McEWAN AND EASTBOURNE MANAGER REACTION
audio interview with Billy McEwan from BBC Radio Nottingham here
audio interview with Eastbourne manager Gary Wilson from BBC SCR here
Stags boss McEwan wants to strengthen squad
Billy McEwan today stressed the need to strengthen Mansfield's squad if they are to consolidate their position at the top end of the Blue Square Premier Division.
The Stags went to the head of the pack after their fifth consecutive home victory on Saturday - a 3-1 triumph over Eastbourne Borough.
But the Scot is conscious the club are still short of players and with the transfer window for loan players set to re-open this week, McEwan may look to add to his number before the weekend trip to third-placed Crawley Town.
"Who is going to get in our team at the moment? How do you get into a team that is top of the league?" he said.
"But we do need competition because we need to make sure players don't become complacent.
"We still need three or four more and the players know that. If we get injuries and illnesses, we need people who can come in.
"Anthony Robinson has still to come in. We know he's a decent prospect but he just has to be patient and the same with Gavin Hurren, because he is a good player.
"I think they understand it is a squad game. Their chance will come but we need others as well."
While delighted by his side continuing their 100 per cent start at Field Mill, McEwan was disappointed the Stags again conceded against Eastbourne.
McEwan added: "It does concern me that we have not kept a clean sheet again.
"We are giving goals away too easily but hopefully we are going to learn.
"It was frustrating, the manner in which we conceded the goal, because it was Mickey Mouse defending and we have to be better than that.
"We can't keep giving teams a lift - we have to be ruthless. People will look at the scoreline and see that we won 3-1, but it was not an easy 3-1.
"We have had a chat and said we can't be careless and sloppy because it made it harder for us. Sometimes players lose concentration. Hopefully as we go along we can start to improve."
But McEwan was pleased that Mansfield once again had no problems scoring goals.
"If you are a neutral it's great stuff because there are plenty of goals," he said.
"I'm just grateful we have got points in the bag.
"We have not got a big squad and we have to stay healthy."
Somner given licence to attack for Stags
Monday, September 08, 2008, 08:00
MATT Somner today paid tribute to Mansfield boss Billy McEwan for giving him the licence to roam.
The 25-year-old midfielder scored his first goal for the Stags to seal the 3-1 win against Eastbourne Borough – the first time he has found the back of the net in almost a year-and-a-half.
Somner believes that strike has much to do with the new role handed to him by his manager.
The former Brentford trainee has been told to get forward at every opportunity, rather than sit back as instructed previously.
"The goal against Eastbourne was my first for a long time, so I'm delighted," said Somner.
3C/div%3E"Before I have played in a holding role and not got far past the halfway line, but this year the gaffer has given me more freedom to get box-to-box. He wants me to get in there on the end of things and it has paid off. My last goal was for County against Boston [in April 2007] and I haven't been one for scoring goals.
"But this year my aim is to get a few more because although the forwards have been scoring, the more we get from midfield, the more it helps."
Somner insists Mansfield will keep their feet firmly on the ground despite going top of the Blue Square Premier table.
He said: "It's a brilliant feeling to be top because even at this early stage you do have a look to see how you are doing.
"It's a great confidence-booster but we are well aware there is a long way to go and we can play a lot better."
McEwan delighted as Stags go top of the table
Photos by Jane Hilton
Fans celebrate going top of the table.
« Previous « PreviousNext » Next »View Gallery"For a neutral that game was great stuff and I am delighted for the players, but it was heart attack stuff wasn't it?"
Stags boss Billy McEwanADVERTISEMENTPublished Date: 04 September 2008
By John Lomas and Tim Morriss
DELIGHTED Mansfield Town boss Billy McEwan was surprised, but delighted, to learn that the Stags had gone top of the Blue Square Premier table on Saturday after a 3-1 win over Eastbourne Borough.
When told that Mansfield were top of the pile after their fifth successive home win (a run last achieved in 2002), he said: "I didn't know that, but we will take it.
Mansfield Town 3 Eastborne Borough 1
"But it means we are there to be shot at now, it will make each game a bit harder now. We knew this would be a hard League with no easy games, today proved that. Now they will be even harder as everyone will want to beat the team at the top.
"It is a long hard season ahead and we are grateful to have this many points now already.
"For a neutral that game was great stuff and I am delighted for the players, but it was heart attack stuff wasn't it?
"Eastbourne made us work very hard for the win and credit to them for that."
The manager was pleased with the Stags' work ethic as goals by Mark Stallard, Nathan Arnold (his first of the season) and Matt Somner (his first for the club) killed off a plucky Eastbourne, who were gifted a goal at the start of the second half.
A mix-up for a second successive match between defender Adie Moses and keeper Paddy Gamble cost the Stags a goal - but this time it only gave Borough a lifeline at 2-1 and the Stags eventually found a crucial late third goal from the head of Somner.
McEwan said: "We gave them a goal with some Micky Mouse defending and we have got to be better than that.
"I am delighted for Matty (Somner) to get his goal at the end from a great ball into the box and young Nathan (Arnold) is off the mark now, too."
McEwan was also full of praise for the Stags' groundsman Michael Merriman, whose efforts over the previous 24 hours ensured the game beat the torrential rain.
The pitch was passed fit to play on Saturday morning after 24 hours of heavy rain, and also stood up to further rain during the game.
Mcewan said: "We have got to give the groundsman and groundstaff praise, they worked fabulously to get the game on."
Stags game on after pitch inspection
He added: "I am delighted with the five wins in five home matches, the lads worked hard. It was a bit nervy in the second half after we gave them a goal, but to be fair we hung in and got the third and decisive goal to kill them off.
"I thought when we had an effort blocked on the line it was not going to be our day, but we hung in . . . and as I say, don't leave this ground early as again today we got another late goal which finally killed them off.
"But we are giving away goals too easily, yet we have to work for ours. We can't keep giving soft goals away like that. Hopefully we going to learn that we can't give other teams a lift as we are doing at the moment.
"But at end of day we won 3-1, though it wasn't an easy 3-1."
Borough boss Garry Wilson said: "It was a poor first by us and we dropped below our standards which was really disappointing.
"We couldn't clear our lines at crucial times and looked very lethargic.
"We did improve after the break and got the response we wanted.
"We got the goal and raised our game another notch and I thought we had Mansfield on the back foot at times.
"Coming up to this division this season the tempo is much higher and quicker and we have to come to grips with that which we have done in recent weeks, but not today.
"We were slow to react and looked a bit flat-footed.
"But we have confidence in our own ability and we have to make sure we pick up the points at home. Anything away is a bonus. We know we won't finish top five or six - survival is our aim."
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