SHIRTLIFF AND TURNER REACTION
Audio interview with Peter Shirtliff from BBC Radio Nottingham (RealPlayer needed)
Shirtliff asks for clinical finishing
CHAD website, 19 October 2005
STAGS caretaker boss Peter Shirtliff has told his side they need to be more clinical in front of goal after last night's 1-0 home defeat by Conference club Hereford United in the LDV Vans Trophy.
But Shirtliff, who still hopes to get the job full-time, was otherwsie impressed by the work done by an experimental front partnership of Adrian Littlejohn and Nathan Arnold, both making their Stags debuts.
"I was disappointed to go out but I was more concerned about our poor finishing," he said.
"We had opportunities when we were on top before they scored and goals change games. We have to be a bit more clinical in front of goal.
"I made changes and was pleased with the lads who came in. I though Kyle Jacobs did quite well and I thought Nathan Arnold worked very hard for the team.
"I wanted to win and I thought that team would beat Hereford. And if we had taken our chances in the key part of the game we would have done.
"But let's give Hereford some respect and not be too glum. They are a decent Conference side and have been for a number of years."
Bulls boss Graham Turner said: "I feel for Peter Shirtliff. He is a young manager and it is not the ideal place for him to start at.
"You could feel the feeling around the place and it is a bit unfortunate for him.
"We reached the area semi-final last season and beat some good sides like Blackpool, who were the holders, Doncaster Rovers and Scunthorpe.
"We enjoyed that run and we have shown we mean business again tonight. Mansfield were our first hurdle and we came with the intention of going as far as we can."
A BRIDGE TOO FAR FOR THE YOUTHFUL STAGS
Evening Post, 19 October 2005
Mansfield Town 0 v 1 Hereford United
Being at the bottom of the league, it was probably the right approach for a competition that is generally regarded as a nuisance until you play at the Millennium Stadium.
Apart from the odd evening, like a week ago last Friday when they brushed Shrewsbury aside, Peter Shirtliff"s caretaker reign at Field Mill has been characterised by the Stags not really finding their feet.
So what better opportunity to analyse a few options than an LDV game against Hereford United?
Maybe defeat will do little to increase the confidence they will require to get out of trouble.
No doubt plenty of pessimists will have watched the Bulls' performance, which featured some penetrative attacking, and conclude it would be a tough task for Mansfield to come out on top of such teams next season if the worst came to the worst come May.
In a tournament that can be safely filed under Mickey Mouse, it wasn't just the nine changes Shirtliff made that gave it the appearance of a reserve game.
It did not produce the comfortable, flowing football their performance against the Shrews contained but they got the ball down when they could and created more chances than their opponents.
The problem is, the punters still want to be entertained, even if admission is reduced to a tenner.
They want to see chances taken, they don't want to see players stretching to keep the ball in play and they don't want crosses going over the last attacker.
Consequently, they boo and jeer and generate the same atmosphere in which they have fallen to the lowest position in the table.
Little regard is taken for performance. When a non-league team comes to town, a home win is all that is expected and one with plenty to spare to boot.
The goal that won the game summed up Stags' predicament.
After defending a lot better in the last few games, it was a calamity.
Rob Purdie was given plenty of time to bring the ball down in the box on his chest and, although his shot was not a rasper, it bounced off Rhys Day, past Jason White, and limped over the line.
It arrived in the 12th minute and was the first time the Bulls had managed to get into the Mansfield half.
That Adrian Littlejohn missed an excellent chance shortly afterwards just underlined they were likely to go out. They never really looked like scoring, even if some of the approach play was encouraging and the same could have been said of their opponents.
But the longer it went on, the more it frustrated the crowd.
The final whistle produced the anticipated response from the assembled 1,303 who clicked through the turnstiles.
It was a good chance to look at other options, even if it didn't work in terms of progressing in the competition.
Some might have questioned why Shirtliffe didn't go for it with his strongest team when the manager's job is still up for grabs.
But it was time to try a few other faces, many of whom didn't disgrace themselves.
IT'S NOT ALL DOOM AND GLOOM, SAYS SHIRTLIFF
Evening Post, 19 October 2005
Caretaker manager Peter Shirtliff insisted it is not all doom and gloom at Field Mill.
The Stags are bottom of League Two and a Rhys Day own goal consigned them to a 1-0 defeat at home to Conference outfit Hereford United in the LDV Trophy last night.
Shirtliff said: "In some ways I was disappointed with the result but I was more concerned with our finishing because that is what cost us the game.
"We were very much on top before they scored and, like I said after the Carlisle game, we have got to be more clinical.
"We got over the bad goal but we didn't score. It is not all doom and gloom because, if we win on Saturday against Barnet, the likelihood is that we will get off the bottom of the table. It is as simple as that.
"We have lost 1-0 so we have not conceded a ridiculous amount of goals so, hopefully, we will put in a good performance on Saturday and get a good win."
Shirtliff made his first signing yesterday when he managed to secure the services of Manchester City midfielder Jonathan D'Laryea for a month.
He is likely to come straight into the midfield for the game against the Bees on Saturday.
Shirtliff is still hoping to make further additions before the weekend.
Solitary Bailey strike sees off Stags in trophy upset
MATT Bailey scored the only goal as Hereford United dumped Coca-Cola League Two basement boys Mansfield Town out of the LDV Vans Trophy.
Bailey struck after 12 minutes of last night's northern section first round tie at Field Mill to hand Graham Turner's Conference side only their third win over the Stags.
Mansfield had a chance as early as the fourth minute when Adrian Littlejohn took advantage of a defensive lapse from Tony James but fired wide from 20 yards.
Hereford went ahead with their first attack of the game through Bailey. The on-loan striker was on hand to prod home from six yards following Rob Purdie's tame effort.
Bailey almost doubled the lead on 27 minutes when he turned over Jon Brady's cross.
At the other end, the ball ricocheted to Littlejohn but the former Sheffield United man was denied from 12 yards by Bulls goalkeeper Craig Mawson.
Littlejohn had another chance late in the half when he went close with a 25-yard drive.
Two minutes after the re-start, a last-ditch Alex Jeannin challenge prevented Callum Lloyd from equalising for the hosts. Mawson then tipped Stephen Dawson's effort around a post.
Hereford's best second-half chance saw Jeannin blast a 25-yard free-kick over the top. The visitors later replaced Bailey with Guy Ipoua and Andy Williams with Graham Evans.
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