HOLDSWORTH, MACKENZIE, PERRY, GARRY HILL REACTION
David Holdsworth audio interview with BBC's David Jackson here
MacKenzie audio interview with BBC's David Jackson here
Stagsworld free audio Midweek Extra including Andy Perry audio here
Perry on points deduction, Field Mill and Stags promotion ambitions
CHAD.co.uk, 28 January 2009, By Staff Reporter
STAGS chairman Andy Perry has spoken of his 'sleepless nights' over the points deduction that blighted Mansfield Town's first season in non-league football, his hopes of buying Field Mill from former football club owner Keith Haslam and his ambitions for the next five years.
Perry told Stagsworld's Midweek Extra - on the club's official website mansfieldtown.net - that the club's three new owners were 'distraught' at the points loss punishment over the now well publicised fielding of ineligible players at the start of the season.
The chairman also said that negotiations would be taking place with Haslam upto the five-year break clause in their 10-year lease at Field Mill, with a view to a possible purchase of the ground.
And when asked by Stagsworld's Nigel Pinnick if there were plans to move away from the ground, he said: "You never say never. Field Mill is the place of Mansfield Town Football Club and you would hate to rip history away from that, but things move on in life."
And he added that he hoped to see the Stags back in the Football League and challenging for promotion from League Two within three years and be an established League One club within five years.
Match Reaction: Garry Hill
Garry, a deserved point tonight
Yeah very much so, I thought we bossed the first half, we were very much in control for the first half, we really looked like a team that were looking to win the game from the off. I felt for long periods we had a lot of possession, not too many chances in the first half, but one or two.
We were very unlucky not to get a penalty I thought on Neil Cousins, it was very very close to where I was. I've seen them given for, I've seen them given against but the referee made the decision and I thought the referee did well all night being fair.
Coming in at 0-0 at half time, pleased with the first half, I thought we looked solid across the back four, the same back four that played down at Torquay. I was pleased with Dale Roberts tonight as well, he didn't have the best of games last Friday night but he's responded very well and shown a lot of character tonight in goal.
So 0-0 at half time, it was going to be an interesting second half, we had some young boys out there who got tired towards the end but we thoroughly deserved a point, kept a clean sheet which is encouraging and its nice to see Jake Beecroft in there with Andy Burgess, he's done well in the midfield.
As I say an all round team performance tonight, which is very pleasing.
And you went for it towards the end, you changed the formation again and thought you'd get three points out of this, and three points could have been taken
Yes we did.I thought on the night I'm very pleased with the performance. It was a clean sheet, they've (Mansfield) done very well recently, they beat Crawley up here and they've been down to Lewes and won so hopefully that gives us something to build on for Sunday's game, a big game at home against Cambridge United.
Thankyou very much Garry
Interview with BBC Radio Northampton, The Evening Telegraph, http://www.thediamondsfc.com
David Holdsworth: “Credit to Rushden because they defended well but it didn't drop for us. Marriott didn't have a shot to save. I have to be happy with the defence but offensively we have to offer a little bit more.”
Full interview from Evening Post website here
Stags boss not despondent after home draw
CHAD.co.uk, By John Lomas
RUSHDEN spoiled David Holdsworth's 100 per cent record as Mansfield Town manager with a 0-0 draw at Field Mill - but the new Stags boss was far from despondent on Tuesday night.
Full interview from CHAD website here
"Expectations were high but we were up against a top 10 side," he said. "Even so felt comfortable we were not going to lose the game. It was only a case of if we were going to win it.
"You have to be realistic and no one gives you anything in life. You have to roll your sleeves up and work hard which we did. On another night we make just have got a lucky break.
"I am not happy with a 0-0 in a lot of respects. But the most important thing is that mentality of not getting beaten.
"How many times have fans seen teams come here and walk over Mansfield? We have got to be pleased with seven points from three games. Do that over a season and you would be in the play-offs and more.
"We didn't want to go out all gung ho. But we came for three points and to keep this run going.
"If anyone allows their standards to drop they won't be staying here with me - they are under no illusions about that."
He added: "Rushden started better than us and kept the ball better. It wouldn't stick to our forwards and came back at us.
"It took us 15 minutes to acclimatise though we looked resolute and strong and they didn't have any chances. We got ourselves into the game. But it wouldn't fall for us as you would hope. But we did have the better first half chances.
"In the second half there was only one team looking to win it. But full credit to Rushden, they defended well.
"Again the ball wouldn't drop for us but Alan Marriott didn't really have a save to make. So we have to be satisfied defensively. Offensively we can do a lot more.
"I did go with a attacking formation tonight with two wingers but we didn't have that cutting edge."
Although Michael Blackwood took Man of the Match on his full return, young centre half Scott Garner was immense and Holdsworth enthused: "I though Scott Garner was absolutely unbelievable tonight.
