Clare ready to fire Stags back to winning ways
Evening Post, September 19, 2009
DARYL Clare will do everything in his power to hit the goal trail against his former club and fire Mansfield Town back to winning ways.
The striker boasts a prolific scoring record in non-league football.
But this season has seen him mainly limited to cameos from the bench as fellow strikers Kyle Perry and Rob Duffy got the nod.
Perry starts a three-match ban today and after recovering from an infected heel, Clare hopes to get his chance today.
The 31-year-old has two goals so far but at Rushden and Diamonds, where he hit five times in ten starts last season before joining Mansfield, he hopes to start finding the net and help the Stags end a run of four games without a win.
Clare said: "I will be doing everything in my power to be out there and do my job which is to get back to scoring goals.
"As a striker you have purple patches when everything you touch goes in and you also have quiet spells. Sometimes you have just got to get one in-off the knee to get it going again.
"We have some serious firepower and were red hot although of late we have been a little bit quieter in front of goal.
"I have been playing more of a supporting role for the first eight games and when I did start, I had this infected heel.
"Now I want to put a run of form together, whether from the start or the bench today, and start notching up my goal tally again."
Stags striker will fulfil goalscoring dream
Evening Post, September 19, 2009
DARYL Clare has been a prolific figure on the non-league circuit for many years.
At the likes of Boston, Chester and Burton, he found the back of the net on a regular basis to make sure everybody knew his name.
At 31, he is happy to acknowledge he is not the picture of youth he once was. In fact, he puts this upcoming stage down as the twilight of his career.
But there are a few campaigns left in this goalscoring machine yet and as Clare points out, he is ready to prove he has not lost his golden touch.
Today, he heads back to Nene Park where he was last season, only for it to end when he had to take time out for family reasons.
He also suffered a broken jaw soon after joining but still managed to score five times in ten starts in the campaign.
But at Field Mill, he is settled but despite getting sharp in pre-season, he has been a frustrated figure on the bench.
Rob Duffy and Kyle Perry have stolen the early limelight while Clare had to be content with two goals after a series of substitute appearances.
But with Perry starting a three-match ban following his red card against Stevenage last weekend, Clare knows his chance could soon come.
While he cannot achieve his dream of reaching 200 career goals this afternoon, he knows he can at least get back on the goalscoring trail to add to his 151 previous strikes.
And there is no better place to start than at Nene Park as sixth-placed Mansfield look to get back to winning ways after two successive defeats.
Clare said: "I was there for about six months and for two-and-a-half of that I was out with a broken jaw, quite a nasty one.
"And then I had to take a couple of months off to look after my wife who had health problems while pregnant and I had to put family before football. Then I joined Mansfield.
"But Rushden have done so well and made their way up the leagues and were a pretty successful League One side.
"Then they had a bit of a fall and last year made a big effort to attain players to return them to the Football League and for whatever reason it did not quite work out and went belly up around Christmas time.
"But I am going there looking to win with Mansfield.
"Having Kyle Perry out is a massive loss to us because he has scored six in ten games.
"But it gives an opportunity to myself or another striker to come in and hopefully get in the goals.
"So I will be ready and be doing everything in my power to be out there and do my job which is to get back to scoring goals.
"I have still got my dream of scoring 200 goals and I am not too far away and once I have achieved that I might look at doing a little bit of coaching. But that is what I want to get."
Stags goalkeeper Alan Marriott is pretty confident his teammate will not only achieve his dream target, but also start scoring regularly for Mansfield.
The pair used to travel to Rushden together when at Nene Park and do the same to training and matches now they wear a Mansfield shirt.
Marriott, who left Rushden for Mansfield in January, said: "I have played against him a few times and had a few fly past me into the top corner over the last few years.
"We also have five other lads who want that shirt as well but I know how hungry he is and touch wood, he can score the goals that his track record proves he can."
But with Rushden also desperate to get back into the Football League, Marriott knows this afternoon will be a difficult match as the Stags search for a first win in five outings.
"It is going to be a tough, tough game and I still have a lot of friends down there," he said.
"But we have to get back to our siege mentality, keep a clean sheet and I am sure the strikers will come through and get the goals like they have proved they can do."
Stags players aiming for further England C success
CHAD.co.uk, 18 September 2009, By Stephen Thirkill
STAGS new England internationals Scott Garner, Louis Briscoe and Kyle Nix have spoken of their delight at representing their nation.
