AFC WIMBLEDON PREVIEWS
AFC Wimbledon boss will change tactics for Mansfield clash
Apr 8 2010 By Jacob Murtagh
AFC Wimbledon boss Terry Brown admits he must change his tactics in a bid to get back to winning ways.
Last night's 5-0 drubbing at York means the Dons have leaked eight goals in the last two games without scoring themselves.
And he says they will ditch their gung-ho approach at Mansfield on Saturday to try and stop the rot.
He said: “After two thumpings my job is to keep the players heads up, and we may have to adapt a more negative approach for the Mansfield game as our present cavalier approach is conceding too may goals."
Mansfield v AFC Wimbledon
Apr 8 2010 By Jacob Murtagh
AFC Wimbledon are sweating on the fitness of Will Hendry and Danny Kedwell for Saturday's trip to Mansfield.
The duo missed last night's drubbing at York, as the Dons named just four subs at KitKat Crescent.
Boss Terry Brown is already without long-term crocks Alan Inns, Lewis Taylor, Ross Montague and Jon Main, while Elliott Godfrey is out on loan.
Stags boss urges players to push to the finish
Saturday, April 10, 2010, 07:00Comment on this story
MANSFIELD Town must do all they can to ensure their season does not fizzle out, boss David Holdsworth insisted today.
The Stags had their slim hopes of claiming a Blue Square Premier play-off place ended by Monday's 3-2 defeat at Cambridge.
But Holdsworth wants to see his players show pride and professionalism in their performances.
And he wants them to show a hunger for being at Field Mill – and to carry some momentum into 2010-2011.
Mansfield go in search of their first win in five home matches when they host AFC Wimbledon this afternoon.
"Anybody who knows me, and a fair few people in Mansfield do by now, will know I want to win, no matter what the situation," said Holdsworth.
"I want us to continue fighting for the fractions – I've got that type of personality.
"I hope the players share that view and work as hard as they can between now and our last game against Kidderminster.
"We are still striving for that winning formula and there have been some good performances of late that haven't been rewarded in terms of points.
"We hope to finish in the top five, but that wasn't to be, but we are still trying to build and have to learn from it. You listen to Martin ONeill and Sam Allardyce and they are trying to build, so if it's good enough for the Premiership, it's good enough for us."
A number of Mansfield players are out of contract in the summer, Michael Brough, Jon Challinor, Ollie Hotchkiss and Ryan Williams among them.
Holdsworth expects to see those who are fit push their case for new deals in the final four games.
(comment Williams is NOT out of contract)
Marriott brutally honest over Stags shortcomings
Saturday, April 10, 2010, 07:00Comment on this story
IT would have been easy to duck such a difficult question, but Alan Marriott had no qualms about answering honestly.
Asked whether not making the Blue Square Premier play-offs with the squad Mansfield Town have had this season represented failure, the goalkeeper did not hesitate.
"I think it is a failure," he said. "A club of Mansfield's stature demands to be up in the play-offs as a minimum. It is what the fans and chairman expect.
"Where we have finished is not what we wanted. For one reason or another we have not achieved what we would have liked.
"For me, it is individual mistakes that have cost us and the teams that have been the most consistent deserve to be up there.
"If you look at Oxford, they were on fire at the start of the season, but they have fallen away since, like ourselves. It's about consistency."
Ironically, Marriott has been arguably Mansfield's most consistent player and could vie for the player of the year awards along with Gary Silk.
He is disappointed with a tally of only ten clean sheets this season as the Stags have conceded 54 goals with four games left.
The former Lincoln man feels there are some mitigating circumstances but also that some of the damage is self-inflicted.
Marriott said: "The best teams also have settled back lines, which hasn't been the case for us where injuries, suspension and loss of form have played a part.
"Good teams are built on a good defence and we haven't had all that many clean sheets.
"I'm not saying changes at the back are the reason we have fallen away. You attack and defend as a team.
"It has contributed because when it's settled the players can get a better understanding of each other.
"But at the same time I don't think any of us can say we have been playing at our best for quite a while now.
"I think we have all under-performed and that is something we need to address in the summer.
"The professionalism the gaffer has brought to the team has been excellent.
"We have the right diet and look after our bodies right, do extra training in the afternoons with spinning classes and core exercises.
"I don't think there are many teams at this level putting that kind of effort in and I don't think there are many of them fitter than us."
Marriott believes Mansfield's dream of getting back into the Football League is only going to get harder in 2010-2011.
Mansfield chairman Andy Perry told the Evening Post this week the wage budget would be cut.
