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Archived News from October 2010

13th October 2010 20:13


Nix to miss TV game?
CHAD.co.uk, Thu Oct 07 2010

KYLE Nix looks set to miss out on Mansfield Town's live televised game at Rushden and Diamonds on Saturday (5.15pm) with illness.


Nix, who has been battling on with a calf injury this week, was sent home today after going down with a nasty virus and looks unlikely to be fit in time for the game.

Another change will be in goal where Sheffield United loanee Mihkel Aksalu from Sheffield United will make his debut in place of injured Alan Marriott who looks set to undergo an operation on Monday on his groin problem.

Holdsworth warned his defence they should all be worried about keeping their shirts after Tuesday's night's embarrassing 5-2 home capitulation against promotion-chasing AFC Wimbledon.

“We sat and watched the Wimbledon DVD at 9am the next morning and some of our defending was of schoolboy standard,” he said. “In those opening moments we were not at the races and we switched off.

“I don't know if it was the tension of playing a side expected to be in the top two or three but some experienced players who are normally reliable let us down.

“But some of our attacking play was very good and we did create chances. It was only defensively we were found wanting due to individual errors. Hopefully we can put it down to a one-off and move on.

“We are still sixth and before the season we were not expected to be in the top 10. Mr Radford has come in and we are now financially stable. But he can't just wave a magic wand and things won't happen overnight.

“This is the same squad we started the season with apart from adding Adam Murray on loan. The transfer window is closed until January and the current players have until then to prove we don't need to bring other players in.”

The game is being screened live on SKY platform channel Premier Sports TV at 5.15pm.


Comeback boosts Diamonds ahead of Stags visit
Paul Driver believes that Rushden & Diamonds have been given a big psychological boost ahead of their televised game against Mansfield Town after they fought back to win in midweek.


The Diamonds came back from a goal down to Darlington at half time on Tuesday evening, with goals from Rene Howe and Aaron O'Connor ending a run of three games without a win.

With Rushden having seen off one side at Nene Park, Mansfield visit on Saturday evening for a match that will be broadcast live on Premier Sports and assistant manager Driver is looking for them to push on.

He said: “It's a massive boost because it's the first time that we have come from behind to win and we spoke at half time about leaving it ten minutes then going 4-4-2, and on this occasion the plan worked.

“If you look at the Altrincham game that was a goal down to one up to drawing, but against a team of their standard and when you're at home it is a big one.

“We spoke at half time and there was no panic. I always laugh because people always say 'I don't know what was said at half time but it worked', but sometimes it doesn't have to be a rocket - it just needs to be constructive.”

The most pleasing aspect of the win for Driver was the way that the hosts controlled the pace of the game, particularly in the second half where Darlington struggled to mount any serious attacks until the dying minutes.

“We even got into the ball boys during the game to get the ball back and get going with it,” he said.

“If you listen to what was coming from the dugout it's all about the tempo and shutting them down, and watching the last 20-25 minutes of the video they hardly got out of their half due to people shutting them down.

“We do try to work like that all the time with getting the ball and going quickly, whether you're level or behind and not letting them play by shutting them down. The second half was an ideal performance based on what we're looking for.”

Mansfield come into Saturday's match on the back of a 5-2 defeat at home to AFC Wimbledon on Tuesday evening; with manager David Holdsworth furious with his side's defending that saw them behind inside the first minute.

The game is also likely to see former Rushden players Rob Duffy and Gary Mills featuring for the Stags, and Driver is expecting it to be another hard game against the team that are currently two points ahead of the hosts in the Blue Square Bet Premier table.

“Is it a good thing or a bad thing to play a team after they've just had a thumping?” he mused.

“It's another challenge; there are some ex-Diamonds boys in there that have done well against us in previous years.

“We've seen them play and we've got an idea of how we think they might turn out, but he might throw something in given that they've had a bit of a pasting during the week.

“They're going to be on their toes because knowing the manager he's not going to accept that. Like any decent manager, his standards won't allow his team to concede five whoever it's against and I would expect them to come out firing.”

