{ the news }
An independent supporters' website dedicated to Mansfield Town FC
Archived News from December 2008

30th December 2008 23:15

29 Dec 2008, 1.30pm: David Holdsworth unveiled as new manager of Mansfield Town, on an 18 month contract.

From mansfieldtown.net Holdsworth video part 1

From mansfieldtown.net Holdsworth video part 2

From mansfieldtown.net Perry video

David Holdsworth: "We will evaluate and assess the players, to see what type of mentaility they have, whether they want to stay. We want to have a squad that has got every desire, the discipline and the ability. Players here have got good ability - we need to bring that out of them and they need to be focussed on helping us achieve the status of being in this league and then if we progress then fantastic. We will go through strategic decisions. My sports scientists will come in and evaluate their body fitness, body conditions, their fitness conditions and their mental fitness . . . there is nothing to be scared of. If they want to work in a professional environment then they will work with me and I hope that they do.
We need to get clean sheets to enable us to get victories. I like fast attacking football. We may play counter attacking football on occasion."


Holdsworth quits Robins for Stags


29Dec2008, 11.00am

By Rod Malcolm
DAVID Holdsworth will be the new manager of Mansfield after a compensation package was agreed with Ilkeston Town.
Senior players will take now over first team matters after Holdsworth's 223-day era ended at the New Manor Ground.

Duties will be shared by former Rotherham United stalwart Paul Hurst and midfielder Rob Scott, who played in two of Fulham's promotion-winning sides assembled by Kevin Keegan.

Both are qualified coaches and were asked to step up by club chairman Denis Harris, who sanctioned Holdsworth's departure to Mansfield Town, who lost their Football League status in the spring.

And Steve Thornton has become director in charge of first team affairs while the club looks at a replacement for Holdsworth.

Mr Harris said: "We have reluctantly agreed to release David and have come to an agreement with Mansfield. We wish him all the best for the future and are very very sad to lose him.

"We have to go forward. Managers come and managers go and we have the most superb set of fans who follow us through thick and thin.

"We will seek a new manager and hope we can achieve more success this season with him."

Mr Thornton said he would be acting in a support role to the two players and said: "We have great faith in the lads who are taking over the football side of things. They have great experience between them.
"We don't want a kneejerk reaction with another manager and want to keep the team together. We don't want to change the balance too much."

The Field Mill job was offered to Holdsworth on Christmas Eve, following an approach the day before as he prepared his side for the Derbyshire Senior Cup trip to neighbours Heanor Town, which ended in victory.

The two clubs were unable to agree a compensation deal until the weekend, leaving Holdsworth still in charge for the Unibond Premier clash with neighbours Matlock Town.

That ended in a draw, which meant that the Robins completed an undefeated final two months of his reign, which began in May shortly after construction chief Chek Whyte took over the club.

As he prepared to leave, Holdsworth thanked the fans for their support and said:"I have been proud to be manager of this football club.

"The supporters are fantastic. That is appreciated by me, the players and all the staff."

He was half way through a one-year contract, which the club had failed to extend although his instant success saw his name linked with managerial vacancies at Football League sides Grimsby Town, Colchester United and Crewe Alexandra as well as Unibond rivals Boston United.

Former defender Holdsworth revamped the Ilkeston squad after replacing former Forest striker Nigel Jemson in May.

His team has the best defensive record in the division and he leaves them just outside the play-off zone, which they have occupied for most of the campaign.

He has guided them into the second round of the FA Trophy, a competition he believes they could win. Blue Square promotion chasers Kidderminster Harriers visit the New Manor Ground on January 10.

In the Derbyshire Senior Cup tie, he gave debuts to several of the brightest talents from Andy Worrall's reserve side and said later: "They are good prospects and I am delighted as manager to have them in my ranks."

After drawing his first league match on August 16, Holdsworth guided his side to four wins, taking the Unibond Premier by storm. The first defeat came in September but only after he had two players sent off and two goals were conceded in the final eight minutes.



New Stags boss Holdsworth will build from the back
Evening Post, December 30, 2008

DAVID Holdsworth will build from the back in his bid to make Mansfield Town a Blue Square Premier force.


