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Archived News from April 2010

3rd April 2010 18:15

Team-mates praise Speight contribution to Stags
CHAD.co.uk, 26 March 2010, By Stephen Thirkill
INFLUENTIAL goal-getter Jake Speight could be the key to firing Stags back into the Football League, according to his team-mates.


The little powerhouse has already scored 11 league goals during a season blighted by injuries and 17 starts on the substitute bench.

The former Northwich striker struck deep into stoppage time on Tuesday night to rescue a point at home to Altrincham as he continues his recovery from injury.

And, according to Andy Burgess and strike-partner Kyle Perry, the dynamic game of a fully-fit Speight could be the difference to Stags' fortunes next season.

Burgess said: "Jake Speight has been a big suprise to me since I came here. He brings something extra to our game that we do not have without him.

"He is quick and strong and opposition defences hate playing against him because he works so hard and gets in their faces.

"When he comes off the bench the teams and fans get a real lift.

"If Jake had been fit for the whole season there is no doubt we would have had a much better chance of getting into the play-offs.

"I am sure he would have scored between 25 and 30 goals for us, he is that good of a player."

Target man Perry also praised Speight's value to the Stags' attacking options.

"He wants the shirt from the start every week like we all do,"said Perry. "He performs his role fantastically for the club and the fans are buzzing when he comes on.

"If he stays fully fit next season then there is going to be some excellent competition for places up front."


Perry delight at return to first team
CHAD.co.uk, 26 March 2010, By Stephen Thirkill
TARGET man Kyle Perry says he is "over the moon" to be back in the Stags starting line-up.


And Perry, who started the season as a regular before losing his place following a loss in form, has now set himself a target of scoring as many goals as possible in the remaining seven games of the season.

Perry, who made his name in Chasetown's super FA Cup run in the 2007/08 season, said: "I am over the moon to be back in the side.

"There has been a lot of competition for places, ideally I want to start every game but it doesn't happen like that.

"I have got 12 goals at the moment. I am happy with that, but I always strive for more.

"I never set goal targets because things can change quickly. I just want to play and score as much as I can for the rest of the season."

It has been a season of highs and lows for Perry, which was best summed up when he scored twice in the home game against Stevenage before being sent off in the same game.

Added Perry: "Football has many ups and downs, but that is why we love it so much.

"It was hard for me being out of the squad and I'm delighted to get back into it in recent games.

"We have high expectations at the club and I just want to do the best I can for Mansfield Town.

"There is stiff competition for places up front now and standards have to be high in training and matches or David Holdsworth will drop you."

Perry will now hope to add to his tally during tomorrow's trip to Rockingham Road to face Kettering Town.


Burgess labels Blue Square Conference as 'the weakest it's ever been'
CHAD.co.uk, 26 March 2010, By Stephen Thirkill
OUT-SPOKEN Stags midfielder Andy Burgess has claimed the Blue Square Conference is as 'weak as it's ever been.'
Burgess, who scored the third goal in last Saturday's 5-0 drubbing of Histon, also labelled tomorrow's promotion rivals Kettering Town as "over-achievers" who Stags had nothing to fear from.

"This league is as weak as it's ever been and it proves it by the fact Kettering are up there," he said.

"Kettering have over-achieved with the squad and resources they have.

"I will probably get abuse for saying that, but they like giving me abuse down there anyway.

"I am not criticising them for over-achieving. They have done very well to be where they are with the resources and players that they have and fair play to them for that.

"Mark Cooper is a great manager at this level and got the best out of what he had. Since he has left their results have dropped off a bit.

"Kettering will be hard to beat and they have some good players, but we should not go there with any fear.

"We should be going there full of confidence and looking for the three points."

Stags travel to Rockingham Road knowing a win will see them leapfrog Kettering in the BSP table and keep their fading play-off dreams alive.


Boo-boys to spur Burgess on
CHAD.co.uk, 26 March 2010, By Stephen Thirkill
STAGS midfielder Andy Burgess says he will not be put off by the Kettering boo-boys tomorrow.


