PREVIEWS + GARDNER JOINS EASTWOOD ON LOAN
Scott Gardner joins Eastwood on loan
Evening Post website.
Wed Feb 24, 2010
STAGS right-back, Scott Gardner, has joined Eastwood on a one-month loan deal.
The player has made 12 starts for Mansfield this season after joining from Leeds United.
Holdsworth video interview on Scott Gardner --->
Gardner to make Eastwood switch
Thu 25 Feb 2010
Defender Scott Gardner is set to join Eastwood Town on loan until the end of the season.
The 21-year-old right back will make the move to Coronation Park to play football on a more regular basis following limited first team opportunities here at Field Mill.
Gardner has struggled to dislodge Gary Silk from the right back berth and has made only three appearances since his summer arrival from Leeds.
We will have the option of a 24 hour recall, should it be needed, after the first month of the deal has expired.
Manager David Holdsworth said: "Scott's been extremely unlucky and is a very good player. I believe he will go on to do a good job for someone.
"Gary Silk has played ever so well and is having a tremendous season. I do not want my players sat in the stands."
Holdsworth 'realistic' over Stags finances
IT is hard to believe there is a manager in the Blue Square Premier with more ambition than Mansfield Town's David Holdsworth.
Other bosses at his level may share his burning desire, but it is doubtful anyone can top it.
Chief target right now is a place in the end of season play-off places.
Their hopes of achieving that were dented by the expulsion of Chester City from the division yesterday.
The six points Stags lost as a result left them further adrift of the play-off places.
But, if the Stags do achieve a top five finish, then next on the agenda will be winning a place in the play-off final at Wembley.
After that, of course, promotion back to the Football League would be the dream finale to a campaign of steady progress on and off the field.
But while Holdsworth may yearn for a place in the game's elite 92, he is also a realist.
He knows that to push Stags beyond their means would be tantamount to suicide.
With several clubs – Chester, Notts County and Portsmouth among them – all struggling for their very existence in the last few weeks, the perils of clubs spending beyond their means has been thrust in the spotlight.
It is a danger Holdsworth is only too aware of – and he knows avoiding a similar scenario at Field Mill is even more important than bringing the club success.
"Football has to take a dose of realism – not just at our club but all the way up to the Championship and Premier League," said Holdsworth.
"I think it is going to be a different scene out there this summer and players and agents are going to have to realise that as well.
"The good thing is that, along with the chairman (Andy Perry), we never want to put the club in a vulnerable position, which some other clubs can do.
"I don't want the club to ever be in a worrying position, even if we want to compete, and I hope the fans realise that.
"At times like this you have to appreciate there is still a club because the board took over a sinking ship and they are trying to make sure they keep it afloat.
"Whether it is a pedalo or a cruise liner, we have to stay afloat. But we have got a tremendous squad and a few players for a few quid cheaper, a team who can compete on any given Sunday and fight for the fractions."
Mansfield have suffered in the last two months from having just two home games – Chester and Gateshead.
As a means of helping protect the club's finances, Holdsworth has this week allowed Craig Armstrong to join Forest Green on loan and Scott Gardner to make a temporary switch to Eastwood Town.
But the gaffer insists he has been careful to ensure he does not leave himself short during the final run-in.
Holdsworth said: "It is really tight out there money-wise at the moment. I don't want to leave myself skinny but you have to be prepared to do your bit as a manager.
"I can still bring someone in on non-contract terms from the lower leagues if we need to and I have a list of players.
"We also have a 24-hour recall on Scott and Craig can come back after a month if required, plus other players can cover in those positions."
Holdsworth has been massively disappointed about the impact of the weather.
But he says there remains a strong spirit in the squad and an excitement about what could be achieved if things go well in the next 14 games.
"I don't think you think about it as much as a player as when you are a manager, but I don't think it has ever been as stop-start as this season," said Holdsworth.
"It's frustrating because we are trying to get a bit of momentum going, but we can't.