The new Stags boss was paraded at the Field Mill Ground before last night's match with Burton after being confirmed as Billy McEwan's successor earlier in the day.
He also met players before kick-off and watched the game from the stands as Adie Moses and Mark Stallard took charge for the final time.
Holdsworth, who joins from UniBond League side Ilkeston Town, says Mansfield are in a "false position" three points off the relegation zone.
And he immediately outlined his desire to strengthen his new club's defensive resolve.
%3Cbody%3E%3Cdiv%20id%3D%22adDiv%22%3E%3CA%20HREF%3D%22http%3A//ads.anm.co.uk/ADCLICK/CID%3D0000b139f7f5f6ff00000000/AAMSZ%3D452x118/SITE%3DTHISISNOTT/AREA%3DFOOTBALL/SUBAREA%3D/ARTICLE%3D575430/acc_random%3D1017116663/pageid%3D/RS%3D10307.%22%20target%3D%22_new%22%3E%3CIMG%20SRC%3D%22http%3A//iad.anm.co.uk/house/1x1.gif%22%20ALT%3D%22Click%20here%21%22%20border%3D0%20style%3D%22margin-bottom%3A%200px%3B%22%3E%3C/A%3E%3C/div%3E"The amount of goals Ilkeston shed last season meant they nearly went down and it was more luck than judgment that they didn't," said Holdsworth.
"This season Ilkeston have the best defensive record in the league and that is something I believe in getting right. I like keeping clean sheets.
"To do well you have to be effective from set pieces and that means not conceding from set pieces."
Mansfield have played 4-4-2 since the sacking of McEwan and have looked a better side for it. But Holdsworth insists he is flexible with systems.
He said: "You manage every game individually. Sometimes the decision on the formation is based on injuries and sometimes on the opposition."
One of his first jobs will to be assess whether to extend the loans of Paddy Gamble and Adnan Ahmed. Both run out before Mansfield next play.
He will also have to assess who to keep and who to move on ahead of the Stags' home clash with Altrincham on January 10.
"I want hungry people who want success. They must be professional and adhere to my rules," he said.


Perry and Holdsworth audio from BBC Radio Nottingham:

Perry explains Holdsworth choice
BBC.co.uk, 29Dec08
Mansfield Town chairman Andy Perry has revealed new manager David Holdsworth comes to Field Mill highly recommended.

Holdsworth was appointed on Monday replacing Billy McEwan who was sacked earlier this month.

Perry told BBC Radio Nottingham: "I spoke to a couple of people at Sheffield United who said he would be worth talking to.

"And Trevor Francis said he can't vouch for him as a manager, but as a person when he wants something, he gets it."

Francis was Holdsworth's manager during his time at Birmingham City.

Perry added: "That is what he achieves and he is a real go and get them type of guy.

"We had some good applicants apply. David was mentioned a few times by other people we know in football locally.

"As we went through the interview stage his named cropped up a few times, so we did some research ourselves.

"He's got aspirations matching, if not bettering the board at times, with the ways he wants to work and what he wants to achieve for himself at Mansfield Town. He's a real clued up guy."

Holdsworth watched from the stands as Mansfield lost 2-0 to Burton on Monday night leaving them just two points clear of the Blue Square relegation zone.

The new manager said: "I think you have to have clean slate when you come in. I do know a lot about the players and I have been doing my research and using my contacts to find out about them.

"I think you have to give the benefit of the doubt to everybody.

"Yes Mansfield needs success and the results haven't been to good, but I will give them all the opportunity to show they are eager to be here."


It's official! Mansfield Town appoint Holdsworth as new manager
CHAD, 29 December 2008
By Tim Morriss


MANSFIELD Town has ended several days of speculation and officially appointed David Holdsworth as its new manager - who immediately said he hoped 'to get the club back to where it belongs'.
The move - strongly rumoured over the past few days and predicted by Chad on Sunday evening - was confirmed today after negotiations between Holdsworth (40), his former club Ilkeston and the Stags were finally concluded over the weekend.

Holdsworth - who replaces the sacked Billy McEwan - has been handed an 18-month contract (with a one-year extension option), and will watch tonight's match against BSP leaders Burton from the stands.

The club's seventh manager in four years described himself as 'driven and very focussed' and wanting to stamp his own imprint on the club, promising:

That caretaker managers Adie Moses and Mark Stallard would be working with him, at least in the short-term

To get stability and to progress the club away from the wrong end of the table

Fast, attacking football and a desire to keep clean sheet (Ilkeston have the best defensive record in the Unibond Premier)

To assess the current squad - with the help of sports scientists - before making decisions

To develop the squad, giving younger players the chance and maybe make changes, 'but there is no point mending something that is not broken'

'Long term? I hope we can get back the League status'

In a message to the fans, he said: "The club has fantastic support - they will get 100% from me, my players and staff. There will be no stone unturned, we will work tirelessly to do our homework on the opposition and our players . . . results are always important and you will never see be happy when we have not won."

