HOLDSWORTH, MURRAY, BUCKLE REACTION
David Holdsworth, Adam Murray video interview --->
Bitter pill to swallow for Stags boss as they lose out in FA Cup
DAVID Holdsworth admitted it was a bitter pill to swallow to see Mansfield Town dumped out of the FA Cup at the first round stage by Torquay United at Field Mill yesterday.
The Stags matched their League Two opponents for much of the game with a committed performance.
But they were undone three minutes from the end of normal time when Elliot Benyon broke away to shoot past Kevin Pilkington.
"We looked very comfortable and to get done in that fashion hurts the players and it hurts me," said Holdsworth.
"I'm not going to blame Keigan Parker for giving the ball away because it was the FA Cup and we wanted to win the game.
"It turned out to be a big moment and I'm not happy defensively, but you can't really legislate for that.
"We had three very good opportunities and (keeper, Scott) Bevan played very well and was probably their man of the match.
"We speak a lot about big moments and on this occasion it proved to be a slip rather than a winning contribution.
"We gave Paul Buckle and his team a lot of respect but we felt we played very well and they would have gone home happy with a draw.
"They have done well on the road this season and you can see why with the counter attack they have, so there were no surprises.
"But we certainly had them on the ropes at times and we couldn't have done any more. We just needed a little bit more quality at the right times."
Holdsworth unhappy with boo boys
STAGS manager David Holdsworth was disappointed by more chanting against him from a section of fans after today's valiant display in losing 1-0 to League Two high-flyers Torquay United in the FA Cup.
Much of the ill feeling stems from the club's current run of six games without a league win which has seen them drop from top to eighth.
Stags gave a good account of themselves in this cup clash but were undone by an 87th minute breakaway goal from Elliot Benyon.
“I give Paul Buckle and his side a lot of respect but I thought we played very well today and Torquay would have been very happy with the draw,” said Holdsworth.
“They are seventh in League Two and have only lost once on the road all season, yet we had them on the ropes at times.
“We couldn't have done anymore and I didn't deserve the criticism from some of the fans and my team certainly didn't deserve any criticism.
“Players have not meant to miss chances and Keigan Parker didn't mean to give the ball away for them to break for the winner. We gave a fantastic account of ourselves overall with lots of plusses.
“All we can do is work hard and roll our sleeves up to turn things around. And a slice of luck would not go amiss.
“You don't change your manager after eight games. Shouting and screaming at the manager is the easy option but there are a lot of intelligent fans out there who have been very supportive of me in recent weeks for which I am grateful.
“With the greatest of respect in the world fans must appreciate I have only had one fit striker for the last month, have had to make three changes through injury and am down to the bare bones for Tuesday.
“It can be a cruel game and the late goal was a bitter pill to swallow. On another day we would have won it. But you have to score goals to win games and we had ample opportunities.”
Gulls boss Paul Buckle said: “That was an absolutely fantastic win. We knew we had to be resolute today and defend our box well and in the end we had the quality to go up the other end and score the winner too.
“We created a lot of chances in that second half but didn't put them away. But the players have done fantastically well and we deserve to be in the next round.
“Counter-attacking was a feature of our game today, though we knew we had to be solid as Mansfield are a ood team with a good manager.
“We have a lot of pace in our team and when we broke with that three man move at the end I knew something good was going to happen.
“Elliott is a finisher. I though his first touch was poor as it came to him but he put it away. He is always a real threat in the 18-yard box and he was a big part of a great team performance.
“Mansfield were unlucky when they hit the crossbar but I think, overall, we deserved the win. As the game wore on I felt more confident we would snatch it.
“We are in the play-off spots, into the next round of the cup and doing very well. So I am proud of my players' achievements on a small budget. We are pulling up trees and have been excellent.”
Holdsworth hits back and vows to lead club out of their current slump
DAVID Holdsworth has hit back at those Mansfield Town supporters who want him out by vowing he can lead the club out of their current trough in form.
The Stags have won just one of their last eight matches after succumbing to a 1-0 home FA Cup first round defeat at the hands of Torquay United.
The winning strike, three minutes from time, was the catalyst for some in the stands to call for a change of manager. But a defiant Holdsworth said: "I didn't deserve criticism for the way we played and neither did the players.
"We deserved something out of it.
