McEWAN AND COLIN WALKER REACTION
Stags boss McEwan slams the boo-boys
MANSFIELD manager Billy McEwan slammed Stags fans who booed his side off at half-time last night in their FA Cup fourth qualifying round replay with York City.
Full story at Evening Post website here
McEwan, who criticised fans for a similar reaction in the 2-1 defeat by Wrexham in their last home match, said he would rather people didn't turn up if they were going to boo his players.
"We have got to educate some of our fans," he said. "They want miracles.
" I was brought here to build a club from nothing. Being booed after 13 or 14 games, I think it's rubbish."
Mansfield went on to qualify for the first round of the FA Cup after Matt Somner bagged the game's only goal in the 52nd minute.
Their reward is a tie at Chesterfield, who McEwan played for in the mid-1970s.
McEwan said he feared the boo-boys were harming his side's prospects of enticing new talent to Field Mill. "How can you get players to come to your club when you are getting booed at half-time?" he added.
McEwan, who managed York before moving to Field Mill, said he was not surprised his team made heavy work of defeating their Blue Square Premier League rivals.
"It was a hard battle," he said. "But in the second half we performed with more tempo. I am just pleased for the players. They stuck at it."
Stags through, but boo boys again upset McEwan
CHAD.co.uk, By John Lomas
BILLY McEwan's delight at his side reaching round one proper of the FA Cup and a derby game at Chesterfield on Tuesday night was spoiled for him by more booing from the stands at half-time in the 1-0 win over York City.
Full story at CHAD.co.uk here
Stags had drawn at York in this fourth qualifying round tie on Saturday to set up the midweek replay and Matt Somner's goal early in the second half booked Stags' dream tie against local rivals Chestefield.
But a tight, stalemate first half with virtually no goalmouth incident saw a section of fans boo Mansfield off at the break for the second successive home game which baffled McEwan and even the opposition.
"We should be talking about getting through tonight but instead we are talking about this rubbish again," he said.
"Even the York players were saying to me at half-time they thought it was harsh on us.
"If we were three or four nil down, then there would be grounds. We were not playing brilliantly, but we were 0-0 against a very good side who deserve some respect and my players needed some encouragement.
"You won't help their confidence by booing them. I say it again - we are trying to build a football club here not destroy it.
"Some of our supporters need educating. I know it's not all of them and most were behind us.
"But how do those who are booing expect me to be able to bring new players here once those lads hear what it's like here?
"And I can't put a young player out there at the moment as, if he makes a mistake he is going to get booed. I can't develop young players in that environment."
He added: "It makes you wonder what you are here for and if you are wasting your time. I really feel for my players.
"I have been in the game a long time and I can handle it. I will just roll my sleeves up and remind people we are in it here for the long haul.
"But some of my players are a bit shy and this sort of thing can absolutely kills them.
"You are supporters - so support the team through thick and thin. We are supposed to be one big family.
"I knew it would be a tough job here but I didn't expect this. I came here twice last season and the manager was booed. Now it's me who is getting it!
"If you are going to just come here and boo then stay away. No one has a gun to your head to come. It's not helpful.
"This team has only been together three months and people are expecting miracles. They think it can all be done in two minutes and it can't. You can't build a club on negativity either.
"We have just won a cup tie and we are sitting here talking about this trash."
The booing aside, McEwan was very happy with the way his player stepped things up after the stalemate first half.
"I always knew tonight would be harder than Saturday as it seemed like we'd done the hard bit by bringing them back here. We didn't play that well in the first half but my players worked very hard and stuck at it.
"But let's give some respect to York who cancelled us out very well by setting their stall out with a one up front formation in the first half very much like we did to them up there. They are a very good team.
"It was like a game of chess and it was a very hard battle - we knew it would take something special to break the deadlock and it was a very good strike from Matt Somner.
"We played the second half at a much better tempo and were a bit more assertive. We were on the front foot and the crowd lifted us.
"We finished up with a clean sheet and could have won it by more as we had some really good chances near the end.
"Two clean sheets against a side like York is especially pleasing."
