HOLDSWORTH, SPEIGHT, BROUGH, MARTIN LING REACTION
David Holdsworth video interview --->
David Holdsworth and Martin Ling BBC radio interviews --->
Mansfield manager David Holdsworth told BBC Radio Nottingham:
"It's a wonderful victory for us. We knew we were going to have to dig in today.
"I cant speak highly enough of their mannerisms. They led from the front and there were some solid performances out there.
"I think in recent games it hasn't gone our way and we haven't had that slice of luck or good fortune. Today we earned that"
Cambridge manager Martin Ling today BBC Radio Cambridgeshire:
"I thought for the first half we were the better team. We passed it well and we passed it better than them.
"We keep talking about we're doing right but what we're doing wrong is we're letting them score too easily.
"I think the young centre-halves got caught out for their second goal and that's what cost us."
Speight and Brough video interviews --->
Martin Ling reaction --->
by Matt Ramsay
Ling: "Not Good Enough to Get Point"
Following his side's 2-1 defeat at Mansfield on Monday, manager Martin Ling was forced to reflect on the absence of key players from his line-up and the impact it had on the performance.
With Wayne Hatswell suspended and Paul Carden and Brian Saah injured followed by Dan Gleeson going off with a broken nose in the second half, it was a young looking U's eleven, as Ling highlighted. "If you look at having McAuley and Coulson in the defence and then having Jai and young Ivesy, you're very young in that department.
"We keep making excuses, I think Rory and Coulson between them got caught out for their second goal and that's what's cost us. You end up with Tonkin at right back and Coakley at left back, and you've got no Saah, no Hatswell, no Gleeson at that stage and no Carden.
"Against a side that had lost that much of its experience we looked decent but not good enough to get a point."
Reflecting on the game, Ling had no complaints about the result but was pleased with elements of the performance. "I think for the first half we were the better team, we passed it well, passed it better than them against a team that's up there.
"On a difficult surface I think we passed the ball well, created chances and their keeper's working alot more than ours. Our goal was a great example of that, it's a great ball by Pitty and it's worked across by Tonkin, and Chrissy (Holroyd) does what he does best.
"For the first fifteen minutes of the second half we went to sleep and it was backs to the wall stuff from there. We didn't get enough shots for, but they have and one has gone in and that covers the cracks in their team."
Explaining the absence of senior players Carden and Saah, Ling was also keen to offer praise to some of his junior pros.
"Carden's got a calf muscle which he did the other day and Brian's got a gluteal muscle in his backside. They came with us just in case but there was no way they could play, we couldn't even give them a fitness test.
"It's a problem losing Brian at the same time as Hatswell, though I thought McAuley especially did well with the things he did. We ended as a back three again trying to chase it, but to no avail again."
Dan Gleeson went off injured in the second half, lowering the average age of the side still further, and Ling is waiting to find out if he'll be without today's captain for any length of time.
"He's got a badly broken nose. I've spoken to Greg about it and we're going to have to get a specialist to look at it. He'll decide if an operation is needed and if there is if it can wait until the end of the season. Certainly it was massively out of place and it's had to have been put back in place. For Friday we might be without him and we'll be without Hats, it might be another case where we have to patch it up.
"We had the luck earlier in the season with injuries and suspensions but now that luck's gone against us and it starts to expose you a little bit."
Finishing by addressing the situation regarding Carden and Saah ahead of Friday's short trip to Stevenage Borough, Ling is more confident that his side will welcome back some of its senior members.
"I think there's every chance, we've got four days before the game so hopefully we'll have them back, and certainly going to a tough place like Stevenage we'll need them back."
Brough puts case for a place in Stags' defence
MICHAEL Brough is hoping to persuade Mansfield Town boss David Holdsworth he deserves a run at centre back.
The loan signing from Torquay United is tipped to complete a permanent move to Field Mill in the January transfer window.
And the former Notts County man is keen to make a lasting impression at Field Mill in his favoured position.
Brough has played the vast number of his nine starts for the Stags in central midfield and has also filled in at full-back.
