Speight hoping on new deal
CHAD.co.uk, 22 April 2010, By John Lomas
JAKE Speight will be hoping to add to his 15-goal tally in the final game of the season at home to Kidderminster Harriers on Saturday (3pm) and enhance his claims for a new deal with the Stags.
"The fans took to me and have been brilliant and I have enjoyed every minute of it here," he said.
"We will just have to see what happens for next season. I have not been offered anything yet but I think I have done pretty well and would love to stay here.
"The gaffer brought me in and I have a good relationship with him. It is down to him that I am playing my best football.
"Obviously any footballer wants to play in the League as high as possible, not just me. But I have come in here and scored goals and enjoyed it and would like to stay if possible. I hope it can get sorted."
Stags striker Speight has what it takes
Evening Post, April 23, 2010
JAKE Speight has every chance of carving out a successful career in the Football League, Mansfield skipper Luke Foster claimed today.
The livewire striker has bagged 14 goals from 14 starts and 18 substitute appearances this season.
It is the kind of strike-rate that is rumoured to have sparked the interest of clubs at a higher level.
Speight started out his career with hometown club Sheffield United and also had a spell at Bury before dropping into the non-league game.
But his stock has risen since making a summer move to Field Mill from Droylsden and Foster can understand why the 24-year-old is so well regarded.
"I know Speighty because he is a Sheffield lad and I'm from Mexborough and we know a lot of the same people in the game," said Foster.
"He is always a threat in and around the box and because of that, he is going to attract interest from other clubs. He's powerful and strong.
"It is important for us that we do our best to keep him and I know the club are trying to do that.
"Of course, if you get a big offer for someone then you have to consider it, but if the club wants to move on, we need to keep our best players.
"Jake's definitely got the ability to play higher and just a little bit of fine tuning of his game will give him a good shot.
"I don't think there is that much of a difference in standard between this league and League Two."
Foster believes a fit Speight next year would be a real handful for Blue Square Premier defences.
He just hopes the hitman can stay injury-free and find the right, settled partner.
Foster added: "He's definitely good enough to get 20-odd goals for Mansfield in a season.
"He's scored in the teens this season and he'd have more if he'd played 10 to 15 more games.
"It's important to find the right man to play up front with him and stick with it. Rob Duffy and Kyle Perry have both had decent goal returns this year and can do it."
Somner not change his no-nonsense style for Stags
IT had been such a long time since Matt Somner started a Mansfield Town game that he was barely recognisable at Oxford United last weekend.
Gone was the shaven-headed figure so familiar to Stags fans, a look he had sported since signing for the Stags in the summer of 2008.
Instead, the midfielder ran out at a sun-drenched Kassam Stadium with a full crop of hair that, by his own admission, has seen him mistaken for striker Kyle Perry.
And supporters will see yet another new hairstyle against Kidderminster as Somner has decided to change it yet again.
But what has not altered in the former Notts County man's extended absence from the first team – since being dropped following February's 2-0 home defeat to Gateshead – is his no-nonsense style.
On the pitch, Somner has always prided himself on getting stuck in, making it hard for the opposition to play and giving others the opportunity to express themselves.
He is just as straightforward off the field, too, where he is frank in his assessment of his exile.
"Being out of the side has been horrible," said Somner. "The Gateshead game was a few months ago and seems like a lot longer. It's just been a case of waiting.
"I have got back in for the Oxford match but it is the second last game of the season, so there's nothing to play for.
"It would have been nice to come back when we are still fighting for the play-offs."
Somner found it hard to keep up with the pace of the game as a patchwork side went down to a 2-0 defeat.
Somner said: "I was hanging in there, because it felt like it was about 90 degrees and I haven't played for a while.
"I was very disappointed to be left out, although I understand why. The gaffer made a decision because a lot of us had not performed. But I didn't think I was one of the worst.
"The worst thing is that the team has not been winning consistently. If that's the case you have no complaints.
"With us not doing so well, you just want to get out there and try to make a difference."
