HOLDSWORTH, SPEIGHT AND STEVE BURR REACTION
Holdsworth video interviews --->
Speight and Williams video interviews --->
Holdsworth slams Stags' defending
CHAD.co.uk, By John Lomas
Mansfield boss David Holdsworth slammed his side's defending as they blew a first half 3-0 lead to draw 3-3 at home to Kidderminster Harriers in the last game of the season at Field Mill today.
Jake Speight's first half hat-trick set them up for an easy win. But Harriers hit back hard after the broke and Holdsworth said: "Our defending second half was appalling and I have serious questions about the mental ability of some of my players.
"Andy Burgess is not a left back so I won't be too harsh on him.
"But my two central defenders went missing in the second half. They didn't play as a partnership and were too far apart.
"It summed up our season. I have got to remedy that and I will. We can't keep letting in goals like that.
"We knew they would come here 4-5-1 and sit behind the ball. But we started brightly and kept possession well.
"Jake Speight is fast and dynamic and showed why I brought him here with a hat-trick.
"Credit to Kidderminster. I could hear Steve Burr giving them a rollicking at half-time and they responded well. He has the same frustrations as me seeing the spine of his defence breached too many times.
"At half-time I told my players to focus and go out like it was 0-0 and keep working hard. But certain players switched off at the wrong times."
Stags club skipper Ryan Williams added: "I can't remember them having a shot in the first half. It just shows you can't take your foot off the gas as you get punished at any level. We paid the price.
"We set our standards high early in the season but we haven't succeeded. Only us, the players, can sort that out and we want to come out of the traps flying for the start of next season.
"The Mansfield public have been fantastic and we are disappointed for them as much as ourselves as we all want success. They deserve some success. It is nice to know they have stayed behind us all the way."
Kidderminster boss Steve Burr enthused: "It was an amazing game really.
"I didn't think we played particularly poorly in the first half and I had to pick them up at half-time.
"Second half we managed to come out and turn it round and we could maybe have won it in the end.
"Jake Speight is a good player and has got the movement right. That's what we were lacking though we passed it round quite well, it was just that final third.
"I thought if we went in at 2-0 down we'd have a chance. When the third goal went in I was worried we might cave in.
"But we got two goals back quickly after half time which gave us a lift and they were very good goals."
Holdsworth slams defence
Evening Post, April 26, 2010
DAVID Holdsworth slammed his Mansfield Town's 'appalling' and 'inept' second half defending after they let a three-goal lead slip in a 3-3 draw with Kidderminster.
Jake Speight's hat-trick put Mansfield in total command against the Harriers.
But they capitulated after the restart and strikes from Jack Byrne, Daryl Knights and Chris McPhee secured a draw for the visitors.
"We started brightly, kept possession well and showed a lot of enterprise and Jake Speight was fantastic," said Holdsworth.
"But you have to ask serious questions about the mental strength of some of our players.
"I wanted the players to go back out there after half-time as if it was 0-0 and keep working hard, but some of them switched off.
"Credit to Kidderminster because they got a rollicking at half-time – we could hear it – and they responded well.
"But I am looking at the heart of the defence and it sums up where we have been lacking all season.
"We have to remedy that and I will do. I'm not putting up with that.
"Our defending in the second half was appalling and inept, our centre backs were missing. But it's not just in this game.
"They didn't communicate at the right time and they didn't play as a partnership.
"Whether you are a winger or a defender you have to defend right, but our centre halves have to be stronger.
"We are too loose defensively and the statistics show that."
Holdsworth was pleased with the way the supporters got behind his side at the end, despite the frustrating turnaround.
He added: "I would like to say a thank you to the fans. They were very supportive when they ran on at the end.
"They can rest assured that I am not happy when I go home because I want so much more.
"In three words, 'can do better' sums up our season. It's been a learning curve, but the players need to learn quickly because it seems I'm always saying the same thing."
Williams thanks fans
Evening Post, April 26, 2010
RYAN Williams says he is determined things will go better for Mansfield Town next season.
The diminutive winger played in the Stags' final game, a disappointing 3-3 draw with Kidderminster Harriers.
He is looking forward to a break, but already has one eye on next season and improving on ninth in the Blue Square Premier.
"I think we have been our own worst enemy when you look at it over the course of a season," said Williams.
"We have had good and bad times. At the start of the season we set the standard and we wanted to at least get in the play-offs, if not more.
"But we have not succeeded in the end and only us as players can sort things out for the coming season.
"In the off-season we are going to be working harder than ever. The gaffer has said to be prepared and we know what's coming. The only way you are going to get success is through hard work.
"It will be nice to have a break, but after that we will be ready and won't be able to wait for the season to start."
As a local lad, Williams is more aware than anyone of the fans' frustrations.
He said: "It says a lot about the Mansfield public that they were shaking us by the hand at the end of the game.
"They are fantastic people, so we are disappointed for them. We want success like they do and they deserve some.
"There is nothing I would love more than to help the club back into the Football League next season."
