DEARDEN AND HAMSHAW REACTION
KEY-GAME FLOPS COST US DEARLY, SAYS MATT
Evening Post, 11 April 2007
Matt Hamshaw has put Mansfield's disappointing season down to their inability to win pivotal games.
The Stags have, at times, threatened to put together the kind of run that would have propelled them to the fringes of the play-offs.
But the midfielder says hopes have been dashed by an unexpected defeat each time.
And they have struggled in recent weeks with injuries.
"We let ourselves down against Boston, just when we had given ourselves an outside chance of the play-offs - and that has been the story of our season.
"Every time we have got to a point where we need to win our next game to push us into contention, we have lost it.
"We have been in the situation a couple of times - the Boston game and the Bury home game stick out in my mind. It is that lack of consistency that has cost us."
Hamshaw had thought Mansfield would have been challenging for promotion this season, and is disappointed.
But he believes Mansfield can have a go next year.
He said: "Billy (Dearden) has shown that he can bring a good players in by signing Bryan Hodge. We have a small squad but it is about adding quality. There is no use having 30 players on your books if ten of them are never involved.
"There are some good players here and I'm sure we will add to it. The younger players will also be a year older, so we are very optimistic."
BATTLING STAGS FALL AFTER LATE STRIKES
Evening Post, 10 April 2007
Billy Dearden was left to rue the late goals that cost his battling Mansfield side a draw at Peterborough.
The Stags looked to be on course for a point at London Road with the scoresheet still blank going into the closing moments.
But 'soft goals' from Craig Mackail-Smith and Alan White in the last three minutes meant Mansfield fell to a 2-0 defeat.
It was the injury-hit Stags' sixth game without a win.
"We did well with what he had to put out and with having to change things round at half-time," said Dearden.
"We changed the system at the start to a 4-5-1 but then we had to change it again and go three at the back.
"Even then we were OK but we got done with a sucker punch three minutes from time. They were very soft goals. Our keeper was very disappointed for the first one and I don't think he should have scored from there. But it wasn't just his fault.
"Then we conceded again with just about the last kick of the match. I was very disappointed we didn't get anything out of the game."
Dearden sympathises with the frustration of the Mansfield fans but insists it is difficult to get results with so many players injured.
He said: "Paul (Holland) asked me what we are going to do with the players and I said we'll have to wrap them up in cotton wool.
"Simon Brown has done his hamstring and Asa Charlton his knee and both are looking doubtful for Saturday.
"Callum had to play with hardly any games and even though he is not match fit I thought he worked very hard.
"We are hopeful (Stephen) Dawson will be fit for Saturday."
DON'T LAY ALL THE BLAME ON JASON, SAYS MATT
Evening Post, 10 April 2007
Matt Hamshaw hopes the fans are not too hard on Jason White, whose late error at Peterborough effectively cost Mansfield a point.
The Stags goalkeeper failed to keep out a Craig Mackail-Smith's shot three minutes from time that beat him at the near post from a tight angle.
Most onlookers felt White should have made the save, but Hamshaw is adamant all the blame should not be apportioned to the youngster.
"It was a poor goal from all aspects because we let them get in that position much too easily," said Hamshaw.
"We could all have defended better from front to back and then he might not have even got the shot in.
"Jason came into the dressing room and held his hand up and said he should have dealt with it.
"It took a lot of courage to do that, so fair play to him.
"We worked really hard without creating too much, but I didn't think they did either. We made a conscious effort to start quicker.
"It is disappointing because we have come away to a team who are so-called play-off challengers and matched them.
"But anyone who picks up a paper and sees it was 2-0 will think it was a comfortable win for them."
Hamshaw enjoyed playing in a role just behind Barry Conlon in the first half, though he was forced to drop back into midfield in the second because of injuries to other players.
He knows Mansfield have to address their lack of penetration in recent matches having not scored in their last three games.
Hamshaw said: "Michael Boulding and Simon Brown got down the sides in the first half, but nothing really dropped for us and that's what happens when you are on a bad run.
"We had five or six strikers on in the second half and we still couldn't score, it's very frustrating.
"We had a run like this before Christmas when Richie was not scoring and we came out of it - and that's what we'll be looking to do now.
"Because confidence is low, sometimes players are scared to get on the ball and pass it but that's what we have to do because that is when we are at our most dangerous."
Audio interview with Billy Dearden from Mansfield 103.2 here
Audio interview with Billy Dearden from BBC Radio Nottingham (RealPlayer needed) http://www.bbc.co.uk/nottingham/realmedia/football/2007/stags_peterborough_away_manager.ram
Audio interview with Matt Hamshaw from BBC Radio Nottingham (RealPlayer needed) http://www.bbc.co.uk/nottingham/realmedia/football/2007/stags_peterborough_away_player.ram
Injury crisis worsens for depleted Stags
BILLY Dearden's injury crisis worsened in this afternoon's 2-0 defeat at Peterborough United.
Asa Charlton and Simon Brown had joined five other senior players on the injured list by half time as the depleted Stags finally succumbed to two goals in the last three minutes at London Road.
Charlton (knee) and Brown (hamstring) ae both doubtful for next weekend and Dearden admitted: "I am going to have to wrap everyone else up in cotton wool this week.
"We are hopeful we might get Stephen Dawson back for next weekend but everyone else looks a doubt.
"I thought we coped very well at Peterborough with so many injuries and formation changes and I really couldn't see Peterborough scoring.
"But then we gave away two soft goals very late on.
"Jason White has let the first one go in at his near post and he is very disappointed. He knows that cost us.
"Jason has to be responsible for that net and he knows nine out of 10 times he would have made the save.
"He wasn't the only one at fault for the goal though as the lad was given too much room to get the shot away in the first place.
"Then we gave them a free header.
"But credit to the lads until then. They had put on a determined show and could have gone under but looked quite comfortable.
"They still looked quite solid after half time. It's just a shame they couldn't hold on another five minutes at the end.
We simply have not got enough bodies to cope with how many injuries we are getting."
He added: "I though Alex John-Batiste was superb and he has been magnificent all season. He has really grown up into a senior player.
"But it's no good him getting nine out of 10 every week as someone has to start putting the ball in the net at the other end. We have got to create more chances than we are doing right now."
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