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Archived News from December 2010

30th December 2010 14:47

video interview with Duncan Russell from mansfieldtown.net. Watch here.

Radio Nottm feature with David Jackson on Duncan Russell appointment, 21 Dec 2010. Listen here.


New manager Duncan Russell says the players landed him the Stags job
Evening Post, 22 Dec 2010
JOHN Radford today admitted he did not initially expect to appoint Duncan Russell as Mansfield Town's new manager – but was won over by the way he handled team affairs during his stint as caretaker-boss.


The Stags chairman has put David Holdsworth's former assistant in charge until the end of the season, resisting the temptation to appoint more high-profile candidates such as Dave Penney and Martin Foyle.

Former soldier Russell has been on the backroom staff at the likes of Blackburn, Walsall, MK Dons and Macclesfield, but this is his first move into a top job.

He was named caretaker almost five weeks ago and has guided the Stags to a 3-2 victory over Hayes and Yeading and 1-1 draw with Wrexham, while steering the team through to the FA Trophy second round after a 5-0 win over Worksop Town.

“Duncan was not my original first choice, I admit, but he has earned my respect,” said Radford.

“My first choice would have been someone who I know like Mr Penney, but he has won me over with the way he has worked.

“His man-management skills are excellent, as you would expect from someone who has worked at Sandhurst (military academy).

“I always said I wanted to give Duncan three games to prove himself but it has been difficult with the weather.

“But the team has performed very well and if you keep getting four points out of six, as he has done in his first two league games, then you will get promoted.

“Before the Worksop game I said in the spur of the moment that if he went and won the game 5-0 then the job was his – and he went and did just that.

“Going to watch Duncan at work, you can see the respect the players have for him and Paul Hall is fantastic. I'm 100 per cent certain he is the right man of the job.

“I ask the Mansfield fans to give him their full support and judge him on his results.”

Radford insists he has not given Russell the reins as a so-called cheap option.

He said: “It is not that at all. The difference between a Dave Penney and a Duncan Russell is not a cheap option.

“He's the best man for the job. We need an admiral to steer our ship and he is that man.”

Although Radford has only given Russell until the end of the season, he hopes to extend that if the club is successful.

“Obviously the ideal scenario is that he stays longer, and we are talking about contracts already,” he said.

“We definitely want him to stay and offer him something longer if he does well because, of course, there would be other clubs interested in him.”

Russell said the excellence of the players since he took over as caretaker-manager landed him the job full-time.

“Make no mistake, the reason I have got this job is down to the players and how they have been over the last few weeks, so I take my hat off to them,” said Russell.

“It's the players who keep you in a job and they have been brilliant, not just in games but the way they have trained.

“It's really important that you get the players onside and I think they are. I'm a big believer in giving the players ownership, so that's what I have done.”

Radford set the target of a play-off place at the end of the season when he took over the club in September.

But Russell is aiming even higher and said: “Can we still get in the play-offs? Absolutely – I still want to win the league.

“It's mathematically possible and you have to aim high. I think we can go ten games unbeaten. We have the players in the squad to do it.”

Some fans have been disappointed the club has not gone for a bigger name for the manager's position.

“My message to the supporters is, give me time and see what happens,” said Russell.

“You can bring in Jose Mourinho, but results are the key thing and I ask to be judged on them at the end of the season.

“The players need the backing of the supporters so I urge them to get behind us now.”

Russell's reign will begin by him giving a clean slate to all his players.

“People like Matt Somner and Ryan Williams have not been involved recently but have been superb professionals,” he said.

“Now is a fresh start for every one of them.”


John Radford told the CHAD: "I always said I would give him three games to provde himself. I spoke to Dave Penney and he was up for the job. But I wanted to see what Russ could do and I heard the senior players talking very highly of him and saw the squad starting to gel. He seems to know where he wants to take the club and he will get my 100% backing. I would have liked him to have had three league games, but it wasn't possible with the weather. I said to him off the cuff before the Worksop game that if they won 5-0 he would get the job!" Now I wish him every success and want to see him get this great club back to where it belongs in the Football League."


Merry Christmas message from John Radford, Mansfield Town Football Club
I would also like to extend my deep appreciation to you all for your continued support as we endeavour to get back where we belong – in the Football League.
Special mentions must also go to our wonderful supporters' groups - Pleasley Stags, Ollerton Stags, the SSA, SFU, Westfield Stags and 12th Stag.
My first three months in charge have been eventful to say the least, but, nonetheless, extremely enjoyable as I seek to take this club forward.
This week, I made the important decision in appointing our new manager. I ask you to get behind Duncan Russell as he begins to plan our march up the division.
There is no doubt in my mind that he is the best man for the important job at hand. The respect he commands from the players in incredible whilst I received exceptional appraisals from several members of the team during the decision making process.
The players will need all your backing as we enter into a new year and hopefully a new era in our proud history.
Best wishes, John Radford, Chairman


Russell in talks with Stags chairman
Evening Post, 23 Dec 2010
NEWLY-appointed Mansfield Town boss Duncan Russell is due to sit down with chairman John Radford today to plot the club's assault on promotion to the Football League.


