PREVIEWS + ELEY + ENGLAND C
Stags duo retain England C players
Evening Post, October 30, 2009
MANSFIELD duo Scott Garner and Kyle Nix have retained their places in England C's latest 16-man squad to take on Poland next month.
Paul Fairclough's team travel to Eastern Europe for a friendly at the Inter Groclin Auto SA Stadium, 35 miles from Poznan, on Tuesday November 17.
Garner and Nix are two of nine players retained from the squad that claimed a 1-1 draw in Hungary last month.
But there is no place for fellow Stag Louis Briscoe, who scored England's goal out in Budapest.
Six other players have been recalled, including Stevenage Borough pair Scott Laird and Michael Bostwick and York City striker Richard Brodie, who last wore the Three Lions shirt in Bosnia in 2008.
FC Halifax Town's 21-year-old goalkeeper Jonathan Hedge is the only newcomer and is the only non-Conference player.
Full squad: Dale Roberts (Rushden), Jonathan Hedge (FC Halifax), Kyle McFadzean (Alfreton), Jake Howells (Luton), Scott Laird (Stevenage), Shaun Densmore (Altrincham), Josh Simpson (Histon), Michael Bostwick (Stevenage), Rossi Jarvis (Luton), Kyle Nix (Mansfield), Scott Garner (Mansfield), Lee Tomlin (Rushden), Nick Wright (Tamworth), Chris Holroyd (Cambridge), Matt Green (Oxford), Richard Brodie (York).
Two players in England C squad
CHAD.co.uk, 30 October 2009
MANSFIELD Town's England C internationals Scott Garner and Kyle Nix have again been selected for the international side to play in Poland.
But this time wingman Louis Briscoe has missed out on a place, in the 16-man squad for a friendly at the Inter Groclin Auto SA Stadium, near Poznan, on 17th November.
Garner, Nix and Briscoe played in a 1-1 draw in Hungary last month, with Brsicoe grabbing the goal.
Histon will be positive at Field Mill – Fallon
Evening POst, October 30, 2009
HISTON boss Steve Fallon today promised his Histon side will be positive against Mansfield Town at Field Mill.
And he has identified Rob Duffy (11 goals) and Kyle Perry (nine) as the men the Stutes have to stop.
"We're going there to win and if we have to settle for the draw then we will," said Fallon.
"We want to take the game to them and if we can keep them in their own half then we'll have a better chance of winning.
"We think we've identified a weakness in their side, but if we turn in a performance like we did on Saturday (they lost 2-1 in the FA Cup at Hinckley) then it will be a long 90 minutes.
"We'll play how we want to play and hopefully that will cause them problems.
"Perry and Duffy attack everything that goes into the box and win knockdowns for other players, so they're the two that cause the most problems.
"We've got to be prepared to battle and win the second balls."
Marriott makes Stags shirt his own
Evening POst, October 30, 2009
TO supporters up and down the country, 'England's number one' is seen as a toss up between David James, Robert Green, Ben Foster and Scott Carson.
To Mansfield Town fans, though, the position is undisputed – belonging to their favourite goalkeeper, Alan Marriott.
The chant that rings round Field Mill every time the former Lincoln custodian makes a spectacular save is firmly tongue in cheek.
But it nevertheless shows the high affection in which he has been held by the Stags faithful since his January move from Rushden and Diamonds.
Considering Mansfield's problems in the number one position prior to Marriott's arrival, his steadying presence has been appreciated all the more.
Time and again he has shown his class with top-drawer saves to leave opposition strikers holding their heads.
It is easy to see why he is rated as one of the best goalkeepers in non-league football – and so revered on the terraces.
"I have always had a good rapport with the fans, so it's great to have that at Mansfield ," said Marriott.
"It is a two-way thing for me and I like to contribute towards that because they give you a fantastic boost every game.
"The players really do appreciate the backing and we know how passionate they are about their team doing well.
"It definitely helps when you go away to different places. Out of the 1,200 who were at the Kidderminster game, I think 400 of them were from Mansfield for a midweek away game. It is like that everywhere we go.
"It's just disappointing when they turn up and we put in shoddy performances – and they have every right then to vent their anger.
"The home support is also fantastic with crowds over 3,000 and it's an enjoyable place to play your games."
After last week's FA Cup victory over Altrincham, Mansfield face a tricky home Blue Square Premier match against Histon.
The Stutes are fast-improving this season after a slow start and are renowned for playing a long ball game that is difficult to cope with.
Marriott is also driven to do well by the memories of the two sides' last meeting at the Glassworld Stadium in March.
"We went to Histon at the back end of last season when we got done 3-0 and it was a terrible performance from us where we contributed to our own downfall," he said.
"You know what is coming from the long throws and free-kicks, but you can pretty much get that every week in this league anyway.
"The difference with them is they tend to have more big players in the team and you have to show good strength of character to be able to deal with that.
"Everyone expects us to beat Histon because of where they are in the league, but they are in a false position.
