CAMBRIDGE COMMENTARY LINK+PREVIEWS
Commentary of Tuesday's game at the Abbey Stadium will be brought to you free-to-air by BBC Radio Nottingham online.
Follow the link here. DO NOT go to bbc.co.uk/nottingham and click on Listen Live.
Commentary will be by Dave Cribb and Martin Shaw.
09 March 2009
Video interview with David Holdsworth from Stagsworld freeview here
Huge task for Stags
CHAD.co.uk, 09 March 2009, By John Lomas
STAGS face possibly their toughest task to date under David Holdsworth when they head for second-placed Cambridge United tomorrow night (7.45pm).
But the Stags manager insists they are going there for a win.
United ended leaders Burton Albion's lengthy unbeaten run with a 2-0 home win on Saturday and since two early home reversals against Kettering and Torquay, Cambridge have not lost at home since 13th September.
They have gone eight games without defeat, winning five of them, but come up against a Stags side that have kept seven clean sheets in the nine games under Holdsworth and have only lost once in that time.
"I am going to Cambridge to win the game," said Holdsworth. "But they are a very tough side.
"It will be a very hard game. They have just whipped Burton and were the better team.
"Cambridge have some very capable players. They have the pace of Andy Parkinson who I have played against myself. He is a huge player at this level.
"And they have two big centre halves in Phil Bolland and Wayne Hatswell so we know it's going to be a physical battle which you would expect against a Gary Brabin side.
"We will need to compete. But in previous games we have been physically very strong."
Holdsworth has some big selection decisions to make with Matt Somner ready to return from a midweek neck injury and fellow midfielder Curtis Woodhouse also hoping for a recall.
With Scott Gardner fully fit, Holdswroth has a full squad to choose from, apart from Alex Jeannin.
Holdsworth is likely to revert to his 4-3-3 formation and has promised to freshen things up with a change or two, possibly even springing a surprise.
He admitted the side missed the gritty tackling of Somner on Saturday and said: "He picked up the injury in a tough training session and his neck went into spasm. He wanted to play on Saturday but we were very keen not to make it any worse as there is always a danger with necks and backs with the nervous system.
"We we need his prowess and strength in there. He has been outstanding and we missed him in there on Saturday.
"But it gave opportunities to other squad players. Neil MacKenzie has been frustrated not to start and I needed to freshen things up anyway. So Neil was given an opportunity.
"I need to evaluate players for next season. I have a very good squad now and it is difficult to give them all a game as I can only pick 11."
On Saturday Stags beat bottom side Lewes by a single Nathan Arnold goal and Holdsworth added: "Saturday was a horrrible, horrible game. It was a hard, bobbly pitch and swirling wind - not conducive to football and they played 4-5-1 to frustrate us.
"Of course you want to win three or four nil. But we did have some good attempts and their keeper made some wonderful saves. The ethic was there. But we didn't play great, flowing football.
"Their manager said afterwards they had here to here to keep us quiet. No one will lay down for you in this league.
"But we are now very fit and strong and I know we will win games in the last quarter.
"I know tomorrow will be a different game altogether. They are second in the league with a very powerful squad. It is something we want to emulate and we are making progress towards it. Nine games and seven clean sheets - happy days!"
More trialists at Stags
Evening Post,March 09, 2009
ROSS Wilkinson, Rob English and Jake Speight are the latest trio of trialists bidding to impress Mansfield boss David Holdsworth.
Wilkinson is a central defender who has been at Leeds United while goalkeeper English has been out in the United States. Speight is currently playing for Droylsden but will train with the Stags from Thursday until the end of the season.
"There are opportunities there for these players," said Holdsworth.
"When you are trying to get a career in football, you are desperate for it."
Matt Somner is set to be available for tomorrow night's trip to Cambridge United after being rested against Lewes on Saturday because of a neck injury.
%3Cbody%3E%3Cdiv%20id%3D%22adDiv%22%3E%3CA%20HREF%3D%22http%3A//ads.anm.co.uk/ADCLICK/CID%3Dfffffffcfffffffcfffffffc/AAMSZ%3D452x118/POS%3D/SITE%3DTHISISNOTT/AREA%3DFOOTBALL/SUBAREA%3D/ARTICLE%3D756361/acc_random%3D6851861672/pageid%3D/RS%3D10484.10340.10183.10232.10236.10244.10281.10307.10323.10364.10319.10419.10420.10427.10428.10429.10450.10464.10486.10504.%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%3EScott Gardner is also fit again after a thigh problem, leaving Holdsworth with a virtually full-strength squad to choose from.
He said: "Soms should be fine. His neck went into spasm in training and we were keen not to make it any worse.
"Scott is another one who is desperate to play because he showed in the games he has played he is capable.
"It is great to have that competition for places now and I'm keen to keep that."
More Stags trialists at the Mill
CHAD.co.uk, 09 March 2009, By John Lomas
MORE trialists arrive at Field Mill this week as David Holdsworth looks towards building a squad for next season.
