RUSSELL AND MELLON REACTION
RUSSELL REACTION --->
Delighted manager Mellon said: “I want to make sure the lads receive the proper pat on the back for the performance and the victory. People can be quick to jump all over them when things don't work out. We approach games properly and learn from defeats.
“Let's get things into perspective. When Fleetwood Town come to somewhere like Mansfield Town and win, the team deserve an unbelievable about of credit. To come here and win by such a margin against a former League team is unbelievable, make no mistake.
Stags boss Russell is defiant after five-goal thumping
EMBATTLED Mansfield Town boss Duncan Russell insists his side can still be a match for the Blue Square Bet Premier's top clubs – despite last night's humiliating 5-2 home defeat to Fleetwood.
Stags fans were calling for their new manager's head after only five games in charge, two of which have resulted in victories.
It is the manner of the defeats – 7-2 at Grimsby, 1-0 to bottom-of-the league Altrincham and this thumping by the Cod Army – that has so enraged Mansfield supporters.
But Russell has vowed to fight on and turn things around, laying the blame for this latest defeat squarely at the door of striker Rob Duffy, sent off in first-half stoppage time.
That was the precursor to four Fleetwood goals in 13 second half minutes and a fifth Mansfield defeat in seven at Field Mill.
"I think we are right there with the top teams in this division. When I listen to what other managers have to say about us, it's good things," said Russell.
"If we had not go down to ten men, then what happened wouldn't have – and it was the same in the game against Crawley (when Mansfield lost 4-1)."
Russell: Sending off cost Stags dear
MANSFIELD Town manager Duncan Russell said the sending off of Rob Duffy led to his side's 5-2 thumping by Fleetwood Town.
"I'm so disappointed and upset because I spoke to their manager (Micky Mellon) and he said we were the better team in the first half," said Russell.
"But the sending off has changed the game – that's how I see it. It deflated the whole team. What Rob Duffy did was inexcusable and I won't defend him. I have looked at the DVD but I didn't need to see it again. He led with the elbow and you don't expect that from a senior pro.
"He's let me down. I won't tolerate it and he will be disciplined. I know we are a good side and can turn things round, although we do need to add to the squad.
"I try to work hard with the players and I try to get them organised and it's hurtful what the fans shout but I chose to be manager and I will take it on the chin."
Russell was frustrated by Mansfield's shambolic defending in the second period.
He added: "I'm not happy with the way we imploded and let in so many goals again.
"You have to have the right mentality when you go down to ten men. You shouldn't be overrun as we were.
"Fingers will be pointed and people will be pulled out."
Russell is adamant new faces will be arriving in the transfer window
"I'm trying to bring three in and we should definitely have two by the end of next week"
Duffy in disgrace as Stags crumble
chad.co.uk, Wed Jan 12 2011
ROB Duffy was in disgrace today after his red card against Fleetwood Town last night led to the Stags tumbling like a pack of cards to a 5-2 home hammering.
The game was locked at 1-1 in first half stoppage time when Duffy's elbow on defender Alan Wright changed the course of the game.
Manager Duncan Russell was furious with Duffy and Stags' sixth red card of a ill-disciplined campaign, but also bitterly disappointed with his side's tame surrender with 10 men.
“I am so disappointed,” he said. “I shook their manager's hand at the end and he told me he thought we were the better team in the first half and that the sending-off changed the whole game.
“I am certainly not happy about us imploding and letting in so many goals again.
“I told them at half-time we needed two banks of four and to keep it narrow. You have to have a mentality with 10 men and a lot of teams can defend really well, sit back and stop the crosses coming in.
“Fingers will be pointed and people pulled out when we watch the DVD. It looked like some of them just though 'here we go again'. We needed someone to get a grip on the pitch and sort it out. You have to put up a better fight than that.”
Inevitably Duffy was the focus of Russell's anger and he added: “I can't defend him, what Rob Duffy did tonight was inexcusable.
“I have had another look at it on the DVD, but I didn't really need to as where I was standing I had a fantastic view of it and he led with his elbow.
“It was stupid and immature and from a senior pro and I didn't expect anything like that from him. You can imagine a young lad doing it, but not someone of Rob's experience.