Non-League Mansfield Town 3, Kidderminster Harriers 3: Boss hoped for a win
STEVE Burr felt his Kidderminster Harriers side could easily have snatched an incredible victory after turning a 3-0 interval deficit into a 3-3 draw at Mansfield Town.
A Jake Speight hat-trick had put the Stags in control in the Blue Square Premier clash at Field Mill but Harriers roared back.
Jack Byrne headed in Brian Smikle's cross on 50 minutes and five minutes later Darryl Knights smashed home a second to give Harriers even more hope.
With 15 minutes left, Chris McPhee completed the comeback with a stunning 30-yard volley.
Burr said: “I wasn't happy at half-time and I just said to the players that for the second half, whether it's for me or yourselves, go out there with a bit of pride to try and get something out of the game if possible.
“At the end of the day we got a point out of it but we could have actually won the game.”
Harriers boss reeling after final game
Monday 26th April 2010, 8:45AM BST.
Kidderminster Harriers manager Steve Burr still doesn't know how to view the last game of the season after one of the most surreal performances ever at Mansfield.
It was expected to be an uneventful Blue Square Premier curtain call with little to play for apart from pride, and it looked like it was going to be a game to forget at half-time with Harriers 3-0 down.
But an equally dramatic second-half saw the visitors come back to snatch a draw with goals from Jack Byrne, Darryl Knights and captain Chris McPhee.
It wasn't enough to claim a spot in the top 10 for Burr's men as they finished in 13th place due to wins for Cambridge, Wrexham and Salisbury.
And the manager believes his team could have actually been further behind at half-time on Saturday, such was the horror of their first-half performance at Field Mill.
Although pleased with the fightback, the Harriers boss will have taken little from another below-par display from the team, and is expecting big changes at Aggborough in his first summer at the club.
Burr also lifted the lid on what exactly was said to the players at Mansfield to inspire them to fightback.
He said: “I wasn't happy and I just told them that for the second half, whether it's for me or yourselves, go out there with a bit of pride to try to get something out of the game if possible.
“I felt at half-time we may have been looking at five or six and that's disappointing. But they came out, we shifted things round and to be fair to them they gave themselves a chance.”
'Come and sign me', Speight tells Stags
CHAD.co.uk, By John Lomas
HAT-TRICK hero Jake Speight issued a 'come and sign me' message to Mansfield Town for next season.
He has ended the season's top scorer with 17 after his triple against Kidderminster in today's 3-3 draw.
But he said he was disappointed he had not yet been offered a new deal.
And League clubs are said to be hovering around, watching the situaADVERTISEMENTtion.
"I am feeling a bit disappointed as from tomorrow I don't get paid from the club.
"The manager showed faith in me ringing me here and I think I have paid him back with my goals.
"We will have to see what the club comes up with. Obviously every player wants to play in the League but I am happy to stay here as I have a good relationship with the manager. It is down to the board and the chairman now."
He added: "After a year and a half out with injuries everyone had forgotten about me so I have had to prove I can still do it.
"So I am delighted to finish up top scorer and get my first hat-trick.
"But it feels like a loss to draw after being 3-0 up. The boys thought the game was over and switched off. We just didn't turn up after half-time."
Manager David Holdsworth said: "Jake was absolutely fantastic today and he is 100 per cent part of my plans for next season.
"We have a clause on him for next season and I intend to engage that. He is aware of that.
"The Field Mill faithful have taken to him and I hope to work with Jake for a long, long time."
Of interest from League clubs on Speight, he added: "We are a Conference club and if an offer came in for any of my players that was suitable to me and the chairman we would have to sit down and evaluate it."
Come and get me: Speight
HAT-TRICK hero Jake Speight has thrown down the gauntlet to Mansfield Town's board after the club drew their final game of the season 3-3 with Kidderminster, saying: "If you want me, come and get me."
The livewire striker scored the first treble of his career to take his total past Rob Duffy and finished as the club's top scorer for the season with 17.
But Speight's future with the Stags is by no means certain, especially with Football League clubs said to be monitoring his progress.
Mansfield chairman Andy Perry insists the club agreed a one-year option for a second season on his current terms, if the 24-year-old impressed.
But, clutching the match-ball under his arm, Speight said: "To be honest being here next year is something I am not sure about yet.
"I've not been offered anything, so I'm a bit disappointed by that. The manager has shown faith in me and I have repaid that with goals.
"I'm delighted to finish top scorer. I think I definitely could have got up to 20 with the chances I've missed.
"As of yesterday I am not getting paid and we will have to see what they come up with.
"I think there is some sort of option for next season, but I have worked really hard and think I should be rewarded with a new contract.
"The gaffer has backed me 100 per cent from the first minute and it's down to him that I have played how I have. But this is down to the chairman and board."
Boss David Holdsworth is understandably keen to secure Speight's future at Mansfield, but admits he is unsure what will happen.
He said: "We have got a clause with Jake for next season and he is 100 per cent in my plans for next season.
"He's a player the Field Mill faithful have taken to. I hope he stays with me for a long, long time.
"If an offer comes in then it is down to the chairman and myself to evaluate it. "
Latest | April 2010