way sometimes and they're underachieving for what they have there.

"I don't know much about the new manager who's gone in there but I'm sure that'll give them a big lift.

"But we've just got to focus on ourselves because we're on a good run and we're very confident in what we're doing so we'll make sure we put in a good performance."