Burgess, who is currently on loan from Luton Town, is likely to receive a hostile reception from the Rockingham Road fans after playing for their bitter rivals Rushden and Diamonds.

But Burgess says such a reception will only spur him on further as Stags bid for their ninth league away win of the season.

"They like to give me abuse down there being a former Rushden player," said Burgess.

"They have a couple of songs about me, but it doesn't bother me it is just part and parcel of football.The abuse is something that will spur me.

"When Ronaldo moved from Barcelona to Real Madrid he had 90,000 fans on his back, so 900 at Kettering will not bother me at all."

Stags travel to Kettering full of confidence after their fantastic 5-0 win at Histon in their last outing.


Stags can learn from this season – Holdsworth
Evening Post, March 26, 2010

DAVID Holdsworth has already insisted Mansfield Town's play-off bid is not over until the fat lady sings.


But with the woman in question now clearing her throat, the manager has to contemplate the prospect of another season of non-league football.
There is no doubt Mansfield looked genuine promotion contenders in the early stages of the season.
Four wins in a row in August and again in October – the latter seeing Holdsworth named as Blue Square Premier manager of the month – established those credentials.
But the Stags have struggled to match that consistency ever since, which is the main reason they look almost certain to miss out on a place in the top five.
Mansfield did win back-to-back games against Chester City (4-0) and Forest Green Rovers (4-1) in January.
But following the expunging of City's record in late February, the records show they have not achieved consecutive victories since October.
As a born fighter, Holdsworth will never throw in the towel. A defeatist attitude is not his way.
Yet he does now recognise this campaign may have to be put down as one of transition, for gaining experience, ahead of a more sustained assault next season.
"The pragmatic approach since we had the points taken off us from the Chester victories is to not worry about other teams and concentrate on ourselves," said Holdsworth.
"It was always going to be difficult from then, but all we can do is concentrate on putting in some good performances.
"I think we have done that and we have only lost one in our last seven.
"Now we have got to get five victories from our last seven games to stand any chance of making the play-offs.
"We obviously have to rely on other teams if we are going to make it now but we have to be ready if they slip up.
"Anyone who knows me knows that I want to win every game whatever the situation.
"There are different factors to consider if we do get knocked out of the running, but you always want to fulfil your fixtures to the best of your ability.
"Whatever happens I think we have learned a lot of lessons about this league and the players in it.
"Some of our players have been playing at this level for the first time and it can be an eye-opener.
"You might not fancy going to places like Hayes and Yeading, but you have to cope and get results at such places if you want to be successful.
"There are a lot of aspects we can take on board for the future."
Of course, Mansfield's game at Kettering tomorrow is of more immediate concern.
With Luke Foster back after suspension, it is a game the gaffer is anticipating eagerly.
Holdsworth said: "The way we played at Histon will give us confidence on the road and we have generally performed well away from home.
"It's wonderful that we have scored more away goals than any other team – it's shows we don't shut up shop like other teams do when they play at our place.
"Lee Harper inherited a decent Kettering squad aside from one or two changes.
"He has managed to keep the momentum going and it should be a hard-fought encounter."
The last time the Stags played at Rockingham Road they were under the charge of caretaker duo Mark Stallard and Adie Moses and notched a 3-1 win.
It was Holdsworth's final game as Ilkeston boss against Matlock Town before coming in at Field Mill.
"It was a strange situation to be in, knowing I was still in charge but that I was leaving to take charge of another," he said.
"But I tried to deal with it in a professional manner. It proved to be a good job I did at Ilkeston because they went on to win promotion with the squad I put together – and Kevin (Wilson) has kept it going.
"Hopefully now I'm with Mansfield we can be just as successful as the last time we were at Kettering."


Stags' Burgess: BSP standard is 'weak'
Saturday, March 27, 2010

ANDY Burgess is not one to shy away from telling it how it is.


