BILLY STILL LOVES LIFE IN CHARGE
OLD-STAGER BILLY STILL LOVES LIFE IN CHARGE
Evening Post, 09 February 2007
Billy Dearden today insisted he is enjoying the cut and thrust of professional football more than ever.
The Stags boss celebrates his 63rd birthday on Sunday and is hoping for the early present of a win over Stockport tomorrow.
Dearden is the third oldest manager in charge of a league club in England - only Sir Alex Ferguson and Dario Gradi are his seniors.
But he feels he has made the right decision to come back into management.
"It's been snowing like crazy and we've nowhere to train, so nothing changes. But I'm loving it," said Dearden.
"I have never lost my enthusiasm for the job or this club. The time I do is the time I will pack it in."
Dearden's contract runs only until the end of the season, but he hinted he may be happy to stay on beyond that.
He said: "I am not really thinking beyond this season but I said when I came if I was enjoying it then I would want to stay on."
BBC Nottingham online. Updated 08.48am, 09.02.07
The Mansfield Town manager Billy Dearden insists he's not thinking about extending his stay at Field Mill beyond the end of this season yet. Dearden took charge of the Stags for a second time six weeks ago, and has since lifted them up to 16th in the League Two table. He's only agreed so far to stay until the summer, and is happy to keep it that way for the time being.
STOCKPORT V STAGS PREVIEW
Evening Post, 09 February 2007
The day-to-day search for a training ground has caused Billy Dearden plenty of concern since he took over at Field Mill.
But those worries were rendered largely irrelevant yesterday morning as the Stags players reported in for training with a blanket of snow covering the town.
The wintry weather meant that preparations for tomorrow's trip to high-flying Stockport were thrown into chaos.
So while Dearden was planning a short session out on the pitch, an impromptu snowball fight involving the players began in the car park.
Although Johnny Mullin appeared to have the best throwing arm and Jonathan D'Laryea came off worst, it was good fun for everyone involved.
The smiles on faces encapsulated perfectly the relaxed and confident mood in the Mansfield camp on the back of four games unbeaten.
And no one has benefited more from the positive atmosphere than goalkeeper Jason White.
Since coming back into the side for Peter Shirtliff's final game in charge at Barnet, the young shot-stopper has visibly grown in stature.
His recent performances have earned him praise from new manager Dearden and resulted in him playing the last ten consecutive games.
It is the longest run either he, or his rival Carl Muggleton, has enjoyed in a battle this season to become first-choice keeper for the Stags.
Not surprisingly then, White's aim is simple between now and May - make sure he stays there.
And the 23-year-old knows that the only way to do that, particularly as a goalkeeper, is to perform on match days.
"A goalkeeper can't just get back into the side by coming on for ten minutes as a substitute here and there and playing well and there is no reserve league here either," said White.
"It means that you have to play well in games and if you don't you will be out of the team.
"All you can do then is wait for someone else to make a mistake to get back in, no matter how hard you train.
"I know if Muggs (Muggleton) starts I'm not likely to get a game at any point - and I'm sure he feels the same.
"I would say I am playing some of the best football of my career now and that comes with confidence and a string of games, so I'm hoping that continues."
It is a situation far removed from the early stages of the season when White was out of action for much of pre-season following a knee operation.
In his absence, Muggleton played well in the friendly matches and kept his place for the start of the League Two campaign.
White came in and kept a clean sheet against Huddersfield in the Carling Cup and was given a go two games later against Hereford.
After initially impressing, White began to struggle, culminating in a clanger in the 4-0 defeat at Walsall followed by a below-par performance in the 2-2 draw with Notts.
White was consequently dropped and took the decision on the chin. But, looking back, he now realises there was a reason for his dip in form.
He said: "I had a bit of a run in the team and at that point we were playing Saturday-Tuesday-Saturday every week.
"Because of the operation in pre-season I had not trained fully and only had one reserve game at Leicester. I just think I was worn out and my form suffered."
He said of boss Dearden: "When someone shows faith in you, you try to give something back."
Latest | February 2007