COX, DEMPSTER, DYER, CRAIG LIDDLE REACTION
audio interview with Paul Cox from Mansfield 103.2
Paul Cox: We've won, that's all we can do. Our performance got better as the game went on. The lads responded in the second half. But credit to Darlington, they played with no fear. It was pleasing for Greenie to get a hat-trick. And we welcomed back the real Louis Briscoe - he thoroughly deserved his goal, and Meikle came on and did well as well. We got a bit of rustyness out of us as the game went on. The goals were soft ones we conceded, they caught us with a sucker punch, but Bridge-Wilkinson is a good player, as is Arnison. Credit to our lads, we've won and no-one can deny we've deserved it over the 90 minutes. I didn't want to make an excuse on Saturday, but we looked a mile off the pace. It's been a good night tonight. Meikle's had a bit of a breather but I want to get him in there an playing. His work ethic is excellent. Him and Briscoe really put Darlington on the back foot. Murray and Roberts dug in and did very well. Dempster will be a big hole to fill - you've seen tonight, he pops up and gets you a goal.
Transcribed by Martin Shaw from interview on Mansfield 103.2
Stags delighted to make it three home wins on the spin
ROSS Dyer was relieved to see Mansfield Town make it three home wins on the bounce after a 5-2 victory over crisis club Darlington.
The visitors came into the game with players not having been paid since November and a raft of others having left for pastures new.
The Quakers had not won any of their previous eight league games dating back to a 2-0 success over Cambridge in mid-December.
But they gave an excellent account of themselves and it was much less convincing for the hosts than the final scoreline suggested.
Matt Green was the hero with his first hat-trick in amber and blue, to go with goals from John Dempster and Louis Briscoe.
The result takes the Stags up to eighth in the table, three points off the Blue Square Bet Premier play-offs with a game in hand.
"The majority of the season we have done well against the bigger teams, but against those you might expect us to beat we have come unstuck," said Dyer. "But I think pretty much every game we have lost in the season we have come back well and most of them we have won.
"The fans have helped us at home recently because they have definitely got a lot more behind us. I think we have made it more difficult for other teams coming here."
Demspter backing Mansfield Town for promotion after his last game for Stags
DEFENDER John Dempster ended a successful three-month loan from Crawley with a goal and a 5-2 win against Darlington last night – and he is confident the Stags can taste promotion this season or next.
“I have really enjoyed it here. It is a great bunch of lads and great supporters,” he said.
“I am sure they all get tired of hearing they are a sleeping giant that should be a League club but have found it's not that easy to go back up to the Football League with only one place available in the play-offs with the champions.
“But I think the structure here will give the club more than a good chance of achieving it, whether it happens this season or next, I think it will happen.
“The manager has made it clear to me he would be interested in bringing me back this summer but that is a long way off yet and anything can happen in football.”
Manager Paul Cox is now looking for a replacement centre half on loan and said of Dempster: “It will be a big hole to fill. It's not just his defending, he will get you goals as well.
“John has become a big player to replace but we not have to work hard to do that.
“I would love to bring him here in the summer as I hold him in high regard as a player and also as a person.”
Mansfield sharpshooter Green keen to keep on scoring
Nottingham Post, Saturday, February 25, 2012
LIAM Hearn, January's player of the month; Jon Shaw, top of the charts for much of the season; Jamie Vardy, considered by many the best player in the division... and now Mansfield Town's Matt Green.
The list is, of course, the select group of players who have reached 20 league goals for their respective clubs in the Blue Square Bet Premier this season.
It is a band which Green thoroughly deserves to be a part of, having scored consistently since joining the club in the summer.
The former Oxford United man – who joined permanently on January 1 having previously come to Field Mill on a half-season loan – has bagged 20 league goals in 32 games, plus another in his only FA Trophy appearance, the 2-1 pre-Christmas defeat at Droylsden.
That includes seven in his last eight matches, helped by a well-taken treble in Tuesday night's 5-2 win over Darlington that put his side within three points of the play-off spots with a game in hand.
