Holdsworth video interview --->
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Holdsworth: Stags must stay in control
DAVID Holdsworth has called on his Mansfield Town players to stay focused and maintain control after returning to winning ways against Tamworth.
The Stags had suffered three successive defeats before Saturday's match and had dropped out of the play-off places.
It made the weekend's encounter even more crucial but they responded by winning 4-2 against Gary Mills' side.
Boss Holdsworth said: "We will work hard in every game and we are in the business end now. There were a lot of nerves out there but we must keep control, be patient and stay focused and professional. That is all I ever ask.
"It is a wonderful victory but we must keep ourselves focused.
"I said earlier that every game should be treated like a cup final, and it is the same in our next game, against Rushden. I have enormous respect for them. They have done very well this season."
Mansfield were 3-1 up at the break but were pegged back five minutes into the second half. But Blair Sturrock struck late on to seal the three points against a side that had gone ten matches unbeaten.
Holdsworth said: "We went to Tamworth, who had just beaten Stevenage, and we knew it would be tough. I have a lot of respect for their manager, Gary Mills, and his side. So to come here and score four goals, when they do not concede many, is great.
"It was a difficult game and good entertainment. It was scintillating at times, but we should have put the game to bed earlier."
Holdsworth delighted with Stags' finishing
MANSFIELD Town boss David Holdsworth said the most pleasing aspect of Saturday's victory was the Stags' finishing.
Rob Duffy, Jon Shaw, Andy Nicholas and Blair Sturrock all produced great strikes in the 4-2 win at Tamworth.
Holdsworth said: "I have to praise my players because they finished very well.
"Rob Duffy's was well-worked. We work on that in training and I think there was some very good finishing.
"Technique-wise, head over the ball. To score four was very pleasing.
"I am delighted for Blair as well, because he is a tremendous person, has good character and has worked hard. I am delighted he got on the scoresheet."
The Stags were desperate for the win after three successive defeats and Holdsworth is now eyeing victory against play-off rivals Rushden and Diamonds. The Mansfield boss said: "Tamworth give nobody an easy time. Their form has been very, very good and they are full of confidence.
"So for us to go there and be victorious is tremendous for the boys and the great fans that supported us.
"I am delighted for the club because it is the biggest thing here. It is not about me or anyone else.
"We are working as hard as we can to make it successful and the players were great.
"The boys have to dust themselves down but I am very proud of them. Prior to the game we were hurting and they have come out with the right attitude and the application was there for all to see.
"The fans were also magnificent."
Sturrock scores crucial goal after run of bad luck
BLAIR Sturrock was starting to wonder if Lady Luck was ever going to be on his side before netting his first Mansfield Town goal on Saturday.
The striker came off the bench at Tamworth and scored the decisive goal three minutes from time to seal a crucial 4-2 win.
He said: "For me, you cannot believe how big that was. I have kept my head down and it was a huge three points away from home. Anything you get away from home is good so this was great.
"In midweek I had one spin right across the line and go out, I had one chalked off a few weeks before and got a neck injury getting out of the shower the other day.
"So it was a big time when it went in for me. I cannot train every day, go home and stick on the TV – I want to be scoring goals.
"It is great for us, all the boys are buzzing and I'm so happy I got a goal. and happy for the team to get a win.
"And this was against a team that was unbeaten and had not conceded many."
Duffy 'knew Stags wouldn't lose'
STAGS striker Rob Duffy said there was no way they were going to lose at Tamworth.
Mansfield Town were on a run of three successive defeats and had dropped out of the top five.
Duffy, who notched his 14th of the season, said they knew defeat was not an option on Saturday if they were to remain in the mix.
And they responded with a 4-2 victory against Tamworth.
Duffy said: "It is a massive result. We could not afford any other outcome.
"The lads showed great steel and determination for the first hour against Stevenage and a bit of luck went against us and we fell away (lost 3-1).
"But from the first minute to the last minute against Tamworth, we all stuck in and got there in the end.
"Mazza made some great saves at 3-2 and if they go in, which way does the game go? But Blair Sturrock's first goal was great. He had a lot to do and the finish was tremendous.
"It did not matter how we did it, we had to leave there with three points.
"I cannot emphasis how important it was and under no circumstances could we afford to not win.
