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An independent supporters' website dedicated to Mansfield Town FC
Archived News from April 2009

30th April 2009 10:52

David Holdsworth interview with David Jackson of BBC Radio Nottingham here

David Holdsworth video interview from mansfieldtown.net here

Gary Silk and Aaron O'Connor video interviews from mansfieldtown.net here

Graham Westley interview here

The Sunday Supplement with Nigel Pinnick, Martin Shaw, Steve Hartshorn, Mark Stevenson Andy Saunders and Andy Perry here

Westley apologises to fans

BORO boss Graham Westley has thanked the fans for their fantastic support at Mansfield on Sunday and apologised for his side's 'muted response'.

The club made the play-offs despite losing at Field Mill and Westley says the disappointment at losing got in the way of celebrating their achievement.

"I just want to apologise for the somewhat muted response from myself, my staff and the players after the game yesterday," said Westley. "I can only speak for myself, but I was shocked to lose and just felt devastated.

"I was really disappointed in myself for letting it happen. I didn't get into enjoying the fact that we had moved from a position where we had 32 points from 23 matches into a play-off spot."

The Boro chief believes his squad will have learnt a big lesson from their defeat and the 41-year-old is hopeful that it is the start of something special.

"We learned a big lesson at Field Mill and we are getting ourselves back together this morning. We will be stronger for our slip. We have earned a fantastic chance for the club and we are overwhelmed by the brilliant backing we got yesterday.

"Hopefully, that was just the beginning. Now is the time for us all to move to our very best.

"People will think we were lucky on Sunday. You know what.....I like being lucky! Let's keep making our luck by our work-rate, unity and desire. Promoted as Trophy winners will be a wonderful feeling.


We must show more discipline - Westley


Boro boss Graham Westley certainly did not have the look of a manager whose side had just made the play-offs after the 2-1 defeat at Mansfield yesterday.

Such are the standards the Boro management have set this season, there was a palpable sense of anti-climax as Stevenage stumbled into the play-off places due Kidderminster's failure to beat Kettering at Aggborough.

Mitchell Cole's sending off in injury time at the end of the first half gave Boro a mountain to climb and Mansfield went on to take advantage of the extra man in the second period.

Goals from Scott Garner and Aaron O'Connor sandwiched a sweet strike by Scott Laird while Cole must have been relieved his indiscipline did not cost Boro a play-off date against Cambridge on Thursday.

But Westley could not hide his sense of disappointment that his side could not win their way into the top five on the final day and is looking for his players to show more control in future.

"We were certainly the masters of our own undoing with the sending off," Westley told The Comet. "Indiscipline doesn't have its place in a successful environment and Mitchell has paid the price.

"There's a lesson to learn and there's going to be some big games and some big atmospheres that he's going to miss.

"We have to make sure we are very disciplined in the way we conduct ourselves over the next two or three weeks."

Cole will now miss both play-off semi-finals and the FA Trophy final less than a week after pledging his future to Boro by signing a new two-year deal at The Lamex Stadium.

"I think Mitchell is just a little bit stunned at the moment," Westley added. "When a little kick ends up costing you a Wembley appearance then you're not going to feel great. He is obviously feeling a little bit low."

Cole's absence now gives Westley a problem down the left flank. Junior Mendes could be called upon to fill the void or Andy Drury could switch flanks with Lawrie Wilson coming in down the right.

But whatever personnel Westley plumps for he will be looking for a lot more from his players than was on display at Field Mill.

"I'm really gutted with the afternoon's work," said Westley. "I really thought we had enough to win our game even with 10 men.

"I was disappointed with the goals we conceded and disappointed in many respects.

"You can't afford to make mistakes and I think mistakes were made for their goals.


Top half finish cures battery problem for happy Stags' boss Holdworth
26 April 2009
By John Lomas
DAVID Holdsworth was a happy man on Sunday night, despite the poor batteries in his TV remote control!
Sunday's superb late 2-1 victory over play-off bound Stevenage Borough saw Mansfield finish the BSP season in 12th position.

"Ever since I got here I have wanted to get in that top half of the table on Ceefax as my remote control batteries are not working well and it takes ages for the bottom half of the table to load," smiled Holdsworth.

