{ the news }
An independent supporters' website dedicated to Mansfield Town FC
Archived News from March 2010

12th March 2010 17:56

Holdsworth video interview --->

Williams and Silk video interviews --->


Stags boss: Salisbury game not make or break
Evening Post, March 05, 2010

MANSFIELD Town are not out of the play-off race even if they lose to Salisbury City tomorrow.


That's the view of manager David Holdsworth, who points out there is still a quarter of the season left to play.
With so many games left against their closest rivals – including York, Rushden and AFC Wimbledon at home and Oxford and Kettering away – he insists nothing will be decided just yet.
"Of course we are looking for the three points against Salisbury, as we are in every game, but it won't be decisive. There are going to be plenty more twists and turns," said Holdsworth.
"I spoke to the chairman before the Luton game on Tuesday and we agreed it would have been wonderful if we'd won, but not the end of the world if we lost.
"That is the same tomorrow. Rushden have a tough run-in. Luton have some uncomfortable games and are under pressure and we still have Wimbledon to play at home.
"There will still be 11 games left after Salisbury, so you won't see us panicking, whatever happens."
Luke Jones was carried off against Luton and his injury has been diagnosed as ruptured ankle ligaments.
It could sideline the central defender for the rest of the season and Holdsworth admits to lose him at this stage is a blow.
He said: "That could be it for Luke for the season, but I don't want to say that for definite yet because it is still early days.
"He is going to have an MRI scan and then we will know more.
"I feel for Luke because he was just striking up a strong partnership with Luke Foster."
Meanwhile, Jake Speight is being lined up for a return against Tamworth next week as he recovers from knee surgery.


Williams ready to battle with old mate Clarke
Evening Post, March 05, 2010

THEY came through the Field Mill youth ranks together in the 90s and have been good friends ever since.


But for the duration of tomorrow's fixture between Mansfield Town and Salisbury City, Ryan Williams and Darrell Clarke will be the best of enemies.
The two midfielders are both north Notts lads and learned their trade with their hometown club, who were then in what is now League Two.
Both men went on to play at a higher level; Williams with Tranmere and Chesterfield, Clarke with Hartlepool.
Now in the twilight of their careers, the pair have settled at Blue Square Premier level, which brings them into opposition tomorrow.
While Williams has enjoyed a return to Mansfield with some influential wing displays, Clarke has become an integral part of City's midfield.
Mansfield are looking to strengthen their play-off bid while Salisbury are hoping to edge further towards safety following a 10-point deduction after going into administration.
But Williams admits personal pride is also at stake.
"I played with Clarkey when he was starting out at Mansfield and I was in my first spell here," he said.
"I did my apprenticeship with him. He has had a decent year with Salisbury. It will be good to see him again.
"We don't speak too regularly nowadays, but when I do see him we usually catch up, have a good chat and talk about when we were younger.
"I have played against him before quite a few times when he was at Hartlepool and I've always looked out to see how he's getting on.
"We have both had decent careers and been around a while now, but we'll both want to get the better of each other tomorrow.
"Once that whistle blows, even though we are friends, it will be down to business. I'm sure whoever comes out on top will be trying to seek the other out to give them a bit if stick about it!"
Manager David Holdsworth says nothing will be decided against Salisbury, that the play-off race will go down to the wire whatever happens in this latest clash.
But Williams feels it is imperative the Stags secure a victory that would make it four games unbeaten.
He said: "A win is so important because we are starting to run out of games. There comes a time when we have to start picking up three points.
"It puts pressure on those teams around us and sends them the message that they can't afford to slip up.
"We still have to play a lot of teams around us and beating Salisbury would be a good start."
Mansfield have struggled to fashion chances in their last two games against Hayes and Yeading and Luton, even though they scored four in their game before that at Tamworth.
Williams is at a lost as to why the Stags have struggled to find their rhythm in attack.
"It's true we haven't been at our best in the last couple of games," he said. "Sometimes you can have games like that, where the teams cancel each other out."
Williams has enjoyed playing with left-back Andy Nicholas, who has been drafted in on loan from Rotherham United.
Williams said: "He's a pleasure to play with, a top player who has good experience."


