McEWAN, SOMNER AND FGR REACTION
Billy McEwan reaction from Radio Nottingham here
McEwan rues lack of luck as Stags crash at Forest Green
Full story at CHAD.co.uk here
BILLY McEwan was left rueing Stags' poor luck once more as Stags crashed 1-0 at Forest Green Rovers on Saturday afternoon.
The struggling Gloucestershire side won with a superb Alex Lawless strike but, tellingly, their man of the match was keeper Terry Burton, whose stops included a penalty save to deny Adnan Ahmed.
"We created more chances today, particularly second half, than we have done for a few games," he said.
"But their keeper had made three magnificent saves and you have to stick a penalty away. That would have brought us back in it.
"The goal they got was a great strike though we have got to look at the marking.
"Paddy made one save with his legs in the first half but he had nothing to do second half - he had frostbite! They had one good chance second half which they put wide and I thought then we would be all right.
"We played some decent stuff today, but we are not ruthless enough. We lacked that killer instinct to put them to bed, even though we knew they'd been struggling recently. It was the same old story about sticking the ball in the net.
"All we can do is soldier on. We went with three up front away from home and we just needed a breakthrough. We threw a lot of bodies forward and almost got caught out when we were forcing it near the end. We still had enough chances to get something out of this one.
"I know Jim Harvey and he has some decent players here. You could see in glimpses today that some of them could hurt you.
"Early in the season they were top of the table but four or five
injuries and all of a sudden they have slid down the table."
Hear this game discussed as part of this week's free Stags Talk podcast, available here every Thursday.
The defeat saw Mansfield slip to a point above the drop zone again and McEwan added: "Of course we are concerned about the table. I am more concerned about not winning matches.
"But there are still plenty of points to play for. If people want to panic that's up to them but we are not panicking.
"The only thing that will turn it round for us is character - and I do believe this group of players have that.
"We have the belief that we will turn it rounds and there are good times ahead. It won't be easy, it's all about hard work and dedication. Things are very difficult right now."
McEwan: We were unlucky to lose!
Full story at Evening Post website here
Billy McEwan felt his Mansfield side were unlucky to lose at Forest Green Rovers this afternoon.
The Stags were beaten 1-0 by Rovers to slip to just one point above the Blue Square Premier drop zone.
But two saves from Terry Burton – to keep out Adnan Ahmed's penalty and Mark Stallard's close range shot – denied the visitors a point.
McEwan said: “We created the most chances in the game, especially in the second half, as we have in a few games.
“We have against Salisbury and we did again today but we haven't taken those chances.
“If you stick the penalty away it puts you back in the game and then we could have gone on to win it.
“But their keeper made a wonderful save from Jason Lee in the first half, another from the penalty and then one from Stall (Mark Stallard). He was outstanding.
“It's tough for everyone at the moment, especially for the fans, but we just have to battle and soldier on, as they say.”
Somner: Stags deserved so much more
Full story at Evening Post website here
Matt Somner insists Mansfield cannot afford to dwell for too long on what went wrong at Forest Green.
The Stags were beaten 1-0 at the New Lawn on Saturday after an early strike from Alex Lawless and a penalty miss by Adnan Ahmed.
But the midfielder reckons the team played well enough to stay positive and he believes they should now be focusing on this weekend's trip to Weymouth.
"After Salisbury we thought we could come to Forest Green and win and we are disappointed we haven't," said Somner.
"But we have to look beyond this game now. If we had played badly then we would have lost confidence but we didn't and we have to pick ourselves up."
Somner felt Mansfield deserved better than defeat against Rovers.
He said: "I think it was just one of those days. We played some good stuff and Nathan Arnold had a few chances. On another day something would have gone in.
"I thought we were going to get something out of the game but when the penalty was missed you start to wonder. We didn't create loads but we did have some chances."
Matt Somner about to be interviewed by David Jackson (audio to be available later)
Jim Harvey (left) is interviewed by BBC Radio Gloucestershire (middle) while John Lomas (right) has just returned from a holiday in the Arctic.
Homework gets brilliant Burton top marks
Forest Green penalty hero Terry Burton has revealed how a spot of homework paid off in Saturday's vital 1-0 win over Mansfield Town.
The goalkeeper produced one of the finest saves ever witnessed at the New Lawn to keep out Adnan Ahmed's 61st minute spot-kick, ensuring Alex Lawless' early strike was enough to halt Rovers' 12-match winless run in the Blue Square Premier.
Burton said: "I saw him (Ahmed) take a penalty on television and drill it down the middle, so I just took a chance and read his body shape.
"It was probably a bit lucky, but sometimes you have days as a keeper where everything goes for you and you can't do anything wrong.
"We had trained a lot harder during the week, with (player-coach) Jerry Gill doing extra sessions, and it looks like it paid off. Hopefully we can go on a run now."
Manager Jim Harvey was full of admiration for his injury-blighted squad, having publicly questioned certain players after the previous week's home defeat to Altrincham.
He said "On Monday and Tuesday, we had eight people training, with 10 on the treatment table and one off ill, so trying to get the team prepared was very difficult.
"Fortunately we've come through and got a great result but, for me, Mansfield have probably played better than anyone has against us this year.
"A lot of guts, determination and big performances from our team got us through and we're obviously delighted with the win."