After waiting so long to feature, Somner is desperate to hold onto his place against Kidderminster.
"Every player wants to win no matter what the situation," said Somner. "Every team has its bad losers and we are no different. I still think everyone will be up for it and won't want to let themselves down."
Kidderminster win could set the tone for next season, says keeper.
CHAD.co.uk, 22 April 2010, By John Lomas
ALAN Marriott, who is expected to do well in the player of the year awards tonight, said it was vital the club go out on a high against Kidderminster on Saturday.
"I was listening to Steve Coppell on Sky Sports News and he was saying how you finish the season sets the tone for the start of next season which is right, so this is an important game," he said ahead of a game in which neither side have anything to play for but pride.
"And we owe them one for the result down there when we didn't really turn up.
"We need to go out there and put on a performance and give the fans a lift and some excitement.
"The last game against Stevenage last season was great as they had something to play for so it had the extra edge that we won't have on Saturday.
"It has not been as enjoyable since Christmas as we were doing well but then started to sliding down the league. To not make the play-offs is a bit of a disaster.
"We have let the fans down and no one can say they have played at their best consistently for the whole season. We've probably played at two thirds what we are capable of which everyone is disappointed by.
"I know I can play better which is something I have got to go out and prove next season."
Rob Duffy, Gary Silk and Kyle Nix are all touch and go to be fit for Saturday and boss David Holdsworth added: "The lads want to play but we will have to see how they are.
"If we have to go without them so be it. I have been asked about playing some youngsters but I want to win the game so will start with my strongest team.
"If injuries dictate then maybe there will have to be one or to on the bench. I could play Neil Collett but fans will want to see Alan Marriott so I know I must start with Mazza.
"I want to do things correctly and give the fans a win."
David Holdsworth video interview --->
20 April 2010
David Holdsworth is speaking to Dave Rhodes (Mansfield 103.2), John Lomas (Chad) and Matt Halfpenny (Evening Post) at today's press conference from The John Fretwell Sporting Complex
VIDEO & comment: Gaffer tips Silk and Marriott for Player of the Season Award
Posted on: Tue 20 Apr 2010
David Holdsworth has revealed that Gary Silk and Alan Marriott would be his nominees for our Player of the Season Award.
Although the final decision rests with the Board of Directors, the Gaffer has identified the two players as most deserving of the prestigious award in his eyes. The recipient, of course, will be presented with this accolade at our end of season dinner in the Sudexo Suite, Civic Centre on Thursday night.
"It's not up to me but I would share it between them if I could as they are equally deserving of it," said Holdsworth.
"The man between the sticks has been in great form which is why I brought Alan to the club.
"The three centre forwards have also had good seasons and scored over 10 goals each."
One of those centre forwards is leading scorer Rob Duffy who had to be withdrawn during the second half of our game with Oxford last Saturday and may be a doubt for our final game of the season against Kidderminster this weekend.
Defender Luke Jones made a return to first team duty in that game after a lengthy lay off with ligament damage and earned the praise of Holdsworth for how he coped against potent Oxford forward James Constable who has now scored 22 goals this season.
"I had to bring Rob Duffy off with a hamstring strain and he might be a danger for the weekend," he said.
"Luke Jones is still recovering as he had 10 weeks without a game so I think he is still finding his legs.
"He was shot to bits by playing up against the likes of Constable and Midson and came off shattered."
Last Saturday also saw Stevenage secure promotion to the Football League and seal the Blue Square Premier title with a 2-0 win at Kidderminster. David Holdsworth has paid tribute to Boro's manager Graham Westley and pointed out that we must get tighter in defence if we are to emulate his side's successful promotion push and regain our Football League status.
"We must congratulate everyone at Stevenage concerned with their promotion," he added. "We all want to be up there but it does take time and you need the fans to be patient.
"You need strong people around you. I have a strong relationship with (Chairman) Andrew Perry and we know where we have to build.
"We have not been good enough defensively this year and that's an aspect we must improve on.
"There have been goals that we've conceded too easily and maybe we haven't had that mental strength but the boys have learned a lot this season and will come back (in August) refreshed and ready to work hard next season."
