VIDEO: 'We will rise to the occasion' - Duncan Russell --->
mansfieldtown.net, Thu 04 Nov 2010
Assistant Manager Duncan Russell says that the side will rise to the occasion as we entertain Football League opposition here at Field Mill on Saturday.
Speaking to the press this morning, the Stags no.2 said that the players are relishing the prospect of closing the gap in divisions.
"They (Torquay) have got two good wingers so that is how I imagine they will play," said Russell. "But, we are ready for it and will rise to the occasion.
"They are a league above us and we look forward to the challenge. They will expect to win, of course, but we want to win the game for us, the fans and for Mansfield Town."
We go into the game after winning just one of our last seven matches. An unwanted statistic that will be driving the players on to succeed against the Gulls and thereby earn our passage into the Second Round of the World's most prestigious knock out competition.
Russell added: "It's been a very good week's training and the boys have worked hard.
"We had a video session and looked at the goals (conceded against Crawley last weekend) and they were silly errors really. You can't keep dwelling on it though and the players know that.
"We keep the dressing room lively and if I see any heads dropping then I'm the first to stop that.
"Fans have got to come along. It's a great occasion and it's the FA Cup - a competition built on dreams.
"It's exciting and we want to get into the hat to be drawn with Liverpool or Manchester United to name a few so please come along.
"We know that we are capable of beating anyone on our day."
In team news, Rhys Day misses this weekend's game and the next two matches through suspension following his dismissal during last week's game against Crawley.
There are question marks over Paul Connor's fitness after he was substituted last weekend with a pulled hamstring whilst Steve Cook is fit again after returning to Brighton during the week with a knee injury.
Other absentees include goalkeepers Alan Marriott and Mihkel Aksalu who sit out with groin and stomach injuries respectively.
As it is the FA Cup, a maximum of seven substitutes are permitted to be named on the bench.
video interviews: Keigan Parker and Paul Stonehouse --->
VIDEO: Parker looks to get in on the goals
mansfieldtown.net, Thu 04 Nov 2010
Striker Keigan Parker says that we can now expect to see the best of him in front of goal.
The 28-year-old Scotsman has been playing through the pain barrier since picking up a foot injury in October and will be hoping to add to his four goal haul against Torquay in the FA Cup this weekend.
He said: "It (his foot) is feeling much better. I got a reaction last week where it was a bit sore but I'm better now.
"I think I've been out for about six games so I just want to play now and hopefully the team can get back into the play off places.
"The last few weeks have been difficult in terms of results but we have a chance to put that right on Saturday."
Our opponents on Saturday currently ply their trade a division higher and will come to Field Mill with the confidence of winning their last two fixtures. Despite this, the former Huddersfield and Oldham frontman says that he will not fear his opponents.
He added: "We can go in there as underdogs and cause an upset. I don't think that there's a massive difference, in fact I think in League 2 the difference is minute. I never think about being an underdog though because at the end of the day it is still 11 Vs 11.
"I'm very much a confidence player and I think that if I get a run of games people will see another dimension in my play.
"I'm back fit now, looking forward to the match and getting some goals."
Stags wait on Connor
CHAD.co.uk, Thu Nov 04 2010
THE fitness of leading scorer Paul Connor is causing the most concern ahead of Mansfield Town's home FA Cup first round tie with League Two Torquay United this Saturday (3pm).
The experienced eight-goal striker limped out of last weekend's 4-1 home defeat by Crawley Town with a thigh strain and remains a doubt for Saturday.
Defender Steve Cook (knee) and striker Luke Medley (knee) have also been under treatment this week but look likely to be fit.
Simon Grand looks almost certain to return to the centre of defence as Rhys Day starts a three game ban for last Saturday's straight red card.
Torquay have only lost twice in their 10 away games this season and assistant boss Duncan Russell said: “I have been up against Torquay a few times and been lucky enough to get good results against them.
“They play with two wingers and I would imagine that's how they will go on Saturday, 4-4-2 and the ball wide.
“We know they will be a challenge but we have players here that can rise to the occasion.
“They know we are going through a lean spell and will expect they can take advantage of that and win the game.
“I don't believe we would have lost last weekend if we hadn't been down to 10 men. The lads are hurting but we mustn't dwell on it.
“We won't let anyone's heads drop as that can spread like a cancer.
“We want to win this game and progress in the FA Cup. I enjoyed a great cup run at Yeovil and, living in Derby, saw them have one too and it can be an unbelievable experience for a player to face the best teams in the land if you can get to round three.”
Spotlight on Mansfield Town v Torquay United
Evening Post, 5 Nov 2010
Line-up (from): Pilkington, Collett, Silk, Cook, Foster, Grand, Stonehouse, Sandwith, Briscoe, Thompson, Murray, Nix, A. Smith, Vincenti, Connor, Parker, Duffy, Medley, Gregory.
Line-up (from): Bevan, Robertson, Branston, Ellis, Nicholson, Rose, Oastler, Mansell, Zebroski, Benyon, Kee. Potter, Gritton, Stevens, Hemmings, Charnock, Carlisle, O'Kane, Rowe-Turner, Lathrope.
Team news: With Rhys Day serving the first of a three-game suspension, Simon Grand is likely to return in the centre of the Mansfield defence.
Steve Cook and Luke Medley (both knee) are expected to shake off their knocks.
But Paul Connor (hamstring) is still a doubt after coming off in last weekend's 4-1 defeat to Crawley, as is Gary Silk (calf).
