HOLDSWORTH AND FOYLE REACTION
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Stags duo take blame for crucial mistakes
CHAD.co.uk, 26 December 2009, By John Lomas
LUKE Jones and Alan Marriott held their hands up for errors which cost Stags dearly in a 3-0 Boxing day defeat at play-off rivals York City which saw Stags stumble out of the top five.
Keeper Marriott came for, but failed to grab, a cross for the first goal and when Jones was sent off just after the break for bringing down Man of the Match Richard Brodie as last man, it was all over for the visitors.
It was a 10th win in 11 unbeaten games for York – their best run since 1955 while Stags were left looking to regain their form with a home clash with Cambridge on Monday at Field Mill where they have not won in their last five outings.
Boss David Holdsworth said: "Incidents within the game cost us dearly, especially when we lost Luke.
"That was a huge moment in the game and Luke has held his hands up and apologised.
"I wanted us to go back out there and get a bright start after there wasn't much in it in the first half. But the boy made an error and it cost us. Now we have to move on.
"Alan Marriott blamed himself for the first goal though I couldn't see as there was a crowd of players there. He said he had the ball but couldn't keep his hands on it.
"I thought we worked hard all afternoon, even with 10 men, though needed to create a bit more in the final third.
"York are on a good run and you have to give them credit. We'd all like to be on a run like that. They have a very good partnership up front with two very willing runners.
"York are no mugs and know what it's about. They are up there with Oxford, work very hard and are organised."
He added: "It is important people now respond on Monday. They will all be in tomorrow morning again and we will dust ourselves down and keep our principles right which is important.
"Hopefully I can give them the lift they need. The last thing they need right now is me shouting at them. Confidence is a huge factor in football. It would be irresponsible of me.
"I will be constructive as I am never negative."
Holdsworth is hoping Rob Duffy, Craig Armstrong and Blair Sturrock will all be feeling better after an illness that has ravaged the squad in the past three weeks.
"I can't change things dramatically and it would be good if I get some more players back off their sickbeds for Monday," he said. "I would give anything for three points right now."
Holdsworth is hopeful he can bring in extra quality in the transfer market but knows finances may thwart his plans.
"I would love to bring in a couple of players," he said. "The chairman and I have a good relationship and we are doing the best we can with what we have got. I don't ask for any more. We'll have to see what happens.
"We have created an opportunity for ourselves with our form in the first half of the season.
"I know the fans will be disappointed, their support was tremendous again today. I am sure they are unhappy at the moment as we are not winning. We need to roll our sleeves up and put things right."
Holdsworth: Stags in need of a boost
DAVID Holdsworth admits his Mansfield Town side is in desperate need of a confidence-boosting home victory against Cambridge United today.
The Stags host the Us having been beaten 3-0 by in-form York City at the Kit Kat Crescent on Boxing Day.
The result saw Holdsworth's team drop out of the play-off places for the first time since the opening weeks of the season.
And with things currently going against his charges, he is hoping things will run their way back on home turf.
"It is important how we respond to the York defeat and the players have already been back in to work on things," said Holdsworth.
"We dusted ourselves down and hopefully got back on track. We have to make sure we get people off the sick bed.
"I'm never negative in defeat, just constructive. When the players are down and have played 40 minutes with ten men, they don't need kicking any more when they have another game two days later.
"It would have been rather inconsiderate to knock them, you have to try to lift them and that's what we have done.
"Beating Cambridge would be the best Christmas present we could have. I would give anything for three points right now.
"Confidence is a huge factor – we all have that in our make-up and to deal with it we have to roll our sleeves up and fight.
"I understand that we have not had a win at home for a while and we want to put that right.
"Patience is always going to be the key at home. I have got an imagination of where I want the side to be but at the moment we have to be pragmatic."
Holdsworth felt individual errors, rather than the shape or make-up of the team that led to the loss at York.
He said: "It was disappointing to lose, of course, and incidents happened in the game that cost us dearly.
"Alan Marriott blamed himself for the first goal, saying he should have claimed it but didn't."
"At half-time I explained to Luke (Jones) and Scott (Garner) that they were up against extremely willing runners, a very strong pairing.
"They had to keep their bodies in line with the ball and deal with things effectively.
"But Luke put his hands up and apologised, the boy has made an error.
"I asked for a bright start on the second half and we wanted to create more, which is why I changed it.
"But then the little man (Williams) didn't get the chance to make the impact he might as we were down to ten men straight away."
York's win gave them a 10th win in 11 games and Holdsworth paid tribute to the Mistermen.
"They are on a good run, are organised and play the channels very well and the partnership they had up front (Brodie and Rankine) was the big difference," said Holdsworth.
"They are doing very well and you have to give them credit. They are up there with the Oxfords of this league.
Stags are no sinking ship says Williams
RYAN Williams is convinced Mansfield Town will not fall away to become also rans this season.
The Stags have struggled to find their best form of late, having had a flying start to the season.
But winger Williams – a second-half substitute at York – says there is no cause for panic.
"The only thing we can do after the York game is bounce back and I'm sure we will," he said.
"It would have been hard enough to beat York with eleven men, but we were always going to find it hard when we played most of the second half with ten.
"At times like this, you have to stick together. We said at the start of the season there would be times when we would have a sticky patch.
"Some people are probably saying now that they are not sure about us; that we are a sinking ship.
"But we are staying positive. This means a lot to us and we want to keep going in the right direction.
"We have another game against Cambridge now and we move forward and concentrate on that."
Striker Kyle Perry also believes Mansfield will get their act together before too long.
He added: "Every game is massive for us at the moment because we are disappointed with things.
"We have got some lads in the dressing room who are hard cases and they have the determination to get us going again.
"All we need is one good result to go our way and then you can be off on another run.
"That's the beauty of football – you never know what is around the corner.
"I don't think we are doing too much wrong and when something clicks I think we will start to find that consistency again."
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