Latest arrivals are young centre half Ross Wilkinson from Leeds United and 6ft 4ins goalkeeper Rob English who has been playing out in the USA.
Droylsden striker Jake Speight will join them on Thursday. He will continue to play at Droylsden, but train with the Stags and Holdsworth said: "He is a very lively character and wants an opportunity. I love his attitude. He is desperate to earn a career in football and is willing to put his neck on the line for it."
Last week Holdsworth brought in three players on trial after they have been released by Championship clubs.
Full back Elijah Reid (19), a schoolboy at Rotherham, has come from Sheffield United's academy while keeper Neil Collett and central defender Bradley Jones (18) have recently been let go by Coventry City.
Some of them could get a chance to impress in Wednesday's home reserve clash with Walsall (7pm).
Holdsworth ponders stags switch
Evening Post,March 09, 2009
The return of Matt Somner and Mansfield's 4-3-3 formation may both be in the pipeline for tomorrow night's trip to Cambridge United.The Stags edged out Blue Square Premier bottom club Lewes 1-0 on Saturday thanks to Nathan Arnold's second-half strike.
But manager David Holdsworth was disappointed his side did not impose themselves to a greater extent with an attacking 4-4-2 formation.
It means that there could be a reshuffle for the visit to the Abbey Stadium to face the league's in-form side.
And Somner, who missed the game with a neck injury, is tipped to be back in the centre of Mansfield's midfield.
"I don't like playing 4-4-2 at times, I'm a 4-3-3 man because the Conference is all about being combative in midfield," said Holdsworth.
"Against Lewes we didn't have Somner and it showed. He brings us stability. Jon (D'Laryea) had to balance his game and change his game.
"We couldn't have put out a more attacking side with two wingers, two strikers and an attacking midfielder.
"At times we were combative and at others we were not. My constructive criticism would be that we didn't nail the coffin down.
"Is it down to not having a goalscorer or is it down to method? My view is that either way we just have to keep working hard.
"I felt we could have been a little more productive going forward.
"At the same time, we want to be successful and we are not going to do it by being loose.
"We have to keep a clean sheet and in the last five games can you tell me anyone who has scored against us?"
Holdsworth voiced his concern that some fans are not getting behind the team as he would like and pleaded for patience.
He said: "What I didn't expect was the response when I took players off. I won't accept negativity. I'm the one who has to make decisions and I was proved right with keeping Nathan Arnold on when he scored."
And he went on: "I won't have people shouting an opinion when they don't know what they're talking about.
"I understand what the fans want and I want it as well.
"But we don't want people knocking the players' confidence, which it does.
"They should instead applaud people and congratulate.
Holdsworth keen to sort Stags players' futures
Evening Post, March 10, 2009
MANSFIELD boss David Holdsworth is keen to start talks with those players nearing the end of their contracts.
The Stags boss has already moved quickly to tie Alan Marriott, Scott Garner and Louis Briscoe to the club until the summer of 2011.
Skipper Jonathan D'Laryea is on board until the end of next season, along with Anthony Howell – who has joined Alfreton Town on a month's loan – and Curtis Shaw.
But there remains a raft of players who are out of contract in the summer, including Gary Silk, Matt Somner, Curtis Woodhouse, Rob Duffy, Scott Gardner, Michael Blackwood, Adie Moses, Paul Mayo and Mark Stallard.
Holdsworth is determined to start deciding who stays and who goes now, rather than leaving it until the end of the campaign.
%3Cbody%3E%3Cdiv%20id%3D%22adDiv%22%3E%3CA%20HREF%3D%22http%3A//ads.anm.co.uk/ADCLICK/CID%3Dfffffffcfffffffcfffffffc/AAMSZ%3D452x118/POS%3D/SITE%3DTHISISNOTT/AREA%3DFOOTBALL/SUBAREA%3D/ARTICLE%3D758282/acc_random%3D7184540011/pageid%3D/RS%3D10484.10340.10232.10236.10244.10281.10307.10323.10364.10319.10419.10420.10427.10428.10429.10450.10464.10486.10504.10508.%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"I may be able to sit down with one or two on Thursday and maybe a few more next week," said Holdsworth.
"The big picture is looking at next season.
"I need to give opportunities to everyone to play because I need to evaluate for next season and that is difficult because I have a lot of players.
"For every game now there will be people who are frustrated.
"They are all good lads but there are going to be some tough decisions to make."
Tonight, Mansfield travel to high-flying Cambridge United searching for a seventh win in their tenth game under Holdsworth.
He said: "They have just walloped Burton and were the better team. They have some very good players."
The Stags have taken three more players on trial. Ross Wilkinson is a central defender from Leeds United and Rob English a goalkeeper who has been out in the United States. Jake Speight is a forward who is playing with Droylsden but will train at Field Mill for the rest of the season.
Mansfield's reserves host Walsall on Wednesday at Field Mill (7pm).
Latest | March 2009