The ambitious Holdsworth - a central defender who played 570 first team matches at various Football League clubs and once commanded a £1mplus transfer fee - lives in Sheffield with his wife and young son..

He told Chad: "I am looking forward to working with the board and players and, with the help of the fans, hope we can resurrect the season and push on. I am looking forward to the challenges ahead.

"I am delighted to have been offered the job and very excited for the future."

And in a video interview with the club's official website mansfieldtown.net he explained why he had come to Field Mill: "You only have to be here to look at the club, the structure behind the scenes, it's impressive . . . for the standard it is at, at the moment.

"It is an opportunity to come to a club which has the basis to develop. I believe we can bring that to the club and get it back to where it belongs."

Holdsworth said he hoped to meet the first team squad ahead of Monday night's match with Burton, adding that the staff at Field Mill had already given him a warm welcome.

The new manager added: "It is important that we do things right. At any level you must have a structure and a belief, you get that by sticking together and remaining tight as a unit.

"I have to congratulate Adie (Moses) and Mark (Stallard) on the job they have done; they have been working very hard for the club. They deserve a 'well done' for the way they have handled themselves and the two victories, very important victories (over Christmas). The Kettering result was a great result. I believe we can build on that and I am looking forward to meeting them.

"All the players will be aware very quickly that we must stick together, we must have that belief, that desire and remain disciplined . . . work to a format that is conducive to winning games."

On the January transfer window, he added: "First and foremost I have to meet the players, evaluate them . . . see who has the ability to go to the next level. We must assess them and see what type of mentality they have.

"They are playing for their Mansfield Town futures. If there are tweeks that need to be made, I will make them with the best efforts in mind of this football club.

"We want to have a squad that has every desire, dsicipline and ability. Players here have good ability - we need to bring that out of them and they need to be focussed on helping us achieve, first the status of being in this league and then if we progress, fantastic."

The players face a rigorous assessment by the new manager over the next few days and he continued: "My sports scientists will come in and evaluate their body conditions, their fitness conditions and their mental fitness . . . there is nothing to be scared of. If they want to work in a professional environment then they will work with me."

Holdsworth said he did not need an assistant at the moment and wanted to utilise the 'great experience and knowledge of the players' of caretakers managers Mark Stallard and Adie Moses.

His coach at Ilkeston was Kevin Philliskirk, head of youth development at Field Mill a few years ago.

Houldsworth also said that the fans could be prepared to see 'fast, attacking football' . . . and, he hoped, clean sheets.

"We may change formations to win games, especially away from home, and perhaps play counter attacking football . . . but first and foremost we must respect the point we have and don't give it away'.

Stags chairman Andy Perry told mansfieldtown.net: "David is very enthusiastic about the job that lies ahead. He is a very positive and genuine person and a leader.

"He received glowing references from the likes of Trevor Francis (who took David Holdsworth to Birmingham for £1.25m) and Glen Roeder (he worked with David Holdsworth at Watford), who are well respected people in the game and we are delighted he has joined us."

Over the past week Chad has been first to reveal that Holdsworth was the leading candidate to replace Billy McEwan, sacked almost three weeks ago . . . first to report how bookies Victor Chandler had suspended betting on the identity of the next Stags manager after original outsider Holdsworth was heavily backed . . . and first to reveal that the Stags had asked Ilkeston for permission to speak to the former Sheffield United defender.

Then on Christmas Eve we reported that he had been offered the job of leading the Stags - and then first reported on the problems of securing his release from Ilkeston, where he had a contract until May, and the possibility of a second strong candidate for the job.

But last night Chad revealed that Ilkeston, the Stags and Holdsworth had come to an agreement to take the manager to Field Mill, paving the way for today's official announcement.

The move to offer the previously 'unknown' Holdsworth the job will surprise many fans, but already some supporters are welcoming the news as 'an inspired and brave decision'.

For in his first few months as a manager he has transformed Ilkeston in the Unibond Premier, won many plaudits from fans and turned down the Grimsby managerial vacancy earlier this season. He finished unbeaten in his last two months at the club and guided them to the best defensive record in the division.