The Rovers boss reserved special praise for the unorthodox, but highly effective, Burton, whose form is keeping the more experienced Ryan Robinson confined to the bench.
"Terry had a couple of moments which, technically, he might have dealt with a bit better," said Harvey.
"But he has this ability to keep the ball out of the net, and the penalty save was something else – absolutely terrific.
Forest Green Rovers end their long winless run in the Blue Square Premier
Forest Green 1 Mansfield Tn 0: So often the clown of the dressing room, Terry Burton brought a smile to more than just his Forest Green team-mates with a sensational display.
Rovers' first win in 13 Blue Square Premier matches should really have been all about Alex Lawless, scorer of a wonderful 25-yard winner before suffering yet more hamstring trouble.
But Burton's second-half heroics – including a stunning 61st-minute penalty save – may well spark Rovers' season back into life.
Some early defensive jitters from the home side were countered by a surprising fluency at the other end, with Josh Low given licence to roam from the right flank and Conal Platt – preferred to top scorer Andy Mangan – working well through the middle.
Quick passing looked like the hosts' most likely route to goal, so the Stags will be disappointed with the manner in which they conceded in the 11th minute.
A simple lay-off by Mike Symons set up Lawless to smash a shot into the top corner with his weaker left foot.
Rovers had an overdue slice of luck, as former Nottingham Forest striker Jason Lee saw his header come back off the inside of the post via the faintest of touches by Burton.
Mansfield thought the tide had changed on the hour when Darren Jones was penalised for a shirt pull inside the area.
They had not counted on the brilliance of Burton though, who flew to his right to push Adnan Ahmed's spot-kick onto the bar and reacted instantly to clutch the rebound.
Thereafter, Rovers hung on to register their first three-points since August 30
D'Laryea convinced run will end soon
Of all the current Mansfield squad, Jonathan D'Laryea has played more games for the club than anyone else by some distance, with 124 appearances in the amber and blue.So when the midfielder ventures an opinion about the state of play at Field Mill, it is usually worth a listen.
D'Laryea has been one of only a handful of constants in a squad that has changed beyond all recognition from the one that was relegated last season.
He has played a part in the engine room that saw the Stags first prosper and then struggle in their new surroundings of the Blue Square Premier League.
Mansfield are still struggling to emerge from a terrible run of six defeats in their last seven league matches.
But D'Laryea is convinced that changes have been made for the better, not least in the shape of the club's trio of loan signings.
The former Manchester City trainee has been impressed with what he has seen since the new faces have come into the side, believing they have given the team an extra dimension.
Manager Billy McEwan first drafted in central defender Max Chanot from Sheffield United following injury to Alan O'Hare.
More recently, forward Emile Sinclair, from Nottingham Forest, and midfielder Adnan Ahmed, from Tranmere Rovers, have been added to the ranks.
And 23-year-old D'Laryea has seen the input of that triumvirate both on and off the field and reckons all three will prove to be significant assets.
"I think the manager has used his loan options well so far and I think when everyone is fit we now have a good enough squad to compete with anyone," he said.
"Emile and Adnan both offer us a lot going forward, which is where we have been struggling recently.
"We have done okay from a defensive point of view by and large but we have struggled to create chances.
"But Emile has come in and shown he can use his pace to get in behind teams, as he did against Salisbury.
"Adnan has shown he can spot the right pass and open doors for us.
"Max has not been in the side for the last few matches, but he has done well when he's played and is pushing for a starting place.
"I think they have all been great signings for us."
D'Laryea is convinced the trio's arrival will force the rest of the squad to up their level of performance a notch.
He said: "Now there's a lot of competition for places and no one takes their place for granted.
"You only have to have a couple of bad games and you'll be straight out of the team, which keeps everyone on their toes.
"You have to have the right attitude and hopefully that will help us put some points on the board."
Away form has, quite rightly, been the biggest concern for Mansfield with just one win all season. D'Laryea says it would be a massive boost if the Stags could get an early goal against Weymouth at the Wessex Stadium tomorrow.
"A lot of times in away game it has been really close, especially up until the first goal has gone in," he said.
"A good example was at Torquay where we gave as good as we got in the first half and competed well. There have been other games like that too.
"If we can start right and get that first goal then we would make it a lot easier for ourselves."
Jeannin optimistic about Stags' future
Alex Jeannin is optimistic Mansfield's squad can find the form they need to avoid being broken up in January.
Boss Billy McEwan has made it clear on several occasions that he will ring the changes in the transfer window if necessary.
Unless the Stags can reverse a slump of six defeats in seven games, new faces will be on the cards.
But the French left-back hopes things will not come to that.
"The boss has to decide if he wants to bring new players in to try to make things better - that is his job," said Jeannin.
"It's up to us to perform and prove he doesn't need to.
"We have to work hard and do enough to show we deserve to be in the team.
"It would be nice if we could keep the squad together and pull away from the bottom of the table ourselves - but it depends on us.
"If we start winning we will be okay but if we keep losing and not playing well the boss will have no choice.
"I think we are good enough to do it, but we have to prove it."
Being at the bottom end of the table is a rare feeling for Jeannin
He said: "Every team I have played for at this level has been in the top five or six.
"It is not nice when you are close to the relegation spots but I believe if we keep working as hard as we are we won't be down there for long."
Latest | November 2008