DEARDEN, BUXTON AND MATHIAS REACTION
Dons assistant manager Ray Mathias told the assembled media that he was pleased with a win and admitted that Mansfield made it very difficult for his side, writes Martin Shaw. Full audio to come. Meanwhile Stags boss Billy Dearden said that he would be very suprised if his star striker Mickey Boulding was back from injury in less than a month. Mansfield have 7 league games, plus an FA Cup game, in the next month.
Audio interview with Billy Dearden from BBC Radio Nottingham (RealPlayer needed) http://www.bbc.co.uk/nottingham/realmedia/football/2008/stags_mkdons_away_manager.ram
Audio interview with Jake Buxton from BBC Radio Nottingham (RealPlayer needed) http://www.bbc.co.uk/nottingham/realmedia/football/2008/stags_mkdons_away_player.ram
MATHIAS DELIGHTED WITH STAGS WIN
mkdons.co.uk, Tue 01 Jan 2008
Dons assistant manager Ray Mathias hailed the Dons players after a virus in the camp failed to prevent them extending their lead at the top of League 2.
He said: "This week we've had lads going down with vomiting and diarrhoea so it's an excellent result.
"There's probably four players that have played today that have been down with it and credit to them for coming through and playing the way they did.
"We've taken 19 points from our last 21 which is just fantastic form. You can't ask for any more than that from the players.
"Christmas is a very important time and we've come out of it unscathed. Hopefully we can keep it going over the next couple of weeks."
And Mathias added that the side will become complacent despite their strong position at the league's summit.
He said: "Teams can catch you up very quickly if you slip up so we're not taking anything for granted.
"We need to continue our form, hopefully get rid of the virus that's been hampering us and start again on Friday."
Boulding injury woe for Mansfield
Mansfield manager Billy Dearden fears top scorer Michael Boulding could be out for a month with a hamstring injury after the 1-0 defeat at MK Dons.
Boulding lasted 15 minutes before being replaced by John McAliskey, who also came off injured in the 32nd minute.
Dearden told BBC Radio Nottingham: "It's his hamstring and, from my past experience in the game, I could see him being out for probably up to a month.
"It's going to be a big miss, losing your top goalscorer."
Boulding has scored 15 goals so far this season, 11 more than the Stags' next leading scorer Simon Brown.
But Dearden is trying not to be downbeat as Mansfield's injury list grows.
"We've got to get on with it. We've never moaned about players being injured and we've probably had more injuries than any other team in the Football League this season.
"We're decimated with injuries in the squad. We've probably just got about 15 or 16 players fit at the moment."
Goal ace out for at least a month
CHAD.co.uk, by John Lomas
STAGS will be without star striker Mickey Boulding for at least a month after he limped out of the New Year's Day defeat at MK Dons after just his 15 minutes with a hamstring injury.
And with fellow striker John McAliskey - who went off with a groin strain just 15 minutes after replacing Boulding - also likely to be sidelined, it leaves struggling Stags desperate to acquire a new striker in the transfer window.
The Stags, already without Alex John-Baptiste and Lee bell through injury and Martin McIntosh suspended, lost out 1-0 to a deflected second half Wayne Andrews free kick.
"We must have killed a robin or two," said manager Billy Dearden.
"We don't know how long they will be out until the injuries have settled down tomorrow, but I would be very surprised if Mickey was back inside a month.
"He is our top scorer and third top scorer in the division, so it is a big hole to fill.
"But we will just got on with it. We don't moan about injuries even though we have probably had more than any other team in the league this season.
"I think Mickey would have caused Milton Keynes some problems today. The formation was based on using his pace up front.
"It was a bad start to lose Mickey and then lose John so soon afterwards.
"I think we deserved to get something out of the game today. We have only taken three points from the last 12, but I think our performances have warranted more than we've got.
"I thought we looked comfortable in the first half at 0-0. It is not an easy place to come to and we were unfortunate to go behind.
"It was a good free kick, but it's come off Simon Brown's head, Muggleton has pushed it up onto the bar and it's come back down, hit him and gone in."
Dearden expects both Lee Bell and Alex John-Baptiste to be fit for next Tuesday's home game with Wycombe when he also expects to unveil at least two new faces.
But Bell and John-Baptiste are touch and go for Saturday's FA Cup third round game at Brighton.
Dearden told the Evening Post: "We did have a good chance in he first half with young Sleathy (Danny Sleath) and a couple in the second half but we couldn't get a goal. But that's what it is like when you are at the bottom. For their goal I didn't think it was a foul for the free-kick, it deflected off Browny and hit the bar and then it hit Muggy (Carl Muggleton) on the back and went in. "We are still in touch and I have said to the lads they are not that bad a team that we should have to rely on others to get us out of trouble."
Full story --->
Dons assistant manager Ray Mathias told the Evening Post: "Mansfield came and made it difficult for us. They matched our formation man for man which made it difficult for our players to get away. We won the game though, so we're very pleased about that. We drew our last game at home so it was nice to win here again."
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