{ the news }
An independent supporters' website dedicated to Mansfield Town FC
Archived News from November 2008

18th November 2008 12:22

Stags know the key to success
Evening Post, November 14, 2008

BILLY McEwan knows what it takes to produce the winning formula at Field Mill – he has seen it at first hand.
As a player with Mansfield in the 1976-77 he was one of a tremendous team that will go down as the only Stags side in the club's history to lift the Old Division Three title or equivalent.
Rod Arnold, Kevin Bird, Barry and Colin Foster, Gordon Hodgson, Johnny Miller, Ernie Moss and Kevin Randall were just some of the names which made that Mansfield outfit such a formidable force – and enabled the club to win 28 of 46 matches in a memorable campaign
Joining in late January, McEwan contributed 28 appearances and three goals, making the No.4 shirt his own.
And he still remembers now the way the different attributes of his team-mates came together to work like clockwork.
McEwan is only too aware that recreating such past success in the present day, even at the lower level of the Blue Square Premier, is not going to be easy and will take time.
But, having sampled what it takes to be a winner, he can at least call on that knowledge as he begins to piece together his own Mansfield side that will win a lot more games than they lose.
And he also knows that the players' desire to succeed and their willingness to put in the hard work is paramount.
"I can remember one game against Rotherham in that promotion season where for 45 minutes we were like Real Madrid," said McEwan. "It was unbelievable the way we played and I remember it like it was yesterday.
"But that was achieved by hard work on the training pitch and the fact we all had one goal – the success of the club.
"It didn't come willy nilly, we had to make ourselves fit and strong so we could play.
"The thing was that we had a lot of characters in the team that can drive people on.
"Everyone had different abilities but we had men doing the job, which is what you need.
"Some people think it is easy to pick a team, but you have to get the balance and blend right."
With Michael Blackwood still out with an ankle injury, an imminent return to 4-4-2 looks unlikely, with no natural width on the left.
And while Mansfield have yet to pull up any trees results-wise playing 4-3-3, McEwan is pleased with the way his side are using it and believes his team have deserved better.
He said: "I have worked with the players for a while now and know what they can and can't do and that is why I have decided to go this way.
"Sam Allardyce did it for years at Bolton and took Bolton from nothing doing it.
"There are a lot of other Premier League sides and clubs abroad playing it.
"It is important that we don't change the way for the opposition.
"We have to work to a philosophy we believe in.
"I just feel we haven't got the results our performances have deserved."

Cup exits must be catalyst for Stags revival
Evening Post, November 14, 2008

BILLY McEwan hopes Mansfield's double cup exit can galvanise their League form – starting against Salisbury tomorrow.
The Stags were knocked out of the FA Cup by Chesterfield last weekend just five days after exiting the Setanta Shield at the hands of York.
All the Stags have to target now is Blue Square Premier and FA Trophy success.
But the Scot admits that could be a blessing in disguise.
"Going out of the cups lessens the chance of your players getting injured, and it helps with getting respectability in our league position," said McEwan.
"It doesn't look healthy at the moment, but I don't think our position tells the whole story because we have been unfortunate in a number of games.
"We have had four cup ties out of our last five games. Now we are back to the league and we have set our sights on climbing that table."
Mansfield have struggled to score in recent games and McEwan says Michael Blackwood's injury has not helped them.
But he is optimistic loan signing Adnan Ahmed can solve the problem, after promising displays in his first three games for the club.
McEwan said: "Michael is a creative player in the final third and we have missed him.
"But Adnan can give us the improvisation we need."
McEwan expects there being no problem extending Emile Sinclair's loan for a second month.
The Forest striker is keen to stay on, and McEwan is now just awaiting permission from Reds boss Colin Calderwood.


Stags will not take crisis club lightly
CHAD.co.uk, 13 November 2008 , By John Lomas
SATURDAY's visit of crisis club Salisbury City (3pm) gives Mansfield Town a real chance to get their BSP season back on track.


The Whites are struggling financially at the moment and, although they have said they do not plan to enter administration, they have made three of their best players and highest earners - Andy Sandell, Matt Tubbs and Robbie Matthews - available to go out on loan (Matthews has already left) with more set to follow.

Stags, after five straight league defeats and two cup exits, need to bounce back to form on Saturday. But manager Billy McEwan is wary of anyone thinking an easy three points will be on offer.

He said: These players are now in the shop window so maybe they will be trying even harder? But I do not worry about the opposition.

"I know all about Salisbury and we will respect them. The minute you underestimate anyone in this league you will get beaten.

"They caused us problems at their ground though we managed to win 3-2.

"It's nice to play at home again. We have had eight out of 11 away and after this we have another two away games on the trot. But that is no excuse, everyone is in the same boat."

After being deducted four points for player registration irregularities and sliding down the table very quickly, McEwan feels his current side should follow the shining example of his old club Rotherham.

"It didn't help losing those four points in our situation," he said.

