SHIRTLIFF, SHEARER AND SOUNESS REACTION
Audio interview with Peter Shirtliff from BBC Radio Nottingham (RealPlayer needed)
Audio interview with Alan Shearer from BBC Radio (RealPlayer needed)
GRAEME Souness paid tribute to Mansfield after the League Two minnows came within 11 minutes of forcing his Newcastle team to an FA Cup replay.
Souness said: "Mansfield were tremendous. They acquitted themselves very well and were a credit to themselves. They made us work very hard for victory.
"I knew it wouldn't be an easy game. In the third round of the FA Cup the big teams are always playing under a great deal of pressure because a great deal is made of the possibility of it being a shock.
"Mansfield had players without a great deal of experience but credit to them, they did very well against us, and played well in all departments. They were fantastic.
"At the start of the day we were determined not to become a shock - and we are not a shock. But it was a close encounter and a hard-fought game.
"Shay had to make a very good save down to his right in the first half and again in the second half, but the longer the game went on I felt they were pushing further and further back towards their own goal.
"We had several opportunities where we might have done better and picked out a target, but the longer the game went on I felt more and more we were going to get a goal."
Stags Boss Peter Shirtliff, Magpies Boss Graeme Souness, and scorer Alan Shearer......
Peter Shirtliff: "We are a bit disappointed but I thought my players were excellent,"
"It's nice to come here and we were absolutely made up when the draw was made and I think we've put on a good show.
"I think my young players will see that game as a benchmark for their careers.
"I thought we did very well in the first half and I told the players at half-time that if they could keep up that level of performance then you never know what might happen.
"But Newcastle upped the tempo and maybe we started tiring. It just shows you the difference with that bit of extra quality.
"The longer the second half went on Newcastle were getting wave after wave of attacks.
"But when you lose to a late goal like that and Mr Shearer pops up and scores we are a bit disappointed but not dejected.
"It is a fantastic stadium to come to and what more could you ask from the players who were magnificent all afternoon."
Graeme Souness: "I thought Mansfield were fantastic, worked extremely hard, and were a credit to themselves today.
"They played with a free spirit and had a real go. This was, for the vast majority of them, the biggest game of football they had ever played.
"They may never play in an arena like this or in front of 40,000 people again so they made the most of it. It was a very hard-fought game with not a lot in it."
"FA Cup third round is a very special time and at the start of the day we were determined not to become a shock and we were not a shock.
"Shay made two good saves down to his right. But the longer the game went on the more we pushed them back towards their own goal and I felt we were going to score.
"I was delighted for Alan to equal the record. I don't think it will really have sunk in what he has done yet as he is not a man bothered with individual honours. But it was a truly magnificent achievement and it is harder scoring goals in the modern game than it was when the record was set."
Alan Shearer: "I just hope my scoring doesn't overshadow what was an excellent performance from Mansfield.
They made it extremely difficult for us. Considering their league position, they played like a Premiership side with great desire and heart.
They deserve a lot of credit for the way they played."
Quotes from various sources, including the National Papers, http://www.mansfieldtoday.co.uk &
Latest | January 2006