HOLDSWORTH AND BURR REACTION
David Holdsworth audio interview --->
Steve Burr audio interview --->
Burr - we were second best
Saturday 21st August 2010
MANAGER Steve Burr gave an honest assessment of his team's performance after they were shot down 3-1 at home by Mansfield on Saturday.
The Aggborough outfit had went ahead thanks to Tom Shaw's penalty before goals for Luke Medley, Paul Connor and Rob Duffy ensured their defeat in the second half.
Burr admitted that Harriers were second best.
He said: "My assessment was that we were second best.
"I thought in the first half we got off to a great start, we managed to hang onto the lead by half-time but we lost Callum Gittings to an injury and had to change things around.
"In the second half Mansfield were a better side and deserved to win.
"It is early days yet. The squad of players we've got has to play at a maximum to compete so whether we can get that out of them week-in, week-out remains to be seen.
"In patches we played some really good stuff, but it's sustaining it that's the problem."
Saturday's game was the third in a row that they had taken an early lead and the manager demanded his players cope with the pressure of going ahead.
He added: "It's dealing with going in front, the players have to be strong.
"Mansfield were getting on top end of the first half and they had a couple of free headers which we were disappointed in.
"You've got to deal with being in front, that's part and parcel of the game.
"But the lads are very disappointed, as the game went on I felt we were just chasing.
"We've got to learn fast and we've got to stand up teams like Mansfield."
Harriers will be aiming to bounce back in the Blue Square Premier when they go to Wrexham on Tuesday night (7.45pm kick-off).
Winger Callum Gittings is a doubt after being substituted at half-time with a shin injury.
Striker Marc Williams, who came closest to scoring for Harriers in the second half, will not be allowed to play against the Dragons as part of his loan-deal to Harriers.
Boss hails Medley supershow
CHAD.co.uk, 21 August 2010, By John Lomas
STAGS manager David Holdsworth hailed Luke Medley's second half supershow as Stags came from behind to win 3-1 at Kidderminster Harriers.
Half-time sub Medley scored one, made another and terrified Kidderminster with his power and pace. Holdsworth said: "I was pleased for Luke as he is a charming young character.
"It gives me a nice headache now for Tuesday as I have good competition for places up front.
"Luke did take a little knock at the end. But when you are scoring goals you can overcome those knocks quickly.
"I was also pleased with Rob Duffy's cameo as he has worked so hard in training.
"I was delighted with the result. It was a convincing victory and some very pleasing performances from everyone concerned.
"We had some very good opportunities to score even more goals. How we were behind at half-time is beyond me. But that's football and I've seen it a million times.
"I didn't think it was a penalty but I don't want to say more as I don't want to get into trouble.
"But I told them to keep the faith, find another 20 per cent and we could get something out of it. I felt a victory was there for the taking."
Some Stags fans chanted for Kyle Nix – not in the 16 – when 1-0 down, but Holdsworth said: "I know Kyle is a very good player and I respect the fans have individuals they like.
"But we have a healthy squad here and I picked what I felt was a winning side today which proved to be right. Hopefully the fans will get behind the players out there for the foreseeable future.
"It has been a tough week and a tough few months off the field so I am delighted for Mr Saunders (chairman) and the board. Everyone has worked very hard and they are good people.
"I feel we have a dressing room that is competitive and hope we can continue to do well and a few more people might turn up to support us in numbers. Then we may be able to add even more quality to this squad to compete with the boys who are going to be at the top."
Star turn Medley added: "It was good to get my first goal for the club and get the win.
"It was nice to be able to repay the supporters who helped bring me here and I hope I can do it more and more during the season.
"I really enjoyed it. The gaffer told me at half time to run at them and do what I do and that's what I did.
"I was gutted not to score another as I had one or two chances.
"It was nice to get a whole half. I know you have to earn your place and I think I did okay today."
On the goal, he added: "We practise finishing every day. I kept my eye on the ball and made sure I got good contact and got it on target and fortunately it went in."