Stags can now start thinking about taking on old rivals Chesterfield and McEwan said: "It is a good tie but not a great one as we would have rather been at home. They have just scored a five and a six so it will be tough up there.
"I have not had Chesterfield on my mind as I knew it would be a very hard game tonight.
"Deep in my heart I wondered if we wouldn't end up regretting not winning the first game on Saturday.
"But we've made it and it's back to one of my old clubs I left about 100 years ago to come to Mansfield!
"It will be nice to go back to Saltergate as manager of their local rivals and we are now looking forward to it.
"But we are going to enjoy this winning feeling for now. It is a nice feeling down in that dressing room tonight.
"And we know we have a long trip and tough game ahead at Torquay at the weekend."
McEwan may have to delve into the transfer market yet again before the squad heads south on Friday.
"One of two of the lads tonight were not 100 per cent and carrying little problems but managed to get through it," he explained.
"And we now have a treatment room that looks like a war zone tonight - though nothing hurts too bad when you've won!
"A lot of them put their bodies on the line tonight in what I thought was a cracking cup tie, especially second half.
"But we have a lot of bumps and bruises now and one or two of them have to be doubtful for Saturday.
"Alan O'Hare is also off with a virus and Michael Blackwood's ankle is still swollen.
"We will take it day by day with all of them but if I need to go out and get another loan player in then so be it - that's what loans are for."
McEwan has already brought in one new face today with Tranmere Rovers' Pakistan international midfielder Adnan Ahmed on loan.
He will go into the squad for Torquay and McEwan said: "He is a good player and we have lots games coming up and we need more bodies in with experience.
"We have a number of young lads here who are just not ready to bring in."
FA Cup exit prompts renewed loan signing bid
By Dave Flett »
YORK City boss Colin Walker will step up his long search for a new striker after watching his side exit the FA Cup at Mansfield Town last night.
The Minstermen managed only one shot on target during a 1-0 replay defeat at Field Mill to miss out on an away trip to League Two side Chesterfield in the first round proper.
Now Walker is striving to bring in a new forward ahead of Saturday's Blue Square Premier trip to Oxford United.
The City chief is intending to talk to one possible target today and, even though he declined to reveal the player's identity, ex-Barnsley striker Bruce Dyer might still be an option.
Walker told the Press that he spoke to Dyer last week about the possibility of coming to KitKat Crescent after he guested for Bradford City reserves.
Dyer indicated then his preference would be a Football League club, but he remains unattached.
The City chief said: “The search has been ongoing this week and I will speak to one now that will hopefully come off, but I've got other irons in the fire as well.
“(Managing director) Jason McGill and I am working hard to get one in. I want a striker that comes out of the league because I think that's what we need. If we can get one with that pedigree then I feel we can move on as a team.”
With Craig Farrell sidelined because of a groin problem and Onome Sodje still easing his way back after a hamstring strain, Walker opted for a 4-1-4-1 formation at Mansfield with defender Darren Kelly sacrificed and Daniel McBreen as his lone striker.
Sodje and 17-year-old Adam Boyes were later introduced into the action and Walker said: “Everything we tried to do worked in the first half, but we fell flat for 15 minutes just after half-time when they came out better than we did. They probably had a rocket off Billy (McEwan), the crowd got behind them and they scored. We had three central midfield players on the pitch, but none of them challenged their player and allowed him to have a shot from the edge of the box.
“Otherwise, I felt we bossed most of the game and were well on top, certainly in the first half when I thought we played really, really well.
“We were very good up to a certain point, but let ourselves down in the vital areas – the final third.
“Every single one of them played well up to that area.
“It's a horrible feeling and there are financial implications. I also understand people are upset about going out of the Cup, but all the players gave it their best.”
Walker handed a debut to short-contract signing Gavin Rothery and was impressed with the former Leeds United reserve before his 53rd-minute withdrawal.
The City boss added: “Gavin did really well in the first half, but ran out of legs. It was his first game at that pace for a long time, but we tried to get him and Simon Russell down the flanks and he may be one for York City.”
Latest | November 2008