HOLDSWORTH, A.SMITH, C.SMITH, HEATHCOTE REACTION
David Holdsworth video interview --->
Chris Smith and Adam Smith video interviews --->
Chris Smith is interviewed by Adam Bates (photo by Neil Shaw)
Stags boss Holdsworth refuses to get too carried away
TABLE-TOPPING Mansfield Town cannot afford to get carried away by their flying start to the new season, says boss David Holdsworth.
The Stags crushed Altrincham 4-0 at Moss Lane yesterday with two goals for Keigan Parker and one each for Paul Connor and Adam Smith.
"I'm extremely pleased because we have come away and walloped a side who are gritty, aggressive and can cause problems," said Holdsworth.
"To come and play the way we did, with two wingers and adventurously, was extremely satisfying.
"We want to secure points early on because other teams have been slipping up.
"But it's only a start. I have been in the game long enough to know this is only a platform to build on."
Holdsworth also praised the way Mansfield defended to claim a second successive clean sheet.
He said: "You could probably hear me shouting to make sure we were resolute. The centre halves have grown as a partnership. I thought Kevin Sandwith had his best game defensively and Gary Silk got forward very well.
"The back four can take a lot of pressure off the rest of the side when we defend like that."
Proud boss not getting carried away as Stags sit top of table
CHAD.co.uk, 30 August 2010, By John Lomas
MANSFIELD Town sit proudly on top of the BSBP tonight after a fine 4-0 win at Altrincham – but boss David Holdsworth is not getting carried away.
"I am delighted with our start – but it is only a start," he said.
"I have been in the game long enough to know this is a platform to build on with points on the board early doors.
"We have hit the ground running and I am pleased for the players and for the football club itself as we want to do things right and have that professional aspect. My players have adjusted quickly.
"We are where we are. I am picking an unchanged side at the moment which is enjoyable. I thought about a change today to freshen things up. But the boys have earned the shirts and want to hold onto them.
"I was extremely pleased today as our start was bright.
"I had the boys in yesterday for a warm-down and said it was dangerous having a second game in three days away from home. I emphasised it was about managing the minutes.
"So to come here and wallop a side that are gutsy and aggressive and can cause teams a lot of problems is extremely satisfying."
At 2-0 down, the home side had their best spell early in the second half without causing Alan Marriott any problems.
"At half-time I would imagine Mr Heathcote told his players he wanted them to show a bit more and needed to see a response. But our power and pace eliminated any danger," said Holdsworth.
It was also Mansfield's first back to back win in 11 months, following Saturday's 1-0 victory over Cambridge and he added: "I am not worried about stats like that, the most important thing is that the boys are playing well and, most importantly, are enjoying and it. They certainly have a smile on their faces right now.
"I was grateful for our fans today who were in fine fettle and good voice. It was a concise victory and I was pleased with how we went about our business."
Keigan Parker netted a late brace to seal the win, the second a spot kick which he won but then had an argument with fellow striker Rob Duffy who, as last season's regular penalty taker, wanted it too.
Holdsworth smiled and said: "They all want to score, but the young man created the goal himself and executed the penalty with precision."
Stags might have had an earlier penalty when the pacey Luke Medley looked to be brought down.
"Their defender didn't touch the ball and our player went down unprovoked so for me it was a penalty," said Holdsworth.
"I think the referee missed it as he was a little bit behind play – he couldn't keep up with Luke Medley."
The players now have a couple of days off before they return to prepare for Saturday's visit of fellow high-flyers Tamworth.
Smith delighted to open his goal account for Mansfield Town
ADAM Smith was delighted to open his Mansfield goal account at Moss Lane as his side cruised to victory against Altrincham.
After providing the cross from which Paul Connor netted the Stags' opener, the winger then cut in from the left to fire home from 30 yards.
Keigan Parker scored twice in the second half to compete bottom-of-the-table Altrincham's miserable afternoon.
"It was good to finally find the back of the net because it takes a bit of pressure off and now I can look to get the next one," said Smith.
"It was a goal that is the type of thing we work on in training. Louis (Briscoe) and myself practice cutting in from the wing and shooting.
"Russ (Duncan Russell) is always telling us to make sure we get them on target and you never know what can happen, so it was great to see this one fly in.
"The first one was a good goal as well because I'd had a chat with Paul Connor before the game about getting the ball in with my left foot.
"I have been cutting back on my right a lot but he said to try putting it in early with my left. I did, and we scored from it."
Smith admits the Mansfield squad are looking forward to a rest after a hectic start to the campaign which has taken in six games in 17 days.
He said: "We are right up there at the top of the league but we are not looking at that at the moment.
"We are just focusing on one game at a time and next is Tamworth on Saturday, where hopefully we can do the same thing again.
"It will be nice to have a rest because I think some of the lads are a bit tired – I know I am.
"We will have a couple of days off, recharge the batteries with our families and then come back ready to go again."
Alty's joint press officer, John Edwards, provides the following extended version of a piece in the The Sale & Altrincham Messenger
Graham Heathcote reflected on Altrincham's plight at the foot of the Blue Square Bet Premier and spelled out a stark message about his side's shortcomings.
Looking back on successive defeats by York and Mansfield that left them with just one point from six games, four adrift of Saturday's visitors Kidderminster, Heathcote admitted they had been found wanting and that he had been in discussions with the board about all aspects of the season so far, including his own position.
'I couldn't possibly fault the players for effort,' he said. 'That's good in one way but worrying in another because, if they are giving their all and still falling short, you've clearly got problems.
'We have played some good stuff at times, and we have faced some of the top sides, but the fact remains we are bottom with one point from six games. I don't enjoy seeing Altrincham propping up the rest.
'I could bleat about injury problems, but I won't, because the plain truth is we haven't got the depth of quality required. Not on the evidence so far. Answers have to be found. I have been talking to people at the club, the directors, and decisions have to be made, because it feels like we are back to square one, in terms of rebuilding the team.
'We have played some decent stuff in general terms, and even against Mansfield, there were patches where we played OK. But I saw shoulders slumping when we went behind, and it concerns me that we are making it easy for opponents. Teams aren't having to work too hard for their goals, and that is a worry.
'It's not a disaster, but the aim at the moment seems to stretch no higher than trying to get out of the bottom four, and that's not the sort of target I want to be setting myself. Not after we came so close to establishing ourselves as a good Conference side before being decimated by retirement and players leaving to go full time during the summer.
'I take 100 per cent blame, because I put the squad together and the evidence so far suggests the players I brought in may not be up to the mark. There have to be changes, whether it be myself or on the playing side, and I have been talking to the board about the way ahead, in all areas.
'It hurts, I can tell you, and I hope the players are hurting as much. One bright spot against Mansfield was the way James McCarthy showed some decent touches. You could tell he has spent some time at Crewe. He looked that type of footballer, good in possession and some promising touches.'
Latest | September 2010