MCINTOSH RARING TO GO
STAGS VETERAN STILL HAS HUNGER
Evening Post, 14 July 2007
Veteran Mansfield defender Martin McIntosh today insisted his will to win remains as strong as ever - even at the age of 36.
The summer signing is in the twilight of his career after more than 500 senior appearances in a career spanning nearly 20 years.
But the Scot feels he still has plenty to offer and is just as eager to do well as when he was a junior at Spurs in the 1980s.
"I have never been hungrier for football," said McIntosh.
"If you lose that then, for me, you shouldn't be playing.
"I don't know a lot about the division and only time will tell if I am up to the job.
"Supporters are always going to have opinions and that is part of football, but I hope to show them I'm still good enough."
The clubs relegated from League One, Paul Ince's MK Dons and big-spending Peterborough and Darlington, are the favourites to fight it out at the top of League Two.
But McIntosh feels there is always room for a surprise after seeing the unlikely winners of League One while at Huddersfield in 2006-2007.
He said: "If you look at League One last season, Scunthorpe won the league, so I think it really is anybody's in the lower divisions.
"I don't want to make any predictions on where Mansfield will finish,
but I know from playing on loan at Grimsby last year just how competitive League Two is."
McIntosh raring to go
CHAD website, 05 July 2007
By John Lomas
EXPERIENCED Scotish central defender Martin McIntosh is relishing the forthcoming season at the age of 36 as much as any in his career.
Feeling as fit as ever, he said: "I never lose my hunger for football and I will always have my self-pride. If you lose that you don't play anymore.
"I feel fine, but it is up to the fans to judge me. They will form their own opinions which they are entitled to."
Stags' well-travelled new signing from Huddersfield Town will add a more experienced head in a very young team and he said: "Having such a young squad here is not a problem to me.
"It is a responsibility I am happy to take on. I will try to pass on as much as I can to the younger players here.
"But they have got to want it. I won't force it on anyone - I am not that type.
"When I was at Tottenham as a youngster it was Richard Gough who I learned everything from.
"I have learned from many players. But he was the one I really looked up to.
"He played in the Premiership until he was 40 and I don't think anyone can argue with that. He played at the top level all his career."
Stags boss Billy Dearden travelled to Huddersfield for the last game of last season to run the rule over McIntosh and Terriers team mate, striker John McAliskey, and then brought them both to Field Mill.
"The manager rang me the day after the final match of the season to say he was keen which was impressive," said McIntosh.
"With the new manager at Huddersfield wanting to move in a different direction I was made available. Andy Ritchie is a great guy and it was no problem to me.
"There were a few clubs interested but, geographically, I am quite settled in Sheffield. I like this part of country so coming to Mansfield was ideal.
"I was also told very good things about Billy Dearden from the people at Huddersfield who had recommended me to him.
"I don't know much about most of the players here. I know Carl Muggleton and I played against Alex John-Baptiste a few times in pre-season games when I was at Rotherham.
"And, obviously, John McAliskey was a team mate at Huddersfield.
"I am sure I will learn more in the next couple of weeks.
"I don't know much about this division either so it is impossible for me to say how good our squad is or how we are going to do."
McIntosh knows he can help the promising John-Baptiste to further bloom this season and he said: "To have over 150 appearances under your belt at his age is fantastic - there are not many in the country have that many at that age. It is inevitable that if he carries on doing well he will move up the leagues."
Former colleage McAliskey began his Huddersfield career in impressive style before fading and finding himself well down the pecking order. So can he be a success at Field Mill?
"It's up to him," said McIntosh. "John has an awful lot of ability - everyone know that. But, like myself, he is at a new club so has things to prove. What you have done in the past means nothing.
"Being such a tall lad is deceiving as he main attributes are on the floor. He has very, very good technique.
"Personally I think he should have probably moved on a year or two ago. But, being a local guy, he hung on maybe a bit too long.
"Sometimes you have to take a step back to take a step forward in football.
"Everyone understands you need to play five or six first team games in a row - more even - to be able to really show people what you are like. You have to get up to first team fitness levels."
He added: "I am looking forward to the season. Pre-season training will be different with this weather.
"I could be wearing studs pre-season for the first time! I am certainly looking forward to what are three really good pre-season friendlies at home.
"Of course I think we can do well this season. But I won't start making predictions as I don't really know the players or the league yet."
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