"If we had 21 points then we would be two or three places higher and able to catch teams up.

"But you just need to look at my old club Rotherham. They started the season on minus 17 points and are now plus nine and talking about Play-offs and promotion as well as beating Championship sides in the Carling Cup.

"It shows it can be done if you have the right attitude and desire and commitment which you need in a successful team.

But you have got to believe in it. So hats off to the 'merry Millers' and we have got to take a leaf out of their book.

"There is a long way to go. The season lasts 46 matches, not just until Christmas and we haven't played 20 league matches yet.

"But the table doesn't look healthy, even though I don't think it does us justice with some of our performances in which we deserved more and to have three points taken away which we can't afford to do.
"But if we keep strong and keep believing in what we are doing I am sure there are brighter days ahead.

"There is a long hard season ahead and we all have to roll our sleeves up and dig in, players and fans."

Stags have produced some excellent approach play in their last four games, three of which have been cup ties. But McEwan added: "We are not scoring goals at the moment. And goals change games. Look at Chesterfield last week.

"A neutral would not have known how many places there were between the sides in that first half.

"Their chairman said to me afterwards that we are a better side then the two who have come up, Aldershot and Exeter, which is nice. It reinforces our belief that what we are doing is correct.

"We just have to be more lethal in the final third.

"We have gone out of two cup competitions which some may see as good or bad.

"At least it reduced our chances of injuries and suspensions and we will now concentrate on the most important thing which is getting a respectable position in the league and progressing in the FA Trophy."

McEwan has no new major injury problems though Michael Blackwood continues to have treatment at Lilleshall National Rehabilitation Centre on his ankle injury.

However, Jon D'Laryea missed training today as he flew back from Italy where he helped England C draw 2-2 yesterday and McEwan said: "I was expecting him back with us today. How can you prepare when one of your players is not here? It is frustrating as a manager but we can't do anything about it when country calls."

Salisbury have dangerous striker Matt Tubbs serving a suspension on Saturday.

Liam Feeney is also having talks with Dagenham and Redbridge which could leave the Whites very short in the striker department on Saturday if he goes too.


Somner: Stags can make a success of 4-3-3
Evening Post, November 13, 2008

MANSFIELD can make a success of the 4-3-3 formation they have adopted in the last few weeks, according to Matt Somner.
The Stags first used the system in the second half at Salisbury City, and it helped them overturn a 1-0 half-time deficit to notch a 3-2 victory.
But things have not gone so well since then, with just one victory – the 1-0 FA Cup replay win over York – in the club's last nine matches.
But midfielder Somner is adamant their disappointing run has nothing to do with how the Stags line up.
"I think playing 4-3-3 can work for us," he said.
%3Cbody%3E%3Cdiv%20id%3D%22adDiv%22%3E%3CA%20HREF%3D%22http%3A//ads.anm.co.uk/ADCLICK/CID%3Dfffffffcfffffffcfffffffc/AAMSZ%3D452x118/SITE%3DTHISISNOTT/AREA%3DFOOTBALL/SUBAREA%3D/ARTICLE%3D469057/acc_random%3D6192639096/pageid%3D/RS%3D%22%20target%3D%22_new%22%3E%3CIMG%20SRC%3D%22http%3A//iad.anm.co.uk/anmdefaultad.gif%22%20ALT%3D%22%22%20border%3D0%20style%3D%22margin-bottom%3A%200px%3B%22%3E%3C/A%3E%3C/div%3E"At the start of the season things were going for us but they haven't been recently.
"But with the extra man in midfield when required, it has helped us pass the ball better.
"When we get up to the 18-yard box we just have to be a bit more clinical and make the most of our chances."
Somner pointed out that the formation allows Mansfield to play with pace through the middle and a target man up front.
He said: "In Nathan Arnold and Emile Sinclair either side of Jason Lee, we have two lads who are like whippets and showed how dangerous they can be against Chesterfield."


Gary Silk audio interview
11 Nov 2008
Listen at mansfieldtown.net here


Stags seek to extend Sinclair's stay
CHAD.co.uk, 12 November 2008
Emile Sinclair's loan is up after this weekend but Stags are looking to extend the young Forest striker's stay for a second month.

Full story at CHAD.co.uk here

McEwan said: "You have seen a player come in here and start a bit nervous early on, but has scored a couple and is now looking something like a good, young prospect.

"Hopefully he can get one or two more goals before he goes back and I will be speaking to him about staying longer.

"He is a nice boy who works hard in training and is a credit to Nottingham Forest."


Stags keen to extend Sinclair loan deal
Evening Post, November 12, 2008

EMILE Sinclair will not be playing his last game for Mansfield against Salisbury City on Saturday if boss Billy McEwan has his way.

