Holdsworth happy with second half fightback
CHAD.co.uk, 30 January 2010, By John Lomas
DAVID Holdsworth was a happy man to see his Mansfield Town side come from behind to win 4-1 at Forest Green Rovers this afternoon.
The emphatic result also justified his decision to make two changes after winning 4-0 at home last weekend against Chester.
"The most important thing today was the character the boys showed and I think that is now seven wins away from home this season," said the Stags boss.
"I was very pleased with the set-up today. When you change things round after a victory you leave yourself open to be shot at.
"But we dominated and were closer in midfield which was good.
"There was not too much wrong in the first half but, with the clock running down, you have to stay patient and I just told the boys to up the tempo and that would get us back in the game.
"I thought we played fine in a keenly-contested first half and only gave them one chancre from which they scored. I was disappointed in the manner in which we let them score.
"But there was no need to scream and shout just because we were losing. I had to be calculated and professional and just told them to up the tempo.
"With Ryan Williams' crosses and Jon Challinor's long throws it was just a case of getting into the right place and on your toes for second phase opportunities.
"We were getting chances before we scored and their keeper had pulled off a fantastic save."
Defender Luke Jones bagged a brace for the second game on the trot and said: "I think I have a better goals ratio than the strikers at the moment but I will stick to defending which is my bread and butter.
"When I scored I was going to run into the crowd but I had been booked already. Then I slid along on the ice which wasn't a good idea either!"
Ryan Williams, who set up three of the four goals, added: "I think Luke has the knack of scoring now and will be staying forward.
"That's four goals for him all season including training!
"We didn't play badly in the first half, though not as high as our usual standards. But we came out all guns blazing, got on top, and never looked back."
Foster is the key as Stags exploit space
LUKE Jones believes the arrival of new central defensive partner Luke Foster has helped him to net four goals in his last two outings.
Following up his double against Chester, the former Kidderminster man hit Forest Green with another one-two as Mansfield ran out 4-1 winners.
Vice-captain Jones says skipper Foster, a recent signing from Oxford, is opening up space in the box that he and other players can attack.
"It's unbelievable to have another two goals – it's a bit like buses in that I couldn't score and they've all come at once," he said.
"I could have had a hat-trick because their keeper pulled off a fantastic save.
"Now Luke is here, we have another big lad and when we are all on the move it is difficult to stop.
"Their big markers can only take one player each and they can be taken out of the way, so that usually leaves chances for someone else.
"After getting my first one, that gives you the confidence to get more.
"Ryan Williams is on fire at the moment. His delivery is spot on."
Mansfield had been struggling to score goals either side of Christmas, but have now bagged eight in their last two games.
Jones says that is a huge boost ahead of tomorrow night's trip to Wrexham.
He said: "We have had a period where we were not scoring many goals. The good thing was that we were still creating chances so we were not too worried. Now we are starting to put a few of them away."
Holdsworth throws down challenge to Stags
DAVID Holdsworth today challenged his Mansfield Town side to put together the kind of unbeaten run that will ensure they clinch a play-off berth, following Saturday's best away win under his charge at Forest Green.
The Stags came from a goal down to run out handsome 4-1 winners at the New Lawn with two goals from Luke Jones and one each for top scorer Rob Duffy and Jake Speight.
The result enabled Mansfield to complete a Blue Square Premier double over Rovers, having beaten them 1-0 at Field Mill in October.
It also saw the Stags take some revenge for their FA Cup replay exit at the hands of Dave Hockaday's men in November.
But manager Holdsworth was more concerned it kept Mansfield in the play-off places and, after consecutive wins for the first time since October, he is looking for his charges to become hard to beat.
"Now we have two wins on the bounce, we want to keep the run going for as long as we can," he said.
"We have seen just down the road how wonderfully well Nottingham Forest have done recently and what that can do for you.
"If we can do something like that then you just never know what can happen if other teams slip up.
"But we will concentrate on our own jobs. We never get too down even when we suffer a defeat because we believe in what we are doing.We will stick to our principles because it seems to be working."
Mansfield's points tally of 50 before the end of January represents a healthy return and their win in Gloucestershire was a seventh on the road in the league this season.
But Holdsworth is not about to get carried away and knows a setback can be just around the corner.
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