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Archived News from August 2008

29th August 2008 0:19

CHAD VIDEO: D'Laryea has high hopes for season
21 Aug 2008

MIDFIELDER Jon D'Laryea is one of only two players from last season still in the new-look Stags side.
Today he told Chad's John Lomas how pleased he has been with the season so far, speaks of his new team mates and his vastly improving fitness levels, and his new licence to get forward and go for goal!


Stags recharge batteries for busy Bank Holiday weekend
CHAD.co.uk, 21Aug2008
MANSFIELD Town are hoping a week's rest will have them fully recharged for Saturday's tough trip to Barrow (3pm).


The Bluebirds lost 2-1 at leaders Cambridge last weekend. But that was their first defeat since losing at home to Stalybridge on 26th January - form which saw them promoted to the BSP via the Blue Square North play-offs.

And they made an explosve start to life at the higher level with a 3-0 win over fancied Oxford and a 4-3 shoot-out success at Altrincham.

"Not losing for so long shows they have kept their momentum and we are under no illusions how hard it will be," said boss Billy McEwan.

"But we are going there for all three points, not just one. That doesn't mean to say we will go there all 'gung ho' and cavalier.

"We have got to be solid and hard to beat. Then if we play the football we are capable of I know we can win it.

"We certainly have to do better there than we did at Ebbsfleet, especially in the first half. We had to work very, very hard in the second half to get a point.

"Not having a midweek game has given us the chance to work on things so it has been ideal.

"We have worked on organisation, discipline and our shape which I hope will now be better than last week.

"As you can see in our three games we are still well short of what we need to do to succeed.

"We didn't start very well against Kidderminster and couldn't raise it. It was out third game in a week and we were alays on the back foot.

Stags go into the game in second place with Barrow seventh. But McEwan said: "I don't place any importance on the table until we've had about eight games.

"Players have to adjust to new team mates and got properly match fit.

"We wil improve. But the bottom line is all about points and I do get a bit self-critical at times as I know we can do better individually and collectively."

Stags are heading up to Cumbria tomorrow morning, training in Kendal and staying overnight.

Mansfield will then be hoping for a bumper August Bank Holiday Monday crowd when Northwich Victoria visit Field Mill.

The Vics finished 19th last season, have not won any of their first three this season, and are expected to struggle again.

McEwan has one player nursing an injury who has had two days off training this week, but trained again today. The club will see if there is any reaction before he is passed fit for Saturday. As ever, McEwan would not name the player in question.


Stags bid to beat away-day blues
Evening Post, 22 Aug 2008
Mansfield have banished one of their demons from last season within days of starting their new campaign.

Full story at Evening Post website here

And tomorrow, they will hope to banish another one.

It has taken the Stags just three games to rack up consecutive victories in the Blue Square Premier League - something they failed to achieve in the whole nine months that saw them relegated from League Two.

Now they travel to Holker Street, where they hope to get the first away win of the new season under their belts at a much earlier stage than they did last time around.

Then, a league success on opposition soil did not come until the New Year, when Chester were vanquished 1-0 at the Deva Stadium.

That made Mansfield the last club in League Two to gain three points on their travels - a factor which contributed significantly to their impending struggle.

The team's manager Billy McEwan is determined that there will be no repeat performance this time.

Whether or not the Stags triumph in Cumbria, the Scot is determined to instill the attitude into his players that away matches are there to be won.

"Of course it is important to win your home games and even though you want to win them all, I would rather win at Field Mill than away if I had to choose, because of the fans," said McEwan.

"It can be really tough away, but it can also sometimes be hard for home sides if teams shut up shop and play on the break."

He continued: "My philosophy is that you can play them at home, away or at Wembley, it is just the same.

"There is still a pitch with white lines on it and a referee. You have to forget about your surroundings and concentrate on the 116 yards by 70 yards at Field Mill. It is 11 v 11 and whether you are home or away, you still have to beat your opponents.

"I stressed that at York and we had the best away record in the whole of England - better than Manchester United or Liverpool. It was tough, but we had the confidence that we would be hard to beat." For the Stags, however, the trip to the North West is now looking a great deal harder than it appeared to be during the close season.

Barrow were originally considered as one of the favourites to struggle, having won promotion from the Blue Square North at the end of last season through the play-offs.

But a settled side, strengthened with just a handful of new additions, has in the event got off to a good start at the higher level.

After sweeping aside Oxford United 3-0 in their opening home game, they notched up an excellent 4-3 win at Altrincham.

Their only defeat was 2-1 at the hands of early pacesetters Cambridge United - the only side to have won their first three league matches.

McEwan added: "Barrow had a setback at the weekend but they have built up good momentum from last year. They were successful and won lots of games.