The visit of Kidderminster to Field Mill this weekend will give the Gaffer a final opportunity to make decisions on whether to retain several players who will be out of contract in the near future. He wants to see a positive performance from his players and assure's Stags' faithful that he is looking to end of the season on a high.
"I look forward to Saturday and up to the last minute I will be assessing people's mentality. I only want people here next season with the right mentality.
"I don't believe in letting your guard down and I want my players to go out there like it's the first game of the season again.
"I would like to see them all go off (for their summer break) full of confidence."
Emerging duo have bright Stags futures
Evening Post, April 21, 2010
LOUIS Briscoe and Scott Garner will be stronger players in 2010 after their experiences at Mansfield Town this season.
That's the view of manager David Holdsworth, who has seen both young players endure mixed emotions.
Winger Briscoe and defender Garner are under contract with the Stags next season.
And Holdsworth feels they will benefit from their first full seasons at Blue Square Premier level.
"Louis has done consistently better recently and I think he has learned a lot. The last ten games he has stepped up," he said.
"I gave Scott a rollicking at Wimbledon because I wanted to find out about him. I wanted to see if he was strong enough to bounce back and that has proven to be the case.
"I wanted to bring young players here, but then you have to manage them correctly."
The results of Mansfield's players' player of the year will be announced tomorrow night.
Holdsworth will have no influence on who will win but believes there are two outstanding candidates.
He said: "Gary Silk has improved as a player and has had a very strong season.
"And then there is the young man between the sticks (Alan Marriott). He's been consistent and made very few mistakes, setting himself very high standards.
"I would say those two would deserve to share it."
Let's end on a high - Holdsworth
CHAD.co.uk, 21 April 2010
STAGS boss David Holdsworth has ordered his players to end the season on a high when they complete their fixtures with Saturday's home visit of Kidderminster Harriers (3pm).
"I do no believe in letting the guard down in any way and I want my players to perform like they did in the first home game against Crawley and give their best," he said.
"We are looking forward to Saturday and I am still evaluating people.
"I want us to play well against a very good Kidderminster outfit, then go away and recharge our batteries to come back refreshed and ready to work hard for this football club. The players will train throughout May anyway and then they will all be spoken to privately and told what I expect from them next season and given a programme to go away with."
A Stags win would help wipe away the misery of the 3-0 defeat at Aggborough when Mansfield turned in one of their worst displays of the season.
Holdsworth said: "I have watched it a 100 times on video and some played with reputations that day but certainly didn't bring their boots. We had young Scott Gardner at left back that night and he was exposed. We didn't play in wide areas and up top we were dreadful."
Stags want to send their fans away with a smile on their face and renewed hope for next season, though it will once again be a hugely tough division to get out of as Mansfield plan for their third season in exile from the Football League.
"You look at managers like Nigel Clough with Burton and Graham Westley with Stevenage, it doesn't happen over night - you need time," said Holdsworth.
"You need a strong chairman and fans to be patient. You have to have realistic ambitions but always demand more from yourself and the players and achieve as much as possible with what you've got."
With on-loan left back Andy Nicholas now returned to Rotherham with his fractured elbow and Gary Silk, Rob Duffy and Kyle Nix all struggling with injuries, Stags could again be depleted against Kidderminster, as they were at Oxford United where they finally let in two late goals to lose 2-0 last weekend.
"The lads came out of that game with much credit," he said. "Stevie Istead and Andy Burgess are not full backs but played well and Luke Jones was thrown back in after 10 weeks without a game.
"He was running on empty for the last 20 minutes and it was no surprise we started to tire. But everyone put in a shift and showed character."
At least skipper Luke Foster is available again for the last game after not being permitted to play against his old club last Saturday.
David Holdsworth will be seen on a Kitkat advert on TV during the World Cup. "I don't know how much of me you'll see as there are many more illustrious managers out there than me, but it was a bit of fun and we look forward to seeing it," he said.
Latest | April 2010