David Holdsworth's former assistant was handed the role for the rest of the season on Tuesday – his first senior management post.

The Stags are currently in ninth place in the Blue Square Bet Premier, three points off the play-off places.

But Russell is determined to push his charges up into the top five before the end of the season to give the club a chance of getting back in the country's elite 92.

The former soldier is keen to keep much of the current squad together, believing they can lift Mansfield up the table.

But with six loan deals – Adam Murray, Simon Grand, Rhys Day, Steve Cook, Kevin Pilkington and Peter Vincenti – due to expire in January, he admits there is much to mull over with Radford.

"I will be sitting down with the chairman and talking over where we go from here," said Russell.

"Sorting out the future of the loan players is obviously going to be an issue and a priority. We have got a great squad of players who I believe in and I don't want to change it around too much.

"There is no point going out and bringing players in unless they are going to make the squad better, because the ones we have here are dedicated and working for the cause.

"If I have to move players on then I will do, but ideally I won't have to."

Radford insists he will back Russell in the transfer market should it be required.

"If Duncan sees fit he can change the team around, but that is what we are going to be talking about," said Radford.


THE BIG INTERVIEW: Russ - players got me the job
mansfieldtown.net, Tue 21 Dec 2010
Duncan Russell speaks exclusively to mansfieldtown.net in his first interview as manager.

Duncan was appointed to the position on a permanent basis earlier today following a three match unbeaten stint in temporary charge with Paul Hall joining him as Assistant Manager.

Duncan Russell is in conversation with our Head of Media & Communications, Mark Stevenson

He said that much of the credit has to go to the players for his appointment due to the response they showed to him in the dressing room during the interim period since David Holdsworth vacated the role in November.

"I've got a massive thankyou to say to the players," said Russell.

"With losing David (Holdsworth) as their manager, leaving Field Mill and the inclement weather, things haven't gone right.

"Its a favourite saying of mine but through adversity comes strength. They went out and got results. I gave them freedom and ownership and they are the ones who turned things round.

"If you do not have players who buy into it then you won't get any success so that is why I say that they have got me the job."

Asked about what particular qualities he will bring to the role, the former Derby and MK Dons coach said he would have a more democratic approach whilst also supplying strong leadership.

He added: "The biggest thing is leadership I think - that's most important. I will give the players ownership and lead by example.

"To be a good leader you have to have honesty, integrity, give people license and listen to others. You have to be democratic and not autocratic because even the youngest player can bring something to the shelf.

Finally, reflecting on his stint as caretaker manager and the task which is now at hand, Russell said that he is focused on continuing his run of positive results whilt ultimately achieving promotion.

"My brief was that I had three games to get some results. He gave me a definite goal and that's what I got.

"As for now, I need to keep the players going and go on a run. I have done OK in the last three games and must carry on doing it.

"Whether it (going up) will be this season or not, I do not know. What I do know is that I will endeavour to get us into the play offs or automatic promotion.

"I've got a great bunch of lads, a great assistant and a Chairman who is fully behind me which I think is important. I will aim for the highest which is to get promoted and back into the Football League."


Russell, when asked what he would change from the Holdsworth era, said he won't change much because Holdsworth was a good manager.


Russell lands Stags job
mansfieldtown.net, 14:40pm Tue 21 Dec 2010
We are delighted to announce that Duncan Russell has been appointed as our new manager until the end of the season.


He has been handed the role on a permanent basis following an unbeaten three match spell as Caretaker Manger.

Following former boss David Holdsworth's departure by mutual consent in November, an exhaustive interview process saw over 40 applicants reduced to a four-man shortlist.

Russell, who had been Holdsworth's assistant since the beginning of the season, emerged as the best candidate to take on the prestigious role and fulfil our ambition of a swift return to the Football League.

Paul Hall will join him as Assistant Manager after taking on the role as Russell's number two on an interim basis last month.

Russell (52), a UEFA A Licence holder, has held coaching roles at six different clubs over the last 12 years including Derby County, Walsall, Wolves and MK Dons.

A variety of factors were considered in his appointment including his record of working with high quality players at Championship level, his many contacts in the game, his familiarity with and the respect he has earned from the playing squad alongside his unbeaten record in temporary charge.

Chairman John Radford said: "I am delighted to have appointed a manager as capable as Duncan Russell.

"I have thought long and hard over the last few weeks and believe that I have found the right man, alongside his assistant Paul Hall, to lead us back where we belong in the Football League.

"The way he handled the role as Caretaker Manager, in addition to the results he secured, has proved to me that we can now expect continued success on the pitch this season."


Hall: Why I've come back to Stags
Evening Post, 28 Dec 2010

PAUL Hall today revealed the ambition and drive of chairman John Radford and his staff convinced him a return to Mansfield Town was the right move.