When banned by the FA for betting on matches, he was not afraid to come out and say how foolish he had been.
And when Mansfield were booed off by some supporters in their home game against Tamworth earlier this month, he was not scared to say they were wrong to do so.
So it should really come as no surprise that Burgess is emphatically forthright in giving his views on this season's Blue Square Premier League.
There may be big-name clubs like Oxford, Luton, York and the Stags in the running, but he is still unimpressed with what the class of 2009-10 has shown.
And he believes the relative success of this afternoon's opponents, Kettering, back up his argument.
"I have played in this league for a lot of my career and I think it is as weak as it has been for a long time," said Burgess.
"It proves it with teams like Kettering doing so well, who I think have over-achieved with the squad they have got.
"I am good friends with John Dempster at Kettering and he readily admits that's the case with them.
"Mark Cooper was very astute when he was there.
"I played with Coops as a kid at Rushden and he was very much for doing the simple things.
"I'm not criticising them because they've done fantastically with the resources they've had.
"But it's frustrating when you look around and know with the squad we have we should be winning games at this level.
"I think there is only one other team in the division that has a better squad than us, we have as much talent as anyone.
"We should be higher in the league, it's frustrating we're not in the play-offs.
"We have shown our ability in games like Histon. But should have, would have could have gets you nowhere.
"You have to turn the draws we've had into wins – that's what gets you promotion."
Burgess' comments are hardly likely to endear himself to Kettering fans, but then he already knows he will be in for a rough ride at Rockingham Road.
The Poppies fans already have a dislike for the former playmaker of their close rivals.
He said: "I'll probably get abuse for what I've said, but I get that at Kettering anyway.
"It stems from my time at Rushden and they normally have a couple of choice chants about me, but I can cope with that.
"They will be disappointed with their home record and will want to improve it in thehome games they have left.
"We just have to make sure that is not against us."


Stags defender Garner endures ups and downs
Saturday, March 27, 2010

FIRST the golden boy and then the forgotten man... it's been a season of ups and downs for Scott Garner.


The former Leicester City and Ilkeston Town defender began the season as a teenager and an automatic choice for the Stags first team.
But in the second half of the campaign, Garner has entered his twenties only to be in and out of the team.
Things started to unravel for him at AFC Wimbledon when he endured a torrid first half in trying to police Nathan Elder.
With the Stags 2-0 down at the break, he was hauled off and came in for criticism for the first time from his boss David Holdsworth.
Mansfield's next game saw Luke Foster drafted in from Oxford United and the Stags post an impressive 4-1 victory at Forest Green.
Suddenly, Garner's immediate future wasn't a straightforward path any longer.
As it was, injuries and suspensions dictated it was not long before Garner got another chance, but he still appeared to be down the pecking order to Michael Brough, Luke Jones and Foster.
However, with the latter two unavailable against Histon, Garner was handed his chance – and he took it in style.
After a slightly nervy opening, he not only scored in Mansfield's 5-0 success, but also helped the Stags to a clean sheet too.
Tuesday's game against Altrincham saw the Stags draw 1-1 and Garner in the thick of the action.
Luke Foster will be eligible to return for today's game at Kettering after serving a two-game suspension for his sending off against York.
But Garner is optimistic he has done enough to retain his place in the side, having looked somewhere back to his best.
"I got my chance to get back in the side through injuries and suspensions and hopefully I have done enough to keep my place," said Garner.
"Scoring the goal at Histon certainly helped – I suppose it was a good way to announce my return.
"It was certainly the best result of the season down there, so it was pleasing to be involved in that.
"We didn't start that well but we grew in confidence and everyone was going in packs to get the ball back rather than just in ones or twos.
"We kept it well, which we haven't done as well in recent weeks. When we did that we can break teams down instead of just getting the lucky breaks."
Garner is pleased to see Mansfield starting to pass the ball to feet with confidence.
He believes that suits them more than playing a direct game, even though there are some big players in the team.
"I think the lads have it in them to play good football and maybe we should do it a bit more," he said.
"We have had a convincing win doing it and a draw, so now we can look to carry that on.
"I don't know why we have not really done it before because we could probably do it more.
"The crowd have been frustrated, but hopefully now we have introduced more passing into our game then we will be better to watch.
"If we can win games playing that way, it would be great."
Garner is also pleased that Mansfield have started to look a little more solid at the back after struggling defensively either side of Christmas.
Alan Marriott was virtually redundant against Histon as the Stags spent most of the game on the front foot and Altrincham scored from their only shot on target.
"That's the thing – if you are on the attack for most of the game then you don't have to do as much defending," said Garner.
"It also helps when you are winning the ball back quickly, as we have been doing.
"I'm just hoping for the opportunity for some more games between now and the end of the season."
A few more clean sheets and Garner will undoubtedly end the season with reputation restored.