Holdsworth was not among the first names in the speculation that followed McEwan's sacking two weeks ago. But when the Stags' target Chris Wilder joined Oxford on the Sunday before Christmas, Holdsworth emerged as the favourite ahead of the likes of Richie Barker, Steve Burr, Darren Patterson, Colin Walker, John Schofield, Gary Mills and Paul Cox.

His man-management skills, ability to adopt modern coaching methods and hunger for success placed him at the top of the Stags' owners' wanted list.


Stags chairman celebrates getting his man!
CHAD, 29 December 2008
By John Lomas


STAGS chairman Andy Perry said new manager David Holdsworth had been the outstanding candidate for the job - and he would not rule out his ambitious new man dragging the club upwards towards the play-off battle.
Perry dismissed calls for an experienced boss to replace sacked Billy McEwan and has instead gone for a young, ambitious man tipped to do well by a host of managerial greats like Neil Warnock, Trevor Francis, Sam Allardyce, Glenn Roeder and Graham Taylor.

After over two weeks of rumours, interviews and negotations, the 40-year-old Holdsworth was finally unveiled on Monday as Stags fans wondered if there had been a late hitch.

"If it had been a normal working week rather than Christmas then I am sure it wouldn't have seemed as drawn out," said Perry.

"But we were concerned it was all done in the correct manner.

"Ilkeston are a local club to us and we wanted them to release David with their blessing and not end up with the sort of legal wrangling likt there is currently between Blackpool and Leeds."

In the end Stags have happily agreed to play a pre-season friendly at Ilkeston and also give the Robins a 'knock-on' cut of any compensation Stags would receive if Holdsworth were to move to another club during his 18-month Field Mill contract.

Perry added: "We were keen to get him in before the New Year break. Now he has 10 days to meet the team and assess everyone here which is ideal."

Some fan have expressed concern that Holdworth is a rookie manager at a part-time club and that Stags needed someone more experienced to get them away from the drop zone. But Perry believes Holdsworth is just the man to do that.

"His reputation as an up and coming manager is very good and his great experience of on-field leadership will stand him in good stead - he has captained at two big clubs," he said.

"We have spoken to Neil Warnock, Trevor Francis, Sam Allardyce, Glenn Roeder and Graham Taylor who were all part of his references and all spoke highly of him and said, knowing his character, if he wanted something enough he could get it which we saw at his interview.

"He was definitely the outstanding prospect although there was another manager - it would be unfair to his club to name him - who was a very good candidate with different qualities to David.

"If we had changed our criteria to that type of manager then he might well have been given the job.

"But we had a vision of a good man-management person with a positive outlook and who aspired to do great things in their career which David fitted.

"Ambitious people need a vehicle to do well and if he does well then so do Mansfield Town. If David helps us to the next level then that's what we are looking for.

"Going full-time will only enhance his chances of succeeding. Ilkeston were tipped to be relegation candidates but he has turned them into promotion candidates on a part time basis.

"And having been a full time professional himself, he knows how things work very well."

Billy McEwan often said he had been very prudent with his playing budget for this season and that there was money available for him in the January transfer window, a fact Perry today confirmed.

He said: "The playing budget has been there since day one and it is still there for David. I am sure he already has ideas of players he would like to bring here as have most managers and fans.

"The New Year sale starts soon and everyone will be in there.
"Let's not forget other clubs could also be looking at some of our players and we must make sure our own house is in order and that we don't lose players we want to keep.

"Apart from those on loan, all our players are on contract until the end of the year apart from one who Billy had on a non-contract basis. We offered the player a deal last week which he has verbally accepted and that will be announced next week when he signs it."

And Perry was still optimistic that the current season was not over as far as climbing the table goes.

"Let's be bold, we are only 15 points off the play-offs with about 70 points still to play for and if we win tonight it will only be 12," he said.

"I know it's easy to look the other way and say we are only a few points off the other end but if you look that way then that's how it will go.

"We have just started a little bit of a run and let's hope it continues."


First day for new Stags boss
CHAD, 30 December 2008
By John Lomas
DAVID Holdsworth today began his first day in the Field Mill managerial hot seat after meeting his new charges for the first time last night.


Having turned around the fortunes of Ilkeston Town, the former Watford and Sheffield United star will now begin plotting how to revive Stags' season of struggle.

