PREVIEWS AND D`LARYEA INTERVIEW
HAPPY DAYS FOR D'LARYEA AND THE STAGS
Evening Post, 25 August 2006
Jonathan D'Laryea is calling on his Mansfield team-mates to match the high standards they set in the win at Huddersfield on a regular basis.
The Stags produced their best display of the season at the Galpharm Stadium to knock their League One opponents out of the Carling Cup.
D'Laryea was delighted with the Stags' display, as well as his own, and now wants to see that sort of form produced more consistently.
"Against Huddersfield we were strong in the tackle and once we got the ball they allowed us to play much more than a lot of League Two sides and that suited us," he said.
"I think the team as a whole defended better from the strikers right through to the back four. It wasn't just the defence that got us the clean sheet - we had Richie Barker and Browny working hard and the midfield also tried to defend as a four.
"Jason White also did his bit too and it was a great save that he pulled off at 0-0 (from Danny Schofield's shot) to keep us in the game.
"It was the happiest I have been with my performance and I don't want my standards to drop below that. As a team we reached a good performance level and we have to strive to play at that level as often as we can."
Mansfield have picked up six points from their first four league games following a win and three draws. Midfielder D'Laryea says he and the rest of the squad feel the club should be in an even better position. He said: "We have got a little run going and we have been quite consistent. But even though we are still unbeaten, the players feel we have drawn games we should have won.
"The Grimsby game was a good example. We were disappointed that we didn't win whereas last season we would probably have been happy with a draw.
"We know that we are capable of achieving more so it is frustrating. We know within the squad we are capable of big things and we are setting our sights a lot higher."
Manager Peter Shirtliff said: "I don't want the cup win to detract from our league games. I want it to spur us on and act as a catalyst. We are still only mid-table even though we haven't lost yet so it is not fantastic. I am not getting carried away and neither are the players.
"We need to convert some of the draws we have been getting into victories.''
Jon-Olav Hjelde should be back in contention for tomorrow's visit of Lincoln after recovering from his hamstring injury, but Giles Coke is still a doubt with his ankle problem.
Let's turn draws into wins, says D'Laryea
CHAD website, 24 August 2006
STAGS midfielder Jonathan D'Laryea is hoping Mansfield Town can build on their sparkling midweek Carling Cup win at Huddersfield Town when they resume League Two action at home to Lincoln City on Saturday (3pm).
Although they remain unbeaten this season, Stags have drawn three of their four League outings and D'Laryea said: "We are unbeaten but the players don't feel we have done as well as we could have, especially with three draws.
"We have been a bit disappointed. We know we are playing all right so hopefully Tuesday's win will help boost our confidence.
"We need to turn good performances into wins and not just draws."
It is probably no coincidence that Stags pulled off a win at a League One Huddersfield side who, like Stags, wanted to get the ball down and play football as opposed to many of the huge, physical sides in League Two.
"Physical strength is not the biggest aspect of our game and it is an area we have to improve on," he said.
"In League Two most of the teams are bigger and stronger and we have to prepare ourselves for the battle as well as playing our football.
"The gaffer told us that sometimes the game is won or lost in the first 15 minutes. You have to get on top physically.
"We are expecting a battle against Lincoln.
"The way they play seems to be about long balls and flick-ons and winning the second ball. With their height we are not going to win every header. So we have to make sure we are first to react to the flick-ons."
Manager Peter Shirtliff agreed: "We are playing quite well and we have confidence and a good spirit," he said.
"Now we have to carry that into the league programme.
"We have drawn matches we could have won and I hope Tuesday night's win is a catalyst for us.
"There is no question of the players becoming over-confident. We are only mid-table and we need to get victories instead of draws - it is as simple as that.
"I am not sure Lincoln are as big or physical as last season but we know it will be a tough game and we are looking forard to it."
Shirtliff gave Jason White his first game of the season in goal on Tuesday and he produced a clean sheet.
"Carl Muggleton had a slight tendon strain but I am sure he will be all right for Saturday. So I thought it would be a good opportunity for Jason to play as he has done well in training and worked very hard.
"It does give me a selection headache for Saturday but I have already made my mind up what I am going to do."
HOPES RISE AFTER SHOCK WIN
Evening Post, 24 August 2006
Buxton so keen to keep his place
JAKE Buxton hopes he has done enough to convince manager Peter Shirtliff he is worth his place in the Mansfield side.
The defender missed the start of the season as he struggled to recover from a toe injury picked up last season.
He has watched from the sidelines as new boy Johnny Mullins has slotted into the right-back position, relegating him to a place on the bench.
But an injury to Jon-Olav Hjelde has given the versatile Buxton his chance in the last two games, playing in the centre of the defence alongside Alex John-Baptiste.
Now the 21-year-old is desperate to retain his shirt for Saturday's visit of Lincoln City - even if Hjelde is fit for selection.
"At the start of pre-season, everyone had a clean slate but I got injured and so when the manager picked his back four, I wasn't in it," said Buxton.
"Now Jon has had the misfortune to get injured as I did and that has opened the door for someone else, which in this case is me.
"Hopefully, I have taken my chance. I feel I have done quite well since coming back into the side but I know there are no guarantees.
"But I want to stay in the side. We are all hungry to do well."
Buxton felt Mansfield's first clean sheet of the campaign at Huddersfield in the 2-0 Carling Cup win on Tuesday night was their best defensive performance so far.
He cited the Stags' ability to deal with high balls into the box as the key reason for that improvement.
Buxton added: "I think people have been a little over the top in their criticism of the defence so far because although we had not kept a clean sheet until Huddersfield, we had been unlucky.
"Hopefully, this will shut a few of them up.
"When teams have gone the long ball route before against us we have not always dealt with it that well like at Shrewsbury and in the last ten minutes at Grimsby.
"But we seemed to judge it better against Huddersfield and we made them knock the long balls in from deep from their centre-halves rather than from their midfielders where they could get a bit more quality.
"There was also a good line of communication and Whitey (Jason White) spoke really well in goal to keep us on our toes."
Like the fans, Buxton is optimistic that beating a team from a higher division will give Mansfield the confidence for a good run.
"We feel we have played better than the points we have picked up but we still believe we can be a top six side and there is no reason why we can't."
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