GANNON AND KING REACTION
Audio interview with John Gannon from Radio Nottingham (RealPlayer needed)
Stags stand up to second half examination
FINGERNAILS are certainly going to be in short supply around Field Mill before the end of the season if there are too many more afternoons like Stags' 2-1 win over Swindon.
Mansfield soaked up a second half of intense Robins pressure before securing three vital points and assistant manager John Gannon said: "We were magnificent. First half we did everything required and looked exciting at times, particularly when we got Junior Mendes and Wayne Corden on the ball.
"Possibly we should have been more than 2-0 ahead. But then we gave away a goal in stoppage time which gave them a little bit of light going into the break.
"Swindon started to play after half-time and you could see why they have got themselves out of trouble this season. Then it was a case of have we the belief? We did and we stood firm and didn't give anything away. We were men and we ground out a result which in a way was as satisfying as winning 4-1.
"I thought Adam Eaton did well at centre half there was nothing makeshift about him. And Rhys Day was outstanding alongside him. I wish I had a pound for every time he headed the ball away.
"It is a good result. But we will be judged by the week. It's no good beating Swindon if we go down at Huddersfield and Cardiff."
Audio interview with Andy King from BBC Radio Wiltshire (RealPlayer needed)
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King Counts Cost of Fruitless Week
Andy King was left counting the cost of a fruitless week for his side – Town enduring their third defeat in seven days.
“It was another poor result to be honest. Once again we started slowly and gave ourselves a huge mountain to climb and we cannot afford to keep doing that. I asked for a good start, one with energy, pace and commitment and we didn't get it and I'd warned against Mansfield's attacking options. They came at us and got the ball behind our defence – fair play to them, but I was just disappointed with our first half approach. We knew that they were capable of scoring goals yet allowed them to come at us. In the end we were lucky not to be three of four down because we could quite easily have lost the game such was our first half play.
“Thankfully, and I don't know how, we got a goal back before the break and so when the lads came in at half time – we had a lifeline when perhaps we didn't deserve one. 'Reevesy' did well to get a goal back, other than that we hadn't really threatened. That gave us some momentum to go out at them in the second half and as far as effort is concerned – I couldn't have asked for any more in the second period – it was a transformation. We kept the ball, grew win confidence and were patient whereas in the first half we gave the ball away too cheaply.
“In the end we've had a load of chances and we've absolutely battered them for the whole of the second half. We played some fantastic football and looked a different class form the team in the first half – the ball just wouldn't drop for us in the final third. But we got the ball out wide and got behind their defence, put crosses in and played with endeavour – we just couldn't score. The second half performance deserved a point alone, but we can't keep allowing ourselves to be in a position whereby we have to chase the game because we've pretty much given them a two-goal lead.
“We've now gone three games without a win against the three bottom in the league. Fundamentally that is wrong – people were expecting to win these games because the teams are at the bottom of the table but as I keep saying you have to earn those wins – we didn't do enough to do that because we just didn't start brightly enough.
“And once again we've slipped up in the league and I keep saying we need a win or two to be absolutely safe and we still haven't got it. I don't want to finish the season scrapping around for points here and there to make sure of our safety but the way we're playing – that might well be the case because we just have not been good enough. If we can start games as we finished today's, like we were in January and February, then we'll have no problems and will finish the season in the top half. But if we start slowly like we did today then we'll struggle and we just can't afford to do that.”
Latest | March 2003