"After such an impressive victory against Tawmorth, all you want to do is get out there and play again."
Mansfield visit Hayes and Yeading today, a team Holdsworth respects.
He added: "They are doing well recently. They were never going to be a Wimbledon challenging at the top because they have not got the crowds or money. But credit to them because they have really got some good results.
"They are ahead of the relegation pack but will still have one eye on it because they don't want to get sucked back in."
Shaw and Nicholas back promotion push
Thu 25 Feb 2010
Two of our most experienced campaigners have tipped us for a top five finish come the end of the season.
Jon Shaw and Andy Nicholas, who were both with Football League clubs last season, insist that we have what it takes to fulfil our aim of a play off place and say that it is just a case of grinding out results.
Nicholas, who enjoyed promotion from League 2 with Swindon in 2007 and made over 100 appearances for the Robins in a five year period, said: "It's pleasing to come here and be involved in games after being in and out at Rotherham.
"I've been promoted from League 2 but I've not really been involved in such a big battle. There are five or six teams going for it at the moment.
"We just have to make sure we do everything right. It's too early to start looking at other people's results and the points and league table will look after themselves if we keep winning.
"We have to be confident that we have the ability and the squad. It's in our hands and we can do it."
Striker Jon Shaw said that the team could take confidence from beating Tamworth in our last league game - a side who took the scalps of both leaders Oxford and second-placed Stevenage in recent weeks.
He added: "Every point will be vital but if we can go to a place like Tamworth, who had been on a 10 game unbeaten run, and turn them over 4-2, then we can beat anyone.
"There is a long way to go until the end of the season and people will drop points. We just have to make sure that we drop a minimal amount.
"I said when I came here that I wanted to win promotion in my first six months and that is still my aim."
Gardner joins Eastwood on loan
CHAD.co.uk, 25 February 2010, By John Lomas
STAGS defender Scott Gardner, who has found himself out in the cold all season due to the form of right back Gary Silk, has agreed to a loan move to Blue Square North neighbours Eastwood Town.
Boss David Holdsworth explained: "Scott will go on loan with a 24-hour callback. That kid is a good player and he has been extremely unlucky.
"I know it sounds silly but I am a bit annoyed that no other clubs have taken him sooner. He should haveADVERTISEMENTbeen snapped up by someone by now.
"Everyone I have spoken to about him I have given him a glittering reference.
"But Gary Silk has had a fantastic season at right back. Scott had the shirt to start with but got sent off. Whether or not it was a sending-off, the referee gave it, Gary came in and has kept the shirt ever since.
"I don't want to see Scott just sat in the stand."
Gardner follows fellow defender Craig Armstrong out on loan with Armstrong last week moving to Forest Green Rovers just a week after Paul Heckingbottom went to Gateshead.
"Craig, like Paul Heckingbottom, has played his part this season in giving us this platform we are on now," said Holdsworth.
"Financially this club cannot afford to have too many sitting out which I totally accept. If I can help by getting one or two out on loan to help keep the books balanced then I will.
"Craig is a professional person who need to be playing football and we do have cover at left back here right now. But if I need him in the run-in then I won't hesitate to recall him.
"You have to have one eye on next season and Craig has a family. If I can help him by putting him on the dancefloor right now and he gets offered something for next season then he may have reason to thank David Holdsworth.
"This move is good for the club and for Craig.
With only two home games since Christmas and therefore little income, getting these three out on loan, also helps the club balance the books.
"Things are tight, in the world, not just in football. So football has got to take a dose of realism from non-League right up to Championship level," said Holdsworth. "Players and agents are going to have to realise that.
"We must deal with the hand we are given and not put ourselves into a vulnerable position. In like being an accountant as well as manager though I wouldn't like to see us skinny which I why I express my thoughts to the chairman and insist on call-backs on loans.
"Look at Chester, Portsmouth and Notts County. You need to manage the books properly.