And he insisted it wasn't a hard decision to walk way from all his good work at Ilkeston to sign an 18-month deal with Mansfield with an option for an extra year.

"I have moved here for footballing reasons so it is not a wrench to leave Ilkeston," he said.

"This is a good club and it is a step in the right direction for me.

"From day one I ran Ilkeston on a professional basis and those players came there for one reason and that was David Holdsworth.

"Me leaving will be hard on them and me but you have to be progressive and this is a step in the right direction on the managerial ladder."

Holdworth (40) did not see the better side of his new players as they tamely went down 2-0 to runaway leaders Burton at home last night but he insisted: "We are in a false position here and quickly need to build a winning structure.

"I have been aware of Mansfield as they are on my doorstep and we played them pre-season. I have done my homework on every team and I know the type of players here.

"It was a no-brainer to come and I am delighted to be here.
"My brother Dean has given me his congratulations. He knows how good this club is and can be and he was full of encouragement."

Although he is seen as a rookie manager at BSP level, Holdworth has soaked up a wealth of knowledge from working with top managers like Sam Allardyce, Howard Kendall, Neil Warnock, Graham Taylor, Glenn Roeder and Trevor Francis and is keen to put all he has taken on board into action at Field Mill.

He said: "I learned a lot at Gretna, working with the chairman there on every aspect of the game and learning how a club functions. I believe you have to go down to those levels to do your homework.

"It was working under Graham Taylor that taught me discipline and professionalism and that has been echoed at my other clubs.
"I learned a lot more in a short spell under Sam Allardyce at Bolton. He typified the spirit of professionalism that I want to bring to the dressing room.

"The players will get regular body fat checks and weigh-ins as well as checking diets and other nutritional aspects. The fitter they are the better they will be and the higher their concentration levels. You need to be able to play 95-96 minutes these days.

"I learned all about Prozone and that side of things under Sam Allardyce. And Howard Kendall taught me man-management skills."
Holdsworth begins his new job alone with the possibility of bringing in an assistant further down the line.

Already the rumour mill is speculating who that may be with caretaker bosses Mark Stallard and Adie Moses mentioned along with Holdsworth's assistant at Ilkeston Kevin Philliskirk who was at the game last night.

"More people want to be my assistant here than on Come Dancing but I have to respect the people here at the moment. I will go down the Fabio Capello route and wait for a bit," he said.

"I met Mark and Adie for the first time tonight and thanked them for their efforts. I will be working closely with them and all the players this week.

"I need to assess everything first but I will make some changes. I want to create a structure I can believe in or I wouldn't be doing my job."
One of the fhe first problems he wants to tackle is the number of goals that Mansfield leak.

"I had a good defensive record at Ilkeston," he said.

"The amount of goals they shed last season almost saw them relegated but they stayed up through luck rather than judgement. But they have the best defensive record this season.

"If the ball goes out you have to switch on like a lightbulb. And you have to be effective defending at set pieces.

"As a defender I was always very happy with a 1-0 win – that is a great result. George Graham made a successful career out of it and I don't see why we can't emulate that.

"This is a wonderful opportunity now for the players to kickstart the season and progress up the league."

Another immediate task will be for him to draw up a shortlist of players wanted for the January transfer windown which opens this week.

"Shaun Wright-Phillips and Robinho are on my list," he smiled.

"I won't scare the current players, there is no need. I will evaluate over the next few days.

"But any player I bring in will be the type of player I expect to take Mansfield forward. I don't just bring in journeymen. I want players who are hungry for success.

"I want them to be focused and driven and have an impact. They need to be professional and adhere to my rules.

"I also want to see a massive workrate. My players must be fit and strong and know their jobs on the pitch. There can be no grey areas or they will be sat with me.

"There are plenty of players if I need to bring them in and this is a good club that will attract them."

Last night's game was the last on loan for Adnan Ahmed and Paddy Gamble who will quickly need to know their futures.

"I do have some very quick decisions to make almost instantaneously," said Holdsworth.

"But I believe in giving everyone a fair crack of the whip. I always base my judgement on facts."

A return to 4-4-2 under Stallard and Moses saw a return to winning ways after Stags struggled under Billy McEwan's 4-3-3. But Holdsworth said he would be very fluid over formations game by game.

