DEARDEN AND ANDY RITCHIE REACTION
CARELESS STAGS LET IT SLIP IN BIG TEST
Evening Post, 06 August 2007
Mansfield Town manager Billy Dearden was quick to criticise his team for their lack of fight following his side's 4-0 home reverse at the hands of League One side Huddersfield Town.
Dearden said: "We started off well and had four or five good chances in the first half - Stephen Dawson and John McAliskey were both unlucky.
"But we didn't defend right and could've probably stopped two of the four goals. What disappoints me most though is the way we accepted the defeat in the last 20 minutes or so.
"We've had some good pre-season but we looked a little bit lethargic at times today. It's no good playing well against Derby and then slipping in what was always going to be our biggest pre-season test. They didn't show the fight that I expect."
Mansfield now face a trip to Matlock Town tonight for what will be their final pre-season game and Dearden admitted that three or four of his players need to get another 90 minutes of action under their belts.
Dearden added: "We've got a tough start at Brentford and we've got to get it right. We have to pick ourselves up and get on with it.
"At the end of the day, Huddersfield took their goals well while we had one or two players who performed far below the standard they set last weekend.
"I'd like to think that we've learned a big lesson. We need to tighten up defensively and we need to fight for the whole 90 minutes, too."
CONFIDENCE BOOST FOR HUDDERSFIELD
Evening Post, 06 August 2007
Huddersfield Town manager Andy Ritchie was delighted with the way his side brushed aside Mansfield Town at Field Mill to give their confidence a huge boost.
"Sometimes the players take things a bit too literally, but we can work on that and at least we didn't cause any of our own problems today," said Ritchie.
"We didn't try anything silly; if the ball needed a foot putting through it, then we did it. I don't think that's ugly football - it's effective football.
'We are pleased that we have only lost one of our games in pre-season because it breeds confidence.
"The victory in midweek against Blackburn has really given the lads a big confidence boost and you'd expect that, but we've still got a long way to go.
"We will be working on specifics of how we set-up and team shape. I'll be getting them on the pitch and saying 'This is where I want you. This is where you need to tuck in, etc'. There is a lot of work and preparation still to do this coming week."
We need to show more fight - Dearden
CHAD website, By Stephen Thirkill
STAGS' boss Billy Dearden has called on his players to show more fight following today's disappointing 4-0 thumping against Huddersfield Town.
The Field Mill side were made to pay for missing a hatful of chances and a lacklustre attitude as two Terriers' goals either side of half-time condemned Mansfield to their first pre-season defeat.
And speaking after the game, Dearden told Chad: "I am disappointed with the way we accepted the defeat with 25 minutes still to go.
"This defeat has given us a lot to think about as to where we are and could be a wake-up call for a few of the players.
"We have to give more effort and it was not good how we accepted the defeat. We have to have something more about us when we are two or three down.
"The fight that I expect from the team was not there, it is no good beating teams like Derby only to lose to Huddersfield the week after."
And Dearden was also left contemplating what might have been had Stags' managed to convert their chances.
Said Dearden: "We started well and had some good chances. McAaliskey and Boulding had some good chances but we did not finish them.
"We could have scored two times before they scored their first, but that is football. On another day it could have been 2-2 at half-time.
"This was the biggest test we have had during pre-season and it is a disappointing scoreline.
"They deserved to win, but maybe not by 4-0. We looked lethargic in defence and I am disappointed with the goals we conceded, we could have prevented two of them.
"We will re-group on Monday in training and begin preparations for the Brentford match. Brentford are a good side and it will be a very hard start to the season for us."
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