"If you look a the play-offs then you can see all the teams in there who don't go up being in there again," said Marriott.
"Then it looks like Grimsby and Darlington could be coming down and they are going to be wanting to get straight back into the league.
"I think the league is going to be even stronger than this year."
But while the Stags already have one eye on next season, there are still the formalities of the current campaign to finish, starting with the visit of AFC Wimbledon this afternoon.
The Stags will be out to avenge a 2-0 defeat at Kingsmeadow in January in what was their first game of 2010.
Marriott said: "I was very impressed with Wimbledon when we went down there.
"They have had one or two good results recently, which shows they are a capable outfit. When they make the transition from part-time to full-time they are going to be a force to be reckoned with.
"They have had the euphoria of promotion last season and have a fantastic following.
"I think they lost some key players at key times and that has cost them but they have still been there or thereabouts in the play-off race."
Friday 09 April 2010
first team news
Terry on the Surrey Senior Cup and the trip to Mansfield
Terry Brown watched the reserve team go down 2-0 to Godalming Town last night but he was impressed with their display against a much older, more experienced and physically stronger team.
"Thursday night's Surrey Cup semi final game against Godalming saw a very spirited display by a young Dons side. In a closely fought game with very few chances Godalming went ahead in the second half and we never really looked like breaking them down after that. A second goal was a bit harsh as the game was closer than 2-0.
"There were good displays by several youngsters and the game enabled me to have a close look at the young crop of players we have coming through. It would have been lovely to try and achieve two finals this year in which I could have mixed and matched first team players with the youngsters. It now leaves me in a slightly more difficult position with reference to what side I put out against Croydon Athletic, as we would genuinely like to win the London Senior cup if possible.
"Although people might on paper think we should automatically roll over a side like Godalming they are a very well drilled, successful side who are having an excellent year. The boys will have gained valuable experience last night and this will serve them well in future.
"Saturday's game at Mansfield is another very difficult test for a squad of players who have played a large number of games recently. The priority for Saturday has to be stemming the flow of goals and we need to be a lot more solid, not just in defence, but as a team.
"Mansfield are another big strong side with a physical presence that we need to combat better than we have done over the last couple of games. The weather looks good so your trip up to Mansfield will hopefully be a lot more pleasant than the trip to York on Wednesday!
"On the fitness front we are hopeful of having both Danny Kedwell and Will Hendry available for selection and at this moment in time the only other player who has picked up an injury is Danny Blanchett; he will be missing from the side on Saturday.
It is important that we show some character on Saturday and bounce back from what has been a very difficult week. Those of you who managed to get to York were fantastic and thanks for your support. See you on Saturday."
David Holdsworth video interview--->
7 April 2010
VIDEO & COMMENT: Three out for Wimbledon clash
Posted on: Wed 07 Apr 2010
Top scorer Rob Duffy is hoping to be back to full fitness for Saturday's home clash with AFC Wimbledon whilst he recovers from a dead leg.
Duffy missed out on Monday's away defeat at Cambridge United because of the injury but is now in full training and hoping to be named in the squad for this weekend's clash with the Dons.
Versatile defender Michael Brough has been ruled out for the remainder of the season due to a dislocated finger as has Oliver Hotchkiss who is struggling with a calf strain and is doubtful to make a comeback this term.
Luke Jones is the only other confirmed absentee after suffering ligament damage during our game against Luton last month but manager David Holdsworth expects him to be fit in a week to ten days, but has not ruled out selecting him for next Tuesday's home clash with Rushden & Diamonds.
The manager, David Holdsworth, is speaking at today's press meeting from the John Fretwell Sporting Complex. Dave Rhodes of Mansfield 103.2 is asking the questions.
Our hopes of finishing inside the play off places were finally ended after Monday's 3-2 defeat to Cambridge as we can now no longer mathematically reach them. The Gaffer said that he was not only disappointed at the end of our promotion charge but also the way in which we were defeated after conceding a late penalty against the 10-man U's at the Abbey Stadium.
He said: "I felt upset because of the manner we lost the three points. When you care as much as I do about the team and the football club, it's going to affect you.
"We want to work as hard as we can and achieve as much as we can and if you can't do that then you should be upset by it. If you don't show emotion then you don't care enough.
"I always try to be positive and I remain so. We have a strong squad and we will try and do as well as we can next season."
Looking back at the season so far, the gaffer has highlighted the number of games that we have drawn this term as a key area to improve on next season if we are to finish in the top five.
He added: "The stats will show at the end of the season what areas we need to improve on but likewise I don't think we have been that far away.
