GROF REACTION+RUSSELL EXPLAINS RE PARKER + MEDLEY
Duncan Russell after the Barrow game, from BBC Radio Nottm
David Grof after his debut at Barrow, from BBC Radio Nottm
Stags boss thanks fans for long Barrow
FOR the second successive week, Stags had to earn a point the hard way, coming from two behind at Barrow on Saturday after coming back from three down at home to Newport last weekend, reports John Lomas.
“You have to take the positives out of games and the big positives we showed today were a lot of guts and determination,” said relieved boss Duncan Russell.
“We were 2-0 down, yet we came back to 2-2 and could have gone on to win it.
“Last week we were 3-0 down and came back so it's never easy with Mansfield Town. We do like a drama and that's what it was today.
“For their first goal we must stop someone running in towards your 18 yard box and giving them a free shot.
“Someone must take responsibility and I will study the DVD to see who that should have been.
“For the second I think the keeper was a little unsighted and it's gone in off Paul Connor's head for an own goal.
“Once we had got a grip after the first 10 minutes I really thought we'd go on and score a lot of goals. We created so many chances and we look so close to being that complete team.”
Hero today was winger Adam Smith who came on as a sub to bag two superb finishes and Russell added: “Those are the type of goals that Adam Smith scores. They were great goals he created himself. He was marked tightly but created the space himself with his body movement and his quick feet.
“I want to thank the Mansfield fans who travelled all the way up here. It was great to see them clapping the players off at the end and I am glad we didn't send them home without getting point in the bag.”
Two-goal hero Adam Smith was delighted with his afternoon and said: “We were losing 2-0 down so I was sent on to make an impact and it worked out nicely.
“Both times I got in the box and it was a bit crowded so I did what I do. I don't think about it really. A few step-overs and I find half a yard, see the goal and strike it hard, thankfully they flew into the back of the net.
“We showed a lot of grit and heart to come back today. We showed a lot of fight out there.
“I was out with injury and since I got fit again, the lads who went in there have done well in my absence. Fair play to them. So I have had to wait for my chance.”
Debut keeper David Grof said: “I enjoyed every single minute of that.
“It has been a long time since I played a proper competitive game, I have not played one all season.
“I have been on the bench at Notts County but not got on.
“Now I just hope I can keep my place until the end of the season.
“I would have liked to have kept a clean sheet on my debut but I couldn't do a deal with either of them.
“I am loving it at Mansfield. I didn't know much about the club before I came but I get on well with the boys and enjoy training with them.”
Grof replaced Neil Collett who suffered a knee injury in training on Thursday and will now have a scan on the damage to see how long it may keep him sidelined.
Stags boss explains Parker exit - and says Medley may also leave
MANSFIELD Town boss Duncan Russell has revealed why he allowed Keigan Parker to join play off rivals Fleetwood on Friday - and why fellow striker Luke Medley was left out of the squad for the 2-2 draw at Barrow on Saturday.
Russell was keen to put the record straight on the two after the Stags gutsy fightback from two goals down to claim a point.
He explained that he had to let an unsettled Parker move north as he was pining for his family and Medley was out the picture due to ill discipline and may also leave the club.
“Keigan Parker came to me about two and a half months ago and said he wanted to move further north to be nearer his family and see more of his child,” said Russell.
“At the time I persuaded him to stay as I wanted him here which was a greedy reason. Keigan is a terrific talent waiting to burst and happen.
“He then came to see me again and again I managed to persuade him to stay.
“But in the last couple of weeks he has really been pining to get back up north and he said his head wasn't right during games and he didn't think he was giving us his best as his mind was elsewhere.
“I had to do the right thing for Keigan Parker and for Mansfield Town. He was one of our best paid players so it was important Fleetwood were happy to take over his contract fully.
“Luke Medley wants to go out on loan and we will have to see if there are any official approaches.
“He is not training hard enough and he has upset other players. You are trying to do things but you have a young man bucking the trend.