"Torquay are seventh in the league above and have lost one (in the league) on the road this year, but they have not demolished us.
"You don't change your manager after eight games, you turn it around.
"I can hear what the fans say and that's up to them.
"I don't mind the frustration because I am frustrated, but you can't always retaliate – there is no need. The players don't go out to make mistakes and miss chances.
"Our quality in the final third could be a little bit better and we have to be a little more streetwise at times."
Holdsworth admits the mounting number of players sidelined is becoming a cause for concern.
With Paul Connor and Rhys Day already out of the picture, more key players picked up knocks ahead of tomorrow's trip to Kettering.
Murray gutted to be on wrong end of late goal as Stags lose in FA Cup
ADAM Murray admitted being on the wrong end of a late Torquay United winner left the Mansfield players hugely disappointed.
The game looked to be heading for a goalless stalemate until Elliot Benyon rounded off a slick Gulls counter three minutes from the end of normal time.
Midfielder Murray, who took the captain's armband against one of his former clubs, felt that was harsh on the hosts.
But he knows the team must pick themselves up quickly with two away games at Kettering tomorrow and Forest Green on Saturday to follow.
"If Torquay had dominated the game and had a lot more clear cut chances then you would hold your hands up and say they were better than us," said Murray.
"Yes, in the second half they had more possession, but overall, they were from a league above us and we gave a good account of ourselves.
"But we have to move forward, we have no choice. We can't go around feeling sorry for ourselves with important games coming up.
"No-one likes losing football matches, whether that's losing one or three or four in quick succession.
"But we are all men and we have to pick ourselves up and carry on."
Murray feels Mansfield's biggest problem right now is them failing to take the initiative at key moments in games.
Simon Grand and Peter Vincenti might have made more of first half chances, while Keigan Parker was unlucky when his 30-yard free-kick came back off the bar with keeper Scott Bevan beaten.
He said: "That's how close it is to us getting the results we want. There are little turning points in games and when we start taking them things will go our way."
Briscoe leaps to the defence of under-fire Mansfield boss
LOUIS Briscoe leapt to the defence of boss David Holdsworth, who came under fire from a section of Mansfield Town fans after the FA Cup exit at the hands of Torquay United.
While the majority clapped the Stags off after a late goal by the League Two side denied them a replay, some supporters called for the manager to quit.
Their frustrations have been heightened by a run of just one win in eight games since the end of September.
But winger Briscoe, who was one of Holdsworth's first signings on his arrival at Field Mill, feels it is wrong to blame his 'gaffer'.
"The results are not there for the fans but they have to realise we are not a million miles away," he said.
"The games we are losing are usually by the odd one, apart from Crawley where we had a man sent off and the blip against Wimbledon.
"That is not the manager's fault, but the players. He does everything for us to prepare us, but it is the players who are responsible for things out on the pitch.
"It's always disappointing when you concede a goal so late in the game like that, especially as we had done more than enough to earn a replay.
"We just have to keep our heads up because we know things will change and we will come out of this spell eventually. We have the Kettering game tomorrow and we still have to go into it with a feeling of confidence. We went there last year and got a hard-fought 2-2 draw.
"We have got the players to go out and turn it around and I feel we are playing quite well."
Briscoe feels the club are due a change in fortune but insists the players have to eradicate errors to help their own cause.
He said: "It was a good performance, but it's the same every week at the moment. We have now won only one in eight games and we have to cut out the little mistakes."
Buckle praises perfect trio for winning counter attack
Torquay Herald, By david thomas email@example.com
GULLS BOSS Paul Buckle pinpointed the quality of Torquay United's 'bench' as a key factor in Saturday's FA Cup win at Mansfield Town.
"I was waiting for the right moment to make the changes," said Buckle.
"I was always confident, as the game wore on, that we could break on them and score.
"And (Mansfield manager) David Holdsworth was shouting to his players to beware of that.
"We had started with a strong midfield, and I thought all three — Joe Oastler, Nicky Wroe and Lee Mansell — had done great.
"Joe had put in a good shift, but I decided to take him off.
"Eunan O'Kane has the ability to get on the ball and do something special.
"And Danny Stevens was the perfect option at the time — he's got so much quality on the ball.
"If there's three players in our squad you want on a break like we had for the goal, it's O'Kane, Stevens and Benyon.