"We were in the play offs for most of the season and we can't do anything about the Chester scenario but, there have been draws that were telling moments and I will reflect on that at the end of the season.
"There have been some positives but ultimately we did not achieve our objective of a place in the play offs and that will be something we will look to improve on.
Of course we still have four games left to go and the Gaffer will not be letting standards drop and he seeks the highest possible finish in the table. He also sent out a reminder to his players out of contract in the summer that they will need to go out and impress him if they are to be offered new deals.
"I'm looking for the players to show their professionalism and to work as hard as they can. I want that steel about them and for them to enjoy their football.
"I want them to go out there and play for the club and the fans. If they do not roll their sleeves up and show commitment then they will not be here next season."
Smaller squad for Holdsworth next season
CHAD.co.uk, 07 April 2010, By John Lomas
DAVID Holdsworth has accepted he will be working with a smaller squad and budget next season.
With the club's Football League parachute payment coming to an end this year, chairman Andy Perry has already said the club will be cutting their cloth accordingly.
And chief executive Stewart Rickersey and operations manager Sharon Rickersey this week left the club on top of an office redundancy last month.
However, Holdsworth, who has a four-year contract, said: "The club is the biggest thing and you want the town behind it.
"I have worked very closely with Andy Perry and the board and I totally respect their views 100 per cent.
"I will roll up my sleeves and work as hard as I can for this football club.
"I firmly believe we have a strong squad and we can achieve more. We have got to work as hard as we can.
"The statistics will show where we can improve on as there are areas in which we just haven't been good enough.
"Likewise we have not been far away and the majority of the season we have been in the play-off places.
"There have been telling moments and you can look to some of the draws we have had against certain teams. There has been a very fine line between some draws and defeats as well.
"Keeping the club up was a hard enough achievement when I got here and so I was pleased with that.
"Then we had the amount of players out of contract so we didn't have that continuity which was both a good thing and a bad thing. I had to bring the personnel in with the infrastructure we had.
"So there have been a lot of positives this season even though we didn't achieve our goal of the play-offs."
Despite the grumblings of a small number of fans about the manager at the end of last weekend's home defeat by Wrexham, Mr Perry has also publicly backed his boss this week, despite the end of Stags' play-off ambitions for another year and Holdsworth said: "Most managers would be pleased with that sort of backing and it shows the texture of Mr Perry and the board. They know how hard I work at this football club.
"I respect the fans and they are entitled to their opinions. Sometimes you just have to roll your sleeves up and there will be no quarter not given as we try to achieve as much as we can."
Stags under orders to finish on a high
CHAD.co.uk, 07 April 2010, By John Lomas
DAVID Holdsworth has ordered his players to finish the season on a high, starting with Saturday's visit of AFC Wimbledon (3pm).
Stags can no longer make the play-offs but must face the Dons, Rushden and Diamonds, Oxford United and Kidderminster Harriers in a testing end to the campaign.
"It is a tough run-in. But I want my players to show professionalism and steel and enjoy playing their football," said Holdsworth.
"Anyone not prepared to cross that line and roll their sleeves up will not be here next season - 100 per cent."
Keeper Alan Marriott agreed: "We have still got to approach the games in the right manner and leave the supporters with something positive to go away with as well as personal performances and professional pride.
"There are lads looking to win contracts and achieve bonuses. I wanted 15 clean sheets so that is my aim.
"We want to finish on a high and give us something to build on next season.
"It is always at the back of your thoughts about your holidays and there is a bit more extra banter between the lads about how many days to the summer.
"But we have families and you want the security for them of a contract.
"It has been a learning curve this season. We have young lads learning their trade but, if we can keep the nucleus of the squad, it bodes well for the future.
"A club of Mansfield's size and stature demands us to be up there in the play-offs minimum. The fans and the chairman expect that.
"So where we have finished is definitely a failure. For one reason and another we have not achieved that."
On Saturday's opponents, he said: "I was very impressed with them when we played down there. They have proved to be a capable outfit and they are still only part-time.
"When they are full time they will be a force to be reckoned with. They've had the euphoria of back to back promotions and living off the Wimbledon name and have a fantastic following that have kept them going.
"But they have lost key players at key points."
Defender Gary Silk added: "It is a very hard run-in. The pressure is off us a bit now though you would prefer to still have the pressure of being in the play-offs.
"You haven't really got anything to play for so you go out there, work hard and enjoy the games and hope to take points off the other teams."