Spotlight on Stags v Salisbury
Evening Post, March 05, 2010

Mansfield (from): Marriott, Collett, Silk, Foster, Brough, Garner, Nicholas, Briscoe, Mills, Nix, Somner, Challinor, Istead, Williams, Duffy, Shaw, Perry, Sturrock.


Salisbury (from): Bittner, Clohessy, Bull, Ruddick, Martin, Bush, Flood, Anderson, Clarke, Adelsbury, Tubbs, Gray, Pryce, Osman, Connolly, Monhon, Cox.
Mansfield will be without Luke Jones who was carried off in Tuesday's 0-0 draw against Luton with ankle ligament damage and could miss the rest of the season.
Jake Speight (knee) will not be risked, even though he has been given the all-clear to step up his training, while Ollie Hotchkiss (ankle) is still struggling.
But Jon Challinor is hoping to shake off a bang to his knee.
Six-unbeaten Salisbury will miss Robbie Sinclair (hamstring) but Patrick Cox is back from suspension.
Matt Tubbs: Has scored 17 goals this season, including four in his last three games, to help keep the Whites stay above the drop zone, despite them being deducted 10 points for going into administration earlier in the campaign.
Tommy Widdrington: The former Southampton midfielder initially signed for City as a player in February 2005 before taking over as boss last summer when Nick Holmes moved up to general manager.


Fears increase over Jones injury
CHAD.co.uk, 04 March 2010, By John Lomas
FEARS that Luke Jones' season is over have increased though have yet to be fully confirmed.


The central defender - who has suffered an injury-prone season - was stretchered off during Tuesday's clash with Luton and boss David Holdsworth said:"Our first thought was that Luke had broken his ankle.

"At the moment is looks like badly ruptured ligaments. But we need another 48 hours for it to settle down to know for sure.

"We will sort out an MRI scan. But it is not looking good and we just hope it's not anything to do with bones as well.

"It was down to the way he landed. The pitch is not in great shape at the moment and he just went over on it. It's a real shame as he was playing very well.

"I feel for him. But we will support him like we always do.

"Luke had already had three stitches in his shin for an earlier block that went with just a talking to for their player which was interesting. I think the referee was probably a bit unsighted."

Fellow defender Gary Silk added: "It's a big shame for him and we wish him well.

"Luke has had a great season so far and I am sure he will bounce back.

"But Michael Brough came in and did a good job on Tuesday and the gaffer now has a decision to make there for Saturday between him and Scott Garner. We have plenty of competition in that area."


'Our most important game of the season so far' - Silk
CHAD.co.uk, 04 March 2010, By John Lomas
STAGS full back Gary Silk declared Saturday's visit of Salisbury City as Mansfield Town's most important game of the season to date.


After losing six points to the demise of Chester City and then being held at home by play-off rivals Luton Town on Tuesday, the pressure is on for Stags to get three points against Salisbury and Silk said: "I think this is our most important game so far this season.

"It is massive as we need the three points to stay in touch.

"I am enjoying the pressure and the lads know it is still in our hands. We still have to play all the teams around us and can take points off them.

"But the gap must not increase. We have to stay in touch.

"Having four home games on the trot has go to be a positive as I believe we play well at Field Mill and the crowd can make a massive difference."

Silk was the club's unlikely goal hero with a last ditch leveller at Hayes and Yeading last week – his first of the season – and admitted: "I would be very happy to slide tackle the winner on the goal line in the last minute again.

"I have a little bet with Matt Somner on who will score most goals this season so I am ahead now. He says it was only a fiver but I am sure it was more than that!

"The most I have ever scored before is two in a season. I can remember beating our keeper Alan Marriott from about 25 yards for Notts County when he was with Lincoln. Maybe I am exaggerating a bit, but it was 22-23 yards!"

Winger Ryan William agreed with Silk on the importance of Saturday.
"It is a definite must-win. Three points is a must on Saturday – that's a fact," he said.

"We will go out to give our all and, if it's not going our way in the first 20 minutes, we must stick to our game plan.

"If they play five at the back it's something we've got to break down.
"It could take 89 minutes but we've got to be patient.

"If they shut up shop and sit deep we must attack them and hope something drops for us if we keep asking questions of them.