The Field Mill trio all made their debut in England C's 1-1 draw with Hungary, with the solid Scott Garner captaining the team in the friendly.
Frontman Briscoe also capped an excellent debut with a fine 41st minute strike to secure a creditable draw for Paul Fairclough's men.
The players now hope to continue their excellent form for Mansfield Town and play their way into future England C squads.
Scott Garner said: "I was really proud to be captain and happy with how the game went.
"It was great to be out there with my two team-mates and hopefully we can be a part of the next selection.
"I came back feeling fresher and more confident and that can only be a good thing for Mansfield Town."
The performance has also given a big boost to Louis Briscoe, who is now hoping to build on his fine strike with a goal against Rushden and Diamonds tomorrow.
Said Briscoe: "It was one of my better goals and a good all round day.
"It was a great honour to represent England and something I really enjoyed.
"The guys are winding me up about the goal, but it's all good fun. The goal has improved my confidence and hopefully I can represent England C again."
Disappointed Stags looking to bounce back with Diamond win
CHAD.co.uk, 18 September 2009, By Stephen Thirkill
DISAPPOINTED Stags will hope to put last weekend's refereeing controversy firmly behind them with three points against Rushden and Diamonds tomorrow.
Mansfield let a two goal lead slip to eventually lose 3-2 to Stevenage after striker Kyle Perry was controversially sent-off by the fourth official.
The frustrating defeat brought an end to Stags proud unbeaten streak at Field Mill stretching back to December and left them without a win in their last four games.
But influential defender Scott Garner, who captained the England C side in midweek, is confident Stags will bounce back
"We are disappointed with what happened on Saturday," he said. "We shouldn't have lost the game when we were 2-0 up.
"We have had a good start and we are still right up there in the table. The Rushden game is a big game like they all are.
"We have Rushden and then Oxford so it is an important time. We are not worried about Oxford because you have to beat teams like that so it doesn't matter when we play them."
And boss David Holdsworth is backing his side to bounce back and to repeat last season's 1-0 Nene Park victory.
Said Holdsworth: "Saturday is still frustrating because the decision to send Perry off had such big consequences for us.
"We were bossing the game and looking worthy winners. We now have to move on and bounce back against Rushden.
"We have worked very hard in training and I am delighted with the response I have had from the players.
"It is important we show charachter and discipline. We know that on our day we can beat any team in this league and I am confident we will bounce back on Saturday."
Mansfield go into the game having already won two times on the road knowing victory will push them back into the Blue Square Premier play-off places.
Holdsworth looks to Rocky for Stags' inspiration
Evening Post, September 18, 2009
DAVID Holdsworth might have lost one boxing star in Curtis Woodhouse from his Mansfield Town dressing room this season.
But he is now calling upon another boxing legend, albeit it one from the cinema, to help inspire his players.
He wants his men to use the rise of working-class hero Rocky Balboa, the Italian Stallion, to return them to winning ways.
It would be too early to say Mansfield are on the ropes, but back-to-back defeats have rocked the Stags after a superb start to the season which saw them win five of their first six games.
A poor performance cost them against Kidderminster but it is the injustice still burning from last Saturday that is hurting Holdsworth and his players.
Two goals to the good and cruising, the man who scored both, Kyle Perry, was sent off for an alleged stamp on Stevenage's Lee Boylan.
And in the end, the visitors overhauled the deficit to record a 3-2 victory at Field Mill – the first time Mansfield had lost a competitive fixture at home in 2009.
Holdsworth is still unhappy with the decision and despite no appeal being launched, he felt Perry should never have seen red for the "coming together" and as a result, be available for the trip to Rushden and Diamonds tomorrow.
Instead, he will begin a three-game ban while his team-mates go in search of a first win in five games.
But, in Holdsworth's eyes, what doesn't kill you only makes you stronger.
And now he wants his men to look to Rocky's rags-to-riches tale for inspiration. He wants his players to show that fighting spirit, a steely determination to never give up as they look to move back into the play-off places tomorrow afternoon.
Holdsworth said: "With all due respect to the opposition last week, we would have won the game had Kyle Perry not been sent off. We were the far better side up until a ridiculous decision.
"The boys knew at Kidderminster we did not play well but you have to respond in life and the response from my boys last Saturday was phenomenal.
"There were some real positives and only one team was going to win that game until the fourth official intervened, having seen something with his 'bionic' eye.