“I have to be fair to everyone and Luke won't feature unless he changes his professional attitude and opinions.
“What the crowd don't see is Luke from Monday to Friday.”
But Russell won't leave his striker cupboard bare and wants to keep Stoke loanee Louis Moult for the rest of the season as well as putting other irons in the fire.
He said: “We want to keep Louis Moult here and I am working on that. I also want to bring in another striker.”
Stags boss Russell hits out at striker
LUKE Medley will not play for Mansfield Town again until he sharpens up on what boss Duncan Russell has labelled an 'unprofessional attitude'.
The Stags boss has seen his striker options cut since the turn of the year with Rob Duffy leaving for Grimsby and Keigan Parker going on loan to Fleetwood.
Many were surprised that Danny Mitchley was chosen on the bench yesterday for the 2-2 draw at Barrow ahead of Medley, who has already scored six goals off the bench this season.
But Russell explained that Medley had not merited a place on the coach to Holker Street and launched a scathing attack on the former Bradford City man for not being a team player.
"The reason why Luke has not travelled is because he hasn't trained hard enough and his attitude is not right," said Russell.
"It's not fair on the rest of the players when they are all trying to get things right.
"Until he changes his unprofessional attitude he will stay out of it. What everyone doesn't see is Luke Medley Monday to Friday – but we do.
"He wants to go out on loan and if we get an official approach then we will look at it."
Stags boss Russell: We keep doing things the hard way
DUNCAN Russell has urged his Mansfield Town players to stop giving themselves a mountain to climb.
The Stags came back from 2-0 down to claim a 2-2 draw at Barrow on Saturday – just as they fought back from 3-0 down to level at 3-3 with Newport County in their previous game.
But frustrated boss Russell knows if Mansfield can stop leaking soft goals then they are capable of putting together a winning sequence he believes can still get them back in the Blue Square Bet Premier play-off hunt.
"Last week we recovered from 3-0 and we never make it easy for ourselves. We do like a drama and we got that again," he said.
"If you look at the goals we conceded, I'm very annoyed. The first one we let someone run all the way to our 18-yard box and shoot and didn't react to the rebound, while the second was an own goal.
"I always believed we would score a lot of goals and we did create some great chances. We are so close to being the complete team.
"But I said to the players that we have to take the positives because they are all disappointed they didn't win.
"The big positive is that we showed a lot of guts and determination. We came back from two goals down and got our deserved point but we could have gone on to win it."
Russell's decision to bring on Adam Smith midway through the second half proved to be a masterstroke as the winger responded with two spectacular strikes.
He said: "Those are the type of goals the boy scores. I've told him as a winger that if he starts making runs to the far post he will get some tap-ins as well.
"He loves to throw a player one way and the other and then smash the ball in the back of the net.
"They were two great goals that he basically created himself because he was marked tight but he created the space with his body movement and quick feet."
Mansfield have loaned out Keigan Parker to Fleetwood for the rest of the season and the striker came off the bench to score for the Cod Army in their 3-0 win over Grimsby.
"Keigan first came to me about moving back up with his family in Scotland about two-and-a-half months ago," said Russell.
"I talked him out it, because I still think he is a terrific talent, and again a second time when he came to see me again.
""But the last few weeks he has been pining to go back up north. He's got a young child.
"I was only prepared to do it if someone was prepared to take over Keigan's whole contract because he is one of our best-paid players.
"It had to be the right thing for the club and the player and I think this is."
Goalkeeper Neil Collett is today set to have a scan to assess the extent of his knee injury
Grof delighted to make his mark at Stags
DAVID Grof was delighted to make his first start for Mansfield Town at Barrow after being forced to wait patiently for his chance.
The Hungarian goalkeeper was drafted in on loan from Notts County at the end of January to cover for Neil Collett.
But he had been confined to the bench because of the excellent form of the former Coventry youngster.
