DEARDEN AND BILLY DAVIES REACTION
DEARDEN - DERBY WIN HAS BEEN A HUGE BOOST
Evening Post, STEVIE RODEN
Mansfield Town boss Billy Dearden said victory against Premiership Derby has given the Stags a major confidence boost - but he is refusing to get carried away.
Mansfield impressed in Saturday's 2-0 friendly win at Field Mill in only their second pre-season match.
Mickey Boulding struck in the first half and new boy John McAliskey in the second as the Stags defeated Billy Davies' full-strength side.
But Dearden (pictured) knows the real business for his paper-thin squad starts at Brentford in League Two in just under two weeks' time.
He said: "I never look into pre-season games and won't be committed to do so now just because we have won the game. It would have been the same had we lost but we won and it is good for confidence.
"We did OK and we have a lot to work on. We are still preparing for the game against Brentford a week on Saturday.
"This was our first game really. There are one or two players who got 90 minutes under their belt which is pleasing.
"Derby did not come here to take it easy and for the first ten minutes I did not think we were going to get the ball. We stuck at it and once we had the ball I thought we did quite well.
"We have Huddersfield here on Saturday which will be a test because of the way they will play against you. Derby tried to catch us on the break but we hit them on the break a few times. I felt we caught them a few times."
Boulding looked sharp and saw a shot cleared off the line.
Dearden said: "Mickey has been on fire straight from day one of pre-season training.
"He came back a little bit lighter, looks a little bit sharper and he will always, always get chances.
"I have always said that to him. Whether he puts them away you cannot guarantee.
"If we create four or five chances a game, whereas a top class striker will put three or four away Mickey will probably put two or three away now.
"The second goal Mickey knows he should have scored but the big fellow has followed it in and I thought the front two worked well together at times."
Lee Bell played in the centre of midfield and Dearden hopes to land the Crewe man this week.
"Lee Bell has played and is all energy," said the Stags boss.
"I am quite pleased and I will see him today or tomorrow and hopefully we can come to some conclusion about getting him in on contract.
"Whether we add to the squad who knows but I would like to think it will be positive if we add to the squad."
Home debut goal delight for new striker
By Tim Morriss
NEW Stags' striker John McAliskey celebrated his home debut with a goal in the 2-0 friendly victory over Derby County.
Afterwards McAliskey, signed from Huddersfield in the summer, told Chad: "That's a bit of a relief. It is always good to get the first goal out of the way.
"All I had to do was nod it over the keeper, but I am happy now.
"I thought I did ok. Perhaps I gave the ball away a little much, but overall it was a good performance from the lads.
"We should take a lot of confidence from this. Really this was our first game and that was Derby's best side."
Next weekend the young striker comes up against his former team when Huddersfield visit Field Mill for the last pre-season friendly of the season.
And he also paid tribute to another former Terriers star who joined the Stags in the summer, experienced defender Martin McIntosh.
He added: "It will be a test for us, but good to play against lads I know, although I think I am beginning to settle in here now.
"It has been easier coming to Mansfield with Martin moving at the same time. He was always good to play with at Huddersfield, a senior pro who will help players in training and speak to you through games, offering advice."
Manager Bill Dearden added: "That's why we brought Martin to the club. He is a good senior pro with the younger lads.
"As well as defending he can also play in good balls to the front men."
Boulding back to his best?
By John Lomas
STAGS boss Billy Dearden today backed Michael Boulding to remind everyone what he can do this season after his goal and fine performance put Mansfield on the way to a sparkling 2-0 friendly win over Premiership Derby County at Field Mill this afternoon.
Boulding returned to football last season after quitting the game to concentrate on a business venture.
But he only showed in patches the sort of form that once earned him a move to Aston Villa.
However, today he was a constant thorn in the Rams' sides and Dearden said: "Michael has looked sharp all pre-season and he will be rewarded with goals.
"He will always get chances and he knows he has to score more of them. But he has been working hard on that.
"A lot of people thought Michael Boulding was finished with football and his career was at an end.
"But he has something you can't give players and that's pace. And he has probably looked sharper than anyone in pre-season so far.
"He took the first goal well but knows he should have scored the second, though John was there to finish. I was quite pleased they got one each."
He added: "It was a good performance and a good result against a Premier league side so I was very pleased.
"But we can play better than that and we need to set our standards high.
"We started off a bit slow and couldn't get the ball off them.
"But we then started to pass it and gave them a game.
"It was pleasing to keep a clean sheet. They had a few chances which you would expect and were a bit unfortunate when they hit the bar early on. We rode our luck and I hope we can keep more clean sheets when we start the League programme.
"The only disappointment was a thigh strain for Rory Boulding which apparently he'd been feeling for a few days.
"He is a young lad and he just wants to play. But he must learn from this. If I had known about it he probably wouldn't have been on the bench.
"But he's gone on and tweaked it. He's not got away with it and now he will probably be out a week or two."
Rams boss Billy Davies said: "It was not nice to lose and we need to be more ruthless in front of goal.
"We could have had two goals before they scored their first with the amount of chances we had.
"At this stage of the season, fitness is the key. We are three to four weeks behind in pre-season training because of the Play-off final.
"Over the next few weeks this team will be unrecognisable with the amount of new signings we will make.
"But we still have a lot of work to do. Mansfield were competitive but the grass was long and that didn't help our passing.
"Our passing was mediocre at best and we have to work a lot harder"
Stags midfield trialist Lee Bell has still not accepted the deal offered to him at the start of the week and Dearden said: "Something will be resolved very early this week.
"I though he and Stephen Dawson worked very hard together. If he signs he could be a good asset to us."
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