Full story at Evening Post website here

The winger/striker's one-month loan from Nottingham Forest is due to run out after the game against the Whites.
But McEwan is hopeful he can persuade Reds boss Colin Calderwood to let him keep the 20-year-old, who has netted twice in five starts and one substitute appearance since joining the Stags.
And having allowed Sinclair to become cup tied, the feeling is the Reds will be happy to see him gain more experience.
"Early on Emile was a little bit nervous, which was to be expected, but in the last couple of games he has come on to something like the good prospect Forest hope he will be," said McEwan.
"Hopefully he will get a goal or two for us on Saturday, but we are looking to extend the loan and we will have to see what Forest say. He's a nice boy who works hard in training and he is a credit to Forest."
Yesterday, Mansfield reserves lost 6-2 at Lincoln City. Chris Howarth, previously on the books of Bolton and Carlisle, was in goal while forward Steffan Morrison, who has been with Swansea City, also played.
McEwan said: "We are having a look at a couple of players on recommendations from other people.
"Young (Luke) Herriott is injured at the moment so we are looking for another keeper to give some competition for Paddy Gamble. But it is difficult to get one. There are a lot of people who would come to Mansfield but they all want to be in the first team. They don't just want to sit on the bench."
Michael Blackwood is unlikely to be fit for Saturday because of an ongoing ankle problem.
Mansfield's clash with Burton Albion on Sunday December 28 has moved to Monday December 29 (7.45pm).


Trialist duo in heavy Stags reserves defeat
CHAD.co.uk, 11 November 2008 , by John Lomas
MANSFIELD TOWN ran the rule over two trialists recommended to them in the 6-2 Central League reserve defeat at Lincoln City this afternoon.

Full story at CHAD.co.uk here

One was 20-year-old goalkeeper Chris Howarth, from Carlisle United, the other highly-rated Swansea teenage striker Stefan Morrison.

But, despite goals from Lewis Trimmer (3mins) and Gavin Hurren (58) the Stags crashed to a heavy defeat.

Mansfield Town: Howarth, Wood, Kay, Hurren, Kitchen, Max Chanot, McGhee (R. Ludlum 55), Trimmer, Purcicoe (Logan 68), O'Connor, Morrison.
Subs not used: Goward, Higginson, Langford.


Stags looking at Carlisle keeper
Blue Square Premier side Mansfield Town are looking at Carlisle goalkeeper Chris Howarth on a week-long trial.


The ex-Bolton 22-year-old, who is yet to feature at Brunton Park, will play for Stags' reserves this week.

Carlisle caretaker boss Greg Abbott told the club website: "Nothing has been agreed further than that.

"He could feature again in the near future as he looks at their set-up and they look at him, so we're happy for him to play the games at this moment."


McEwan rubbishes John-Baptiste Stags return rumour

CHAD.co.uk, 09 November 2008
FORMER Stags defender Alex John-Baptiste is NOT on his way back to Field Mill - just over four months after he signed for Blackpool.

Full story at CHAD.co.uk here

Sources in the North West suggested that the 22-year-old - who has struggled to make the Seasiders' 16-man matchday squad this season - may be allowed to go back to Mansfield on loan.

Two weeks ago Stags boss Billy McEwan revealed that he was hoping to bring in a Championship defender.

However, boss Billy McEwan today rubbished the suggestion and said: "There is no truth in that - we couldn't afford him, it is just one of many rumours."

John-Baptiste left Field Mill at the beginning of July for an undisclosed fee - but thought to be well below the £75,000 ex-Stags owner Keith Haslam said he was prepared to accept.

Haslam, who at one time had valued the player at £150,000, reduced his valuation when the player - one of a handful of players still under contract after relegation at the end of last season - quickly handed in a transfer request in the summer saying he wanted to remain in the Football League.


Out-of-favour Chris Howarth links up with Mansfield
By Jon Colman
11 November 2008

Goalkeeper Chris Howarth has taken a step closer to the exit at Carlisle United after linking up with Blue Square Premier side Mansfield.

Chris HowarthOut-of-favour Howarth, third choice custodian at Brunton Park, is set to play for the Stags' reserves on a trial basis.

The former Bolton man has yet to play a first-team game for United and appears surplus to requirements under caretaker boss Greg Abbott.

His stint at Mansfield is likely to lead to a loan move which will put the 22-year-old in the shop window in time for the January transfer window. The Stags' second string play Middlesbrough tonight.


Imps Reserves Hammer Stags
Written by Gary Hutchinson Wednesday, 12th November 2008

City's reserve side romped to a 6-2 win over Mansfield reserves yesterday

City's second string managed a strong 6-2 win over their counterparts from Mansfield yesterday afternoon.

Ben Wright managed a brace, as did Sam Mullarkey. Youngster Gary King also fired a double.

Louis Trimmer and Gavin Hurren scored either side of half time for the Stags.

Particularly impressive for City was Aaron Brown who is beginning to look a quality player and will be putting pressure on the first team set up.

He shook of the race storm from Saturday to put in a sterling performance, as did Frank Sinclair who set up Ben Wrights first goal.



Latest | November 2008