ALTY PREVIEWS / PORTER GOES BACK / DELAHUNTY
Porter returns to Leicester
Fri 09 Oct 2009
Levi Porter has today returned to parent club Leicester City following a one month loan stay with us.
The midfielder made two substitute appearances for us since joining last month.
Manager David Holdsworth told mansfieldtown.net: "We would like to thank Nigel (Pearson, the manager) and everyone at Leicester City for giving us Levi for a month.
"We are very grateful for all the support we get from clubs in the higher divisions when we loan players. We would like to wish both Leicester and Levi the very best for the future."
Stags' Duffy keen to enhance burgeoning reputation
IT has been hard to keep track of the players who have come and gone during David Holdsworth's reign as Mansfield manager, so frequent have been the changes in personnel.
But one of the constants in the Stags boss' determination to find the winning formula is Welsh striker Rob Duffy.
Holdsworth always insists he has no favourites; that none of his playing staff are guaranteed a name on the team-sheet.
But, injury-permitting, Duffy has been one of the first names on the team-sheet – and certainly one of the most prolific appearance-makers since he and his gaffer arrived in January.
Just one of the 26-year-old's 34 appearances has been from the substitutes bench, yielding an impressive 17 goals.
The fact Holdsworth has been so loyal to the target man no doubt owes much to his healthy strike rate of one in every two games.
It is something Duffy will be doing his level best to maintain between now and the end of the season as Mansfield bid to clinch a play-off place at the least.
"My last three goals may have all come from the penalty spot, but that doesn't bother me. I'm just pleased to keep getting on the scoresheet," he said.
"I'm happy with where I am so far with my goals return, although, like any forward, I look back at games where I think I could have had more.
"The game at Rushden sticks out in my mind where the keeper made two great saves and there's the Barrow game where I had to come off.
"The first target now is to get to double figures because no-one managed to do that here last season.
"When I came last season I told the gaffer I wanted to get to ten by the end of the season and I think he was quite surprised to hear me say that.
"But I was not far off at just one goal off and hopefully when I get to ten this time, it will be a nice little achievement.
"There is the possibility I could get to 20 now, but I'm not going to come out and say I will, because you never know what is going to happen."
Duffy has been hampered in recent weeks by a troublesome ankle injury, first sustained in the 1-0 defeat at Rushden and Diamonds, that has required pain-killing injections.
Boss Holdsworth has been pleased with the frontman's willingness to go through the pain barrier for the team.
Even so, Duffy is looking forward to putting a spell on the treatment table behind him.
He said: "The Barrow game was the last I had to play with a pain-killing injection and Forest Green the first where I was free from pain.
"I think our physio has managed the injury very well and it is something that has got better over time.
"I have not been able to do a lot of training during the time I've been struggling, but that has helped with the recovery. It seems to have done the trick.
"It was nice not to have a midweek game after so many so far this season, but I would not go so far as to call it a break because the gaffer has worked us pretty hard!"
Mansfield go into today's clash at Altrincham having lost their last three away fixtures at Kidderminster, Rushden and Barrow.
Duffy knows that has to change and feels it is most likely to stem from a switch in approach.
"I just think as a team we have to realise that we are not at Field Mill every week," he said.
"I think that's because the lads have an eagerness to get three points in every game they play and it might be that we have to sit in a little bit more and play on the break."
But Duffy is well aware that winning at Moss Lane – the Robins are unbeaten in seven games – will be far from easy.
He said: "Altrincham have had a good start. I have played in the Conference for a few years and they have always been battling it out at the bottom.
"But they seem to have turned the corner this season and they are not up there after 15 games by accident."
Stags trio struggling ahead of Alty trip
Evening Post, October 09, 2009
MANSFIELD Town could be forced to make changes at Altrincham tomorrow with a trio of players struggling to be available.
Kyle Nix and Daryl Clare have missed today's training through illness, while Craig Armstrong has been unable to take part because of his hamstring injury.
The Stags head for Moss Lane looking to end a run of three consecutive away defeats.
"I haven't seen Kyle and Daryl report in and they haven't been able to participate for most of this week," said manager David Holdsworth.
"Craig Armstrong is another one who is up against it, so we could be down to the bare bones again.
"It is not ideal but we have to deal with it – we have had to deal with it enough in the last six weeks.
Holdsworth is expecting a tough test at Altrincham, unbeaten in their last seven matches.