Team news: Torquay will have to make do without the services of Lloyd Macklin, who was sent off in the midweek 2-0 win at Oxford United.
But regular right-back Chris Robertson is likely to return to the starting line-up after recovering from a virus.
United's loanees, Joe Oastler, Ramone Rose, Ashley Hemmings and former Stag Martin Gritton have all been given permission to play by their parent clubs.
One to watch: Elliot Benyon. The former Bristol City trainee has a good strike record at Plainmoor, including seven goals so far this season.
Holdsworth deserves chance to make most of Stags cash injection
Evening Post, 5 Nov 2010
DUNCAN Russell says David Holdsworth deserves to splash the cash at Mansfield Town – because he has steered the club through the tough times.
Before the club's September takeover, the Stags manager spoke freely of his problems operating with a smaller budget than last season.
But now new owner and chairman John Radford is in control, the purse strings are expected to be loosened – particularly when the January transfer window opens.
So far, ahead of that period, Mansfield have only been able to sign loan players.
However, assistant boss Russell is confident Holdsworth is the right man to utilise the Stags' new-found financial clout after Christmas.
"The chairman is very ambitious and will make funds available, he has openly said that," said Russell.
"I think David deserves a chance now there will be money to spend. It's important that he is given that opportunity.
"He's proved what he can do without money and now he should get chance to show what he can do with it.
"People don't see what David Holdsworth does behind the scenes, he's always looking to improve things.
"He is never off the telephone and I can't get hold of him sometimes when I try to phone him in the evening!
"He had to put together a squad (in the summer) when there were 15 players with no contracts. He has done exceptionally well."
Russell believes Holdsworth has the credentials to attract the personnel that can lift Mansfield into the top bracket of Blue Square Premier clubs.
He said: "David has got all the contacts, is a good networker and can spot a good player.
"I think if he is given the resources he can bring in the right type of player – and that's important.
"You have to bring in the best, but also people who have character and can mix in the dressing room."
Striker Parker out to make up for lost time at Mansfield Town
Evening Post, 5 Nov 2010
WHEN Keigan Parker sat in the Ian Greaves Stand after signing for Mansfield Town in July, he spoke of his desire to light up the Blue Square Premier, score 20 goals and help his new team to promotion.
Yet things haven't worked out for the striker as he might have wished.
Four goals – three of them from the penalty spot – from six starts and five substitute appearances represents a meagre return for a player who has played as high as the Championship.
Parker, though, knows there is still time to turn things around and put a self-confessed disappointing first few months at Field Mill behind him.
The Scot just seemed to be finding his feet in a Stags shirt when he was sent off at Newport County for lashing out at an opponent.
And then, just as he had served a three-game suspension for that offence, Parker was sidelined once more with a foot injury that required stitches.
The good news from the 28-year-old is that those troubles now look to be behind him.
He came off the bench in place of the injured Paul Connor last weekend against Crawley Town and promptly netted a spot kick to put the Stags back on level terms.
The game eventually went against Mansfield as the Red Devils took advantage of the dismissal of central defender Rhys Day to win 4-1.
But with Connor struggling to be fit to face Torquay United in the FA Cup tomorrow, Parker could get the start he craves, which would be his first since the 1-0 home defeat by Tamworth in early September.
"Getting suspended was disappointing. I didn't make it easy for myself and I have not played as many games as I would like, especially with the injury," said Parker.
"I want to help the manager get some good results and it is that type of league where things can change quickly and you can get on a roll.
"A week or two in football is such a short time when you can go from winning 5-0 and 4-0 as we were to not getting the results, which means it is not going to be as happy a place.
"Mansfield have still to see the best of me, but I'm very much a confidence player and it would benefit me to get a run of games.
"If the manager has left me out because he thinks someone can do a better job there are reasons for that.
"I've only started six games so, hopefully, I can get back in and get games under my belt. You have to do things in the right manner."
In January, Mansfield are expected to strengthen their squad with permanent acquisitions to boost those who have been signed on loan in recent weeks.
The likely injection of cash follows the takeover of the club by businessman John Radford at the end of September.
But Parker is hoping to prove he can save David Holdsworth a bob or two on a new striker by scoring plenty of goals between now and then.
He said: "The manager has got a big squad already, but the manager may still be looking to bring players in.
"Like in any job, you have to do the best you can, but you know you could be replaced if you are not doing it right.
"The boys are not stupid and we all know that. I want to do well and show I deserve to stay in the team and the other boys are probably in the same boat."
After a bright start to the season, Mansfield have won just one of their last seven games, a 1-0 FA Cup fourth qualifying round success at FC Halifax Town.
But Parker insists morale in the camp remains high.
"There have been comings and goings, but nothing changes in the need to get positive results," he said.
"The last few weeks have been disappointing but we have the chance to put that right.
"The mood is fine in the camp because we feel we have been a bit unfortunate in some of the matches."
Parker firmly believes Mansfield can get the better of Torquay in an FA Cup first round tie tomorrow, even though the Gulls are flying high in the League Two play-off spots.
The former Blackpool man said: "I don't think there is a massive difference between the league we play in and the Football League.
"Maybe it is the higher up in League One you go, with big former Premier clubs like Southampton, but I think the likes of Crawley and Fleetwood could compete in League Two.
"I don't think the players will be worried about that against Torquay, It is still 11 v 11."
Latest | November 2010