But he figured alongside Scott Garner against Cambridge on Monday and put in an assured display as Mansfield earned a 2-1 victory.
"I a more than happy to play anywhere for the gaffer – he has wanted me in midfield and in the holding role and I would do my best if he wanted me to go more attacking," said Brough.
"But I have said before I enjoy it in the centre of defence. That is probably my best position these days.
"I would like to get a run of games there so I can show what I can do.
"Being consistent is what I have always prided myself on and I want to produce that for the manager."
Brough feels Mansfield's win over Cambridge ahead of their blank weekend over the New Year was a critical result .
The success – secured by goals from Kyle Perry and Jake Speight – saw the Stags climb back into Blue Square Premier play-off places.
Brough said: "It was an enormous win for us against Cambridge, really big.
"It has been a frustrating period for us, especially at home, and we wanted to put in right. It was a great turn-out from the fans, which could not have been the case with our recent sticky run."
Speight is 'super sub' once more
CHAD.co.uk, 28 December 2009, By John Lomas
MATCHWINNER Jake Speight once again produced one of his 'super sub' performances to grab the crucial goal in the 2-1 win over Cambridge United today.
"When you are sat on the bench and it's 1-1 you know it's made for you to come on and get the winner," he said.
"I have scored quite a few goals from the bench and, to be honest, I was disappointed not to start today.
"I was playing fairly well before my injury and illness problems and it's just been about getting my fitness back.
"Kyle Perry and Louis Briscoe flicked the ball on from Silky's throw and I saw the last defender coming and took it round him."
He added: "The gaffer said before kick-off that it was the last game of the year and we had to make it count.
"The fans were massive for us today as results had not gone our way in the last few games.
"They have been brilliant all season and helped us get our confidence back. It was important we ended the year on a high today and we have gone out and done that.
"Now I want to win back a place in the starting line-up in the New Year."
Manager David Holdsworth said: "I am delighted for the boys and for our supporters. It was a nice way to send the fans home for our last game of the year.
"We showed great depth of character today and dominated the game. The players really had to dig deep and they deserved the credit today.
"I am very proud of them as it was a very solid performance.
"These lads like playing for this football club and it's important you enjoy it as life is not a rehearsal.
"I was very disappointed to concede when we had dominated the game and led. But it was important to keep them up at half time.
"Conditions were difficult with the pitch not at its best and we had to accommodate that.
"Managing the players has been difficult this last five or six weeks with injuries and illness as well as other problems we have encountered. But we have stuck together and togetherness is an important aspect at any football club and not something you can buy.
You have to gel it.
"Something I have learned from my career is you have to stick to your discipline and beliefs.
"A lot will have been looking at our recent results and saying Mansfield are having a bit of a blip and it takes character to bounce back.
"There have been a lot of difficulties behind the scenes which I won't go into as I am not looking for excuses.
"We have played teams recently who have some very large financial backing while nothing has changed in our budget here. We are not able to spend and spend like some clubs and I recognise that.
"There are always going to be days when things don't go as you want. But we only lost one home league game in 2009 and the players deserve the credit, though I recognise the fans player their part too. Our future could be very healthy."
New skipper is star of the show
CHAD.co.uk, 28 December 2009, By John Lomas
CLUB captain Ryan Williams marked his return to the side with the team captain's armband and a Man of the Match display in the 2-1 home win over Cambridge United on Monday.
Williams had been on the bench for the last four games after boss David Holdsworth decided he needed a rest and he was back with a bang today with an all-action display down the flanks.
"I felt Ryan deserved the armband today," said Holdsworth. "I had given it Scott Garner who is a young man still learning the game and this is his first full season.
"So I decided to take the responsibility off his shoulders today and it proved to be the correct decision."
Holdsworth said it was important he took Williams out of the side after he took some stick from supporters during the side's recent poor spell of results.
"It's all about man-management and I know my players," he said. "When the little fellow was booed here, it really hurt him and I had to deal with that.
"He is a local man and he was tired and trying to do a bit too much. I think the world of him and I know the fans love him as he always gets man of the match when he plays here.
