HOLDSWORTH, GARNER AND HEATHCOTE REACTION
David Holdsworth video interview here
Scott Garner video interview here
Graham Heathcote told the Sale And Altrincham Messenger "There is a justifiable sense of elation at what we have done in staying up and it was wonderful to see so many youngsters in Altrincham shirts at the ground on Saturday. It is no mean feat for a bunch of part-time players to finish above several full-time outfits and fair play to them for that. But what happened at Mansfield [last Tuesday] left me at an incredibly low ebb. I could tell at twenty to eight that their focus and mental shape was a million miles away from what is needed for a game like that and, but for Richard Acton, it would have been a cricket score. He was the only one to emerge with any credit and that sort of unacceptable attitude has been evident too often on our travels. Since the Burton game I have been disgusted with so many of our away performances. I am disillusioned by it and very frustrated because you look for a solution and find there's not much you can do. You can tell a successful football club from the people [i.e. players] sitting in the stand. You thrive on pressure for places but there isn't enough of that here and players have become comfortable.
There are a lot of people doing all they can to raise money for the club and I have the utmost admiration for them. But you have to face reality and the fact is we can't afford to bring in the calibre of player needed to guard against things like Tuesday night. They will probably put in a performance at Cambridge this weekend because the cameras will be there. They better had, because otherwise it would be disrespectful to Burton and to all our fans making the journey".
Naylor impresses on Stags debut
DAVID Holdsworth said Tom Naylor's debut performance for Mansfield Town last night showed why he had been signed up on a two-year contract.
The Stags beat Altrincham 2-0 with goals in each half from Scott Garner and Nathan Arnold.
But it was the name of the 17-year-old youngster which was on everyone's lips after a mature display that belied his years.
Manager Holdsworth is excited because he knows the central defender will only get better.
"Tom was outstanding. What a debut. He was composed and organised," he said.
"He will learn more. He has learned about the game in the academy, but this is men's football.
"We will get him on a weight's programme this summer because at the moment he has got spaghetti arms.
"I think he will get better and better after what was a great start. People saw why I have given him the length of contract I have."
Holdsworth was just as content with the Mansfield performance in which they could have scored more than the two goals.
He felt the Stags had shown the creativity he is striving to introduce on a regular basis.
He said: "We played some great football. I like to win but we had a style about us and played some good two-touch football which I have been asking for.
"There is always the opportunity in these games to lower standards, where there is nothing to play for, but I was very pleased.
"A lot of teams, not just in this league but those above, can lose their sense of direction but there are no nothing games to me and that showed in this one.
"We had six shots on goal in the first 27 minutes and their goalkeeper had a good game, pulling off two or three great saves.
" I'm not being disrespectful to Altrincham but the scoreline flattered them a bit."
Garner proud to skipper Stags
SCOTT Garner was delighted Mansfield Town cantered to victory in his first game as skipper.
With Tom Naylor promoted to start, the 19-year-old took the captain's armband.
He set the Stags on their way with a 29th minute opener – his first for the club.
And Nathan Arnold made sure of victory with a well-taken second soon after the restart.
"It was a great performance by everyone and I don't think they offered too much," said Garner.
"We looked a danger ever time we went down the field and we could have had a lot more than two.
"It was a massive moment for me being named captain and I was very proud. As soon as the manager told me I was buzzing.
"I just wanted to get out there and prove the point that I could do it well. Hopefully I did that and can do it again sometime.
"When you are skipper it is a different responsibility, even though it should be the same as every other week.
"You have to organise people and get them to listen to you. You just give it that extra bit of oomph."
Garner was happy with his close-range strike, but knows he should have gone on to get on the scoresheet again.
He said: "For the goal, Duffers (Rob Duffy) held off his man and it just dropped down for me and I stuck it in."
Happy Holdsworth praises Stags youngsters
By John Lomas
STAGS boss David Holdsworth was delighted with his side's display in the 2-0 win over Altrincham ton Tuesday night - and had high praise for 17-year-old debutant defender Tom Naylor and teenage skipper for the night Scott Garner
"We played some great football at times," he said. "I always like winning but tonight there was a real style about it.
"It would have been easy to lower our standards with nothing to play for. But I like winning every game and could have won by more on another night.
"Without being disrespectful, I think the scoreline flattered Altrincham. Their keeper has made two or three good reaction saves tonight.
"It is all about being organised and responsible and knowing your job. There was a great spirit about them.
"Our youngsters were wonderful. We had the chance to bed them in and felt tonight was an ideal opportunity.
"I wanted to give Grant Ryan longer but we had one or two niggles out there and I didn't want to be caught with my pants down."
He added: "Tom Naylor was outstanding – what a debut - that's why I have given him a long contract.
"He has learned his skills in academy football but now this is men's football and I will get him on the weights during the summer – he still has spaghetti arms! He will get better. But he is a very calm, assured young man."
With Curtis Woodhouse out injured, 19-year-old Scott garner took over the captain's armband for the first time and marked the night with a goal.
"I have always thought he will make a captain since I first saw him though he still has a lot to learn. Not many clubs at this level will have a 19-year-old captain alongside a 17-year-old in the centre of defence," said Holdsworth.
"I also thought Olly Hotchkiss' passing in the first half was excellent, though he took a cheap booking.
"And I must say I thought the referee (Robert Madley) tonight was excellent – the best we've had in the league without a doubt. He had some 50-50 decisions but didn't panic and start blowing his whistle.
"He wasn't the centre of attention and I was delighted with him."
Garner added: That was a great performance by everyone and we could have had more than two goals – I should have scored more myself.
"They didn't have much to offer and we looked dangerous every time we went forward.
"I was very proud to be told I was captain – I was buzzing when we ran out. I couldn't wait to get out there and prove myself.
"You should feel the same in every game but I did feel more responsibility with the armband on. You organise and people listen, though that usually happens anyway.
"But it did give me that extra bit of oomph and with Tom only 17 next to me it was playing the Adie Moses role to him tonight as Adie has to me all season.
"Tom played really well and a great career ahead of him. He didn't really miss a header all night and we had a good partnership which could be one for the future a few years down the line."
Latest | April 2009