"Personally, I have to be ready for some heavy impacts. I'm not the biggest keeper out there and that might mean I need to punch a bit more than usual when I prefer to catch if I can.
"We will have to defend with our lives at times and we have seen what it could be like with the way Kettering were at times."
Encouragingly for home supporters, though, Marriott feels Mansfield are now a lot better equipped to deal with the unique threat that Steve Fallon's team pose.
He said: "The whole squad has changed since I first came in. It has gone full circle.
"One of the areas where we have improved is that we have got a better, more solid back line.
"When we last played Histon we were chopping and changing and Alan O'Hare came back into the side (at left-back) and no-one was used to each other's styles and their strengths and weaknesses.
"You really need to have a good understanding going when you are playing Histon and we are starting to develop that now.
"Hecks (Paul Heckingbottom) coming in with his experience has been a massive help.
"We have got a lot of strong lads now, while the likes of Duffers (Ron Duffy) and (Kyle) Perry can come back to help out from set pieces when needed."
And if all that fails, there is no-one Mansfield fans would rather see as their team's last line of defence than Marriott.
Marriott: Stags staying focused on promotion goal
Evening POst, October 30, 2009
ALAN Marriott says Mansfield Town will not let the FA Cup district them from their No1 goal of clinching a Blue Square Premier play-off place.
The Stags have the opportunity to reach the second round proper if they can win at Blue Square rivals Forest Green a week today.
But they have an important league clash against Histon at Field Mill today where the Stags will look to make it five wins on the bounce.
Goalkeeper Marriott is convinced Mansfield will not lose focus against the Stutes.
"It's true that some of the young lads can push their names into the limelight and attract the attention of the bigger teams in the FA Cup," he said.
"For people aspiring to get back in the Football League it can be a case of producing the right performance at the right time in front of the right people. In that sense, the cup could be seen as a distraction.
"But the manager is so switched on in terms of keeping focus that he won't allow that to happen. I don't think it would ever be an issue with us.
"We have got a young, hungry, squad who want to achieve things in the league and the cup.
"We are going about our business fairly quietly in the league and no-one is really talking about us, which is a nice place to be."
Some fans have been disappointed by the early-season form of skipper Gary Mills – as has the midfielder himself.
But he put in arguably his best performance in an amber shirt so far in last week's 3-0 FA Cup victory over Altrincham.
Marriott said: "I have seen Gary Mills play in a lot of games and, along with Kyle Nix, we have two fantastic ball players who work their socks off.
"Being named as captain there was extra expectancy on his shoulders this season.
"But he has all the attributes to be a good midfielder and he just needs confidence, which I think he is beginning to show."
Mansfield duo Scott Garner and Kyle Nix have retained their places in the England C squad for next month's trip to Poland.
Loan keeper Ed Eley will return to Grimsby after today's game.
CHAD Stags talk
Jones relishes Histon battle
chad.CO.UK, 29 October 2009
By John Lomas
STAGS defender Luke Jones admitted he can't wait to take on the direct and physical game of Histon at Field Mill this Saturday.
The visitors' route one football gave them a season to remember last time around but faces have come and gone and this season has been more difficult for them.
However, Jones is relishing the rough and tumble and said: "Quite a few sides in this league can play the long ball game and we expect a direct game with Histon.
"We know it will be a battle which is the kind of game I enjoy.
"Between us myself, Rob Duffy and Kyle Perry have picked up a lot of cuts and bruises so far this season - I think I've had three cuts on my face already.
"But we do like to mix it up and it's going to happen when you put your head in where it hurts.
"It just shows the lads are willing to fight and have that side to their game."
He added: "Histon will play the percentage game and get the ball into our box as much as possible. So we have to try not to put the ball out of play in the final third to give them throw-ins and corners which will reach our box.
"As a defender you have to make sure to keep your hands down and not try to win balls that you know you can't win.
"We know what to expect. They are a good, strong, organised side and, contrary to what people say, they can play some decent football as well."
Stags have won six of their last seven games and only lost once at home all year.
Jones said: "We said at the start of the season that our home record would be important if we wanted to be in contention come the end of the season. So we try to start at a tempo and get at teams.
"And the fans make a massive difference and have given us great support right from the beginning of the season.
"It lifts you that 10 per cent knowing everyone there wants you to win.
Stags boss David Holdsworth added: "Histon had a wonderful season last season and are picking up points again so we know it won't be easy.
"They are uncompromising and use the market well. But I ant to win this game for a lot of reasons."
Stags will be without suspended midfielder Matt Somner so Craig Armstrong, Steven Istead and Leeds United loanee Ollie Hotchkiss will be battling to replace him.
Otherwise it's unlikely there will be any changes from the side which dispatched Altrincham 3-0 from the FA Cup last weekend.
Histon are currently 12th and have gone four games unbeaten in the BSP though were beaten 2-0 at Hinckley United in the FA Cup last weekend.
Stags pair Scott Garner and Kyle Nix have both been given their second England C team call-ups for the friendly in Poland on Tuesday, 17th November. However, Nix will have to prove his fitness after being sidelined with an ankle injury.
