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Can Clare grab a starting spot against Ebbsfleet?
CHAD.co.uk, 20 August 2009
DARYL Clare will be hoping to make his first start of the season when Ebbsfleet United visit Field Mill on Saturday (3pm)
But boss David Holdsworth is going to find it very hard to change his starting XI after another resounding home win on Tuesday, 4-1 against Barrow, though Clare did net twice as a subsitute.
Holdsworth admitted he toyed with the idea of starting Clare on Tuesday but a tight hamstring for the striker saw him err on the side of caution.
Clare told Chad today in our exclusive audio interview that the hamstring now feels fine though he is suffering with a cold.
But, unless something drastic happens in training, both Gary Mills and Paul Heckingbottom will be rested over the weekend after shaking off hamstring injuries.
Holdsworth will work them hard in training and then rest them to try to get them spot on for next weekend.
After two four-goal hauls in two home gmes so far, many Stags fans will expect the same again against an Ebbsfleet side without a win in their first four matches, drawing with Altrincham and Kidderminster and beaten by Cambridge United and Stevenage Borough.
But Holdsworth said: "We will not be resting on our laurels.
"The players deserve all the credit for applying themselves so well and haave been a credit to the club so far.
"The motivation comes from a desire to succeed.
"Ebbsfleet have just suffered a defeat to Stevenage and, similiar to ourselves, they are a new squad.
"They have a dangerman up front in Vieira (Brazilian Magno Vieira ) who was at Wycombe and I have always been an admirer of his. But I think we have all the right ingredients here to continue our home form if we stick to our beliefs."
Stags boss Holdsworth keeps faith with squad
Evening Post, August 21, 2009
DAVID Holdsworth today revealed he is unlikely to tinker with his Mansfield Town squad before the fast-approaching transfer deadline.
The Stags manager's early days at Field Mill saw a big turnaround of players during the January transfer window.
And in the close season, the former Sheffield United and Birmingham player was also busy, letting a raft of players go and recruiting 12 new faces.
But with the current window closing at the end of August, Holdsworth insists the team's bright start to 2009-10 means he is happy with what he has.
"I don't need to change it at the moment and I told the boys at half-time against Barrow that they are helping themselves in that situation," he said.
"If they keep maintaining the form, then there's no need to fix something that isn't broken.
"JD (Jonathan D'Laryea) is training his socks off and so are the other players who have been out of the team. There's great competition and they are all ready when we need them.
"But I won't leave myself short with the window shutting soon.
"I'm always looking at people for when there comes a time that we do need someone – and I have my eye on one player – but I'm in no rush."
Holdsworth is delighted that all four strikers at the club have already got off the mark.
Holdsworth added: "When I looked at the end of last season, our scoring averages were poor.
"Only one or two players were getting up close to ten goals – that was not good enough.
"The players we have now have the maturity and hunger to succeed."
Armstrong: Stags have no room for complacency
Evening Post, August 21, 2009
IN terms of age and career appearances, there are few in the Mansfield Town squad more experienced than stand-in left-back Craig Armstrong.
So the 34-year-old veteran of more than 400 senior appearances knows better than anyone the danger of complacency.
The Stags have stormed to victory in their last two home games against Crawley and Barrow, scoring four times in each and conceding only once.
With confidence high, then, surely tomorrow's visitors, struggling Ebbsfleet, pose no threat to a hat-trick of Field Mill victories?
But utility man Armstrong – currently filling in for the injured Paul Heckingbottom – has just about seen it all in his time and knows the danger of making such an assumption.
He insists the Mansfield squad will be fully focused on the task in hand against Liam Daish's men.
"We have to guard against complacency – and that is drilled into us every day by the manager (David Holdsworth)," said Armstrong, who was at Kidderminster Harriers last season.
"Everything we do is a per cent contributing to the 100 per cent we want for matches.
"Sometimes people do drop their guards, but I'm sure the boys won't get into that.
"I saw Ebbsfleet last year on a couple of occasions and they were a fantastic footballing side. Liam Daish has done a really good job.
"If we go into the game thinking it is going to be easy, then we have got another think coming.
"It was not easy at times against Barrow but we wanted to win it more and came through.
"This will be a different game and we have to start afresh. You need everyone to perform and not for five or six to go missing."
Armstrong is enjoying combining with Ryan Williams down the left flank, a player who he rates very highly.
He feels the partnership between them is now starting to come together.
Armstrong said: "I don't think I have ever played against him, but I know he is a good player to have in your side.
"It has been difficult away from home where the onus is on us to do something different.
"But at home he has been absolutely outstanding. I know from personal experience that no player likes someone running at you with the ball.
"Tuesday night was pleasing for both of us because we seemed to hit it off as a pairing.
"Now we have to work on trying to be as effective when we go away."
Armstrong has been impressed with the home support since arriving at Field Mill with both the attendances against Crawley and Barrow topping the 3,000 mark.
The former Forest midfielder hopes that will grow if the players can keep registering the victories. He said: "I know the fans have been disappointed by what has happened in the past, especially going out of the league.
"But I think it's a fantastic credit to the chairman and the directors with what they are trying to do.
"They are getting the fans involved with open days and things like that.
"But we are realists and know it is good performances and results that will bring people back.
"The fans love to see their team scoring goals and winning and if we can keep improving then the crowds might get up to 4,000 or 5,000."
'Strong' squad will serve Stags well, says Silk
GARY Silk believes Mansfield Town's 'strong' squad will come into its own as the season wears on.
With the campaign still in its infancy, most clubs are still able to field their full-strength sides.
But further down the line, injuries and suspensions will begin to mount up.
Silk feels the club are now well-equipped to deal with such problems with cover in every position. And it is then that the right back says the Stags can take advantage.
The improved competition was illustrated when Jason Bradley – one of five strikers – was sent out on loan to Newport County to get some games under his belt.
"I think we have got more depth in the squad this year than last," said Silk. "There is a lot of competition for places, which helps and in this league there are a lot of games, making it a long season.
"It can be tough with the games coming thick and past at some points, like over the Christmas period.
"That's where having a strong squad comes into it own.
"Because we have a better squad I don't see any reason why we can't be up there this time at the end of the season."
Silk is having his own personal battle with Scott Gardner for the right-back slot.
The youngster is serving the last of a three-match ban after being sent off at Luton.
Silk said: "I was maybe a little bit surprised to be left out (at the start of the season), but more disappointed.
"No one is guaranteed a place and you have to work to get in the team.
"Hopefully, I can keep it now but you know you have to be at the top of your game to do it."
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