"Teams become used to success and they want to carry that on. Some teams tail off with the newness, but Barrow certainly won't be wanting that to happen to them.

"We will give them the respect for what they have done because sides who have come into this league have done well. Histon surprised everyone last season and Salisbury also did well."

McEwan is pleased that his side have found the winning formula without yet finding top gear.

"I thought against Kidderminster we played like a new team. We didn't piece it together and it was a bit scrappy," said McEwan.

"But we won the game and that is the most important thing.

"You don't win every game with pretty football, but we will play better than that this season and lose."


McEwan grateful for midweek break
audio interview at http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/m/mansfield_town/7575428.stm

Mansfield Town manager Billy McEwan says his team have benefited from not having a midweek game this week.

The Stags boss had to hastily assemble a squad at the end of the summer, meaning the players had not had much time to train together.

But McEwan told BBC Radio Nottingham: "We're working a lot on organisation, discipline and the shape of the team.

"It's not easy but there's a lot of coaching points I've seen in the last few games that we're still short of."

Mansfield have won two and drawn one of their opening three games in the Blue Square Premier.

But McEwan says there's plenty more areas they can still improve on.

"The lads know the points we've got to improve on," he added. "And the points that we are doing well we can still look to do even better."


Stags: Blackwood is problem solver
Evening Post, 22 Aug 2008

Alex Jeannin believes Mansfield have found the answer to a long-standing problem position in Michael Blackwood.

Full story at Evening Post website here

Mansfield have banished one of their demons from last season within days of starting their new campaign.

Not since Adam Rundle and Wayne Corden were at Field Mill have Mansfield had a consistent performer on the left side of midfield.

A string of players - including Giles Coke, Stephen Dawson, Matt Hamshaw, Callum Lloyd, Brian Hodge, Nathan Arnold, Dan Martin, Lee Bullock, Gareth Jelleyman, Michael Boulding, Simon Brown and Danny Sleath - have been tried in the role over the last two seasons.

But left-back Jeannin feels there should be little need to chop and change this season, providing Blackwood stays fit.

As a genuinely left-footed player with a turn of pace and good crossing abilities, he insists the former Aston Villa trainee is a player capable of troubling every right-back in the Blue Square Premier Division.

Jeannin says: "He's strong on the ball and he will only get better.

Blackwood was sent out on loan to Oxford in the latter stages of last season, where he played briefly with Jeannin.

And the Frenchman believes the pair can strike up a useful partnership.

He said: "I already had an idea of how he played and we have played together for quite a few games now at Mansfield."


Jeannin explains love for England
BBC.co.uk, 21 Aug 08
Mansfield Town defender Alex Jeannin enjoys playing in England because of the passion in this country.

Jeannin told BBC Radio Nottingham: "Football in England is so big. It's like a religion. People here love football. It's not the same in France.

"Even some teams in the second division in France don't get the same big crowds as Mansfield."

Jeannin, 30, who first came over from France in 2001, signed this summer from Oxford United, his sixth English club.

Before joining Mansfield the Frenchman played for clubs as diverse as Darlington, Exeter, Bristol Rovers and Hereford United, as well as spending three months on loan last season at Kidderminster Harriers. And he is not fazed by moving around the country.

It's a good atmosphere and we've had a good start

"English players prefer to stay in one area and travel one or two hours," he said. "But I've always lived in the town where I play.

"That's why I'm looking to move in to Mansfield or Nottingham so there's not too much travelling to do."

Jeannin, who has played all of the Stags' first three games, is settling in well.

"We've got a good bunch of lads," he said. "It's a good atmosphere and we've had a good start with two wins and a draw."


Set-pieces vital to Stags' hopes
Evening Post, 21 Aug 2008
Alan O'Hare is convinced Mansfield's attention to detail at set-pieces will prove crucial this season.

Full story at Evening Post website here

The central defender and the rest of the Stags squad have spent countless hours on the training ground working on dead-ball situations at both ends of the field.

And the 26-year-old Irishman believes it will reap dividends in tight games over the next nine months.

"We have had a few weeks to work on the set-pieces. The manager has set his stall out and wants things done in a certain way," said O'Hare.

"We are even working on things like throw-ins that some clubs wouldn't work at.

"Set-pieces are important in every league, but especially in this one. We were a bit shaky in pre-season defensively from them and we have also conceded too many free-kicks in and around the box.

"They are areas we are constantly striving to improve and I'm sure it will pay off."

O'Hare, who was a trainee with Bolton and then plied his trade at Chesterfield, has been impressed by the standard in the Blue Square Premier.

He is adamant the standard in the top half of the table is as high as in the Football League.

"I think the Conference is really a League Three now; Aldershot and Exeter have had decent starts since going up.

"We just can't expect to go up and if anything it's going to be more difficult."



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