"It was a fabulous counter attack.
"Elliot is a finisher and when it fell to him, I fancied him to score.
"It wasn't the best of first touches, but he still put it away.
"It was a tough game. I knew that when the draw came out.
"Mansfield didn't surprise us — they were well-organised and always carried a threat.
"But I was confident that we would be strong enough to hold them and then go and win the game.
"We were going to be 4-5-1 when we didn't have the ball, and push Rose and Zebroski on out wide.
"It upset things when Rose got injured, but we adapted well and we showed that we've got lots of players who can play in any position."
MANSFIELD manager David Holdsworth said: "I thought we were looking comfortable, so to get done like that hurts the players, and it hurts me.
"I thought we were by far the better side in the first half.
"We had three very good opportunities then, and Scott Bevan played very well for them — I thought he was their man of the match.
"But in the end we were caught by a break from our own corner.
"Torquay would have gone home happy with a draw.
"They are seventh in League Two, they have been good on the road this year, but we certainly had them on the ropes.
"They haven't come here and demolished us, and we've given a fantastic account of ourselves."
Buckle pleased to call on central defender Kieran Charnock
Torquay Herald, By david thomas firstname.lastname@example.org
TORQUAY UNITED manager Paul Buckle has revealed that he pulled back from 'selling' central defender Kieran Charnock last week.
Elliot Benyon's eighth goal of the season, in the 87th minute, ruined Conference club Mansfield's hopes of a Cup upset.
It was their third successive win, their fourth game unbeaten, and it gave the Gulls only their fifth victory in 34 visits to the Nottinghamshire club.
With the purse-strings tightened at Plainmoor, it was also an important result financially.
"The stakes are high, we are desperate for money, and the prizemoney will be well received," said Buckle.
United collected £18,000 for winning Saturday's tie, and that should rise to around £25,000 with a share of even modest gate receipts — the gate was 2,179.
But there's another £27,000 on offer for getting through Round Two.
Buckle reaction - Fabulous Counter Attack Too Much For Mansfield
On a depressing day for the rest of Devon football in the F.A. Cup it was left to the Gulls to carry the torch into Round Two after a professional performance at Field Mill saw off the challenge of Mansfield Town and book United a place in the Sunday draw and Bucks was pleased with the performance: ''It was always going to be a tough game, we have been here before and we knew how Mansfield would set themselves up and they didn't surprise us, they were well organised but as the game wore on I was always confident that we could catch them on the break and score. Mansfield were attacking a lot but they knew what we could do if we caught them and they were leaving space behind themselves, we were strong enough in our own penalty area and quick enough to get up the pitch on the counter.''
United scored a classic breakaway goal three minutes from time and Bucks was especially pleased with the manner of the build-up and finish: ''Before the goal I was deciding whether to put Ashley Hemmings or Danny Stevens on, we had started with a strong midfield in Wroe, Oastler and Mansell and all three were doing great but I took Joe (Oastler) off and put Danny on. If there are three players you want on a breakaway like we had for the goal then it is Stevens, O'Kane and Benyon and they gave Mansfield no chance with a fabulous counter attack and great finish from Elliot.
''Elliot is a finisher and when the chance fell to him I fancied him to score. We had several chances and the match was a carbon copy of Oxford in that we were resolute in our defending and very positive in our counter attacking.''
Bucks had changes to make for this match with Lloyd Macklin suspended and Guy Branston not fit but all went well with Kieran Charnock putting in a shift on his return to the team despite nearly not being at the club: ''I'm pleased Kieran is still here, I was close to selling him last week but Guy Branston had a stiff calf in training yesterday and I wasn't going to take any risks. Guy wanted a fitness test today but we needed to work on our shape on Friday so Kieran came in and I thought he did very well. He picked up a calf injury which we hope isn't too bad and Mark Ellis and Chris Robertson formed a perfectly good partnership after Kieran went off and we showed today that we can be a versatile team.
''We showed today that we can come away in an F.A. Cup tie, dig in and play some quality football. After we scored I saw some of the directors with their fists in the air so they must be pleased with the prize money! The stakes are high, the prize money for today will be well received and the players earned it today.
''This is my fourth season in the Cup as a manager, the last three have been great and we are desperate for another run so it's going to be exciting on Sunday to see who we will get.''
Latest | November 2010