"I will manage each game individually," he said. "Formations sometimes have to change because of injuries and suspensions. Also you evaluate the opposition and their formation and sometimes change yours. You change to win the match and certainly not lose it.

"The most important thing now is to get things working to a pattern.
"I want to get points on the board to cheer the fans up and base the rest of the season on clean sheets. Everyone needs to work hard out there from one to 11 to 16.

"The board have a dream for the club they love and we have to try to fulfil those dreams but we will take it one step at a time.

"The fact is we have not won enough games which we must address and get points on the board. We must turn this season into a positive."


Holdsworth excited by Mansfield challenge
Evening Post, 29 Dec
David Holdsworth tonight spoke of his excitement at landing the manager's job at Mansfield.


The Ilkeston boss secured an 18-month deal with the Stags earlier in the day and was paraded to the home fans before this evening's game with Burton Albion.
He will set about trying to revive Mansfield's fortunes from tomorrow as the club bid to pull away from the Blue Square Premier drop zone.

“For footballing reasons it was not a wrench to leave Ilkeston because Mansfield are a good club and I believe this is a step in the right direction. I'm delighted to be here,” said Holdsworth.

“But for personal reasons it was tough - I had some very good relationships. The players were fantastic, the fans were excellent and there were a lot of people behind the scenes working very hard.

“All those players went to the club for one reason: David Holdsworth. It is hard on them but you have to be progressive and I believe this is a step up the managerial ladder.

“You only have to have a look around the club. There is a wonderful structure and they have got a set of decent players who are in a false position.

“I have been aware of Mansfield and we played them in pre-season. I have done my homework in every team in the Conference as well as those teams above and those teams below.

“I know the formations and styles, so from that point of view, it wasn't a no-brainer.

“I can't wait to start working with the staff and the players.”

Kevin Philliskirk, who was Holdsworth number two at the Robins, and current senior player Mark Stallard have been touted as possible assistants to the new boss.

But the former Sheffield United and Birmingham player insists he will not rush into a quick decision on that score.

He said: “I think it's a time for evaluation. More people want to be my assistant than wanted to be on 'Come Dancing'!

“I will have to speak to people here first. There will be changes and if there wasn't then I wouldn't be doing my job right.

“I am going to go down the Fabio Capello road and wait for a while.”

Holdsworth is known for his expertise in sports science and nutrition and believes he can immediately have an effect on the discipline and fitness.

He plans to assess every player's weight and body fat, believing them to be key to a player's overall well-being.

“I want discipline and a massive work rate is very important,” said Holdsworth.

“They must be fit and strong and they must be focussed and know their jobs. I don't believe in grey areas.

“You have to look at every game individual and manage whatever teams you are playing against.

“You don't always have to play the same 11 in the next game even if you have won and you have to make sure your players are fresh.”


Stags chairman Perry: Why we went for Holdsworth
Evening Post, December 29, 2008
MANSFIELD Town chairman Andy Perry today outlined why David Holdsworth won the race to become the club's new manager.


