STALLARD, O`CONNOR AND DEAN SAUNDERS REACTION
Moses - management is harder than I expected.
Listen at mansfieldtown.net here and part 2 here
Mark Stallard interview from BBC Radio Nottingham here
Aaron O'Connor interview from BBC Radio Nottingham here
Dean Saunders interview from BBC Radio Wales here
Caretaker Stallard salutes Stags' valiant second half display
TEMPORARY Stags boss Mark Stallard has praised his team's response to going two goals down against Wrexham in Saturday's 2-1 FA Trophy defeat.
Mansfield conceded two early goals in a poor first half display at the Racecourse Ground, but turned in a valiant second half performance to nearly earn themselves an unlikely draw.
After the game Stallard, who is the joint caretaker manager with club captain Adie Moses, said: "The effort and commitment from the players in the second 45 minutes was fantastic. We wanted a response at half-time and that is what we got, we could not have asked for more.
"We changed the shape of the team to take the pressure off the lads and told them to go out and express themselves.
"The first 10 minutes were sloppy and you cannot concede goals like that. We now have to take the positives out of that game ahead of the Weymouth match.
"We had chances to get an equaliser and we are pleased with the second-half. We have not created that number of chances in a game for quite a long time and that is encouraging.
"When we have a few men back and we have more confidence it will bode well for the future."
Stallard also spoke of the different stresses of being a manager instead of a player and how he is looking ahead to the vital Weymouth game at Field Mill on Saturday.
He said: "It is frustrating to be on the sidelines and not out on the pitch being able to directly influence the game.
"On the bench we see how things are going, we know what we want done and it is just trying to get the messages across to the players.
"It was a stressful day, but a great experience and an excellent taster of what management is all about.
"We are now just taking each day as it comes and until we are told anything different we will continue to behave professionally and prepare the team for the next fixture.
"We will come in on Monday morning for training as normal and just take it from there. It will be different going back on the coach tonight and there will be different thoughts going on in mine and Adie's head.
"We are always looking to improve things that is done in training and in the build up to the game. While we are in charge of the club we will do the very best we can."
Stallard proud of Stags fightback
Mark Stallard was proud of the way Mansfield fought back from going 2-0 down inside 11 minutes to push Wrexham hard in this afternoon's FA Trophy tie at the Racecourse Ground.
The Stags conceded goals from set pieces to Jon Brown and then Ashley Westwood to face an uphill task.
But Aaron O'Connor pulled one back in the second half and the visitors had a couple of decent chances to force a replay.
Joint caretaker boss Stallard said: “The effort and commitment, particularly in the second half, was fantastic and myself and Adie (Moses) could not have asked any more from them.
“We were disappointed at half-time after conceding two sloppy goals in the first 10 or 11 minutes that left us up against it.
“At that stage you wondered what we had let ourselves in for but the response was magnificent.”
Mansfield reverted back to 4-4-2 after playing 4-3-3 under departed manager Billy McEwan.
Stallard added: “I though that was the biggest thing to do today.
“We told the lads in training that there are no restrictions and to go out and try to pass the ball, even if the conditions didn't help.
“They manage to do that in the second half and we might have got an equaliser, although, to be fair, they might have scored another couple as well.
“But with a bit more confidence back and one or two players, because we were down to the bare bones, it bodes well for the future.”
Stallard: Stags can turn the corner
Mark Stallard believes Mansfield Town are on the verge of turning the corner - despite their FA Trophy exit at Wrexham.The Stags were beaten 2-1 at the Racecourse Ground as a second-half fight-back came up just short.
But the visitors put in an encouraging display in their first match since the departure of Billy McEwan as manager.
Stallard, sharing the caretaker duties with Adie Moses until a new permanent manager is in place, says the team must try to carry the improvement into this weekend's Blue Square Premier clash with Weymouth.
"We will take the positives out of the Wrexham game because there have been enough negatives around the place," he said.
"During the first 15 minutes we didn't look at it, but the response after that was magnificent.
"They played well and with the freedom we asked them to play with. We wanted to take the shackles off.
"We changed the shape to 4-4-2 and tried to take any grey areas out of it.
"In the second half the players expressed themselves and it is the most chances we have created in a game for a while.
"Barring one great save and the shot from Aaron O'Connor that went over the bar, we would have equalised.
"I think with a few bodies back, there is hopefully a little bit of brightness on the horizon."
Stallard admitted a slow start cost the Stags dearly in the end as they conceded two goals from set pieces inside the first 11 minutes.
He said: "I was under no illusions that it would be easy. Unfortunately it was just the first ten minutes and if we had been better then, it might have been different.
"But you can't change it now and they also had a couple
more chances to score themselves in the second half.
"Maybe if we'd had a couple more days we could have done something about those set piece goals, but you can't change the world in two days and in just two training sessions."
One surprise was that loan signing Adnan Ahmed was left out of the Stags starting line-up, later coming off the bench.
"We chose Soms and JD to play in central midfield because we wanted to get back to basics and how we were winning at the start of the season," added Stallard.
"They played their part when we were doing well, so we gave them a chance and also knew the pitch would not be easy for passing. But we always knew Adnan was an option off the bench and we could bring him on if we were chasing the game and that's what happened."
Stallard does not know how long he and Moses will remain in charge.
He said: "We just have to take it day by day and we have come in today and started to prepare the lads for Weymouth."
And he added: "Until we are told otherwise we just have to be professional, get the players in the right shape and the right frame of mind for that game."
Wrexham manager Dean Saunders said:
"It was our game to lose in the end.
"They weren't peppering our goal but if the ball bounced their way, they might have equalised.
"I lost count of how many goals we could have scored. We were in situation where the ball has got to go in.
"And they seemed to gain confidence from our misses, they showed a bit of fight and scored a good goal.
"I wasn't happy with the second half and I'd like to teach them about how to win a football match."
Mansfield joint caretaker-manager Mark Stallard:
"I was pleased of the response to the lads because in the first 15 minutes we gave away two sloppy goals and didn't look at it.
"We dug deep, fought and played with a bit of freedom as we took the shackles off and expressed ourselves, especially in the second-half.
"We looked dangerous and with a bit more confidence and getting our injured players, there's a bit of brightness on the horizon."
Latest | December 2008