"Supporters should appreciate they have a football club. When this club was taken over it was a ship that was certainly sinking. We are trying to keep it afloat and we are not worried if it is a pedalo or a cruise liner.
"We would like to go forward but we are having to rely on local business people who should be respected for that.
"Maybe we are trying to get a £10 team out for a fiver and we have nicked a new players for a few quid cheaper which is a bonus.
"We now have a team that can go out and compete and beat sides on any given Sunday."
Dad-to-be Shaw hoping on Hayes game
CHAD.co.uk, 25 February 2010, By John Lomas
JON Shaw is hoping to end the season on a high as a first time father and play-off success.
The Stags new boy has scored twice in two games but, like the rest of the squad, has been frustrated by recent postponements.
But it has given him more time to find out what to expect when he becomes a dad.
"My wife is due to drop a baby in the nADVERTISEMENText four weeks," he said. "I am looking forward to it and it is an exciting time.
"I travel in with Andy Burgess and I know he quite enjoys getting up in the night and then getting up early for training!"
He added: "From Christmas to now I don't think I have ever seen so many games called off. It will be a novel experience to play a game so I hope the weather holds out and we get one on Saturday.
"You don't get an easy games in this league and, although Hayes have been in the dogfight for a time, we are a big name club going down there and they will want to put one over on us.
"But we played an attacking 4-3-3 formation at Tamworth and that makes it hard for anyone to stop us when you get four or five players attacking your box. There is no reason why we can't turn anyone over.
"We have big nine games to come at home. But it is picking up away points that will get us a play-off spot."
Manager David Holdsworth added: ""It is a cliché but every game is a cup final for us now.
"Losing more games to the weather this week has been disappointing.
"You want to build up some momentum, but this knocks you out of your stride. After such an impressive victory you just want to go out and play again.
"But the players have just got on with in in a professional manner.
"It is hard training as there have been no outdoor pitches available and you can't do as much indoors."
On Saturday's opponents, he added: "Hayes were never, ever going to be a Wimbledon as they don't have that type of budget. Wimbledon have firepower and money behind them and good luck to them.
"Hayes have had to balance things. They don't get the biggest support in the world but they are giving it a really good go and full credit to them. They are doing well at the moment and a couple more wins and they will feel they are possibly safe.
"Hayes will have one eye on the relegation pack behind them and know you can sucked back into it if you don't pay attention."
Early return for Speight?
CHAD.co.uk, 25 February 2010, By John Lomas
STAGS striker Jake Speight has surprised everyone with the speed of his recovery after his knee operation and could be back inside two weeks.
The player has targeted the visit of Salisbury a week on Saturday for a return though boss David Holdsworth is keen to make sure he doesn't return too soon and suffer a setback.
Initially it looked like Speight would be out until the last week or so of the campaign but Holdsworth said: "It's no surprise to us as he works so hard in the gym and is desperate to play for us which is brilliant.
"The surgeon did a good job and we are hoping it has repaired quickly naturally
"But we don't want to ask too much too soon of him and if it ends up being the Tamworth game a week later then so be it. We may have to curb his enthusiasm.
"Rob Duffy, Jon Shaw and Kyle Perry will see Jake sniffing for a chance to get back in and know if they keep notching they will make it hard for him."
Stags' Speight close to return
Evening Post, February 25, 2010
JAKE Speight could be back from injury as soon as Mansfield Town's home game with Salisbury City a week on Saturday, manager David Holdsworth revealed today.
The livewire striker has been recovery from surgery on damaged meniscus cartilage in his knee.
It was not expected he would figure for the Stags until mid-March at the earliest.
But such has been the rapid progress of the former Droylsden man, Holdsworth is hopeful of being able to call on him much sooner than that.
"Jake is a healthy boy who works well in the gym and loves that part of it," he said the Mansfield boss.
"We were always hoping he would be back quickly and it has been a case of curbing his enthusiasm at times, because he is desperate to play.
"Jake has done brilliantly and we hope he will be available for selection in 10 days.