He said: "Graham Heathcote has, and is doing, an excellent job this season.
"They are on a run and beat Rushden away last week, keeping a clean sheet.
"We have got respect for them, but at the same time I back my players. We will get it right on our travels eventually and I'm hoping that will start tomorrow."
CHAD AUDIO: Holdsworth determined to change away form --->
09 October 2009
AS Stags head for Altrincham on Saturday, boss David Holdsworth told Chad in this exclusive AUDIO interview how he wants to change things around away from home after the defeat at Barrow as well as the latest squad news on injuries and illness.
Stags' away form has not been the best in recent years and this term they have won at Chester and Salisbury but lost at Luton, Kidderminster, Rushden and Barrow and drawn at Grays when they should have won.
But to try and turn things around, Holdsdworth is now likely to abandon his adventurous dual winger system in favour of packing the midfield and making them harder to beat away.
Speaking to Chad last week coach Gareth Holmes admitted the away form needed improving, but warned that Altrincham would pose a stiff test.
"Altrincham have done very well this season which shows what you can do with a team working hard and together," he added.
"They have some dangerous players who we will look to nullify on Saturday.
"But we are confident we can go there and produce what is expected. We must go there in the right frame of mind and go toe to toe with them. Three points could move us up into third place."
Radio station boss faces Stags match ban
CHAD.co.uk, 09 October 2009
By Tim Morriss
MANSFIELD radio station boss Tony Delahunty may be banned from tomorrow's Stags match at Altrincham.
Delahunty, who has covered Mansfield Town all season home and away for 103.2, appears to have upset 'Alty' manager Graham Heathcote in his previews to the BSP match at Moss Lane on Saturday - which features two clubs in the top eight.
The 103.2 boss asked Heathcote for his views on the Stags' former Football League status and then later mentioned the manager's comments in an interview with Stags' David Holdsworth.
Heathcote - who doesn't speak to newspaper reporters after a match - watched that interview on Mansfield Town's official website and then issued a statement on the Altrincham FC website saying: "I look forward to seeing this reporter on Saturday at Moss Lane, if we let him in."
Heathcote, who has guided Altrincham to a seven-match unbeaten run, said:
"In response to a video I have listened to, I need to put the record straight in relation to the reporter from Mansfield 103.2 who rang this week to ask my view on Mansfield Town. You'd think I would have learnt by now not to bother speaking to any of these press people as they put a slant on a conversation that wasn't there.
"This reporter later did a video interview with David Holdsworth and said to him that I 'snapped back' at him in this interview about our aims. This is totally untrue. I would know if I snapped back at him. Why would I?
"He said that I said that I don't respect League or ex-League clubs. I was saying that they (Mansfield] come to us as a non-League club and the fact that they have been a League club is irrelevant. I totally respect every club we play against and always will.
"I said a lot of the ex-League clubs are in non-League because they have had problems, invariably off the pitch. We had this same sort of problem (at Altrincham, in the past].
"The way it was put to David Holdsworth, he (the reporter] interpreted that maybe I was 'attention-seeking'. The reporter doesn't know me at all. I am the only manager in the Conference who does not speak to the papers after games - because of a report about a game at the end of the season before last.
"I did this reporter a favour again. I should have learnt. He has been a bit naughty and tried to paint me as disrespectful to other clubs, something I am not or ever will be.
"I look forward to seeing this reporter on Saturday at Moss Lane, if we let him in".
Delahunty, who has never been banned from a ground after covering football for 30 years - including broadcasting live from the Bradford City and Hillsborough disasters - told Chad on Friday morning: "I didn't intend to upset anyone.
"I thought Graham Heathcote did an excellent interview from his point of view.
"It is unfortunate that he has taken umbridge when I put his views to David Holdsworth.
"It promises to be a cracking game and I hope this difference of opinion will be buried.
"I have never been banned before so that would be a first, but I will ring Graham this morning. This deserves a conversation at least!"
Alty looking to continue run against Stags
Evening Post, October 09, 2009
GRAHAM Heathcote has challenged Altrincham to extend their best run for 10 years in home games against Mansfield and Luton – and prove they belong with the Blue Square Premier big boys.
The Robins have been the surprise package of the season so far and are eighth in the table after last weekend's 1-0 victory at Rushden and Diamonds.