"Sometimes you just have to look after them and put an arm around them."
Holdsworth: A leap of faith for Stags
DAVID Holdsworth saluted his Mansfield Town players for battling their way to victory against Cambridge United so soon after defeat to York.
The Stags were beaten 3-0 by the Minstermen on Boxing Day to slip out of the Blue Square Premier play-off spots for the first time all season.
But a 2-1 Field Mill success over the Us – their first home win in six matches – saw them leap back into fourth place.
Holdsworth felt his players deserved a pat on the back for keeping the faith and not losing belief in their own ability.
"A lot of people will have looked at us and wondered if we were on the slide, but that performance shows our character," he said.
"This wasn't going to be an easy game and there have been a lot of difficulties behind the scenes which I won't go into because I'm not looking for excuses.
"Some of our fans may have questioned our character but I'm not here to please everyone.
"You have to deal with situations and I'm delighted with this victory for the players and the supporters.
"I thought we dominated the first half and in the second half we were powerful and showed our spirit in tricky conditions.
"The players have stuck together and that is an important aspect at any club."
Holdsworth will be looking to juggle his squad again in January, when the transfer window opens once more. He is hoping some of his squad will play a behind-closed doors friendly against Rotherham United today.
Holdsworth said: "I have decisions to make about some of the players.
"I know the type of player and the position where I think we need to strengthen. I know what I am looking for.
"We need to make sure we are secure for the remainder of the season."
Just massive, says Speight
MATCHWINNER Jake Speight labelled Mansfield's victory over Cambridge United as 'massive'.
The Stags have struggled at home in recent times and had not won in five attempts at Field Mill prior to the visit of the Us.
But they got back on track with a 2-1 success that Speight hopes will be the springboard for a strong play-off push.
"A home win has been a long time coming and that is just what we needed – it was massive," said Speight (pictured).
"It has been frustrating for everyone.
"And when you have not been winning regularly it can affect your confidence.
"But that was a good second-half performance from us and I think we deserved it.
"Results haven't gone for us recently for one reason or another but the fans stuck behind us even when they equalised.
"That helped and hopefully now we can put a good set of results together."
Speight's crucial 73rd-minute strike came after Kyle Perry had opened the scoring and Chris Holroyd levelled for Cambridge. He said: "I have been out with an injury and then had a chest infection so it was great to get back out there again and score.
"I have got seven now and hopefully I can go on and get into double figures quickly."
Ling so frustrated as U's fall short
MARTIN Ling was disappointed a makeshift Cambridge United returned empty-handed after yesterday's 2-1 defeat at Blue Square Premier promotion-chasers Mansfield.
United were without regular centre-halves Wayne Hatswell (suspended) and Brian Saah because of a glute strain, while skipper Paul Carden was ruled out with a calf problem.
And they were later hit by the loss of stand-in captain Dan Gleeson, who broke his nose in the second half.
Ling said: "It was a patched-up defence if you look at Josh Coulson and Rory McAuley, and Jai Reason and Ivesy (Sam Ives) in midfield made us very young in that department.
"But I thought for the first half we were the better team. We played well, passed it better than them, but what we're doing wrong is letting the opposition score too easily.
"The young centre-halves got caught out for the second goal, without a shadow of a doubt, and that's what costs you.
"With a team that's lost a big part of its experience we played decent but not well enough to get a point, which is disappointing.
"The frustrating thing is that, on a difficult surface, we passed the ball well and their keeper has had more to do than Danny Potter.
"Our goal was a perfect example, but then it went a little bit backs-against-the-wall from there."
Ling was hopeful both Carden and Saah would be fit for the New Year's Day trip to Stevenage and that, possibly, Gleeson would be available.
He said: "We brought Brian and Paul with us to give them a fitness test, but they were nowhere near ready.
"There's every chance of them being ready for Stevenage. We're going to need them back with 'Hats' being out.
"Dan has a badly-broken nose but, hopefully, if he needs an operation it won't be until the end of the season. It's been put back in place, but it's a real mess. I'm sure he'll know it if he takes another whack on it."
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