Joe Day will continue in goal for the Diamonds as Dale Roberts looks set to be out for at least two more weeks. Shane Huke is available after suffering from illness, while Craig Farrell and Michael Corcoran could both come into contention.


Stags boss Holdsworth snaps up new keeper to replace Marriott
Evening Post, By matt halfpenny, 7 Oct 2010

DAVID Holdsworth has moved swiftly to replace injured goalkeeper Alan Marriott by signing Mihkel Aksalu from Sheffield United.


The 26-year-old Estonian international, who has signed a two-month loan deal, joined the Championship club midway through last season and has made two appearances for the Blades' reserve team.

Manager Holdsworth said: "It was a real blow to lose Alan Marriott and I have had to move quickly to seek a replacement.

"I am delighted to sign an experienced goalkeeper like Mihkel.

"He will now play a big part in our season over the next few months, which will prove fundamental to our campaign."

Meanwhile, regular shot-stopper Marriott could be out for up to eight weeks with a long-standing groin problem which will require an operation.

He was forced to come off at half-time in the 5-2 defeat at home to AFC Wimbledon on Tuesday night.


Stags land international keeper
CHAD.co.uk, Thu Oct 07 2010

DAVID HOLDSWORTH has moved swiftly to replace injured goalkeeper Alan Marriott by the loan signing of Mihkel Aksalu from Sheffield United.


The 26-year-old Estonian international, who has signed a two-month loan deal, joined the Championship club midway through last season and has made two appearances for the Blades' reserve team.

Manager David Holdsworth told the club's official website http://www.mansfieldtown.net: “It was a real blow to lose Alan Marriott but I have had to move quickly to seek a replacement.

“I am delighted to sign an experienced goalkeeper like Mihkel.

“He will now play a big part in our season over the next few months which will prove fundamental to our campaign.”

Meanwhile, regular shot stopper Alan Marriott could be out for up to three months with a groin problem which will require an operation.


Aksalu hopes to push international claims with Mansfield loan spell
Evening Post, By matt halfpenny, 9 Oct 2010

IT cannot have been said very often, if ever, that a player has moved to Mansfield Town to push his international claims.


But that is one of the major reasons the Stags' new goalkeeper, Mihkel Aksalu, has left parent club Sheffield United to spend two months on loan at Field Mill.

The 6ft 4ins Estonian signed a two-and-a-half year contract at Bramall Lane in January after impressing on trial.

But with Steve Simonsen and Richard Wright also on the club's books, the 25-year-old has yet to play a first team game in English professional football.

That could be about to change this evening, however, with Aksalu set to make his debut for Mansfield at Rushden and Diamonds in a game that kicks off at 5.15pm and will be broadcast live on television.

The man whose main club in his homeland has been FC Flora Tallinn, where he has made 116 starts, has been drafted in to replace Alan Marriott.

The Stags' regular number one is likely to miss at least two months with an injured groin that is due to be operated on early next week.

Aksalu knows Marriott is a hard act to follow but believes he can prove to be a more than adequate replacement.

"I spoke to Mart Poom (ex-Derby goalkeeper) before I went to see the gaffer at Sheffield United (Gary Speed) and he said Mansfield would be a good team to join," he said.

"He is now the national goalkeeping coach and we are getting along quite well.

"He told me straight off that Mansfield was a good club and it was a good opportunity.

"Lee Williamson has also played here before and he told me good things.

"I've played some games for the Estonia national team (eight caps, 13 at U21 level) but I'm not number one at the moment.

"That is a keeper who is playing in the Russian Premier League.

"It is hard for me to compete for that spot if I'm not playing – I haven't played much since January – so this is good for that.

"This move can definitely help me. I'm just hungry for games and it's hard for goalkeepers when they have to deal with not playing.

"I have seen a few DVDs of the team for previous games and I've had some training sessions with the team and hopefully I will blend in straight away.