Manager Heathcote insists the Moss Lane side deserve to be there on merit after only three defeats so far this season.
Now he wants to see his side stay there – by remaining unbeaten against the Stags and the Hatters.
"We have got a massive programme of fixtures coming up with Mansfield followed by Luton at home and then a trip to Oxford, " said Heathcote.
"I consider Mansfield and Luton to be two absolutely vital games because it's a chance to take on the so-called top teams, compete with them and give them a game.
"If we can do that in the two home matches, then we can head for Oxford having delivered a statement of our intent to stick around at the top."
Heathcote, who has spent more than 30 years at the club as player, coach, club secretary and boss, believes he has the talent in his squad to finish well up the table.
He said: "It is no fluke after 15 games for any side to be in the top eight.
"The question now is can we push on?
"But I happen to believe this group of players are good enough to prove they belong where they are at the moment."
Nix: Stags determined to cure their travel sickness
Evening Post, October 09, 2009
THREE defeats in as many away games is not the kind of form you would associate with Football League hopefuls.
But Kyle Nix is hoping a heart-to-heart talk between the Mansfield Town players means all that is about to change.
The Stags players sat down after their 3-1 slump in their last away game at Barrow to discuss just what has gone wrong.
After winning at Salisbury and Chester and drawing at Grays, Mansfield suddenly imploded on their travels.
They were well beaten at Kidderminster and unfortunate to lose in stoppage time at Rushden, before being second best during their trip to Cumbria.
Midfielder Nix felt the debate was useful and could help pave the way for Mansfield to get back to winning ways on the road.
Exactly how it will, of course, remains within the four walls of the dressing room.
But tactics aside, Nix believes there are some obvious things the Stags must do to improve their less-than-impressive away record.
"We know we let ourselves down at Barrow and the fans who had travelled four-and-a-half hours there and back and had work in the morning," said Nix, who is currently struggling to be fit for tomorrow due to illness.
"We have to do more and no one is hiding away from that, as we agreed in the meeting we had.
"A bit of graft and determination can go a long way – as we showed in the home game against Forest Green last Saturday.
"It is too easy to say the opposition did not let you play if you are not at the races. But in the Barrow and Kidderminster games, there were not enough tackles being put in and it was easy to see why the gaffer was upset.
"We have to make sure games are not open and that we are more ruthless.
"We need to get back to how we were at Salisbury and Chester – hard to break down and beat.
"You don't always have to be winning after 20 minutes. Sometimes it is better to get to half-time at 0-0 and then go from there.
"Maybe a change in formation could be a possibility, or maybe who is picked – but that's up to the gaffer.
"But people have to be prepared to scrap because teams are not going to sit back and let you play like they might do a bit more when you are at home."
Nix was delighted to see the return of Paul Heckingbottom in last week's hard fought 1-0 success over Forest Green Rovers.
The pair played together at Bradford City before both left Valley Parade in the summer to join the Stags.
Heckingbottom's start – in for Craig Armstrong – was his first for Mansfield after encountering hamstring trouble.
Nix said: "In just one game, you can already see the influence that Hecks has.
"He is always talking and he seems to have that bit of composure and is prepared to pick out a pass, rather than just smashing it down the line.
"Hopefully he will stay fit because his experience will be vital in the two away games coming up. He has the know-how."
Nix was born in Sydney, Australia before moving to England at an early age.
He now holds a dual passport and has played for England at under-16 level through to under-20s as well as for England C in Hungary recently.
But he could still play for Australia at under-23 level were he to ever get the call up.
"I came over to England when I was three or four, so I can't really remember much about Australia, just bits and bobs," said Nix.
"But I have been back over since and done some coaching for a few weeks.
"There was talk of calling me up for the Aussie under-23s when I was at Bradford and that could still happen if they were still interested, even though I have played for England at various levels.
"But it was great to play for England C in Hungary. Representing them at any level is a fantastic honour."
It is clear Nix is not affected by travel sickness. Mansfield are now out to prove neither are they.
official Newport County AFC website:
Friday 09 October 2009
I am delighted to announce that we have today secured the signing of Alton Thelwell from Leyton Orient.
Alton is an exciting player with a great pedigree having started his career at Tottenham Hotspur and a great league career. He is hungry to 'restart' his career and is really pleased to be joining us.
Alton goes into the squad for tomorrow's FA Cup game at Paulton Rovers.