However, Collett picked up a knee injury during training ahead of the trip to Holker Street, handing Grof his chance.
And the debutant did nothing wrong in the 2-2 draw and is now hoping he can retain his shirt for the FA Trophy quarter-final tie with Chasetown.
"I enjoyed every single minute of the game, particularly because it is a long time since I last played a competitive game," said Grof.
"Of course I would have been happier to have got the win but it says a lot about the team that they are able to fight back from 2-0 down.
"I'm always disappointed when I concede goals but I don't think I could have done too much about either of them.
"The first one was a rebound where I couldn't get back up off the floor quickly enough and the second one was a great delivery that Conns (Paul Connor) has got a little touch on.
"We need to concentrate from the start a bit more but what happened after that shows we have character.
"Even in the first half we played quite well apart from the goal we conceded and had some good chances. They were great goals form Smithy (Adam Smith) and it was a great substitution by the gaffer.
"I came here to play games and help the team and I just hope I will be involved against Chasetown because that is a massive game."
Stags' two-goal hero Smith celebrates in style
ADAM Smith celebrated his birthday early with a two-goal salvo for Mansfield Town that also gave him the chance to take the mickey out of assistant boss Paul Hall.
The winger turned 26 yesterday and marked the occasion by coming off the bench at Barrow to earn the Stags a 2-2 draw at Holker Street on Saturday.
It is the second time in his career that Smith has scored twice as a substitute.
And it brought back memories of the first occasion he achieved the feat, albeit with Hall's help.
"It was when we were both playing for Chesterfield against Yeovil and Hally set up both goals for me," said Smith.
"The funniest thing was that he did all the hard work with his wing play and I had a simple task of scoring. But I ran off and celebrated with the fans and everyone ignored him!
"When I went into the dressing room I remembered it and reminded him – I don't think he was too pleased.
"But on a serious note it's great to make your comeback in that way and score two goals off the bench.
"We were losing 2-0 when my chance came and I had to go on to try to make an impact, so it worked out pretty nicely.
"I didn't really think about what I was doing for the goals, you just do it instinctively. I just hit the ball as hard as I could and they both ended up in the net, thankfully.
"I think the second goal was the better because it was with my weaker left foot and I also ran with the ball for quite a way after a great ball from Danny Mitchley.
"But left foot or right foot, I will take all goals just the same.
"I don't know whether that will get me a start against Chasetown. That is down to the manager ."
VIDEO: Parker move was 'best all round'
Duncan Russell is speaking to our Head of Media & Communications Mark Stevenson
mansfieldtown.net, Mon 21 Feb 2011
Manager Duncan Russell insists that Keigan Parker's departure on loan to Fleetwood until the end of the season was the best move for all concerned.
The Gaffer revealed that despite his reluctance to let Parker leave, the Scotsman's personal happiness what the basis for his decision to sanction the move to the North West.
Duncan Russell is speaking to our Head of Media & Communications Mark Stevenson.
He added: "I would like to say to all the fans that I didn't want to lose Keigan Parker. He expressed a wish to go some two months ago and I talked him into staying but, it was unfortunate that through compassionate reasons Keigan wanted to be nearer home. Fleetwood is nearer to his home.
"It wasn't about finance and at the end of the season he was going to walk. He was honest with me, I was honest with him and now I'm being honest with the supporters. I didn't want him to go but he expressed a wish and said that he was unhappy coming into work and training.
"He always worked hard but his mind wasn't on it. I hope the fans understand that it was the best thing all round."
'Russ' has also firmly denied that Luke Medley will no longer feature in the side this season despite the winger not making an appearance since coming on as a substitute in our 1-1 draw at Darlington on January 25th.
He added: "The boy Luke Medley has an abundance of talent but, unfortunately, there are other sides of football that he has to adhere to.
"I'm not saying that he is ill-disciplined but we have an ethos at this club where people want to be here and work for eachother on and off the pitch. I don't just look at the team on a Friday and decide who I'm going to go with on a Saturday, I look at what the boys are doing in the week.
