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Archived News from December 2006

22nd December 2006 14:01

Evening Post, 21 December 2006
Stags skipper Richard Barker today revealed he wanted to play a part in the new management - but only if approached by the club.

He ruled out putting his name forward for the vacant manager's job, or a coaching position.

But the striker, 31, would consider taking on such a role alongside his playing duties.

"My main aim is to play on as long as possible and I think I have quite an important role in trying to score the goals to get us away from the bottom of the table," said Barker.

"But becoming a manager or coach is something I have been working towards for a long time and I have done all my coaching badges.

"Sometimes the time when you make a move into it is not dictated by you, but I'll just wait and see what happens. People know what I can do and where I am if they want me."

One obstacle is that Barker could be sold in the January transfer window.

He was a fan of departed boss Peter Shirtliff - who left on Tuesday - but he insists it has not changed his stance on wanting to stay at the club.

"I liked him, as did the rest of the lads, but we have to move on because this is what happens in football.

"I worked for Carlton Palmer and Peter, and I will work for the new manager."

Caretaker boss Paul Holland will be in charge for tomorrow's game at home to Chester and confirmed he would like the job on a full-time basis.

He said: "I have spoken to the chairman and I am just going to take it a game at a time and enjoy it."
Audio interview with Richie Barker from Radio Nottingham Clip here
Evening Post, 20 December 2006

Jonathan D'Laryea revealed his shock at discovering manager Peter Shirtliff had left the club.

Shirtliff parted company with the Stags yesterday, as reported in later editions of the Evening Post.

D'Laryea, pictured below, was brought to the club from Manchester City by Shirtliff and the midfielder is sorry to see him go.

"It has come as a big shock to me. Peter has been so good to me and I'm absolutely gutted about it,'" said D'Laryea.

"If it wasn't for him I would probably still be playing reserve team football right now, so I owe him a lot and a lot of the other young players are the same.

"I know the team is having a bad run, but he should definitely have been given a bit more time."

D'Laryea says the players are now determined to beat Chester City on Friday night as a tribute to Shirtliff.

The League Two clash will see assistant-manager Paul Holland take charge in a caretaker capacity.

D'Laryea said: "I don't think it is the best of times just before the busy Christmas period but we will try to get some wins for him.

"We definitely feel like we have let him down. The players definitely have to take a lot of the blame."

Goalkeeper Carl Muggleton was also rocked by Shirtliff's departure.

"It was a big surprise and it really did come out of the blue," he said.

"When results are not going your way there is always the chance of this happening, but it is still a shock.

"We just came in from training and the boss came in and spoke to us and told us what was happening and wished us all the best.

"Everyone just sat in the dressing room afterwards gobsmacked, but we just have to get on with it now."

Striker Chris Beardsley knows that whoever is brought in as Mansfield's new manager will have his own thoughts on the way forward.

He hopes that will improve the performance level of the players as they bid to impress their new boss.

"I just think, with the quality of the players we have in the squad, we have under-performed and under achieved," said Beardsley.

"Our main problem has been conceding sloppy goals.

"It's difficult to say if Peter should have been given more time because he might have won all the games and turned things round or it might have got worse.

"We do know that we are playing for our futures now because the new manager will have his own view on things and want to make changes in the January transfer window."

Evening Post, 20 December 2006

Former Mansfield Town manager Steve Parkin today said he would be interested in a return to Field Mill.

Parkin, 41, has parted company with Stags' League Two rivals Rochdale.

Parkin, who was in charge at Stags between October 1996 and June 1999, says he would welcome a second spell.

"I still have a lot of friends in Mansfield and I still live in the area. It is certainly something I would be interested in," he said.

Assistant manager Paul Holland has been installed as caretaker boss following Peter Shirtliff's departure yesterday.

He will take charge of first team affairs for Mansfield's final game before Christmas - against Chester City on Friday night at Field Mill.

Holland has been at the club for several years in various roles after excelling as a midfielder. He was unavailable to confirm if he would be interested in pitching for the job full-time. But history suggests he has a good chance. Steve Parkin, Bill Dearden, Stuart Watkiss and Shirtliff were all promoted from within.

Brian Horton, sacked by Macclesfield, and former Forest manager Paul Hart, who has left Rushden, are names that have been thrown into the hat. An outsider is Stags skipper Richard Barker.

Evening Post, 20 December 2006

As anyone who knows Peter Shirtliff will agree, he is not a man to over-react, whatever the situation.

During his 15-month tenure as Mansfield manager, it was often difficult to tell from his post-match demeanour whether his side had just won 5-0 or lost by the same margin.

So it comes as no surprise that he is just as phlegmatic about his departure from the Field Mill hotseat.

Shirtliff was shown the door by chief executive Keith Haslam yesterday - a move which he admits caught him unawares.

But he is not about to let his sudden departure get him down and is determined to get back into football.

"I'm disappointed because I just felt we were two results from getting our season back on track," said Shirtliff.

"It has taken me by surprise because since I took charge this is the only spell where we have had a run of poor results.

"When you consider what I inherited when I took over the manager's job - adrift at the bottom - it's disappointing this has happened.

"I'm not going to say that the chairman didn't give me the right backing, I was just quite confident the results would improve."

Shirtliff was poised for a clear-out of players in January's transfer window after just one win in the last eight matches - a run which eventually brought about his downfall.

Although frustrated that he did not get the opportunity to put his plan into practice, Shirtliff holds no bitterness towards the club or Haslam.

He said: "I found out yesterday morning when the chief executive called me in to see him and told me.

"When I spoke to the players to tell them, I think they were a little bit shocked and some of them were disappointed.

"But the bottom line is that these things happen in football if you don't get the right results.

"It was an amicable departure and there was no hard feelings between the chief executive and I."

When Shirtliff took over as boss from Carlton Palmer in September 2005, the Stags were third from bottom in the league.

But after dropping to the bottom of League Two, he managed to rally the squad in the rest of the 2005-2006 to lift them up to 16th in the table.

However, he has come under fire from Mansfield fans this season after a failure to build on that progress, despite new signings in the summer and a promising pre-season campaign.

" I have enjoyed my time at Mansfield. There are some good people there. I would like to thank the players for their efforts," said Shirtliff.

"They have done well in certain instances and shown that they have potential and ability while at other times things haven't gone so well.

"You never know what might happen in football. I might be doing the garden for the next few weeks or I might be straight back into the game - we'll have to wait and see.

"I am keen to get back into management. I enjoy that side of things as well as the coaching side. I have certainly benefited from the experience of managing Mansfield."

For now the future remains unclear for Shirtliff, who has an unexpected Christmas holiday to contemplate what has happened.

But whatever lies in waiting for him, rest assured he will take it all in his stride.


Latest | December 2006