"We are starting to run out of games and there comes a time when you have to start picking up three points and putting pressure on other teams around you."

Improving Salisbury are unbeaten in six games and have only lost one of their last eight BSP outings.


Strikers under orders from manager
CHAD.co.uk, 04 March 2010, By John Lomas
MANAGER David Holdsworth is calling on his strikers to see off lowly Salisbury City at Field Mill on Saturday as Stags try to stay with the play-off pack.


Salisbury are likely to pack their defence and look for a point, but Holdsworth said: "I need a big performance from the strikers. We need goals and they have to step up to the mark.

"The supply to them has to be better too and is something we can improve on.

"Salisbury will come here to frustrate us and our fans – that is a gimmee – and I hope we can show patience.

"We will try to come out of the traps early and get the early goal that's been needed. If we can do that I believe we will be successful.

"Matt Tubbs is a good player and I have a lot of respect for the club.

"They will come here with five at the back and, up against three centre halves, maybe we will have to change our format."

Stags drew a blank on Tuesday in a 0-0 draw with play-off rivals Luton but he was pleased with a clean sheet and said: "Tuesday's result must be taken in context and we were playing a top side.

"Individual errors have cost us goals recently but on Tuesday we defended correctly and we asked questions at the other end. But Luton defended well too so let's give them some credit for that."

Injured striker Jake Speight had hoped to be back this weekend but will be made to wait another week.

"Jake has been given the all-clear to start the trail back," said Holdsworth. "He is a fit lad but I think Saturday is too optimistic.

"I think he will benefit from a week's training behind him and return the weekend after. You have to use your brain and don't want to set him back."

Ollie Hotchkiss is also out as is Luke Jones while Jon Challinor hopes to shrug off a knee injury from Tuesday and Andy Burgess has also been off ill and it is 50-50 if he will be up to taking his place in the squad.

Although three points is the aim, Holdsworth reiterated that it would not be the end of their hopes if Stags fail to win on Saturday.

"I have been looking at the table with Chester's points deducted and studying other team's run-ins," he said.

"We have to play all the teams around us yet and there are some very big games coming up elsewhere.

"Rushden have a very tough run-in and Luton have some games in which they will feel uncomfortable. There will be lots of twists and turns throughout.

"We are now three unbeaten and there is still a quarter of the season to go so there is no panic yet. We will remain focused, disciplined and work hard.

"Our fans are bright enough to know you don't lose a season on one game. It is still all to play for."


Stags have no excuses in race for play-offs
Evening Post, March 04, 2010

MANSFIELD Town cannot blame off-the-field matters should they fail to reach the Blue Square Premier play-offs, captain Luke Foster insisted today.


The Stags are set to be deducted six points tomorrow, providing Chester City do not make an appeal following their league expulsion.
Having 4-0 and 1-0 wins wiped off their record puts them at a significant disadvantage to the clubs who have failed to beat the Blues or have not yet played them twice.
Mansfield have also not been helped by a clutch of home fixtures being postponed either side of Christmas.
Not only has that hindered their cash flow and forced them to reduce the size of their squad but it also means they play several key games in quick succession.
But Foster feels that regardless of what has happened, it is the players' performances that will decide Mansfield's fate.
"It's disappointing what happened with Chester, but we can't use that as an excuse if we don't make the play-offs," he said.
"I also think having four home games so quickly is a good thing. We were all disappointed we couldn't play those Rushden and York games when they were scheduled because we were ready for them. But these are matches we can win and get right back in the hunt."


Stags loan teenager to Hucknall
Evening Post, March 05, 2010

MANSFIELD Town teenager Jonathan Ventrella has today joined Hucknall Town on a month's loan.
The left-back goes straight into the Yellows' squad for their trip to Liverpool-based side Marine tomorrow.
Ventrella signed a two-year deal at Field Mill at the start of the season after impressing on trial.
He played for the Stags' first team in pre-season against Hartlepool, but has yet to figure in a competitive fixture.
"I would like to thank Mansfield for their help in arranging this loan," said Hucknall boss Danny Bryant.
"We're looking forward to having Jonathan in our squad."



Latest | March 2010