"We handled the pressure. We have characters in the dressing room and there was a determination in there before the game. I knew we would not lose."
Lucky mascot Sturrock aims for fifth promotion
CHAD.co.uk, 13 February 2010, By Stephen Thirkill
STAGS striker Blair Sturrock hopes he can be fire Mansfield Town back into the Football League by securing the fifth promotion of his career.
The striker has already been promoted four times in his career, most recently with Torquay United last season.
And after scoring a sweetly finished fourth goal to wrap up the points in the 4-2 win at Tamworth on Saturday, Sturrock declared he wants promotion number five.
Said Sturrock: "I am delighted with getting on the scoresheet and with the win. It was a big win for us today because it helped ease some of the pressure.
"Tamworth is not an easy place to come and we worked hard to get the win. Confidence is high in the team and we must kick on now.
"Hopefully I can be a lucky mascot for the team. I have been promoted four times before, twice as champions, and I want to get number five with Mansfield."
And the experienced Scotsman firmly believes his Stags side have just what it takes to make the return back to League Two football.
"We have got two home games comimg up and that will be key to our fortunes,"added Sturrock.
"It is vital to win home games and then pick up what you can on the road and get the wins when you can.
"We have got a good team and have got what we need to get out of this division. We have got a lot of games at home coming up which will be very important.
"Rushden and Diamonds are around us and these are the teams that we have to beat
Striker Duffy says Stags must build on win
CHAD.co.uk, 13 February 2010, By Stephen Thirkill
GOAL-GETTER Rob Duffy says Mansfield Town must build on their 4-2 victory against Tamworth on Saturday and began an unbeaten run as the play-off race hots up.
The Welshman hit a peach of a volley to cap a good individual performance and fire Stags on their way to all three points at The Lamb.
After the game Duffy said: "We worked hard today as a team and it was a massive result for us.
"We could not afford any other result. The lads showed great steel and determination today. From start to finish we battled hard and got there in the end."
Duffy, who has now hit 14 goals this season, is now urging his side to go on a long unbeaten run, similar to the run the club went on when they lost three games in a row earlier in the season before beating Oxford.
Said Duffy: "We have got a good charachter and spirit in the dressing room and we all know we have got to kick on from this point.
"We have got two massive home games coming up now starting with Rushden and Diamonds.
"We are good at home so if we do the business at home then we will be in good shape at the end of the season."
Stags now face a season-defining spell, with five of their next six games taking place at Field Mill.
Mills proud despite Mansfield Town defeat
Tamworth manager Gary Mills was pleased with the character of his side despite their 4-2 home defeat to Mansfield Town on Saturday.
"I'm very proud to be honest, he said. "We have had something thrown at us that we haven't all season when we were 3-1 down.
"So it was a test of character for my players and I thought second half we were outstanding.
"We had the chances with the woodwork and keeper denying them and we just couldn't get that equaliser."
"We have got to bounce back now from the Mansfield result.
"We've been ten matches unbeaten which is fantastic for this football club at this level and so we are looking forward to Salisbury."
Mills, meanwhile, was full of praise for winger Seb Lake-Gaskin after his performance against Mansfield.
Speaking of the former West Brom player, Mills said: "I thought Seb was outstanding.
"He's only going to get better. He has produced a performance which has me saying 'go on son, kick on now.'
"Let's see more of him . He is growing up and learning the game."
Mills was also pleased withthe contributions of strikers Jerome Murdock and Iyseden Christie against Mansfield.
He added: "Jerome is hungry and has been give an opportunity.
"The lad can play. He will learn and has to get his fitness levels up but you don't see many better goals than he scored against Mansfield.
"For a lad who has not played at this level to be as cool as that with his finish was magnificent.
"We will keep working with him and if he wants to listen and progress, then we are going to have some player on our hands.
"With Iyseden, no one wants to play against him. He's causing problems for defenders and his work rate is superb."
Gary Mills said: "I'm very proud to be honest.
"We had something thrown at us that we haven't had all season when we were 3-1 down.
"So it was a test of character for my players and I thought the second half we were outstanding.
"We had the chances with the woodwork and keeper denying them and we just couldn't get that equaliser.
"I guess, having scored four away from home, they could say they deserved to win.
"But at the same time, we were unfortunate."
Latest | February 2010