"It could be the Salisbury game, but we have to make sure we do not rush him back."
"We don't want to put him in an awkward position, but if all the other lads up front are scoring goals then it is going to be difficult to dislodge them anyway."
Ollie Hotchkiss is almost certainly out of the weekend's trip to Hayes and Yeading.
He has been struggling with illness and an ankle injury.
Holdsworth added: "Ollie has suffered a few bits of illness since he came here and his ankle seemed to be recovering well.
"But he has had a bit of a setback on it and I don't think he will be available at the weekend."
Holdsworth confirmed Scott Gardner is to join Eastwood Town on loan.
He is surprised the right-sided player has not been taken on by another club sooner.
"We will have Scott on 24-hour call back and I feel he has been extremely unlucky because he is a good player," said Holdsworth.
"I think he should have been snapped up sooner and I have given him a glowing reference to everyone who has asked.
""It's just that Gary Silk has had a fantastic season and Scott has suffered because of that."
Stags backing Chester for 'selfish reasons'
Evening Post, February 25, 2010
MANSFIELD Town will vote to keep Chester City in the Football
Conference – to boost their own play-off ambitions.
Chester have pleaded guilty to five rule breaches, including the failure to fulfil their last three fixtures.
Now fellow clubs will have their say on City's future at a meeting at Rushden's Nene Park tomorrow – where the Blues could be kicked out.
But the Stags stand to lose six points if Chester's record is expunged after 4-0 and 1-0 wins over them.
Club chairman Andy Perry (pictured) says Mansfield have no choice but to support the Blues because they will otherwise lose ground on their rivals who have not played and beaten them twice.
Perry also hit out at the Conference, who he believes should be deciding Chester's fate for themselves.
"We will be voting to keep Chester City in – and that's purely for selfish reasons," he said.
"At this stage of the season, we can't afford to look at it from any other way. I do feel for the Chester fans and what they are going through because this club has had its own issues and the pain of going out of the Football League in the last few years.
"But we are trying to do the best for our club and I'm sure all the other clubs will be doing the same.
"They are not going to vote from a moral standpoint, but a practical one."
"This is a decision that should have been taken out of our hands. It should not be up to the member clubs to decide Chester's fate.
For Chester to be ousted, three-quarters of member clubs have to agree.
Each Conference Premier club gets a vote while Blue Square North and South clubs have eight votes between them.
Seven votes in favour of City – who are the target of a Danish consortium – would allow them to continue.
Mansfield are hoping to receive prompt payment on the money they are still owed by Northwich for Jonathan D'Laryea.
The Stags are owed £4,000 of wages the Vics agreed to pay while the midfielder was on loan in Cheshire, plus a percentage of his sell-on fee following his move to Eastwood Town.
Perry added: "They have been fined £2,500 and told they must pay by March 31 or face being docked points."
Stags put the squeeze on Vics over D'Laryea cash
CHAD.co.uk, 23 February 2010, By John Lomas
STAGS are hoping their complaint against Blue Square North club Northwich Victoria over money owed will see a cheque arrive at Field Mill very soon.
The Vics still owe Mansfield £4,000 wages for the time they had Jon D'Laryea on loan before they took him full time.
Ironically, they have since sold D'Laryea on to Eastwood Town for an undisclosed fee, believed to be around £10,000.
Their patience exhausted, Stags finally made a complaint to the Conference two weeks ago which has resulted in a £2,500 fine for the Vics and a warning that if they do not pay up by 31st March then they will be fined a further £,7,500 and deducted 10 points.
"We are now expecting a cheque from them by the end of next month and we also have a sell-on clause on top of that to come from Jon's move," said chairman Andy Perry.
"We are all finding it tough and £4,000 is a lot of money in anyone's books.
"Northwich agreed they would send us the money if we paid Jon's wages to him while he was on loan and then invoiced them, but they have not been forthcoming so we made the complaint.
"We have been very patient and they have had a windfall from two televised games as well as selling Jon."
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