Stags' Jones relishing Histon challenge
Evening POst, October 30, 2009
LUKE Jones admits he will relish the physical confrontation Mansfield expect against Histon tomorrow.
The Stutes have built their reputation on being direct and uncompromising, which helped them finish third in the Blue Square Premier last season.
Although not with the Stags last season, Jones played against the Cambridgeshire side twice while with Kidderminster Harriers.
The central defender and vice-captain knows exactly what to expect at Field Mill – and hopes to set an example to his team-mates of how to cope.
"We know Histon like to play it direct, as do a lot of teams in this division. You have to be prepared to stand up to that," said Jones.
"I enjoy the physical element of the game – I think that's why I'm a defender. It is about winning battles early on and making sure we compete.
"When there is a higher percentage of balls you have to deal with, the more defending you have to do and the better the other team's chance of scoring.
"We have to win the first ball as much as possible, then the second balls and try not to put the ball out in our final third, which will increase the number of corners and throw-ins.
"It's also about mental concentration and not conceding unnecessary free-kicks in going for balls you can't win."
Jones – who successfully came back from an ankle injury at Eastbourne after several weeks on the sidelines – has been impressed with the way Mansfield's players are sticking their necks on the line.
He says the work of Stags' strikers typifies that never-say-die attitude.
Jones said: "If you have a few cuts and bruises when you come off the pitch but you've won, then that's a price I'm willing to pay.
"There are a few of us who have been in the wars this season – Rob (Duffy), Kyle (Perry) and myself.
"Those two are big players who put themselves about and mix it and when you do that knocks are going to happen.
"It just shows that the lads are willing to fight and do what is required to win our games."
The FA have confirmed to Mansfield they are to take up a case of an alleged elbow by Altrincham's James Smith on Stags' Jake Speight in last week's FA Cup tie.
Holmes: Stags must stand up to physical test
Evening POst, October 29, 2009
GARETH Holmes says Mansfield must win physical battle with Histon if they are to win the overall war.
The Stags have won five of their last six Blue Square Premier games while the Stutes are unbeaten in their last four.
It makes for a mouth-watering clash at Field Mill on Saturday and one that Holmes insists will not be easy for the hosts.
"We will give Histon a lot of respect – they are a good team and good at what they do," he said.
"We feel more comfortable (than last season) to be able to deal with the way they play now.
"It's important that we go and match them and we are very good now at matching physical sides.
"At the same time we have got a lot of good technical players, so once we've done that, we have to try to enforce our style of play on them."
Holmes knows it is important to keep Mansfield's league form going in between last week's FA Cup tie with Altrincham and next week's with Forest Green.
He said: "We are on a great run at the moment and it is something we are working very hard on to continue.
"Winning is a habit no matter whether it is the FA Cup or the league .
"Everyone involved with the team hates losing – and that's something you invariably find with successful sides.
"It's the way you take pride in your own performance and conduct yourself from day to day, because you can't turn it on and off like a tap."
Holmes remained tight-lipped over the prospect of Louis Briscoe being available for the weekend after a knee injury while Kyle Nix (ankle) is unlikely to play.
But he said as of Thursday morning there were no fresh injuries.
Somner – Stags strike duo can get 20 goals each
Evening POst, October 29, 2009
MATT Somner today insisted Mansfield Town strike duo Rob Duffy and Kyle can both break the 20-goal barrier this season.
Penalty-taker Duffy leads the way in the scoring stakes with 11, while Perry has found the net nine times.
The pair are in excellent form having hit the target in the Stags' last two games – a 2-1 win at Eastbourne and a 3-0 FA Cup win over Altrincham,
And midfielder Somner has seen enough to be convinced they can reach the striker's traditional pre-season target before the campaign is out.
"Duffers and Pezza have been unbelievable for us so far this season," said Somner.
"There can't be many clubs where both centre forwards are scoring so regularly and that is helping us massively.
"The way they are going I don't see why both of them can't get 20 goals.
"They are still disagreeing about who scored at Chester, and who should take the penalties!
"But the competition between them is driving each other on. They are hungry for goals every time they play.
"If they both don't get to 20, then they certainly aren't going to be far off."
Somner – who is suspended for Saturday's home game with Histon – added: "Jake Speight also comes into the equation when you look at goals and he can't stop shooting when he comes on.
"As long as the defence is being pretty consistent, then we know we have the lads up front to get into the top five."
Loan keeper to leave Stags
Evening POst, October 30, 2009
MANSFIELD Town loanee Ed Eley will return to parent club Grimsby Town after tomorrow's game with Histon.
The goalkeeper, who has been used as a back-up to Alan Marriott, sees his one-month deal expire on Sunday.
Eley has not made e a first-team appearance during his time at Field Mill.
Manager said: "I would like to thank Grimsby Town for the loan of Ed Eley.
"We certainly wish Ed every success in the future and thank him for his time and effort while with our club."
Latest | November 2009