"I don't care whether they are our top player or a junior player - if you don't perform in training then you won't play. If you are not happy and joyful to play the game your paid to then you won't feature with me.
"He's heard what I've said. The boy has got talent and if he can harvest that and do the other things then Luke Medley could be a massive player for Mansfield Town."
VIDEO: Russ in the hunt for new striker
Duncan Russell is speaking to our Head of Media & Communications Mark Stevenson
mansfieldtown.net, Mon 21 Feb 2011
Manager Duncan Russell says that he is hoping to add a new forward to the squad.
Speaking exclusively to mansfieldtown.net, the Gaffer said that following the departure of Keigan Parker on loan to BSBP rivals Fleetwood until the end of the season, he is now looking to bring a fresh face on board.
With Louis Moult, Paul Connor, Danny Mitchley the only recognised strikers at Field Mill along with out-of-favour frontman Luyke Medley, 'Russ' will now assess his options.
"You need four or five forwards at a club because you can be unlucky enough to lose two in one game," he said.
"I'm always on the hunt for new strikers but they're in demand - everyone's after a striker. I will keep looking as will Paul (Hall) but we are looking to bring somebody else in who can go straight into our side.
"I don't want one who is still untested, I want to enhance what we've got."
Although every effort is being made to extend the loan of Stoke striker Louis Moult to beyond the end of this month, 'Russ' has not ruled out a call up for young strike pair Niall O'Rafferty and Conor Higginson after seeing them both in action during our friendly game at Notts County last Wednesday.
He added: "There have been enquiries for him (O'Rafferty) to go back out on loan but I want him to stay and train with us now to see if he's ready to step up a mark. He's a very young lad but like I've said before, if your ability is right then I don't care how young you are.
"I think I need to see Conor a couple more times in front of the kind of opposition we played against at Notts County but he worked very hard and I was impressed with his enthusiasm and energy.
"He's a joy to have in training sessions because he doesn't require a great deal of motivating and I'm sure he will feature in the first team very very soon."
Finally, negotiations are in an advanced stage to keep Moult at the club and 'Russ' is hopeful of parent club Stoke City making a decision by the end of the day.
"I've spoken to the Chief Executive today and asked him to speak to his opposite number at Stoke to increase his loan. I think Louis is quite happy to stay and hopefully we can procure that by the end of the day.
"He's scored a couple of goals here so the reports will be good on him and it's down to Stoke City now. We will do all we can at this end to procure him but its down to them.
"I would like him until the end of the season because he's a young, energetic player who has an eye for goal and that's the type of player I want at this football club."
Marriott poised for Mansfield return at Chasetown
Evening Post, 22 Feb 2011
ALAN Marriott could make his long-awaited comeback on Saturday by being named on the bench for Mansfield's FA Trophy quarter-final tie at Chasetown.
The popular goalkeeper has not played since coming off in the 5-2 home defeat to FC Wimbledon in early October.
Marriott has since undergone extensive treatment and seen specialists in a bid to solve an injury that has affected his groin and abductor muscles.
He trained yesterday and while still not 100 per cent fit, is keen to play a part.
David Grof started in goal in Mansfield's 2-2 draw with Barrow at the weekend following a knee problem suffered by Neil Collett.
The former Coventry man had a scan yesterday but the results are not expected until Thursday.
"Alan did really well in training and has put himself forward to be on the bench on Saturday, which he will be if needs be," said manager Duncan Russell.
"I was really impressed with Grofy (David Grof) and I have no qualms whatsoever starting him against Chasetown.
"He commanded his goal really well, made a really good save at the end and could not be faulted for either of the goals.
"But it's great see Mazza on the mend. No disrespect at all to Kevin Pilkington, Neil Collett or David Grof because they have all done a great job.
"However, you are always going to miss someone of Mazza's quality. It's like losing your top striker."
Latest | February 2011