OXFORD PREVIEWS AND COMMENTARY LINK
Commentary of Saturday's game at the kassam Stadium will be brought to you free-to-air by BBC Radio Nottingham online. Follow the link here or go bbc.co.uk/nottingham and click on Listen Live. Commentary will be by David Jackson and Martin Shaw.
David Holdsworth press meeting, 19 Feb 2009. Free video at mansfieldtown.net here
David Holdsworth audio, 19 Feb 2009. Free audio at mansfieldtown.net here
Somner and Moses preview Oxford clash, 19 Feb 2009. Free video at mansfieldtown.net here
CHAD video, 19 Feb 2009: Holdsworth praises Stags players' efforts
CHAD video here
By Stephen Thikill
MANSFIELD Town are currently six games unbeaten under the David Holdsworth revolution after the new boss steadied the sinking Stags ship.
And with four wins and two draws, as well as a number of clean sheets, the Field Mill faithful has seen their team climb up the Blue Square Premier table sparking talk of the play-offs.
But today Holdsworth was quick to try to keep the fans' feet on the ground and praise his players ahead of Saturday's tricky trip to Oxford.
Gardner faces lengthy Stags lay-off
Evening Post, February 19, 2009
SCOTT Gardner could be out for up to six weeks after suffering a hamstring tear, Mansfield boss David Holdsworth confirmed today.
Full story at Evening Post website here
The right-back was chosen ahead of Gary Silk to start against Kettering on Tuesday night after impressing on debut against York.
But he was forced off midway through the second half and has since been for an examination.
The diagnosis is not good for the former Leeds youngster, who had made a bright start to his time at Field Mill.
"It is a tear as we first through and he is going to be out for five or six weeks," said Holdsworth.
%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%3D712322/acc_random%3D9861013965/pageid%3D/RS%3D10340.10281.10307.10330.10331.10332.10319.10425.10428.10429.10464.10486.%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"Our physio (Jason Truscott) is doing a great job with him and Scott will stay under his guidance.
"He will work hard to try to maintain his levels as best he can.
"It is a shame for him because he has started brightly, but it gives an opportunity to Gary Silk who was disappointed to be left out on Tuesday, which is good to see."
Alan O'Hare came through his first game back after injury problems unscathed and will contest a place with Scott Garner at Oxford on Saturday, back after suspension.
Trialist Stef Frost pulled a thigh muscle in the reserves' 2-1 defeat to Forest.
Lack of goals not a concern, says Holdsworth
CHAD.co.uk, 19 February 2009 , By Stephen Thirkill
MANSFIELD Town's lack of goals is not yet a cause for concern, according to boss David Holdsworth.
Full story at CHAD.co.uk here
Although the Stags have kept an impressive five clean sheets in just six games under the Holdsworth regime they have only found the back of the opposition net five times.
But Holdsworth is confident the team will soon find their cutting edge and is content with the amount of pressure his new-look outfit is putting on the opposition.
Said Holdsworth: "We put Kettering under a lot of pressure and looked good going forward. We are continue to pass and work hard and I am confident the goals will come.
"Of course we would like a 20-goal a season striker and we will continue to search and search for players. These cost money though and we have to remain within our budget and our standards.
"Yes we would like to win by two or three goals, but right now we are on a good run and things are positive and I am sure the goals will come."
Stags boss Holdsworth salutes reserve side
CHAD.co.uk, 19 February 2009 , By Stephen Thirkill
STAGS boss David Holdsworth has paid tribute to his reserve side and spoke of how he hopes a number of the players can push for a place in the first team squad next season.
Full story at CHAD.co.uk here
Holdsworth praised his youngsters for their work rate and commitment following Tuesday's 2-1 reversal away at Nottingham Forest.
"There were many positives from the game. We showed great commitment and honesty. The boys did very well against a very good side,"he said.
"We want to give these lads a chance, they have been working very hard and we are looking for them to progress.
"Obviously we are not up to Forest's standards but these boys are very important to us and the future foundations of the club.
"We need to take a look at youth players and the prospects that we have coming through the system. I would like to think one or two will make it into the first team squad next season and I am encouraged by what I have seen."
And Holdsworth, who is still re-jigging his squad following his arrival six games ago, also spoke of his decision to release full-back James Kay earlier in the week.
