BARKER INTERVIEW IN THE FOOTBALL PAPER
Barker interview in The Football Paper
transcribed by Devon Stag
Barker glad to stay put
By Simon Vincent
Spare a thought for Mansfield striker Richie Barker as ten days ago he was enjoying life at Field Mill before a shock phone call from manager Peter Shirtliff turned his world upside down.
Despite signing a new three-year contract in the summer and repeatedly pledging his future to the club, the 31-year-old was told he was being sold.
The news came as a bolt from the blue for the Mansfield captain but, given no choice in the matter, he looked to be on his way out as the Stags agreed a deal with League Two rivals Hartlepoool. But after several phone calls between Mansfiled and Pools, the proposed deal fell through at the last minute and Barker got his wish to remain a Mansfield player.
He said: "I got a phone call from the manager saying an offer had been accepted.
"It was a bit of a surprise because I only signed a three-year contract in the summer.
"There was no reason for me wanting to leave. The manager did not want to me to leave. But he had to understand that every player has a price.
"I got a call about 9 o'clock on the Thursday last week saying it was all done and then at 10.40pm I got another saying it hadn't gone through.
"There were all these different reasond and I to be honest I did not know what to believe."
He added: "I never asked to leave and I want the fans to know that.
"A lot of things are written about players when they sign a new contract and then want to move, and they get a bad press.
"The fact I signed a new contract showed I wanted to end my career at Mansfield. That's the part of the club accepting the bid I did not understand because we were doing well.
"We had just gone through the month unbeaten and got through to the quarter-finals of the Johnstone's Paint Trophy. But I am still a Mansfield player and would like that to continue."
Football Post articles:
Thanks to carole for transcribing.
Matt: We'll reward travelling faithful
MIDFIELDER Matt Hamshaw is determined to reward Mansfield's loyal travelling fans with better results between now and the end of the season.
The Stags have managed just one victory away from Field Mill in the league this season – a 3-2 triumph at Macclesfield.
Mansfield's latest defeat on the road came last weekend at Bristol Rovers as former Stag Craig Disley netted a late winner.
But Hamshaw is adamant the Stags can give their supporters something to shout about.
He said: “All the players are gutted after the Bristol Rovers game and I know the fans were too. It would have been nice to get a result for them because they have been great for us all season. They probably thought we were going to get a draw, which I think would have been a decent result. But we switched off for a few seconds and that has cost us. The fans still clapped us off because I think they felt we had not played that badly.”
“We haven't been getting the results away, but I do think we can get them in the future and we might have won at Bristol Rovers had Michael Boulding scored when he had a really good chance.”
Hamshaw agrees with his boss Peter Shirtliff that Mansfield have to learn not to switch off.
He said: “The manager has told us that we have to play for 90 minutes not 80-odd and we know he is right. You get nothing if you do that – as was shown in the Bristol Rovers game.”
I was not happy but I'll get back in the side:
Jake Buxton tells MATT HALFPENNY about his frustration at being dropped from the Stags starting line-up…..
WHILE the mood of many in the Mansfield camp has been lifted by a recent improvement in results, one player not feeling quite so upbeat is Jake Buxton.
The versatile 21-year-old defender was one of the Stags' most consistent performers during a difficult September for the club.
However, following the return of Jon-Olav Hjelde from injury, Buxton has been confined to the substitute's bench for league matches.
The decision from Mansfield boss Peter Shirtliff initially shocked and angered Sutton-in-Ashfield born Buxton.
But now he is determined to channel his energy into getting back into his manager's first choice line-up as soon as possible.
Certainly Buxton did everything he possibly could with an assured display in the 3-0 Johnstone's Paints Trophy victory over Grimsby last week.
It was still not enough for him to start at Bristol Rovers last Saturday, though, where he managed only four minutes as a late substitute.
“I was obviously not happy about being dropped and I told the gaffer so,” said Buxton. “We were under the cosh a bit and conceding goals at the time and I think the gaffer had to be seen to be making decisions. I have been upset and frustrated, but I realise these things happen in football. I know I just have to get on with it and work hard to get back into the side. Any professional footballer will tell you are mad for the first couple of days and you are questioning yourself. But then you start to think that you want to show the gaffer and get back in the side and play well for him. Hopefully I will get back in soon, whether it is through hard work or an injury to someone else.”
Buxton did not start the season in the team after it took longer than expected to recover from a troublesome foot injury.
And he admits that he has been disappointed with how things have gone so far after targeting a regular first team slot in 2006-2007.
Buxton said: “I wasn't in the side at the start of the season but then big Jon (Hjelde) got injured and I came in alongside Bap (Alex John-Baptiste) and thought I did quite well. When Jon came back, the gaffer had a hard decision to make between dropping Bap or me.”
“I played at Boston but I have been left out since then and it's the first time in over 100 games it has happened to me when I've done nothing wrong. I would have understood if I had messed up and it had led to goals but I was playing well. Even when we lost 4-0 at Walsall I thought I had a decent game. It has been disappointing but I will be doing my best to earn another chance.”
Having recorded their first away victory of the season at Macclesfield, disappointment followed in defeat at Bristol Rovers last time out.
The Pirates snatched a last-gasp winner through former Stag Craig Disley after Mansfield had created, and missed, chances of their own.
And Buxton knows that greater consistency away from home holds the key to whether Mansfield can climb into the upper reaches of the League Two table.
“If we are going to be up there challenging, then these are the type of sides that we need to go out and beat on their own ground,” said Buxton.
“It is a matter of going out there and believing we can win rather than just hoping we can get the point. Then if you look at things after the game and you have drawn, it is not a bad result.”
“I think the game against Macclesfield was an important one to win because it shows we are capable of doing it. But we have to make sure that it is not just a one-off and show that we can produce results away from home on a regular basis. Only if we do that are we going to progress from being a mid-table side to one which is fighting it out at the top.”
“We have more potential than any other side in the league but we have to start realising that potential.”
Buxton believes that the difference between Mansfield and the top six sides in the league is not a big one. But he believes the Stags can be a little naïve at times in comparison to the likes of Walsall, Wycombe and MK Dons.
Buxton said: “The best sides understand and know each other's jobs as part of a team at all times. They know when they can afford to get the ball down and play and when they need to go long. They are no better in terms of ability but sometimes they just have the experience to get the right results in matches.”
How long Buxton has to wait for his next chance remains to be seen.
Whenever it comes, though, you can be sure he will be doing everything in his power to avoid another spell on the sidelines.
Latest | November 2006