The Stags have been looking for a new boss since they sacked Billy McEwan in mid-December after eight defeats in ten Blue Square Premier games.
And in former Watford, Birmingham and Sheffield United defender Holdsworth, brought in from UniBond Premier Division side Ilkeston Town, the club believe they have found that man.
The Walthamstow-born 40-year-old will be paraded before Mansfield's clash at home to league leaders Burton Albion tonight.
He has signed an 18-month contract that will keep him at Field Mill until the end of the 2009-2010 season.
%3Cbody%3E%3Cdiv%20id%3D%22adDiv%22%3E%3CA%20HREF%3D%22http%3A//ads.anm.co.uk/ADCLICK/CID%3D0000b139f7f5f6ff00000000/AAMSZ%3D452x118/SITE%3DTHISISNOTT/AREA%3DFOOTBALL/SUBAREA%3D/ARTICLE%3D574350/acc_random%3D8667258344/pageid%3D/RS%3D10340.10307.10330.10331.10332.10319.%22%20target%3D%22_new%22%3E%3CIMG%20SRC%3D%22http%3A//iad.anm.co.uk/house/1x1.gif%22%20ALT%3D%22Click%20here%21%22%20border%3D0%20style%3D%22margin-bottom%3A%200px%3B%22%3E%3C/A%3E%3C/div%3EAnd there is the option of a one-year extension if things are going well.
Perry is quietly confident the Stags have made the right choice after conducting interviews with nine different people.
He told thisisnottingham.co.uk: "He comes across as very positive and he knows what he wants. He's a leader and has a leader's presence about him.
"At the same time, he is willing to listen and he doesn't always think that he is right.
"I think that kind of approach comes with having been captain at Sheffield United and Birmingham.
"He has aspirations for the club and also for himself. When asked during the interview what he wanted to be doing in a few years time he said he hoped to be managing in the Championship in five to 10 years' time.
"As part of that process he will be looking to get Mansfield back into the Football League.
"I think one of the things that made him stand out from other people is the way he approaches man-management.
"He knows all players are different and need treating differently. We have always said that quality was high up on the list of those we wanted our new manager to have.
"There is also a new board of people at the club this season and he has very similar lines of thinking to what we do."
Although Holdsworth does not have masses of experience in management, Perry insists his relative youth will be a benefit, not a hindrance.
And he revealed his new manager will take his time before appointing an assistant.
Perry said: "There is definitely a hunger there that you get with a younger manager and I believe any inexperience will be overshadowed by his knowledge of the modern game.
"He knows all about the sports science and nutrition side of the game too.
"But he realises he doesn't know everything and that he will need someone to help him out on the fitness side.
"But he doesn't bring any baggage with him like some of the others we interviewed.
"He doesn't want to bring anyone with him, just to come in and assess the management we already have here, and the players, and take it from there.
"David has been impressed by what Stall and Adie have achieved and I'm sure he will be looking to talk to them before moving forward."
Mansfield's players have admitted they have enjoyed a return to 4-4-2 following the departure of McEwan, who often employed a 4-3-3 system.
Perry says playing an orthodox formation is not a must, but he does anticipate that is the way Holdsworth will go on the whole.
"It is not a requirement of the new manager to play 4-4-2 and, of course, if we are 2-0 down with not long left, you would expect us to change it to a more attacking formation.
"He has looked at the players we have and says that system can be used, but if we are away from home and need to grind out a point, it might be different. You have to cut your cloth accordingly.
"But I think predominantly the formation would be 4-4-2, which is no different to how the guys are lining up now."
With the transfer window opening on Thursday, most Mansfield fans are hoping the club will strengthen their squad.
And Perry confirmed he will be allowing Holdsworth to wheel and deal – both short and long-term.
He said: "There's no doubt that we will be bringing people in.
"It is up to existing players to show that they deserve to stay – which they have been doing over the last couple of games.
"We are quite flexible as to who will come in. If there is a player there who we want just until the end of the season who can help us secure a top half of the table finish, then we are happy to do a deal.
"But we are also keeping an eye out for players on an 18-month contract. We would like to think we can secure three-quarters of the playing squad for next season by the end of this season, so it is settled."
While Holdsworth has been given no specific target to achieve this season, the first aim will be to pull Mansfield clear of the relegation zone.
And though not mentioning the play-offs, Perry clearly feels a surge into the top five is not out of the question if things go really well.
"We can see that the team are capable of performing well and we feel we can still do the business.
"Some of the players have come out and said they believe we can still get right up there, which people may think is being a bit hopeful.
"But the fans want to see us being positive – and that's the way we want to be. We can still get up there.
"Of course, it is a matter of taking it game by game and looking at getting a certain amount of points from each block of four to five games.
"But there are enough points there to be won."
Mansfield do not have a game after tonight until they host Altrincham on January 10 because of other teams' involvement in the FA Cup.
Perry views that as a positive, giving Holdsworth the chance to get to know his players before picking his first side.
He said: "If we were to win the game against Burton tonight, then you would wish we were playing on Thursday and Saturday with the momentum we would have."
"But looking at it from the other side, this gives David time.
"We then have the chance to go into our games fully prepared."
Perry believes the length of the contract offered gives Holdsworth a degree of long-term security but also offers him an incentive.
"There is a carrot there for him and if things are going well then we will be looking early on to activate that extra year," he said.


Who is David Holdsworth, the new Mansfield Town manager?
CHAD, 29 December 2008
By Tim Morriss
MANSFIELD Town's new manager David Holdsworth has seemingly emerged from nowhere to be appointed the Stags' seventh manager in four years.


Holdsworth was not among the first batch of names rumoured to be among those interested in the Mansfield job when Billy McEwan was sacked almost three weeks ago.

And he started his managerial career only in the summer, after a long career as a player in the Football League spanning around 570 first team matches and one England U21 cap.

