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Archived News from December 2006

28th December 2006 0:11

Holland plays down Barker talk
teamtalk.com, Wed 27 Dec, 5:15 PM

Mansfield caretaker boss Paul Holland has played down speculation linking captain Richie Barker with a move away from the club in January.The 31-year-old has been linked with a move to Hartlepool in the transfer window, however Holland has insisted he has every intention of keeping his 15-goal top scorer at Field Mill.

He said: "There is speculation Richie Barker may be leaving the club in January, but I've spoken with the chairman and he is very much part of my plans. I think that's 15 goals for him, and how do you replace a striker of that calibre?"

Holland also revealed his delight after his first game in charge of the Stags ended in a 2-0 win at Darlington.

He added: "It was a difficult occasion as it was my first game in charge and I didn't know how the players would react.

"We aren't a big team, and we played to our strengths, which meant working the ball around quickly on the ground, and those tactics certainly paid off."
Evening Post, 27 December 2006

Paul Holland insists he is as much in the dark about the next Mansfield manager as the rest of us.

But he admitted he would be happy to work with any potential newcomer.

Holland guided the Stags to their first away clean sheet of the season in League Two as they won 2-0 at Darlington.

However, there are rumours that his spell as caretaker manager may be short-lived - with Billy Dearden favourite to take over in a second spell as Field Mill boss.

Holland said: "I am taking it one game at a time and if someone comes in before or after the Accrington game (on Saturday) then so be it.

"In the meantime, the staff are working hard to keep things going and the experience of some of the senior players, such as Richie Barker and Carl Muggleton has been invaluable."

Holland said of the performance against Darlington: "I can't ask for more than that. They were magnificent and gave me their all. I am proud of them."

Holland said he was unsure over the future of top scorer and club captain Barker, who is again likely to be a target of Hartlepool in the January transfer window.

"Anything that does happen is up to Hartlepool and the chief executive (Keith Haslam)," he said.
Evening Post, 27 December 2006

Nathan Arnold believes caretaker boss Paul Holland's policy of playing on the front foot paid dividends at Darlington.

Arnold came off the bench to net Mansfield's second goal and add to Richard Barker's first-half strike as they ran out comfortable 2-0 winners.

It was the Stags' first away victory since they beat Macclesfield 3-2 at Moss Rose at the end of October.

"Dutch (Holland) lined us up to be more positive and that worked for us here. He told us to be positive, get the ball down to try to get off to a quick start," said Arnold. "That is just what we did with the early goal and we went on to create a lot more than we have been doing. "I'm not sure whether it is down to how we are playing under Dutch, but we definitely created plenty of chances and found plenty of space. "Players were switching around and having a go at them and were told just to do our best and to see what happened. "The wingers have been encouraged to get more involved and come inside more to get on the ball. "We knew that they had quite a few players out but you still have to take advantage."

Arnold's strike - his first since netting in the 3-3 draw against Bristol Rovers around a year ago - came as the Stags caught out Darlington with a quick free-kick.

And according to the winger-cum-striker, that is something the players have been encouraged to do in training.

"Dutch has told us to try to get on with things if we can and we took them by surprise for my goal. "Browny (Simon Brown) put me through and it was nice to finish it off and get the goal to put us 2-0 in front."


Latest | December 2006