"He was fantastic and he is just 19 years of age. The boy has got a great future if he continues to listen and learn and he can go right to the top - I really believe that.
"I will defend Gary Silk tonight too. He had the flu but I asked him to play even though he was a bit under the weather."
However, Stags were left with three new injury worries for Paul Mayo, Michael Blackwood and Adie Moses.
Holdsworth said: "Paul felt his hamstring tighten due to fatigue as he is not fit yet. Michael paid the price for getting caught with the ball and took a knock. And Adie was limping as well. We will assess them all tomorrow but hopefully none of them are serious."
Macca back to sort 'unfinished business' at Stags
CHAD.co.uk, By John Lomas
NEIL MacKenzie began his second spell with Stags on Tuesday night, describing his return as 'unfinished business'.
Full interview from CHAD website here
After coming on as a late substitute in the 0-0 home draw with Rushden, the midfielder also explained how he almost came back to Field Mill a month ago before deciding to stay in the League with a loan move from Notts County to Port Vale.
And he also said he hopes an eyecatching display in Wednesday afternoon's home reserve game with Vale may win him a contract at Field Mill.
The midfield ace was released by Notts by mutual consent this week after being recalled from Vale and has quickly come back to the club he left four years ago.
"It felt great to run out onto the pitch tonight," said the 32-year-old who has initially signed non-contract forms.
"I didn't seem like four years. It's good to be back. I have a lot of good memories of this place and hopefully I will have a lot more to come.
"The fans gave me a fantastic reception and I was really chuffed with it. I think I let Mansfield on a good note. I never wanted to leave which was well documented - it wasn't down to me why I left.
"It has always felt like unfinished business here as I left under a bit of a cloud with Carlton Palmer and all that episode.
"It would be nice to help Mansfield get back up. This is too big a club to be where it is now.
"There are still a few people here that I remember and there are quite a few of my old friends from Notts County in the dressing room too."
He added: "After my loan at Port Vale ended I was offered a settlement on my contract. Being based in Birmingham, rather than drive to training every day with nothing at the end of it, I thought I would be best off moving so I could play football. It was all amicable and I left on good terms.
"I got a phone call from Mansfield and jumped at the chance. I had been training at Burton last week, but the manager there was biding his time and playing it a bit cagey.
"Mansfield seemed more positive about offering me something and invited me to come here. It was a very easy decision to make."
MacKenzie - who made more than 80 appearances for the Stags in his first spell and scored in the Play Off final penalty shoot-out at Cardiff - is hoping he can win a full deal as quickly as this week.
"The gaffer here just wants to see me playing and barring injury and as long as I do well in the reserves I would like to think we might sort something out before the weekend. Hopefully there will be something on the table," he said.
"A lot of people here have said good things about me to the manager which is nice. But I can't expect him to sign me on other people's recommendations. He needs to see me play. Hopefully I can impress him in the reserve game."
MacKenzie explained how he almost came back to Stags under Billy McEwan a few weeks ago.
He said: "I had more or less agreed to come back here with the previous manager but then Port Vale came in at the last minute and I really wanted to try to stay in the League if I could. Billy McEwan appreciated that.
"But it was a close call. I weighed it all up and I knew things were not going particularly well with the gaffer at the time and I didn't think it was a good time to come.
"Obviously now things have changed - a month is a long time in football."
MacKenzie was disappointed to be left out by Notts boss Charlie McParland but philosophical.
"It was baffling," he said. "I started last season so well and scored six goals by November. Then I had two hernia operations and probably came back too soon from both. It was all stop-start and I couldn't get a run of games.
"But I finished last season strongly. I was pleased with my performances and I played in all the vital games that kept us up.
"But for whatever reason the manager made it clear to me early on this season that he was going down a different route which I have to respect."
He came on as a late substitute in Tuesday night's 0-0 draw with Rushden but was unable to produce a spark of magic.
I think the pitch and conditions were a real leveller tonight," he said.
"It didn't suit either team and no one could play any fluent football.
"I understand that was the worst of the three performances under the new manager. But it's a third clean sheet so they must be doing something right."
"I am aware of Neil MacKenzie's strengths but you don't just give contracts out - players have to earn them, said manager David Holdsworth.
"It was hard for him to come on and get into the pace of the game. But I know he is a talented man and we'll have a good look at him in tomorrow's game."
MacKenzie has "unfinished business" at Stags
Evening Post website
NEIL MacKenzie wants to win a deal at Mansfield Town, declaring he has "unfinished business" at Field Mill.
The midfielder came on as a substitute on non-contract forms in last night's 0-0 draw with Rushden and Diamonds.
He was a fans' favourite in his first spell at the Stags, when he appeared in a League Two play-off final at Cardiff.