"This means a lot to me to finish in the top half. I look around us and see what is there and believe we can improve on it.

"I have enjoyed it so much I don't want the season to end now. There is so much more to do.

"It was a fabulous game for the fans. It was wonderful to see everyone enjoy it today and we are becoming a real family.

"It has been like 'Shameless' here in the recent past but that has to change and I don't mind being the 'daddy' which is a responsible role.

"We need everyone together for the future. We know we need to embrace the fans and we need them to embrace us – it has to be a two-way relationship."

He was delighted with his side's performance, saying: "A lot of players have grown up in the last few months, Today we showed a real maturity.

"Sometimes when the opposition goes down to 10 men it can be harder but we dealt with the different equations really well and showed a lot of positive signs.

"Stevenage are a good, strong side, very physical, and so are most of the teams at the top. But we stepped up and delivered."

Stags' first goal was a 25 yard rocket from central defender Scott Garner and Holdsworth said: "Scott Garner's finish was worthy of a world class striker let along a 19-year-old central defender who still has a lot to learn.

"It was a magnificent strike and I think today and Tuesday he had shown the capabilities that I knew were there – that's why I brought him to this football club.

"The players deserve the credit today. We have players out there fighting for their futures and there was a tremendous team spirit and that gets you through. When I was at Sheffield United our team spirit, led by Howard Kendall, was worth 10 points a year to us.

"We have not lost at home since I came here and we must enjoy and embrace that and then work hard to redeliver it.

"I lost two players early on with injury today. And Adie Moses and Ryan Williams could have thrown the towel in after getting whacked off the ball. There was a lot going on out there for the referee to deal with.

"I must give Nathan Arnold a special mention as he took a turn in training yesterday but today his performance was excellent. He has grown up a lot and gave a real man's performance today – his contribution was fantastic.

"We have shown today we can get the support, We had a big crowd and I hope we have captured a few hearts today.

"The spirit on the pitch at the end was healthy and I hope the town will embrace us and become part of a new era which would make my job easier as it would provide the finance we need to get players in that could help us challenge for promotion.

"Congratulations to Burton on their promotion and I wish Stevenage and the other sides all the best in the play-offs. They are all there on merit and I must admit I am a bit jealous."


Marriott shows why he is No.1 at Stags
By John Lomas
Alan Marriott turned in another great display in Sunday's 2-1 win over Stevenage after shaking of an injury that might have seen Jason White stay in for the final game.
Afterwards boss David Holdsworth said: "His handling today was outstanding which is why he is my number one keeper.

Jason has been here a long time and his future probably lays elsewhere as he wants to be a number one and Alan is mine.

"A numbeADVERTISEMENTr of other keepers have rung me but I told Alan before the game that as long as he keeps his standards high he will remain my number one. You need to have that trust."

Scott Gardner was another success story today after the right back/right winger played the full 90 minutes at left with Alan O'Hare out injured and Curtis Woodhouse away boxing.

"Being a right footer at left back I thought Scott performed the 'Dennis Irwin role' well for us. The kid is very versatile.
"I also had a private word at the end with Olly Hotchkiss to thank him for his contribution.

"He is a lovely North-east kid and I really hope he has a good career in football at a higher level.

"If he goes back to Leeds and does well it shows I brought the right sort of player in. It's not all about personal gain for me. But I would love to have him back in the future if it were possible."


Silk and O'Connor hoping to stay at Stags
By John Lomas
GARY Silk left Field Mill with a clean sweep of all three Player of the Year awards on Sunday – and admitted he hopes he will be here again next season.
And matchwinner Aaron O'Connor also said he wanted to stay after the 2-1 late win over Stevenage.

After winning the Chad Readers', Stags Supporters' Association and Ollerton Stags Supporters' Club awards, Silk said "I am very happy with that.

"ADVERTISEMENTOn a personal level I think I have had a decent season and I am now looking to kick on next season if I stay.

"We have not sat down and spoken yet. That may be next week and hopefully it will have a positive outcome as I would be very happy to stay.

"I will speak to the gaffer and see if we can works things out.