Former England under-21 ace on trial at Stags
Evening Post, October 08, 2009
FORMER England under-21 international Alton Thelwell is on trial at Mansfield Town, boss David Holdsworth revealed today.
The 29-year-old central defender – released by Leyton Orient at the end of last season – played in a practice game earlier this week.
Holdsworth is now trying to arrange a match next week to take a better look at the Islington-born former Tottenham trainee.
The 6ft tall player has also previously played for Hull City.
"At the moment we are not great in terms of numbers in central defence with Luke Jones out for another two to three weeks," said Holdsworth.
"Like Paul Heckingbottom, Alton is someone who has experience and Paul showed how important that can be in his first game back last week.
"He is a free agent and is available, but I will have a closer look before making up my mind. We will monitor it."
Craig Armstrong is hoping to be back in contention for Saturday's trip to Altrincham following hamstring trouble.
But Tim Sandercombe (thigh) will be out for another two to three weeks.
Kyle Nix, Daryl Clare and Alan Marriott are all struggling with illness, meaning Holdsworth will leave it late before deciding his squad for the trip to Moss Lane.
Stags' Graham: BSP as strong as ever
Evening Post, October 07, 2009
MANSFIELD Town's Luke Graham believes the number of foreigners playing in the Premier League has strengthened the standard at non-league level.
The central defender feels the level of ability in the Blue Square Premier is as high as it's ever been.
Graham, formerly on the books at Northampton Town, says young players have found it increasingly difficult to break through because they are competing with those drafted in from overseas.
Many of those players then drop down the Football League and, in some cases, out of it altogether.
"I think the main reason why the Blue Square Premier is getting stronger is from the influx of foreigners," said Graham.
"The number of good players who are dropping out of the League has increased. There are a lot of players in squads now who were at Football League clubs.
"Chances are harder to come by and players who would have been playing in the League a few years ago are not now.
"It's a big gap to bridge between U-18s and reserves up to the first team.
"Some players develop later and get released and then get picked up by non-league clubs.
"There are so many cases now of non-league players going back higher. But, while they are at this level, they are making the league stronger."
Graham says there are obvious examples as to the ability on show at Blue Square Premier level.
He said: "You only have to look at the strength of the England C squad to see it – there are a lot of young, hungry players.
"There are also a lot of ex-League clubs struggling to get back up and you would have never expected Mansfield, Oxford and Luton to be at this level.
"On the other hand, traditionally non-league clubs like Cheltenham and Yeovil have held their own and even been promoted higher.
"I think the Conference is now basically a League Three and I would back the top 10 clubs in this league to be able to compete with the bottom half of League Two.
"You see it in the cup every year and I saw it when Kettering beat Notts County in the cup last year."
Better news over Jones
CHAD.co.uk, 05 October 2009
By John Lomas
MANSFIELD Town have had superb news over defender Luke Jones' ankle injury which is not as bad as first feared and could see him back in action within a month.
Central defender Jones turned the ankle in a pothole on a training pitch on 21st September and it was feared he could be out for up to three months.
However, he visited a specialist late last week, who had done a previous operation for him, and scans revealed he would not need to go under the knife this time.
"It is positive news," said Stags coach Gareth Holmes. "It's not as bad as we thought and we'd like to think he will be available for selection within the next month.
"The ankle structure was fine and the surgeon was more than happy. Luke has a bit of a past history so you always err on the side of caution to make sure he's right.
"Now he can move on to the next stage of his rehab treatment."
Eight players were queuing out of the physio's room at Field Mill last week.
But that queue is much shorter now in a week with no midweek match and a full week to recover for those still struggling.
Keeper Tim Sandercome is expected to join in training this week while Kyle Nix has yet another dead leg to overcome and Luke Graham is having treatment on a slight strain, though should be fit for Saturday.
Unfortunately young striker Grant Ryan could be out the longest after hurting his knee while on loan at Chasetown.
Said Holmes: "He is awaiting the results of his scan but it is possibly a ligament injury. It is unfortunate for a young man. The vibe coming out of Chasetown was that he had conducted himself well and been a credit to the club."
Former Coventry City midfielder Kevin Thornton continues to train with the club in a bid to regain full fitness and put himself in the shop window.
"He is here to get himself match fit to show us what he can do," said Holmes. He has played in the Championship and has to get back to that level of fitness and performance."
Latest | October 2009