Rob Duffy suffered a dead leg against Wrexham and, although he came off the bench on Monday, was no where near fitness. Since then he has been off ill so may only be up to a spot on the bench for Saturday.
Luke Jones continues to improve quicker than expected and he could be in contention for Tuesday night which means Scott Garner is almost certain to replace the injured Michael Brough on Saturday.
Stags' Brough out for season
Evening Post, April 06, 2010
MICHAEL Brough has been ruled out for the rest of the season with a severely dislocated finger, boss David Holdsworth has confirmed today.
The central defender sustained the injury in the Stags' 3-2 defeat at Cambridge United yesterday.
Brough is to see a hand specialist in Derby today.
If there is no need for an operation, the former Notts County man will be out for approximately three to four weeks. If he does, it could be six to eight weeks.
Either way, he is unlikely to figure before Mansfield round off their season against Kidderminster Harriers on April 24.
"I thought it was Michael's shoulder because he has played with a bad shoulder for a number of weeks with a support on it," said Holdsworth.
"But it turns out it is his finger. He did bang his shoulder, but that was not as severe.
"I have seen his finger and it is in a bad way, its a complete dislocation and they have to assess whether the ligaments are damaged.
"He is gone for the rest of the season which is a blow because he has been outstanding since moving into defence.
"He's a very honest player, but the good thing is that we have flexible players to offer some cover."
Marriott speaks on Brough horror clash
CHAD.co.uk, 07 April 2010, By John Lomas
ALAN Marriott has spoken about the horrific collision that ended Michael Brough's season in Monday's 3-2 defeat at Cambridge United.
Brough was taken to hospital with a compound fracture of the finger and damaged shoulder and Marriott said: "I didn't realise how badly hurt Michael was until I looked round and saw him.
"Their lad, I think it was Danny Crow, should feel quite bad as he pushed Michael into me.
"The bone from his finger had come through the skin and it wasn't nice. We wish him all the best.
"I came down on my face and I almost swallowed the ball. I have quite a big mouth and it almost went down there! I am not the biggest keeper physically so I always need to protect myself. But Broughie took the brunt of it."
Brough has been wearing a shoulder brace on that arm as well for two months and also hurt that in the collision.
He is now out for the season and may need an operation on the finger.
Jones' Stags return is imminent
Wednesday, April 07, 2010, 13:23Comment on this story
LUKE Jones is hoping to return to the Mansfield Town's defence before the end of the season.
The former Kidderminster man has not figured for the Stags since limping off with an ankle problem in the 0-0 draw with Luton Town in early March.
But boss David Holdsworth says Jones is making good progress.
"Luke's worked very hard and credit to the boy because he is determined to get back and play before the season is over," he added.
"Hopefully he will return within a week to 10 days."
But midfielder Ollie Hotchkiss is unlikely to figure again before the end of the campaign.
Holdsworth said: "I doubt he will play again this season. He's struggling with his calf and will be unable to pull on a shirt.
"It was a big chance for him to come in and make an impact, but unfortunately hi's had injury after injury and sickness and he hasn't been able to play for one reason or another.
Rob Duffy missed Monday's trip to Cambridge with a dead leg and has this week been suffering with sickness, but could still be in contention against AFC Wimbledon on Saturday.
"I don't think our points tally has reflected some of the good performances we have put in recently," said Holdsworth.
"But I'm looking for the players to show professionalism.
"I don't think we need to experiment too much."
Hot property Speight targets 20-goal haul
Thursday, April 08, 2010, 07:00Comment on this story
HIGHLY-RATED Jake Speight has his eye on a 20-goal haul in 2010-2011 – in the colours of Mansfield Town.
The livewire striker has been linked with several Football League clubs, including Sheffield Wednesday and first club Sheffield United.
Speight is under contract with the Stags for next season after the club took up a further year's option on him.
And far from thinking about the possibility of a higher level move, the former Droylsden man is concentrating on more success at Field Mill.
Speight collected his 12th goal of an injury-hit season at Cambridge on Monday in the Stags' 3-2 defeat.
But he is convinced he can be even more prolific if he can stay off the treatment table.
"The knee is fine now and my hope is to play more games and get more goals," said Speight.
"I think I'm ready to start more games now, but it is down to the gaffer and he did well not to rush me back.
"I'm not going to get 20 goals this season, but that's something I do have in mind for next season. That's a target every striker aims for.
"I do think I can still score 15 goals this season, which was my target at the start.
"It's encouraging that other clubs are rumoured to be interested in me. Every player wants to play at the highest level possible but I'm concentrating on Mansfield."
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