"I think I have been consistent which is one of my strengths. And I settled in quickly. I knew quite a few of the lads here already which helped.

"Things do look good for next year. Our home record is up there with the best of them but we have a bit of work to do away.

"I don't think teams will be looking forward to coming here next season."

Another player who would love to stay is today's match winner Aaron O'Connor whose superb 88th minute goal finally shot down Stevenage.

Desperate for a new deal, he was left out of the side but got an unexpected chance when Rob Duffy was injured after only 25 minutes.

"I was a little disappointed not to be playing but fortunately I was able to play more than I would have got if Rob had not been injured.

"We dug in and we wanted to win to end the season on a high. That has given the fans something to remember and hopefully next season we will get big crowds.

"I thought we matched Stevenage today physically. I know they were down to 10 men for the second half but I still thought we were the better team with 11-a-side.

"I always try to work really hard and I was pleased with my goal which was one of my better ones.

"I was pretty tired when I made the run but I felt sorry for Ryan Williams who had run up and down the wing all day so I looked up and they had a man standing in line with the far post and I used him as a marker and curled it round him.

"I didn't expect the fans to run on the pitch at that point and I wouldn't have taken my shirt off and thrown it on the floor to celebrate if I had known they were running on. Gary Silk managed to pick it up for me or I would probably have never seen it again.

"A few of the other lads thought the referee had blown the final whistle and started taking their shirts off too! There was still five or six minutes left. I have never seen a pitch invasion like that before the end of a game before.

"I think this club can be a force next year and I want to be part of it.

"Hopefully I can sort something out. If the manager can keep these players together as well as his backroom staff we can do well if we pick up our away form.

"I want to enjoy more days like this. Everyone can see the difference since the gaffer came to the club – it's all been positive and we have a chance next season."


Evening Post:
Holdsworth delight as Stags clinch top-half finish

DAVID Holdsworth was delighted Mansfield Town clinched a top half of the table finish with victory over Stevenage – because of his faulty remote control.
The Stags were 2-1 winners in an entertaining game at Field Mill which allowed them to claim 12th spot.
It has been an impressive rise by the club after Holdsworth took over in late December. He is hoping it is just the start of the success with high hopes of doing better in 2009-2010.
"I want us to be on page one of Ceefax because my remote is not working properly and it takes ages for the bottom half of the table to load," said Holdsworth.
"That is my biggest achievement this season and it means a lot to me, but I think we can improve on that.
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players deserve credit because they are still fighting for the futures but there is still a terrific team spirit."
Holdsworth applauded the way his side ran out winners against Borough, who themselves were going for victory in their attempt to clinch a play-off place.
The visitors were reduced to 10 men on the stroke of half-time when Mitchell Cole kicked out at Scott Garner.
The young defender and Aaron O'Connor then scored superb second half goals for the Stags while Scott Laird replied.

Evening Post:
Hotchkiss: I would love to come back to Stags

OLLIE Hotchkiss says he would love to come back to Mansfield Town next season – if it suits the Stags and parent club Leeds.
The midfielder signed off his loan spell at Field Mill by helping the club beat Stevenage Borough 2-1 on the final day of the season.
It means the Stags have won seven and drawn four of their games at home since David Holdsworth took over as manager. Hotchkiss has thoroughly enjoyed his loan spell and feels the Stags are a club who are going places.
"I read in the programme before the game that the manager might ask Leeds if he could take me on a season-long loan," he said.
"If it didn't happen for me at Leeds and Mansfield came in, then I wouldn't have to give it a second thought about coming back.
"The manager, fans and players have been brilliant to me since I have been here and I can only thank them for that.
"The manager has been particularly good and took me from nowhere to play games at this level. He wants promotion and that's what I want – I want to be involved with teams who are achieving.
"David Holdsworth is a winner and so am I and if I came back I would give it my all."
Hotchkiss' only disappointment is that he has ended his stint without getting on the scoresheet – although he has come close.
He said: "I thought Altrincham was going to be the game but the keeper made two great saves. That is the only down about my time here, but I have set quite a few up and I take great pleasure from that.
"We have ended the season with some good performances and that win was a great way to end."



Latest | April 2009