HOLDSWORTH, MACKENZIE AND PAUL BUCKLE REACTION
David Holdsworth video interview from Stagsworld freeview here
Neil MacKenzie video interview from Stagsworld freeview here
David Holdsworth reaction from BBC Radio Nottingham and Paul Buckle reaction from BBC Radio Devon here
StagsWorld Sunday Supplement, with chatter by Nigel Pinnick, Martin Shaw and Jason Harrison here
Buckle believes draw is a point gained for Gulls
A ONE-GOAL deficit at half-time, after 45 minutes into the wind, did not dismay Gulls boss Paul Buckle in Saturday's 1-1 draw against Mansfield Town at Field Mill.
"I wasn't too displeased with 1-0 down, because of the strength of the wind and the conditions," said Buckle.
"Mansfield gave us a tough time early in the game.
"They are a good, strong side here, with a good manager behind them.
"But in the second half I felt we were the better team, and we had three very good chances to go and win the game.
%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%3DTHISISSDEV/AREA%3DGULLS/SUBAREA%3DHOME/ARTICLE%3D854445/acc_random%3D613672672/pageid%3D/RS%3D10340.10281.10307.10319.10428.10429.10464.10486.10508.%22%20target%3D_top%3E%3Cimg%20src%3D%22http%3A//iad.anm.co.uk/anmdefaultad.gif%22%20alt%3D%22%22%20border%3D0%20%3E%3C/a%3E%3C/div%3E"Both teams wanted to win.
"I told the players at half-time that we had to keep fighting.
"Somebody needed to pull the ball out of the sky at some stage and in the end, once we kept the ball on the floor in the second half, we caused Mansfield a lot of problems.
"This is a tough place for any team to come to.
"I thought we had the better chances overall, but I still think that's a point gained."
Of new signing Blair Sturrock, Buckle said: "I thought it was a very good debut, considering Blair has had only one training session with us.
"He linked up very well with Tim Sills.
"In the second half he showed real quality, linked up the play for us and his goal was a very good finish."
After his comments about the Plainmoor crowd against Grays in midweek, Buckle said: "I know I've said it before, but our fans were terrific today and we thank them for it, as always."
United were without injured defender Lee Mansell and ill winger Mustapha Carayol.
Midfielder Tyrone Thompson did not make the subs' bench, while striker Matt Green was not involved.
Buckle commented: "Tyrone travelled, but I thought it was right to freshen up the subs' bench, so Steve Adams and Mark Ellis were included.
"I knew I wasn't going to use Matt (Green), so there was no point in bringing him all the way up here, and I have given him the weekend off.
"It will give him a little break, and he will be involved again."
Mansfield manager David Holdsworth said: "If we had put the chances in the first half to bed, it would have been Game Over.
"But I can't grumble. Today we played against a very good side.
"We didn't let them have a shot for 30 minutes.
"It was a good barometer of where we are, that we are disappointed not to have beaten a very good side, and I am proud of my players.
"Blair Sturrock is a very good signing for them, and he will score goals at this level, no doubt.
"It was a tough goal to concede, but I am not going to have a go at (goalkeeper) Alan Marriott, because he thought the ball would carry through on the wind, and it didn't.
"I like Paul Buckle, and I wish them well for the rest of the campaign."
Holdsworth proud of his windswept Stags battlers
Stags v TorquayMansfield Town v Torquay
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28 March 2009
By John Lomas
STAGS manager David Holdsworth was proud of his players as they earned a battling 1-1 home draw against promotion-chasing Torquy United at windswept Field Mill on Saturday.
He said: "If we had out the chances in the first half to bed then it would have been game over. But I can't grumble.
Mansfield Town 1 Torquay 1
"There is a way of giving up points and today we played against a good side and didn't let them have a shot for the first 30 minutes. On another day we'd have won it.
"It is a good barometer of where we are that we are disappointed not to have beaten a very good side and I am very proud of my players today,
"Torquay tried to lengthen the game second half and turn us round. Blair Sturrock is a very good signing and he will score goals at this level, no doubt.
"It was a tough goal to concede but I am not going to have a go at Alan Marriott. It was a nothing goal and they capitalised on a blip. Alan thought the ball would carry through on the wind but it didn't.
"I like Paul Buckle and I wish them well for the rest of the season.