“Seconds earlier he probably didn't get the foul he thought he deserved from the referee so he immediately retaliated.
“We have been down this avenue before with indiscipline this season and I won't tolerate it, He will be fined and disciplined.
“Either they learn or they won't be at this football club, that's all I can do. I don't care if they get punched, scratched or spat at, you get on with the game.”
Russell and the side were booed from the field and he said: “The fans were not happy and Rob Duffy's actions gave them an avenue to boo me and the team which was selfish of the player. I want him to feel like I feel at this moment in time.
“I do my best here to get the players prepared and organised, so it is hurtful. But I chose to be the manager so I have to take I on the chin and I will do.
“I know we have a good squad here and, absolutely, I can turn things if I can add some personnel.
“I am trying to bring three players in at the moment. I want to bolster things at the back, one up front and perhaps another midfield player.”
The defeat opened up a six-point gap between the sides but Russell said: “I think we are right next to Fleetwood and would have gone on to win the game if we hadn't gone down to 10 men. I certainly didn't fear Fleetwood.”
Fleetwood defensive shambles put into perspective for Mansfield keeper Pilkington
Evening Post, 14 Jan 2010, By matt halfpenny
WHEN Kevin Pilkington was asked how he felt about shipping five goals against Fleetwood on Tuesday night, his response was as sombre as it was poignant.
Blinking back tears, the goalkeeper pointed out that losing a game where you 'kick a bag of wind around' means little when one of your best friends has just lost his life.
Richard Butcher, a former team-mate of Pilkington's at Notts County, was found dead at his home in Manchester overnight on Sunday.
Along with Jamie Forrester, they used to travel to Nottingham for training and matches, becoming close and keeping in contact after leaving the Magpies.
So while the gripes of Mansfield Town's fans – clearly legitimate after such a woeful performance – did register with the 36-year-old, they were understandably rendered insignificant by events elsewhere.
"I would normally say I was devastated by what happened against Fleetwood," said Pilkington.
"After all, I pride myself on clean sheets and I have only had one since I have been back here.
"But my really good mate died on Sunday night and so while we are asking questions about what went wrong, we are not talking about life and death here.
"To fold in the way we did was a big disappointment, to concede four goals in the space of under 15 minutes after talking about what we were going to do at half-time was not good enough.
"We were told to keep them in front of us and stop them getting down the sides, but we didn't do our jobs properly. We were a bit naive and we need to sort it out.
"I don't think it is a lack of ability, there is a lot of that in the changing room. I think it is a mental thing.
"It has probably affected the lads losing so heavily at Grimsby and the sending off (of Rob Duffy) has obviously not helped.
"But what has happened off the pitch earlier this week puts things in perspective. That is what's really devastating."
Pilkington – who extended his loan from parent club Luton on Tuesday – has been ruled out of playing in FA Trophy games by the Hatters to prevent him getting cup-tied.
Boss Duncan Russell is looking to bring in another keeper with Alan Marriott (abductor) still injured for the foreseeable future.
But Pilkington insists youngster Neil Collett can excel for the Stags should he be given the nod in tomorrow's home second round tie against Newport County.
He said: "It's frustrating that I can't play in the FA Trophy because it will be a big game against a very good side.
"But Neil has shown in the Worksop game that he can be an able deputy, coming in and keeping a clean sheet.
"He's a confident lad in everything he does, has plenty of ability and I have every faith in him."
Like the supporters, Pilkington was with the club during the good times of automatic promotion in 2001-2002 and reaching the play-off final at Cardiff in 2003-2004.
He shares their sense of angst that things are not going right at the moment, but urges them to be patient.
"I can understand why the fans are so frustrated," said Pilkington.
"I have been here when there have been 10,000 fans in the ground and it was fantastic to go on that season and get promoted and achieve your aim.
"Apart from making my debut for Manchester United, it is still the highlight of my career.
"The fans are looking at those times and thinking they want them back, but I can assure you the players want that, too.
"No one likes to be struggling as we have been. We've had a couple of nightmare results, what with Grimsby as well (lost 7-2).
"But we need them to come out for the game tomorrow and support us, because if we did go on and get to Wembley, I'm sure they would want to be part of that."
Latest | January 2011