HOLDSWORTH AND HOCKADAY REACTION
video interview with David Holdsworth --->
Holdsworth looks for reaction after Stags Cup exit
CHAD.co.uk, 17 November 2009, By John Lomas
Mansfield boss David Holdsworth watched Forest Green Rovers steal FA Cup glory after a messy stoppage time goal sealed a 2-1 replay win at Field Mill tonight, but refused to be too angry with his side, despite a poor first half showing.
He said: "I am not going to shout and scream. We will be constructive and see where we can improve. I will be looking for a reaction on Saturday.
"These players have done well recently and gone seven unbeaten before tonight. Now we have to start another run.
"We are extremely disappointed to be out of the cup It is a sickening blow for the players, the staff and the fans.
"The first half display was not good enough. We were nowhere near the races and we did not have enough leaders out there.
"Their full backs were more prominent than our wingers in the first half and we were too nice in midfield.
"But we dominated the second half and on the chances we created I thought we'd win it, But we ended up getting done by a sucker punch.
"I decided to make the changes quickly after half time as we needed to put more balls in and have more aerial domination. That worked and I was delighted with Louis Briscoe - he was unlucky not to score.
"But we gave them too much space and paid the price. Their winning goal came from our own flat free kick and Paul Heckingbottom was extremely unlucky with what happened."
He added: "I was expecting a big atmosphere tonight but it was a bit flat. Perhaps it was down to the cold, damp conditions but it wasn't until the second half the fans generated an atmosphere.
"But I won't blame anything other than our first half performance and the lads have held their hands up."
"Over the two ties home and away I believe we have deserved to go through," said delighted Rovers boss Dave Hockaday.
"Mansfield have been both magnanimous and gracious in defeat and said we deserved it.
"We should have won it at our place and then tonight, after they equalised, we had to weather the storm before Conal won it at the end after a great move."
Holdsworth urges Stags to bounce back
DAVID Holdsworth has urged his Mansfield Town side to put the disappointment of last night's FA Cup exit to Forest Green behind them by starting a new unbeaten run against Eastbourne Borough on Saturday.
The Stags had not lost for seven games going into the first round replay at Field Mill but were beaten 2-1 as Rovers' Conal Platt grabbed a stoppage time winner.
The dramatic end came after the hosts had fought back to level through Kyle Perry after Platt's first half opener.
"I'm disappointed for the fans, the club and the players but we win and lose together and must remain positive," said Holdsworth.
"I'm not going to shout and scream. We have to be authoritative and constructive and look where we can improve.
"I'm not going to kick the players when they are down but I am looking for people's reactions.
"We have done very well and had a good, long run and I hope we can start again on Saturday. We have to bounce back."
After a disappointing first half performance, Mansfield improved after two early second period substitutes.
Holdsworth said: "Forest Green played better in the first half and perhaps we didn't have enough leaders.
"I felt we needed to change it quickly after half-time and we dominated the second half, let's have it right.
"Their goalkeeper then kept them in the game and it was very disappointing to be hit on the break at the end of the match."
The biggest positive to come out of the night was a sterling performance from substitute Louis Briscoe on his return from a knee injury.
"Louis has been out for three weeks but he showed tenacity, drive and ambition and was unlucky not to score," said Holdsworth.
Holdsworth aims to lift 'upset' players
Evening Post, November 21, 2009
HE'S never been shy of tearing a strip off his players, but David Holdsworth knows there is also a time when a consoling word or two is just as important.
As the Mansfield Town boss surveyed the dressing room after Tuesday's FA Cup exit at the hands of Forest Green, he saw a very dispirited group of players.
After a poor first half showing, he was greatly encouraged by much of the things his team did in the second period.
Progression to round two was not to be, however, as Forest Green saw off a Stags fightback and claimed a last-gasp winner.
As a result, Holdsworth has spent much of the rest of the week trying to ensure his players do not stay in the doldrums for long.
They may be out of the FA Cup, but they still have an impressive start to their Blue Square Premier campaign to build on.
"The players have been deeply upset about Forest Green," said Holdsworth. "In the second half they put the effort in after accepting that we were not up to the standard of our previous seven games.
"I have seen the DVD three times of the second half and we are about half an inch away from being victorious.
"Sometimes there is a fine line between winning and losing and the boys have been down.
"The good thing is they are a strong bunch of individuals.
"They have come back from disappointment before and they will do it again."
Although still young in management terms, Holdsworth has already identified psychology as a key part of his preparation for matches.
He recognises that professional players all have ability and that their state of mind can make all the difference.
Holdsworth said: "The mental side of the game is huge. Confidence plays a massive part.
"We had gone seven games without a defeat and had a magnificent victory at Crawley, but football can kick you in the teeth.
"Everyone in the world has got a box of confidence in their brain. Sometimes you have to rely on people to help you with that.
"Our response now will be intelligent and pragmatic and it has been our job (the coaching staff) to pick the boys up."
Tuesday night saw a heated exchange of words between Kyle Perry and Luke Jones in the final seconds.
But Holdsworth insists the pair have no issues and it was simply their passion boiling over in the heat of the moment.
"All my players care and there was a lot of people down in the dumps," he said.
"Passions were riding high and I would rather my players express their feelings, as long as it is in a constructive way.
"Jonah has been outstanding recently and I have been delighted with the input of big Pezza as well.
"What that incident showed was their commitment above anything else – they are both winners.
"When you are down in the dumps, it affects you. There was nothing untoward, it was just out of frustration and they shook hands afterwards."
Holdsworth is looking forward to getting back to League action today, the first of a home double header that also sees big guns Luton Town head to Field Mill on Tuesday night.
"Eastbourne are a very competitive side. They have some very good players," said Holdsworth.
"But we are not focusing on them too much and instead are trying to lift our players."
The threat of a Mansfield 'hangover' from four days ago is very real.
But Holdsworth is doing everything in his power to act as a metaphorical Paracetamol.
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