Kay made his debut under the caretaker management of Mark Stallard and Adie Moses in the FA Trophy defeat at Wrexham in December.
He had joined on a non-contract basis from Sheffield Wednesday under previous manager Billy McEwan, but was never given his chance by the Scot.
Since his debut the 19-year-old featured in five BSP matches, starting four and being a substitute in one.
Said Holdsworth: "He would not have been playing because I have three or four options that would have been in front of him. He would have become frustrated and there is no point keeping someone under those circumstances.
"It would not have been fair on the player, on myself or on the club. He has got a good left foot but needs to improve his game and bounce back.
"I discussed his future with James and will help him if he needs my help. My phone is always switched on and I will always try and help any young player who needs help."
United on a Stag hunt
Thursday 19th February 2009
By Jon Murray
In-form Oxford United go in search of their first double of the season on Saturday when they take on a Mansfield Town side with several familiar faces.
The Stags, now managed by David Holdsworth, have ex-U's players Rob Duffy, Mich-ael Blackwood and Alex Jeannin.
For centre forward Duffy, who was United's top scorer two seasons ago – in their first campaign in the Conference – it's his first return to Oxford since being released last summer.
So the Welsh striker will feel he has a point to prove.
And Mansfield too are a different proposition to the one that the U's beat 3-1 at Field Mill in a televised encounter on December 4, in what was Jim Smith's first match as caretaker-boss.
The 0-0 draw with Kettering in midweek extended their unbeaten run to six games, and they felt robbed of possibly victory by not getting a stoppage-time penalty.
Duffy is the one that everyone will be focussing on, because he was a major player for United two years back.
Few Oxford fans will forget his memorable hat-trick at Forest Green, but he also seemed a difficult player to handle, and his lack of movement up front didn't go down well with former boss Darren Patterson.
Duffy scored 18 league goals, which included seven penalties, for the U's in 2006-7, but managed only six, includingfour spot-kicks, last season.
After his release by Patter-son, which followed a short loan to Wrexham, he joined Blue Square South side Newport County.
He had scored three goals in 16 appearances for Newport, who are managed by Dean Holdsworth, the twin brother of the Mansfield boss.
Duffy had actually started pre-season with Mansfield, but he opted not to put pen to paper for Billy McEwan, who was later sacked amid criticism of his outspoken management style.
Duffy said: “Mansfield now is very good. Mansfield in the summer? Not so great.
“It is now a totally different club to the one I saw seven or eight months ago.
“The set-up and the management, the whole thing has changed. It's leagues apart. You can see that now in the results.
“When you go to a club you've got to feel wanted and as if you can be part of the plans.
“I didn't think on a personal level I would have got on with the manager. There were a lot of unhappy lads in the dressing room even before the season started.”
Duffy scored on his Mansfield debut, in a 1-0 win over Crawley, and he also hit the match-winner, from the penalty spot, in a 1-0 victory over York.
Winger Blackwood has been out injured, but came on as a late substitute in midweek.
French left back Jeannin has had a scan on a foot injury, and an injection in the foot, and is unlikely to be involved.
Scott Garner, the Blue Square Premier's player of the month for January, served a one-match ban against Kettering and is available to face Oxford.
United manager Chris Wilder is expecting the Stags to be tougher opponents, under Holdsworth, than they were for many teams earlier in the season.
He said: “They'll be fitter, more organised and more disciplined, and I think they'll be a lot more different proposition to what they were two or three months ago.
“And the results have shown that. They've won games 1-0, kept clean sheets and I'm expecting them to come and sit in, and want to kill the game, and run the game down, do things that professionally can get them a result.
“It's up to us to raise the tempo of the game, play quick and move the ball about, and be patient as well.”
But he will need his defence to be solid, as they have been generally in recent home games.
“It's important that the back door is always shut and we're nice and concentrated,” he said.
“We will, I would imagine, have the majority of the game. We've just got to make sure we're good enough in the final third to be clinical and put games to bed.”
Right back Damian Batt got a clattering in the ribs in training yesterday, but is expected to recover.
“He got a bang, hopefully he'll be OK,” Wilder said.
“We do whizz it about a bit, especially in the forward positions, but I wouldn't like to miss out at the moment because I think there are players out of the side who are desperate to get in the team.”
Latest | February 2009