HOLDSWORTH, ARNOLD AND WILDER REACTION
David Holdsworth post match interviews here
David Holdsworth interview with BBC Radio Nottingham's David Jackson here
Nathan Arnold post match interviews interview here
Nathan Arnold interview. Full story at CHAD.co.uk here
Arnold praise for Holdsworth and Oxford strikers after defeat
By John Lomas
Transfer-listed Nathan Arnold pointed to Oxford United's powerful strike force as the reason why Stags lost for the first time under David Holdsworth on Saturday – then hinted he may stay with the club next season.
Stags lost 1-0 at in-form United today and Arnold, whose contract ends this summer, missed one of several good chances to bag the visitors a point.
He said: "They pressed us first half and again in the second half. But we stood it for most of the game.
"I think their two strikers won them the game today. Our defenders normally deal comfortably with whoever they are up against - but today they got run ragged at times, though they coped well for most of the game.
"I was disappointed not to take my chance. We didn't really have clear cut chances but we know we will always create away from home.
"We have not created that much at home in the last two but today it was end to end stuff away to a side on a really good home run.
"The gaffer went 4-3-3 and very attacking and we had a lot of joy with it in the first half, especially down the flanks.
"So we can take positives from it. We had Oxford on the back foot at times in the first half. We matched them and were unlucky to lose."
Although he has not been persuded to sign a new deal yet, Arnold is enjoying life under the new boss.
"It has been back to basics and he has everyone working hard and enjoying it," he said after the 1-0 defeat at Oxford, ending Holdsworth's six-match unbeaten start at Field Mill.
"He lets you express yourself and he a fighter which he has instilled into his players.
"I have been injured for a month but he has had faith in me and put me back in. I was a bit rusty on Tuesday but felt fitter today.
"He gave me the licence to get forward and stay more advanced today so I didn't track back to help Gary Silk out as much which I am sure Silky didn't like!"
And, without committing himself too much, he hinted he could still be a Stags players next season, saying: "I never said I didn't want to stay.
"I have been impressed with how things are run and I like the manager's attitude. I think he gets the best out of players.
"But with my contract up in the summer there is no need to rush into things at the moment. I have been here since I was nine years old and have always been happy here.
"Come the end of the season you never know what will happen. But I would be happy to stay."
Chris Wilder interview. Full story at Evening Post website here
Oxford boss impressed by Stags revival under Holdsworth
CHRIS Wilder says he is impressed with the new-look Mansfield under David Holdsworth.
The Us edged out the Stags 1-0 at the Kassam Stadium yesterday to extend their unbeaten run in the Blue Square Premier to nine matches.
It also inflicted a first defeat for Holdsworth as Mansfield manager in his seventh game at the helm.
But Wilder was quick to acknowledge the positive effect his former Sheffield United team-mate has had at Field Mill.
"I have spoken to a lot of people at Bury who said Mansfield shouldn't have gone down last season," 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%3D717821/acc_random%3D4750206527/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"They have kept some of their players but now David has brought some organisation and discipline to them.
"It was a tough game for us – tight. I said to the players after the game that they will pick up points home and away in the top six.
"That was why it was vitally important to win this game and we are all made up about it."
Wilder said he did talk to the Stags hierarchy about the Field Mill post when the job was vacant.
But he believes the Stags had made a sound choice in Holdsworth.
Wilder said: "I did speak to Mansfield, but so did a few people at the time. It was done very professionally.
"But as you could see from this game, I'm sure they have picked the right person."
Stagsworld Sunday Supplement with Mark Stevenson and Curtis Woodhouse here
Poor finishing costs Stags dearly in thriller
CHAD, 21 February 2009
By John Lomas
DAVID Holdsworth admitted poor finishing was the reason for Stags' first taste of defeat under his stewardship at high-flying Oxford United on Saturday.
Both sides missed chances in an end to end thriller, but Craig Nelthorpe's second half goal sealed the points to give Holdsworth his first defeat in his seventh game in charge.
"It could have gone either way – it was a good contest, very well fought between two sides eager to get the victory," he said.
"But I felt we paid the price for not taking our chances. I have not been critical in previous games, but there were big moments in this game when we had to finish and didn't.
"We came here very positive and had a number of opportunities which you have got to finish. We are working very hard on creating them. But if you don't put the ball in the net you don't win.
"Aaron O'Connor has a header from four yards which if he heads it down goes in, but heads it straight at the keeper. And Nathan Arnold had two good chances.
"But I don't want to be overcritical – there were a lot of tired legs out there. And a lot of good things came out of it. We created a lot of chances against a good side.
"It is very disappointing to taste defeat – I don't like it. It is all about standards and we must maintain them.
"Do not underestimate Oxford. They have some very good players here and will certainly be in the play-offs.
"We will bounce back and work hard. As a manager I have some down in the dumps players in there. But I know how to pick them up and I will do."
Holdsworth lost wingman Louis Briscoe early on injury and former Oxford striker Rob Duffy also struggled with a knock on his return.
On the injured pair, Holdsworth added: "Losing Louis Briscoe early in the game was a key moment. We lost his pace and power and had to change our game plan. But had lost his threat.
"He took a knee in the back and his back went into spasm so we will have to hope he recovers quickly.
"Rob Duffy also has a bad injury after taking a whack to his calf and we will have to see how it settles in the next 48 hours. He took a lot of stick today though I don't think he was as at the races as he has been for us.
"He wasn't his normal self, but I am mindful he still making the transition from part-time player to full-time."
Oxford boss Chris Wilder said: "We knew Mansfield would be tough to crack and I feel they will pick up points from sides in the top six between now and the end of season."
Latest | February 2009