"I would have no worries about extending the loan deal if things go well – but we'll have to see how it goes."

Aksalu has been impressed by what he has seen since joining Mansfield.

And he believes the standard of football in the Blue Square Bet Premier will be a good level too.

He added: "First impressions have been really good of the ground and the training facilities and the other players have all been very friendly.

"I didn't know that much about the club before the summer but I played against Mansfield for Sheffield United in pre-season, so I know a lot more about the club and players now.

"As a foreigner, this is only my first year in English football, so I am still getting to know the teams and leagues.

"The Premier League and Championship are at the top for a reason, but below that I don't think there is too much difference in the standard.

"My goals are to keep as many clean sheets as possible and help get points for the club."

While Mansfield's newest recruit is looking to make a mark, so is their longest-serving player.

Gary Silk is determined to make up for what he saw as an off day in Mansfield's 5-2 defeat against AFC Wimbledon on Tuesday night when he was given the run-around by the Dons' Christian Jolley.

"I was told the other day that I made my 100th appearance (against Gateshead) but that against Wimbledon was probably the worst of all of them," he said.

"I was very disappointed and didn't get to sleep until 3am after that.

"But these things happen and you have to get on with it.

"We have not had a win for three games now, so we are looking to bounce back at Rushden."


Stags take a loan Blade
sufc.co.uk, Wed 06 Oct 2010
Goalkeeper Mihkel Aksalu has joined Conference National outfit Mansfield Town on a two-month loan deal.


Gary Speed recently spoke about getting the Estonian international some much needed first-team action following the arrival of Richard Wright, and former Blades skipper David Holdsworth, now in charge at Field Mill, has given Aksalu that opportunity to further his development.

Aksalu, 25, joined the Blades midway through last season and has featured twice for the Blades' second string this season.


Stags winger sent out on loan to Blue Square North strugglers
Evening Post, 8 Oct 2010
MANSFIELD Town winger Ryan Williams has been sent on a month's loan to Blue Square North strugglers Gainsborough Trinity.


The 32-year-old winger has been unable to break into the Stags first team this season, but made 28 starts and nine substitute appearances for the club last term.

"This gives Ryan some much-needed match minutes," said manager David Holdsworth.

"He has trained professionally and to a high standard.

"We hope the loan spell is successful for both Ryan and Brian Little (Gainsborough manager)."


Holdsworth: Mansfield will employ a patient transfer policy
Evening Post, 8 Oct 2010
MANSFIELD Town will resist a supporters' clamour to blitz the transfer market – until January at the earliest.


Manager David Holdsworth held sit-down talks with new millionaire owner John Radford on Wednesday to discuss the club's on-the-field future.

He has been told there is money to spend by his new chairman, who has revealed the Stags can now compete with Crawley and Luton in terms of the wages they can afford.

Midfielder Adam Murray has already arrived on loan with a view to signing permanently in the New Year.

And Mansfield could bring in more players in that manner if they so wished.

But Holdsworth reaffirmed his belief that his current charges deserve their chance to shine after an encouraging start to 2010-2011.

"Expectation levels have risen, but we are basically going to be working with the same squad, which is not going to change overnight," said Holdsworth, whose side visit Rushden tomorrow evening.

"The next two months will be an indication of where we are in terms of trying to get in the top six or eight.

"Some people think Mr Radford will come in and wave a magic wand, but it's a longer-term project.

"If we do have the opportunity to bring in players of higher quality then we will do so at the right time – if they need replacing.

"Mr Radford has said he would generate the funds at Christmas if we need to look at it.

"The players here must go out and show they don't need replacing. It makes it easier when they defend like schoolboys as they did the other night.

"But we have to give those boys the chance to perform because they have done 80 per cent of the time.

"The fans have to understand where we are right now. The timing of the takeover is perfect for Mr Radford because there is two months to assess it."

Alan Marriott is expecting to have the operation on his injured groin on Monday.

Midfielder Matt Somner has been made available for loan.



Latest | October 2010