"It was the end of our home record but we will start again next home game."
He added: "I had a go at Ryan Williams and Nathan Arnold on the wings after the Grays game but both of them did well today. Nathan was disappointed to be brought off but no player has a divine right to stay on.
"Also Neil MacKenzie and Jon D'Laryea deserve a pat on the back for their display in the middle of the park today.
"I am trying to play football to excite the fans and have been playing wingers home and away. But I still demand more from myself and my team.
"Our fans were different class today. It was a cold, horrible day and they could have stayed at home but instead came out to support their team and long may it continue."
Gull boss Paul Buckle said: "They gave us a tough time early in the game with the crowd behind them.
"Mansfield are a big club and I am certainly not going to say I am disappointed with a point here. You are always disappointed not to win but this is a tough place to come.
"But, having said that, I wasn't too displeased to come in 1-0 down at half time.
"In the second half I thought we were the better team and had three very good chances to win the game. Overall I thought we had the better chances.
"Blair Sturrock had a very good debut considering he had only had one training session with us. He has real quality above this level with his link up play, his vision and his great finishing which he showed today."
He added: "Both teams wanted to win it which is very healthy. Once we had got the ball on the floor in the second half we caused Mansfield a lot of problems like they did us first half.
"We are still behind Burton and you have to give them credit, they are doing very well.
"But we are now nine unbeaten and if we keep that up and, god willing, make the play-offs we will have momentum which is what you need."
Let's make Field Mill a fortress!
MANSFIELD must make Field Mill into a fortress, David Holdsworth insisted today.
The Stags made it seven games unbeaten on home ground since the new boss took over after Saturday's 1-1 draw against high-flying Torquay.
That form has produced four wins and three draws and the last team to beat Mansfield in their own back yard were league leaders Burton in December.
It is the kind of run Holdsworth is expecting next season as the backbone of a push towards the top end of the table.
"I would love nothing more than to stay unbeaten for the rest of the season at home – I think people know by now the standards I demand," he said.
"I want to win matches and I want to stay unbeaten, it's as simple as that.
"I want this place to become a fortress and somewhere it is difficult for opposing teams to come.
"The Torquay game was one we deserved to shade on points, but I am still demanding more from myself, the staff and the players.
"I don't just want to be in the top 12. I want us to be ruthless and we will be – I won't put up with anything else."
Mansfield took a deserved first-half lead in the 36th minute through Rob Duffy.
But the visitors struck back in the second period to level through Blair Sturrock – the first goal Mansfield had conceded at home under Holdsworth in 603 minutes.
He said: "It was a tough goal to concede, a nothing goal. It was a mix-up where they took advantage, a rare blip.
"It was a mistake by Alan Marriott. He thought he was going to get there first but he didn't.
"But we were always going to concede a goal at home at some time.
"603 minutes is not a bad effort and now we have to start again and see how long we can go from the next home game."
MacKenzie disappointed with draw
NEIL MacKenzie was left disappointed Mansfield had not claimed the scalp of one of the better sides in the division, after Mansfield's draw with Torquay.
A draw was a respectable result for the Stags against Paul Buckle's side, who are now nine games unbeaten.
Yet midfielder MacKenzie – recalled to the side through the absence of Matt Somner and Curtis Woodhouse – insisted Mansfield could have gone one better.
"I think there was quite a lot of difference between playing a top-of-the-league team and one near the bottom in this division," said MacKenzie.
"Games against the top eight or nine are a lot harder than playing those at the other end where you expect to win and quite often do.
"But we were disappointed we didn't win the game and in the first half we could have gone two or three goals up.
"Adie Moses then got a header on target and if that had gone in then it would have given us a cushion.
"In the second half they came back into it and we had to deal with that. The conditions were really bad – if anything they got worse.
"But we still had chances then and we were frustrated that we didn't win the game because we more than competed and made them look ordinary at times.
"If they are the third best team in this league then that bodes well for us."
Boss David Holdsworth had challenged MacKenzie to prove his worth ahead of next season as one of several players he has to make a decision on. The midfielder was reasonably content with his performance – and that of his team-mates.
He said: "Overall I have to be pleased, even if I was a bit disappointed with how the game went in the second half.
"The first half was really enjoyable and we played some decent football.
"We showed we can compete against good sides and it was the same when we played against Cambridge."
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