Stags' Perry aiming to finish with a flourish
Saturday, March 27, 2010

KYLE Perry has set his sights on finishing Mansfield's Town season in a blaze of glory after a spell in the shadows.


The big striker enjoyed a terrific first half of the season and reached double figures by Christmas to help the Stags into the Blue Square Premier play-off places.
As Perry's form has dipped in the second half of the campaign, so has that of the Stags as they have slipped out of the play-offs.
But the former Port Vale man has been preferred in the target man role ahead of Rob Duffy in the last two games against Histon and Altrincham.
And he aims to keep it that way for today's game at Kettering and the rest of the season.
"I think the (quad) injury I had before Christmas did knock me back," said Perry.
"It was not just because I was striving to improve and building things up, but it's also because it takes you out of the side.
"It also stops you working on things in training that keep you at the top of your game.
"Then when you come back there is so much competition to get back in and you have to be patient.
"I wouldn't say it knocked my confidence, but I must admit it does affect me to a degree when I'm taken out of the squad because I want to be involved.
"I showed that when I played at Gateshead when drugged up to my eyeballs with pain killing injections – that's how much I wanted to play.
"But there are highs and lows in a season – that's the way football goes.
"With seven games left to go now I just want to stay in the side and be as effective as I can – and get a few goals."
Perry has found the back of the net 12 times this season – a tally he is happy with.
He said: "I have never set a target at the start of the season but I'm really pleased with what I have got.
"You have to take what you can and keep pushing. As a big guy up front you want week in, week out, but that's not the understanding at this place.
"If you have a bad game you are out, the gaffer is not scared to change it, so your standards have to be high."


Nicholas: Stags to be confident at Kettering
Evening Post, March 26, 2010

MANSFIELD Town hope to keep their free-scoring away form going at Kettering tomorrow, with defender Andy Nicholas insisting: "Our confidence is sky high."


Although the Stags were held to a disappointing 1-1 midweek home draw with Altrincham, they were emphatic 5-0 winners on their travels last time out.
That scoreline against Histon has made them the most prolific team in the Blue Square Premier on the road, having netted 31 times.
Left-back Nicholas – on loan from Rotherham – believes their potency gives them no reason to fear the Poppies, who they could leapfrog in the table with a victory.
"I can't remember playing in a team where we have scored four goals (at Tamworth) and the five goals (at Histon) in two away games so close together," said Nicholas.
"It has been frustrating that we haven't had the consistency that we would have liked, which is why we are not right up there.
"People are wondering why we are able to win games on the road but not at home, but at least we are getting wins under our belt.
"But we have shown we can carve teams open at times, especially if we get that bit if luck going forward.
"It certainly gives me great confidence and I don't see it as a problem for us to go to Kettering and get a result."
Nicholas has now been at Field Mill for more than a month-and-a-half and has enjoyed his time in Notts.
But the former Swindon man says he is no clearer to knowing his future.
Nicholas said: "I'm out of contract in the summer with Rotherham but I don't know what's happening with them. I just trying to impress Mansfield and them as well."



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