And on the penalty decision he said: "The referee said 'no' but the linesman changed his mind. We were unlucky to be 1-0 down as we did alright. But we picked ourselves up at half time."
Holdsworth lavishes the praise on his Stags players after win
DAVID Holdsworth lavished praise on his Mansfield Town side after they brushed aside off-the-field uncertainty to record the first away win of the season at Kidderminster.
The Stags were deserved 3-1 winners, coming from a goal down with second half strikes from Luke Medley, Paul Connor and Rob Duffy.
Mansfield lost £500,000 in 2008-09 and are expected to lose the same amount in 2009-10. They are now seeking new backers.
But boss Holdsworth was pleased the players remained focus on their own jobs to bounce back from last Tuesday's 3-0 defeat at Fleetwood.
"It's been a tough week and a tough few months, especially for the board, but they are very good people," said Holdsworth.
"There are things that I can't do myself in a managerial role, but we have all worked very hard and sometimes that pays dividends.
"With respect, I don't always think the fans sometimes understand what goes on behind the scenes, but there is a very good atmosphere in the camp.
"The players deserve the credit for the work they have put in. It was a solid performance with a tremendous work ethic – things that I believe in.
"I said in pre-season we would have the pace, movement and creativity to cause teams problems – and we saw that against Kidderminster.
"I used the Fleetwood game to motivate them and I expected a response.
"They listened to me and accepted the constructive criticism and that display should give them a lot of confidence."
Medley knows he is not guaranteed a starting berth
LUKE Medley knows he is not guaranteed to start Mansfield's home game with Kettering tomorrow night – despite starring at Kidderminster.
Coming on at half-time for Keigan Parker, the striker netted an equaliser and set up Rob Duffy for his late third.
He terrorised the Harriers defence with his pace and power and pushed his claims for a starting berth against the Poppies.
But Medley said: "You have to earn your place in the team and it is up to the manager who he picks.
"He has got more of a headache now, but he has to choose what he feels is the strongest team to do the job in each match.
"I really enjoyed the match against Kidderminster. I love the ball at my feet running at defenders – that's what my game is all about.
"It was brilliant to score after eight minutes, it settled me, as well as the lads down and then we really started to pressure and got a second straight away.
"It was a fantastic win for us to come back from 1-0 down. It is easy to drop heads at that point, but we battled well.
The fans were brilliant behind the goal and this will bring the team spirit together."
Medley was pleased to open his competitive account for Mansfield, having scored in a pre-season friendly at Hucknall, but still slightly disappointed.
"I could have had quite a few more and the frustrating thing is I missed them," he said.
"I work on being composed when finishing, but I didn't get it right and that's something I hope to do better when I get more chances."
And former Mansfield Town player Keith Briggs admitted his Kidderminster Harriers side were second best.
He added: "At this level of football it's difficult if you're not on top of your game."
Returning Duffy delighted to banish Aggborough disappointment
ROB Duffy was delighted to mark his return to the Mansfield side with a match-clinching goal against Kidderminster – and banish last season's Aggborough disappointment from the memory.
The Stags striker netted a consolation penalty in the corresponding fixture last season on a night of misery for the Stags.
He struck again on Saturday but this time in happier circumstances to ensure Mansfield claimed all three points.
It was a welcome reward for the Welshman who has battled back from a summer appendix operation ahead of schedule.
"Medders (Luke Medley) came on and caused mayhem and a few minutes earlier after I had just come on he was in a similar position as for the goal but got the ball stuck under his feet," said Duffy.
"But he got the second one right and I got to it with a bit of a stretch. It wasn't the cleanest of connections, but I didn't need to with that sort of ball in.
"You have to enjoy moments like that, which is why I did the celebration sliding on my knees in front of the fans.
"It was probably our worst performance of the season here last year so it's nice to right a wrong and put that to bed."
Duffy insists Mansfield were always confident of turning the game around, despite going behind after just eight minutes.
He said: "I didn't at any stage feel as if we were in any danger. They didn't really cut us open. The majority of the play was us going forward and in the second half it was one-way traffic."