Green is hopeful there are still plenty more goal celebrations to come – with today's opponents Tamworth next in his sights.
"A hat-trick is always nice and it was my first hat-trick for Mansfield, which was pleasing," he said.
"I got a couple at Newport, I believe, but I didn't get one at all at Oxford, so it's my first hat-trick for quite a few years!
"I'd be the first to say that I didn't have the greatest game in the world, but the chances came my way and I was pleased to take them.
"The goals came at an important time and it was quite a relief at the final whistle to know we had a win.
"It is a good feeling to get to 20 and probably a bit of the pressure is off now. Having said that, I have tried to relax all season and that has helped.
"But I don't really want to start setting myself targets now, I just want to keep the goals coming and to help us win games and I'll see where I am at the end."
Even so, Green admits he is aware of the race to finish as leading marksman in the division, an honour that has previously been claimed by the likes of Barry Hayles, Daryl Clare, Paul Benson and Matt Tubbs.
Grimsby's Hearn leads the way with 24, while Gateshead's Shaw has 23 and Fleetwood's Vardy 22.
Green said: "It's something that I keep a little eye on, but it's not the end of the world.
"If I'm not the top goalscorer at the end of the season then it doesn't matter; I just need to keep scoring goals for Mansfield and help the wins keep coming.
"The Darlington game was a massive boost – we knew we had to improve after Saturday (a 1-0 defeat at Newport).
"It was a massive put down on everyone's weekends and we had to come back strongly. We started off slowly, but we came back in the end."
Mansfield had gone into last weekend's clash in South Wales six games unbeaten, but failed to get out of first gear.
Green is convinced a three-week lay-off because of the cold snap was detrimental.
But he says that is behind the Stags, adding: "These home games (Tamworth and Lincoln follow Darlington) are a great chance to get back up there.
"I'm not one to monitor the league table too closely, but I know roughly where we are.
"We know that if we do our jobs then the rest will take care of itself."
Green has reaffirmed his support for attacking colleague Ross Dyer, often criticised for not netting more often.
The former Forest Green man has just six goals to his credit this season, but the top scorer said: "Ross is brilliant to play with – he puts his body on the line for the team.
"He is not a player to do selfish things; quite the opposite. He does the right things at the right times to help the team. He gets loads of flick-ons every game.
"I don't think people realise how many chances he lays on for other people. I think if you counted them up he would be leading an assists chart.
"He showed what he is prepared to do on Tuesday when he got smashed in the face to head the ball on for Louis Briscoe's goal."
Former Stags midfielder Steven Istead has left Blue Square North side Eastwood Town by mutual consent. He is set to join Buxton
VIEWS FROM THE DRESSING ROOM
Mansfield Town manager Paul Cox told BBC Radio Nottingham:
Use accessible player and disable flyout menus"There are a lot of clubs that have played games when we haven't. For the first 35 minutes we were still in third gear and you could tell that our match sharpness and what we usually do wasn't there.
"But the longer the game went on we got sharper and stronger - and I can't wait for the games to come thick and fast because we will get sharper and stronger.
"We are getting better. We were awful on Saturday and we improved ten-fold tonight but there is still a lot more to come.
"It was a no-win game for us because everyone expected us to beat Darlington, but we were very professional."
Darlington boss Craig Liddle told BBC Tees:
Use accessible player and disable flyout menus"It might sound bizarre, but i'm an awful lot happier than I was last week - we went down at Southport and Alfreton without a fight.
"Tonight at least we showed fight and we tried to do the correct things,
(but) we've been undone by schoolboy errors.
"One ball over the top has done us on numerous occasions, and I've said to the youngsters that they've got to learn, to deal with it and do the best they can."
Craig Liddle's family urge him to quit Darlington Darlington manager
Craig Liddle has admitted his family have asked him to consider his position at the club due to the pressure on his personal life.
Liddle has been juggling first-team duties with his original youth development post since the departure of former boss Mark Cooper in October.
