HOLDSWORTH, JONES, BOGIE REACTION
David Holdsworth video interview --->
Luke Jones video interview --->
Price experiment a success, but Stags flop in front of 7,000
CHAD.co.uk, 06 February 2010, By John Lomas
IT was a bitter-sweet afternoon for the Stags board and manager as the town turned out in their numbers to show support for the 'pay what you like' offer only to see Stags flop against lowly Gateshead on Saturday afternoon.
A crowd of 7,261 saw the visitors win 2-0 and chairman Andy Perry said: "We asked the people of Mansfield to back us and what a backing it was!
"It was fantastic. We even had to open up the North Stand to them which was like the old days. It just shows they are out there.
"I understand a few eventually couldn't get in as we had to have an area for segregation.
"It was a tremendous crowd and I just wish we could have sent them away with a smile on their faces.
"If we had got 5,000 in today it would have been a success so over 7,000 was an amazing gate and I hope the game hasn't put them off coming here again.
"It wasn't pretty out there today but there is a long way to go to the end of the season still.
"We will discuss the aftermath of the day on Monday, see how we did on the monetary side, and you never know, we may do it again sometime."
Manager David Holdsworth held a lengthy inquest with his players in the dressing room afterwards and then said: "I am extremely disappointed – it's as simple as that.
"Our first half display was inept and totally appalling. They were given a rollicking at half-time and rightly so.
"The players didn't show any character, desire or what they can do and they need to take a look at themselves.
"Their first goal was a deflection and the keeper would have saved it so that was a slice of luck. But if you don't shoot you don't score.
"But it seemed to knock us for six. I don't know if it was the occasion or the big crowd but some players froze. If they can't deal with a 7,000 crowd they shouldn't be in football.
"The fans were excellent and it was a wonderful gesture from the board to let them in for what they wanted to pay today. So on behalf of my players I am extremely disappointed for them to witness such a poor first half.
"The second half response was okay and their talented young keeper made some good saves. But we shouldn't have allowed the ball to bounce for their second goal.
"We had a big discussion afterwards on character and other things we need to address which will remain private."
"We have come here and spoiled the party in front of Mansfield's biggest crowd for many a year," said delighted Head boss Ian Bogie.
"I think they expected us to come here and be rolled over which I said before the game.
"We have been playing all right but results haven't been going our way. Today we showed great spirit and we could have been 3-0 up at half-time as we had gilt-edged chances which was disappointing.
"Mansfield were left playing long, hopeful balls that we coped with admirably. They never carved us open and Paul Farman produced one of the best displays of goalkeeping I have seen for a long time.
"Brian Wake also gave a great display at centre forward on his full debut.
"We didn't just snatch a win, we were good value for it. It was a great team effort.
"But we won't get carried away. It is just one game and we have 16 or so cup finals to come. But if we play like that week in week out not many teams will beat us."
Attendance doubles as Mansfield fans pay what they want
By Catherine Etoe, BBC.co.uk
Mansfield Town's decision to allow fans to pay what they liked to watch their team saw the home attendance more than double on Saturday.
Kick-off against Gateshead was delayed by 10 minutes as more than 7,000 supporters took up the club's offer.
The bumper crowd failed to inspire the Stags as they lost 2-0, but spokesman Mark Stevenson told BBC Sport the club was delighted with the fans' support.
"The scenes in the first-half brought back memories of the 1980s," he said.
"The players appreciated the huge crowd. Unfortunately they had an off-day but they would love to play in front of that many people every week.
"We hope that people, despite the result, had an enjoyable day and will return - we are becoming a hub of the community again."
Extra police and a full quota of staff were brought in on the day to marshal the crowd at the Field Mill ground, which has a capacity for 9,400 supporters.
With fans paying as little as three pence and as much as £50 on the day - usual ticket prices are £16 - Mr Stevenson said he expected gate receipts to be up.
Believed to be the first of its kind in English football, the club will evaluate the day before they decide whether to run the scheme again.
Stevenson added: "We are just delighted to know for certain that there are more people out there."
The Blue Square Premier side is currently owned by fans Andrew Perry, Andrew Saunders and Steve Middleton.
The trio clubbed together to buy out owner Keith Haslam in 2008 and decided to allow fans to pay what they liked to boost the crowd and thank the people of Mansfield.
The resulting crowd of 7,261 was 4,000 more than usually come through the turnstiles at Field Mill.
It also beat the 2007 high of 6,500 for the visit of Middlesbrough in the FA Cup, although demand was even higher with some fans turned away as the ground filled up.
"We had to use the away stand to seat home supporters which has never been heard of in recent times," said Stevenson.
