Stags miss out on deadline day signings
Evening Post, February 02, 2010
MANSFIELD Town boss David Holdsworth is confident he has enough cover at left-back – despite missing out on his deadline day targets.
Having decided to allow Paul Heckingbottom to join fellow Blue Square Premier side Gateshead on loan for the rest of the season, he was hoping to bring in competition for Craig Armstrong.
Holdsworth spoke to several players about a move to Field Mill but was unable to clinch a deal before the permanent window shut at 5pm yesterday.
He will, of course, be able to look at the situation in a week's time when loan signings will once again be permitted.
In the meantime, Holdsworth believes that other players in his squad are versatile enough to fill in at left-back should Armstrong be injured or suspended.
"Unfortunately, a signing did not materialise as I had hoped, but these things happen sometimes," said Holdsworth.
"I was close to getting something agreed with a couple of players, but as the hours tick down, then the prices tend to go up.
"In the end, we couldn't meet the demands of those we wanted to bring in. We were priced out of it.
"But I have still got one loan available to use and I may look into that.
"Left-back is a specialist position in my view and, in an ideal world, I would like to have a left-footer there.
"With Hecks having gone, I can still play Michael Brough there as well as using Andy Burgess, so we still have options."
Heckingbottom has joined ex-Stag Daryl Clare in making a switch to the International Stadium after being left out of the side in recent weeks.
He has made 13 appearances for the Stags in all competitions since signing from Bradford City in the summer, scoring once.
Holdsworth said: "Paul wants to play first team football and Gateshead can guarantee that. We wish him all the very best."
video interview with David Holdsworth, Mon 01 Feb 2010 --->
preview from mansfieldtown.net ---->
No fresh injury worries for Gaffer
Posted on: Mon 01 Feb 2010
Manager David Holdsworth has no fresh injury concerns to contend with going into tomorrow night's away trip to the Racecourse Ground.
Striker Jon Shaw is unlikely to be risked, despite an improvement to his calf injury, and is expected to return to full training on Thursday whilst Kyle Nix is also unlikely to make the trip to North Wales after aggravating an ankle injury during a practice match last week.
The Gaffer has said that he does not feel the need to make many changes to the side that bagged a seventh away win of the campaign at Forest Green on Saturday.
He said: "The squad picks itself at the moment. If they (the players) want to get in it they will have to work very hard and I don't see any reason why we should change it."
Holdsworth is expecting a tough game at the Racecourse tomorrow night against a Wrexham side sitting mid-table and says that he has an enormous amount of respect for the capabilities of Dragon's boss Dean Saunders. In addition, he does not want a repeat of our trip to North Wales last season when we slumped to a 2-0 defeat after a poor performance last April.
He added: "Dean Saunders is an ex-colleague of mine and is doing a good job at Wrexham. We will give them the respect they fully deserve.
"They started off the campaign with people putting them down as play off contenders but it's not an easy league. I speak to Dean (Saunders) about things and it takes time to build a side.
"He's doing a good job and people are noticing that because it's the business end of the season. They are starting to pick up now but it's taken him time to get the players in that he wanted.
"They will be lifted by the win at Altrincham on Saturday which is never an easy place to go.
"I'm expecting a good game - I wasn't pleased when we went down there last season and felt embarrassed. It decided the future of some of my players that day and stopped their careers with Mansfield Town."
Following our comprehensive 4-1 demolition of Forest Green at the weekend, the Gaffer singled out the performances of centre half Luke Jones, who scored his second brace in as many games, and Rob Duffy who rediscovered his scoring touch after a goal drought dating back over two months.
He added: "Looking back on the game, they were very good points won away from home.
"I'm delighted that he (Luke Jones) has got a return, delighted with his work and that he is providing us with some ammunition. I am very pleased to see him with a smile on his face.
"It's great to see Duffers executing the ball well. Rob, by his own admission, has increased his workload in training and that (scoring again) will give him the confidence to add to his tally. He has done well for us."
In other news, a practice match has been arranged against Nottingham Forest for fringe players who do not feature against Wrexham tomorrow night which is due to be played at the Boots Training Ground in Nottingham at midday on Wednesday 3rd February.
Stags chase away win number eight at Wrexham
CHAD.co.uk, 01 February 2010, By John Lomas
MANSFIELD Town head for improving Wrexham tomorrow night (7.45pm) looking for away win number eight after Saturday's 4-1 success at Forest Green Rovers.
The match has already been postponed once just before Christmas and, despite two inches of snow on the pitch today and heavy rain expected later, the Dragons are still hopeful it will go ahead this time.
Wrexham are slowly pulling themselves up the table after a poor start and Stags boss David Holdsworth said: "We won't underestimate Wrexham. I used to play with Dean Saunders and we speak regularly.
"He is doing a good job there and they will be lifted by the win at Altrincham on Saturday which is never as easy place to go.
"A lot has been made of Dean Saunders and their start to the season as they were a play-offs favourite.
"But it is not that easy in this division and it has taken time for Dean to get in the players he wanted.
"People were calling for his head early on which was ridiculous as he is a tremendous character, a good manager and has a wealth of knowledge.
"Now they are picking up, people are noticing, particularly as it's the business end of the season.
"They will want to climb the table as quickly as possible and the acquisition of Mangan (Andy) was a tremendous signing.
"With Gareth Taylor up front too, they have a really good combination."
Last yeat Mansfield tamely surrendered 2-0 at a place they rarely enjoy success and Holdsworth added: ""I was embarrassed by our performance there last season and it decided the future of some of my players that day.
"It stopped their careers at Mansfield Town, even though I had to continue with some of them to the end of the season."
Kyle Nix missed out on a return to the squad at Forest Green with a niggle in his ankle injury following a reserve outing and he will be rested until the weekend while Jon Shaw will also stay behind, despite his calf strain improving.
The 4-1 win at Forest Green on Saturday followed the 4-0 thrashing of Rovers' fellow strugglers Chester the week before.
But Holdsworth insisted neither were easy games in an unpredictable league.
"Nothing is a given in this division," he said. "All you can do is work as hard as possible and hope you get the returns.
"Look what happened at Luton with Ebbsfleet. There are no easy games in this division.
"You judge each game on its merits and do things correctly. You expect the same motivation and application.
"We have five away matches this month and must try to pick up points. The set-up is important.
"We must not be too elaborate away from home. If we are rock solid and defend tightly then that gives you a platform. So our defenders deserve as much credit as the forwards.
"I made changes in midfield on Saturday as I wanted us to be hard to beat.
"At Wimbledon I didn't think the midfield was as tight as it needed to be. In the last five seasons the sides at the top of this division have been hard to beat away from home. On Saturday we looked strong and committed.
"It was not a pitch for football so it was all about being strong.
"We now have a good points tally away from home and the boys are resting up for Wrexham."
Today is the last day for transfers in the January window and Holdsworth confirmed there may be more activity at Field Mill by the end of the day.
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