"My wife wants me to quit," the 40-year-old told BBC Tees.
"She knows how badly it's affecting my life. I'm not getting to see my family but I'm prepared to do that."
Chester-le-Street-born Liddle made 327 appearances for the club as a player, leading the side out at Wembley in the 2000 Division Three play-off final.
Use accessible player and disable flyout menusHowever, his status as a fans'
favourite has been undermined by criticism of his managerial reign on internet forums.
"I find it difficult to take certain comments. I steer clear of messageboards but it filters back to me from friends and family," Liddle added.
"It upsets me because I don't think anybody works the hours I do."
Meanwhile, Liddle revealed he had been unsuccessful in persuading defender Exodus Geohaghon to return to the club following a loan spell at Dagenham & Redbridge.
The 26-year-old moved away from the Arena earlier in the season.
"I tried to get him back today, but he doesn't want to come back, he's not coming back," said Liddle.
"Somebody like that would be a huge bonus for us, I was prepared to swallow my pride and so were the players.
"We would have had to ask the Conference anyway, but he's going somewhere and he might even end up at Mansfield."
By Craig Stoddart , Deputy Sports Editor
EMBATTLED Darlington manager Craig Liddle revealed last night that he will step down from the role if a replacement can be found.
After watching his relegation- threatened team lose 5-2 at Mansfield Town, the interim boss admitted he has been hurt by a small amount of criticism aimed at club's former defender and skipper.
He has struggled to bring players because of restrictions enforced by the Football Conference due to the club being in administration.
As a result, the team is currently relying on youth players with six of last night's starting XI being teenagers.
"The club comes first, it's not about me, it's about the club," said Liddle, who yesterday afternoon was in charge of the youth team's 1- 1 draw at Burton before heading for Mansfield.
"I've got a role in youth development and to be honest I've enjoyed this spell as caretaker, despite these last few games, but by all means if there's someone out there that thinks they can do better then come forward.
"Silly comments have been made here and there which I will take on the chin, but we've got to stick together if we're going to get through this.
"A lot of people appreciate what I'm doing, but I find it difficult to take certain comments on board
"I stay away from messageboards, but it does filter back to me through friends and family and it upsets me because I don't think anybody could work the hours I'm doing.'' And he admitted: "I've got a very understanding wife, but she wanted me to call it a day with the job at the weekend because she can see the impact it is having.
I'm not seeing my family, I'm not seeing my kids.
"If there's somebody out there that can improve things the by all means I'll finish.
"We haven't got money to bring players in, we've got a transfer embargo on us and we've now got a lot of kids who are physically and mentally drained.
"I don't know if I've got the answers or not, but I do know that I will continue to give everything that I've got until someone tells me otherwise."
Meanwhile, Liddle revealed that defender Exodus Geohaghon has turned down the opportunity to return to the club following the end of his loan at Dagenham and is set to go out on again, with Mansfield a possible destination
Louis Briscoe tweets: twitter.com/louisbriscoe: Get in there!!!!! That felt good
Saturday night after Newport game, Stagsnet match report wrote:
"Riley 4 Had a nightmare game. For all his poor defending, he was unlucky not to earn a penalty at the other end."
twitter.com/hamptonhilljeff (Jeff Barnes) @LifeofRiley6 Apparently you had a nightmare game - 4/10 on Stagsnet
twitter.com/LifeofRiley6 (Martin Riley) @hamptonhilljeff interesting. Not sure what i did wrong?!
twitter.com/hamptonhilljeff (Jeff Barnes) @LifeofRiley6 This is where it is from stagsnet.net/match/reports/viewreport.php?matchid=536&seasonid=12
Martin Riley, dropped for the Darlington game, then tweeted after the Darlington game:
twitter.com/LifeofRiley6 (Martin Riley) Not gonna comment on anything tonight, heads in the wrong place and can see myself saying something out of place...
twitter.com/LifeofRiley6 (Martin Riley) Before i go whoever scores the lads on Stagsnet is a muppet. Absolutely #clueless
Latest | February 2012