"There was no trouble and both sets of supporters appreciated the fact that everywhere was choc-a-block."
Stags blown away by response of fans
Monday, February 08, 2010
MANSFIELD TOWN chairman Andrew Perry says he was 'blown away' by Saturday's attendance at home to Gateshead as the Stags recorded their highest Field Mill gate in almost eight years.
A bumper 7,261 spectators crammed into the ground to take advantage of the club's offer which allowed supporters to pay any amount they wanted to see the match – an offer the Stags are keen to repeat.
Income from Saturday's match is still being calculated and it is expected that gate receipts will exceed a normal home matchday – although the exact figure will remain private.
Perry said: "We are still in the process of analysing all our income streams from Saturday's match; programme sales etc, beverages but this initiative wasn't about making money.
"It was all about inviting the people of Mansfield to come and support the team in our fight for promotion. The fans certainly played their part.
"The response from the people of Mansfield blew our minds. We've had some excellent e-mails from supporters who will still come back despite the result.
"We felt we had let the fans down by not getting the result we wanted."
Perry says the club will repeat the offer next season following its massive success.
"We will look to do it again – I have no doubt about that, but it will be next season. We may well even tell supporters which game we will apply it to when the fixtures come out ahead of next season.
"If we could turn to the town and ask for a figure which they would be willing to pay every home game then we would look at that too. We need feedback.
"I hope the result and performance didn't put some people off and that they still enjoyed the day.
"But it isn't about one game, it is about a whole season. We are still in a very healthy position, sitting in the play-offs. So I would say to the town 'Keep smiling and keep supporting our lads'."
Stags boss Holdsworth: We let down the fans
MANSFIELD Town boss David Holdsworth felt his players let down the bumper crowd that turned out to support them against struggling Gateshead.
The kick off at Field Mill on Saturday had to be delayed by 20 minutes to allow the 7,261 fans to cram into the ground for the Blue Square Premier clash.
It was a superb response to an initiative from the club's owners, to let fans pay what they wanted to see the game.
And with a ticket effectively costing just a penny, the crowd swelled only for Brian Wake's brace to inflict a 2-0 defeat on play-off chasing Mansfield.
Holdsworth said: "I am disappointed for the fans to witness such a poor first half.
"The chairman and board did a great job and it was an equally great gesture from the town and I am very grateful for that.
"The owners have always been pragmatic and innovative and when the players cross that line, they cannot do any more.
"Players have to take responsibility and hopefully they will now respond in the right fashion against Stevenage (tomorrow). If they don't, they will find themselves sitting with the rest of the 7,000 next time.
"They got a rollicking at half time and quite rightly so because the first half performance was inept. There were players there who did not show any character or any desire and they did not show what they could do. They need to look at themselves for that.
"I will not single anybody out but the first half performance was totally appalling."
The Stags were 1-0 down at the interval and conceded three minutes after the break as they lost only their second league match on home soil in 14 months.
"In the first half we could have been blown away and they had two or three very good chances. We were far below the standard I expect and the criticism I aimed at the players was quite correct," added Holdsworth.
Players froze says Holdsworth
DAVID Holdsworth felt his players froze in front of a bumper crowd at Field Mill, as they slipped to a crushing defeat against Gateshead.
The Stags were expected to sweep aside the struggling north east side, who had not won in seven league games.
Despite the club allowing fans to enter by paying just a penny, the 7,621 crowd were left disappointed as the Stags slipped to a 2-0 defeat.
The Stags boss said: "The first goal was a slice of luck with the deflection, but if you don't shoot you don't score.
"The start knocked us for six and whether it was the occasion and the bigger crowd, I don't know, but we just froze. Unfortunately we did not put crosses in, we did not provide support and it bounced off us too much up top. It was disappointing.
"If you cannot deal with 7,000 fans you should not be a footballer. I am not going to make excuses because the fans were excellent, the club has done a great job with this gesture to the community. But the players, once they have crossed that line, have not stepped up so they must take responsibility.
"I do not mind suffering a defeat but the first-half performance was shocking.
"I said the start was all-important and they got the start they needed. We did not show character or the response we were looking for.
"Their midfield dominated ours, won a lot more second balls than we did and that had a huge bearing on the game."
Holdsworth kept his players in the dressing room for more than half hour after the final whistle to discuss the inept performance.
And he wants to see a reaction against high-flying Stevenage tomorrow night.
He said: "We had a big discussion afterwards and one thing was about character and we spoke about things that needed to be addressed.
"That will remain private but, as a manager and a football club, it is important we see a positive reaction."
Latest | February 2010