"But you have to be big enough and man enough to take it and we are. We carry on, we move forward.
"Now we have got a battle on our hands to prove a point, like we did after Luton.
"The boys have worked hard in training and put last Saturday to bed and now want the win at Rushden.
"Rocky Balboa can be our inspiration this week and we can bounce back and come out fighting."
After ten games, the Stags now sit sixth in the Blue Square Premier and after tomorrow, entertain league leaders Oxford on Tuesday night.
They will be without second-choice goalkeeper Tim Sandercombe, who has a thigh injury, but Holdsworth is looking to bring in a replacement on loan as back up to Alan Marriott.
And with Perry suspended, Louis Briscoe is set to get his chance up front after scoring for England 'C' in the 1-1 draw with Hungary on Tuesday night.
Mansfield's Scott Garner captained the Three Lions while Kyle Nix also impressed.
They all returned injury-free on Wednesday and are in the squad to face Rushden tomorrow.
And despite Justin Edinburgh's team being the leading scorers in the division with 20 goals, Holdsworth is not worried.
He added: "Rushden are scoring plenty of goals and I have got a lot of respect for Justin Edinburgh and his staff.
"They are friends of mine, but on Saturday you put that aside and roll your sleeves up and we want to bounce back with the win."
Stags could give Briscoe forward role
Evening Post, September 18, 2009
LOUIS Briscoe could be given the nod to start up front at Rushden and Diamonds tomorrow after scoring for England 'C'.
The Mansfield Town winger netted with a stunning strike to help the Three Lions non-league side to a 1-1 draw in Hungary on Tuesday night.
The former Ilkeston man was one of three Stags players in the England team, with Scott Garner captaining the side and Kyle Nix also starring.
And now manager David Holdsworth is set to give Briscoe a chance up front in place of the suspended Kyle Perry as Mansfield look to bounce back from back-to-back defeats.
Holdsworth said: "Kyle (Perry) is feeling it now and the whole team is suffering because of a ridiculous decision to send him off.
"Duffers (Rob Duffy) has been doing very well but Perry's suspension opens the door for somebody else.
"Jake (Speight) has been doing very well and Louis Briscoe scored a wonder goal for England 'C' the other night.
"He could take a forward role because he has pace and power. So we might put 'the Beast' up there. Louis I believe, deserves his chance."
Although the international meant Holdsworth had to prepare at the start of the week without three key players, he is more than happy to see his stars represent their country.
"Louis did well and it was great to see Scott captain his country and Kyle Nix did very well too," he said.
"It is fantastic to see all three play for their country and it is good for the club as well."
Tomlin warns of Stags mental test
Evening Post, September 18, 2009
WINGER Lee Tomlin has warned free-scoring Rushden and Diamonds they must be mentally switched on if they are to beat Mansfield Town tomorrow.
Tomlin was the star of the show as Rushden edged a nine-goal thriller at Nene Park last week as they beat Grays Athletic 5-4.
He scored twice and set up the other three and Justin Edinburgh's side are the top scorers in the Blue Square Premier after ten games with 20 goals.
But he warned: "It will be another tough game for us on Saturday.
"We've all got to be mentally right for it and prepared 100 per cent.
"This is probably my best form for the club.
"The gaffer is behind me and that's the main thing. But it's not just about me.
"If people give me the ball I will try to set things up. It's a team game and not about individuals.
"As a midfielder, it's always good to get goals although it's not as easy.
"But I'm looking to get ten to 15 goals."
Tomlin has three goals for the season, helping Rushden into ninth in the league.
But he admits there is still plenty of room for improvement.
He added: "We need some consistency. I think we need to talk a lot more to help each other out and do better."
O'Connor has 'nothing to prove'
Rushden and Diamonds striker Aaron O'Connor insists he is not fazed by the prospect of playing against his former club Mansfield Town this weekend.
The 26-year-old signed for Diamonds in the summer having been released by the Field Mill club.
O'Connor told BBC Radio Northampton: "I don't have anything to prove.
"Although they're my friends, I want to beat them, and if we don't win, I won't be happy. They'll know that when I play, I mean business."
O'Connor is competing with the Diamonds' top goalscorers, Cliff Akurang and Craig Farrell, for a starting place.
"I feel confident, and I think I've got a lot more to give this year," he said.
"If I'm fortunate enough to get picked I'll do my best, and try to give the manager a problem when it comes to picking the team.
"But I never like watching from the stands."
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