Now MacKenzie aims to convince boss David Holdsworth he is worth signing – starting with today's home reserves game with Port Vale.
"I've spoken to the manager about a deal until the end of the season, so long as I show him what I can do," he said. "I can't expect the manager to sign me on a recommendation.
%3Cbody%3E%3Cdiv%20id%3D%22adDiv%22%3E%3CA%20HREF%3D%22http%3A//ads.anm.co.uk/ADCLICK/CID%3Dfffffffcfffffffcfffffffc/AAMSZ%3D452x118/SITE%3DTHISISNOTT/AREA%3DFOOTBALL/SUBAREA%3D/ARTICLE%3D649598/acc_random%3D9388453424/pageid%3D/RS%3D10340.10281.10307.10330.10331.10332.10319.10425.10428.10429.10464.%22%20target%3D%22_new%22%3E%3CIMG%20SRC%3D%22http%3A//iad.anm.co.uk/anmdefaultad.gif%22%20ALT%3D%22%22%20border%3D0%20style%3D%22margin-bottom%3A%200px%3B%22%3E%3C/A%3E%3C/div%3E"But this is definitely somewhere I would like to be next season. I have a lot of fond memories and hopefully there are more to come – I have unfinished business.
"I left under a cloud with what happened with Carlton Palmer and it would be nice to come back and make a big impact and help the team climb the league. Mansfield is too big a club to be where they are."
MacKenzie almost joined the Stags from Notts County earlier in the season but instead went to Port Vale on loan. He said: "I spoke to the manager at the time (McEwan) and I was all set to come until I got a late phone call and at the time I really wanted to stay in the League.
"Things were not going well at Mansfield and there was a bit of unrest with the (then) gaffer, so it was not a great time to come. Now things have changed and I jumped at the chance."
MacKenzie, who left Notts by mutual consent last week and has been training with Burton, admits it had been a frustrating time for him at Meadow Lane.
"I finished last season strongly and I was pleased with my performances," he said. "But the manager was going down a different route and that's his prerogative. He always treated me well and I had to respect his decision."
Holdsworth: Stags must add a threat to their defensive steel
Evening Post website
DAVID Holdsworth today demanded his Mansfield side begin to match their defensive excellence in the attacking third.
The Stags boss was happy to see his side keep their third consecutive clean sheet in the 0-0 draw with Rushden.
He was also pleased to stay unbeaten in his new job, Mansfield making it seven points from nine.
But Holdsworth was disappointed his team did not test their visitors more in attack.
"I am not happy with a 0-0 in a lot of respects, but I am in others. We were short a little bit offensively, even though we worked hard and put in a shift," he said..
%3Cbody%3E%3Cdiv%20id%3D%22adDiv%22%3E%3CA%20HREF%3D%22http%3A//ads.anm.co.uk/ADCLICK/CID%3Dfffffffcfffffffcfffffffc/AAMSZ%3D452x118/SITE%3DTHISISNOTT/AREA%3DFOOTBALL/SUBAREA%3D/ARTICLE%3D649596/acc_random%3D3330440721/pageid%3D/RS%3D10340.10281.10307.10330.10331.10332.10319.10425.10428.10429.10464.%22%20target%3D%22_new%22%3E%3CIMG%20SRC%3D%22http%3A//iad.anm.co.uk/anmdefaultad.gif%22%20ALT%3D%22%22%20border%3D0%20style%3D%22margin-bottom%3A%200px%3B%22%3E%3C/A%3E%3C/div%3E"We have to penetrate a little bit more. I felt we were never going to lose but it was just a question of whether we could go on and win it.
"I said to the players at half-time to respect what they had, but I would have still liked to see a little bit more going forward.
"We had attacking players but we just didn't have the cutting edge and nothing quite dropped for us.
"But we were playing against a top-ten side and it is easy for expectation levels to be high.
"How many times have teams come here and walked all over us? That is seven points from three games and if you do that all season you get in the play-offs or a little bit more.
"But we are under no illusions there is still a lot of hard work to be done."
Holdsworth was once again delighted with the input of Scott Garner, who helped the Stags to a third consecutive clean sheet.
He said: "Scott was fantastic again and at 19 years old the boy has a great future.
"He just has to keep learning and listening and he could go to the top."
Neil MacKenzie was drafted in by Holdsworth yesterday on non-contract forms and the boss insists the midfielder has to earn a place in the Mansfield squad.
"He needs a few games and it was hard for him to come into a game like that," he said.
"Neil is a talented man and we have to have a blend of players. I am aware of his strengths.
"I will look at maybe bringing him in until the end of the season, but I am not giving contracts away, they have to be earned."
Paul Mayo felt his hamstring tighten and Adie Moses and Michael Blackwood also picked up slight knocks.
But Holdsworth is hoping all three will be in contention for Saturday's trip to Eastbourne.