But in just a few months Holdsworth has transformed Ilkeston on the pitch from relegation favourites to Unibond Premier play-off hopefuls - and caught the eye of several other clubs looking for a new manager, including Grimsby in the Football League.

However, the appointment of this 'unknown' will be a surprise to many Stags fan . . . so just who is David Holdsworth - and what can the fans and players expect?

Holdsworth (40), married with a young son and living in Sheffield, started his football career at Watford.

Born at Walthamstow and from the East End of London, David and his perhaps more famous footballing twin brother Dean, began their time at Vicarage Road in the youth team in the late 80s - playing in the FA Youth Cup final.

Ironically, former Stags centre half John McClelland was then at Watford and David recalls the part he played in the youngster's development in the first team.

He told the watfordlegends website in the summer: "To have an experienced player like John McClelland alongside me was very helpful towards my experience. He's a brilliant fella. I can still hear his voice now!"

Holdsworth, a central defender who in his early days also played centre midfield, made 291 first team appearances for the Hornets.

He played under six managers at Watford, including future England boss Graham Taylor - saying "I learned the most under Graham, certainly in terms of discipline and professionalism."

After 10 years at Watford, David was transferred to Sheffield United for £450,000 in 1996 and spent two and a half seasons at Bramall Lane - where he was captain and made more than 100 first team appearances.

Trevor Francis then paid £1.25m to take the defender to Birmingham City in 1999 and after almost 100 appearances there, his playing career finished with short spells at Walsall, Bolton and Scarborough.

Holdsworth joined the Brooks Mileson revolution at Gretna, where he was reserve team manager, winning the league title. He was also appointed director of youth development in May 2006, before being sacked in a cost-cutting exercise a few months later.

He more recently did some coaching at MK Dons, but turned down the chance to be assistant to Paul Ince.

In the summer of 2008 the new owner of Ilkeston Town, construction tycoon Chek Whyte, brought Holdsworth to the New Manor Ground with a vision for the club within the community - after the Robins had just escaped relegation on goal difference.

Immediately the rookie manager 'breathed professionalism into the club', according to the owner who it is believed offered his boss an improved deal in an attempt to keep him from Field Mill.

Holdsworth's hard work has paid off on the field, with the Robins' almost completely new squad in fifth place in the UniBond Premier Division and through to the second round of the FA Trophy.

And he was so highly rated that earlier this season Grimsby, in League 2 of the Football League, offered him their manager's job, but he turned down the role.

So what can the Stags players expect from their new boss - and what can the fans expect to see?

"Wherever I have been, I have done my homework," Holdsworth told Chad.co.uk's sister website http://www.ilkestonadvertiser.co.uk in the summer - and it is known that he impressed the Stags' new owners at his interviews with his drive, determination and thoroughness.

An enthusiastic and honourable man, he has a strong belief in a team ethic, a self-belief and an adherance to club discipline.

Last month it was reported that Holdsworth intended to breath tests his Ilkeston players over the Christmas period to maintain his high fitness standards.

He has already told Chad of his desire to take the Stags forward on and off the pitch, wanting to bring the fans back to Field Mill.

On Monday the new manager added: "It is important that we do things right. At any level you must have a structure and a belief, you get that by sticking together and remaining tight as a unit.

"I have to congratulate Adie (Moses) and Mark (Stallard) on the job they have done; they have been working very hard for the club. They deserve a 'well done' for the way they have handled themselves and the two victories, very important victories (over Christmas). The Kettering result was a great result. I believe we can build on that and I am looking forward to meeting them.

"All the players will be aware very quickly that we must stick together, we must have that belief, that desire and remain disciplined . . . work to a format that is conducive to winning games."

Holdsworth said that he would be bringing in sports scitentists to assess the squad - and promised fast, attacking ball with a strong desire to keep clean sheets.

Used to working on a tight budget at Ilkeston, Holdsworth enjoys finding players who want to come to a club, 'players who want to be coached and get better and who are hungry'.

The manager has also been quoted in recent weeks saying: "I enjoy working with what I have got, I don't believe in asking for more than that. I think it makes you a stronger, and a better, manager."

Now fans will be interested to hear of his plans for the Stags, strengthening the squad in the January transfer window, his management/coaching team and how he will build on the revival already started by caretaker managers Mark Stallard and Adie Moses.



Latest | December 2008