The former Jamaica international was drafted in to run the youth team at Field Mill in the summer.

But after just a matter of weeks in charge, the club were forced to release the 38-year-old as the side was discontinued due to financial pressures.

But Hall was brought back to assist Duncan Russell as caretaker assistant manager following the departure of David Holdsworth in November.

And, following the decision to appoint Russell to the end of the season, he has been retained as a number two.

Hall insists he had no doubts about giving up his work at Solihull College to come back to north Notts.

"In the chairman and the chief executive (Steve Barker) I am working for people who have a massive determination to succeed and bring good times to the club, which played a massive part in me re-joining," he said.

"People might think I would have thought twice after the first time, but they are so driven to do well here that it was an easy decision. They are real football people and have the club's best interests at heart."


Stags appoint new manager - Buy this week's Chad for interview and photosSponsored by
CHAD.co.uk, 15:18pm Tue Dec 21 2010

Town owner John Radford has this week appointed Duncan Russell as the new manager to follow in the footsteps of David Holdsworth, who left Field Mill in November.


The appointment, which includes new assistant manager Paul Hall, follows on the news that the club is back playing at Field Mill after a lockout by previous owner and now landlord Keith Haslam.

This week's Chad - on sale from Wednesday morning - includes full interviews and photographs of the new managerial team, together with John Radford's reasons for his decision.


Caretaker Russell appointed new Stags manager
CHAD.co.uk, 13:34pm Tue Dec 21 2010

DUNCAN Russell has been appointed the new manager of Mansfield Town FC.


He replaces David Holdsworth, who left the club in the middle of November after two years at the helm.

Under the caretaker stewardship of Russell, the Stags have played three games - winning two and drawing one.


Mansfield Town name Duncan Russell as manager
BBC.co.uk, 14:51pm Tue 21 December 10

Mansfield Town have confirmed caretaker boss Duncan Russell as their new manager until the end of the season.


Former Doncaster Rovers boss Dave Penney had been widely tipped to take over almost as soon as previous manager David Holdsworth left on 18 November.

But Russell, 52, impressed during a three-game stint as caretaker boss.

Stags chairman John Radford said: "I am delighted. I believe I have found the right man to lead us back where we belong - into the Football League."

Penney was on a shortlist of four drawn up by Radford and was the firm favourite.

But Radford said Russell earned his short-term contract for a variety of factors including his record of working with high quality players at Championship level, his contacts, the respect he has earned from the playing squad - as well as his unbeaten record in temporary charge.

Radford added: "The way he handled the role as caretaker manager, in addition to the results he secured, has proved to me that we can now expect continued success on the pitch this season."

Russell, who has held coaching roles at six different clubs over the last 12 years including Derby County, Walsall, Wolves and MK Dons, joined the Stags as Holdsworth's assistant at the start of the season.

Former Jamaica international Paul Hall will continue in his role as assistant manager.


Stags appoint Duncan Russell as new manager for rest of season
Evening Post, By stevie roden, 14:58pm Tue 21 December 10

MANSFIELD Town's caretaker boss Duncan Russell has been given the job until the end of the season.


David Holdsworth was sacked last month and his assistant Russell stepped in to take charge on a temporary basis.

He has led the Stags to a win against Hayes and Yeading, a draw at Wrexham and a 5-0 FA Trophy win against Worksop Town.

But despite former Doncaster and Darlington boss David Penney being favourite for the post, Russell has now been handed the reins by chairman John Radford until the end of the season.


steve-hymas, Stags non-executive director, on Stagsnet messageboard, Tue Dec 21, 2010 8:47 pm

I wanted Penney and was told it would be Penney.However the club does not belong to us anymore and this goes to show our opinion is not worth tuppence.It is JR's money and he spends it how he wishes.I am not slating Russ but he does not have the experience that I presumed we were looking for.I am as shocked as everyone else but as a stags fan will have to grin and bear it.I warned if Russ was appointed the fans would be on his back if he didn't have immediate success and we will wait and see.Russ is a very nice bloke and I wish him all the best for his and Mansfield Town's sake. I am still fully behind JR, MTFC and now Russ.This is my view on it and not that of MTFC..Stags fan over 40 years and crave the football league asap.


EXCLUSIVE: Stags appoint new manager - Buy this week's Chad to find out who it isSponsored by
CHAD.co.uk, 13:27pm Tue Dec 21 2010

MANSFIELD Town owner John Radford has this week appointed a new manager to follow in the footsteps of David Holdsworth, who left Field Mill in November.


The news - to be exclusively revealed in this Wednesday's Chad - ends five weeks of fans' guessing games as to the identity of the new boss.

The appointment, which includes a new assistant manager, follows on the news that the club is back playing at Field Mill after a lockout by previous owner and now landlord Keith Haslam.

This week's Chad - on sale from WEdnesday morning - includes full interviews and photographs of the new managerial team, together with John Radford's reasons for his decision.


The Stags will announce their new manager exclusively in the Mansfield CHAD newspaper on Wednesday morning.



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