RUSSELL, CAIN, PREECE, BRITTON REACTION
audio interview with Bath manager Adie Britton
Transcribed by Martin Shaw
It was a shame that they should go down to 10 men, but you can only play against the opposition in front of you. We kept the ball for 90 minutes, I don't think they had a shot on goal and it's just a fitting end to a great season. We looked like springing the offside all afternoon. Great runs and great finishes from Scotty and Marley. It was quite difficult because of the windy conditions so the balls in had to be pretty precise.
Stags may appeal over Istead sending-off
DUNCAN Russell will appeal against Steven Istead's red card for Mansfield Town at Bath City yesterday if the DVD footage suggests the decision was wrong.
The 15th minute dismissal of the midfielder did not help the Stags' cause as they were beaten 2-0 by the Romans.
But of more importance is the fact Istead will now miss this coming weekend's FA Trophy final against Darlington at Wembley if the red card stands.
"I shall look at the DVD and we shall probably appeal against it. Steve didn't mean anything, he just caught him," said Russell.
"They were both all over each other and I think he just clipped him with his foot. I didn't get a complete view myself, because people were blocking me, but I didn't think it was anything out of the ordinary.
"But the referee has obviously seen something and he was so quick to give him the red card.
"The referee wouldn't talk to me to get his reasoning when I went up to him on the pitch and he just walked straight past me.
"Steve could end up missing out on Wembley because of that which is why we will have a look at it and see how bad it is.
"If I think the boy is right, and he tells me he's right, then I will appeal for him."
Stags boss Russell promises no repeat at Wembley
DUNCAN Russell was dejected by Mansfield Town's defeat in their final league game of the season at Bath City – but has promised things will improve at Wembley this weekend.
The Stags had hoped to go into the FA Trophy final against Darlington on the back of a victory at Twerton Park.
But they lost 2-0 and were never in it after Steven Istead's 15th-minute red card following a clash with Joe Burnell that could see the midfielder miss the big game.
Boss Russell expected more from his players in the West Country, but points out he will have a number of key performers back in the capital.
"It was horrible. The biggest disappointment was that I thought a couple players out there didn't really give me 100 per cent and I've told them that in the dressing room," he said.
"I think they were thinking about the game this week. It's understandable to do that, but you still have to go and put the performance in.
"I'm not happy with it at all. There was not the passion I expected. They were well below their normal standards.
"Bath are a decent side but I felt we could come here and have a chance, if we'd have kept 11 players on the pitch.
"But when we went down to ten and they kept coming at us with their spare man in the middle of the park, you were just waiting for them to score.
"There were a few poor performances and we need to address that and sort it out for this week.
"There were other players who I didn't want to play because I didn't want to risk them getting injured.
"But I think once I get my full squad together for this week, then we will be ok. The likes of Paul Connor, Adam Murray and Tom Naylor should all be back."
Russell revealed he is looking to secure a training session at either Arsenal or Tottenham's training ground when they stay over in London ahead of their Wembley match.
He said: "We have got a session in Mansfield today where we will be signing autographs for the fans and they will be watching us train.
"We will be travelling down on Thursday or Friday and we will give Arsenal a call and failing that we will ring Tottenham.
"It's a massive day for everyone concerned, but we will try to get the preparations right.
"I know how Darlington will play and we had them watched on Saturday, so we will be working on that all week."
Keeper Marriott's return is a huge boost for the Stags
ALAN Marriott's return in time for Mansfield Town's visit to Wembley is a huge boost, says winger Ashley Cain.
The experienced goalkeeper has been missing for a large chunk of the campaign with first a hip problem and then a broken finger.
But the former Lincoln shot-stopper has played the final two games of the Blue Square Bet Premier campaign against Gateshead and Bath City.
Marriott excelled in the latter of those at Twerton Park, pulling off a number of excellent stops to prevent the Stags losing by an even heavier margin than 2-0.
And with David Grof unavailable because his loan deal has expired, Cain is delighted to see the fans' favourite back on top form and ready to play in the FA Trophy final against Darlington on Saturday.
"Alan did play very well against Bath and it could have been three or four without him," said Cain.
"It is good to have him back. He's a great keeper and good for the team because he gives us a lot of confidence and reassurance at the back.
"It's important we get players like him fit and our strongest team out possible because you only get one shot at Wembley and we have to go and win it."
Cain is desperate to start against the Quakers.
He added: "The pitch is very big and that will suit me with my pace and my kind of game.
"Hopefully, I will get the nod and get out on that turf and tear it up. Darlington are quite tight at the back but I remember going there away and although it was 0-0 I had quite a lot of joy."
Could injured Stags players be back for Wembley?
ALTHOUGH Mansfield Town's BSBP season ended with whimper, not a bang as they lost 2-0 at Bath City on Saturday, there was fantastic news for Stags fans as Duncan Russell hinted he could have all his key injured players back for the FA Trophy final at Wembley.
Adam Murray, Paul Connor, Danny Mitchley all look set to make a return to training this week and other key players were rested at Bath, the result all but sacrificed for the big game the week after.
Russell said: “I had others on the bench I didn't want to play as I didn't want them getting injured. But we should have my full squad for next week which is an exciting prospect.”
But he wasn't happy with the displays of one or two in the Bath defeat and must also consider whether to appeal against Steven Istead's 15th minute red card which didn't help matters.
It was an awful game to watch for the visiting fans and Russell said: “That was horrible. The biggest thing for me was that a couple of players didn't really give me a performance and I have told them in the dressing room.
“They were thinking about next week. But I told them they had to understand they had to put on a performance. I wasn't happy with it at all.
“I can only put it down to what is happening next week. They lowered their standards and I need to sort it for next week.
“Bath are a decent side but if we had kept 11 men on the pitch we might have had a bit of a chance.
“With 10 men they kept coming at us, finding the spare man in midfield, and it seemed only a matter of time before they scored a goal.
“I will look at the DVD and I will appeal for the lad if it is how he is telling me.
“Stevie didn't mean anything by it. They were all over each other and he just clipped him with his foot.
“But the referee saw what he saw. I tried to ask him about it at the end but he wouldn't speak to me. I thought he was a poor ref anyway.”
The big Wembley week build-up has got underway, starting with yesterday's open day.
Russell said: “We will head to London Thursday or Friday. We are hoping to use Arsenal's training ground but, if not, we can use Tottenham's.
“It is a massive game for everyone concerned and I must make sure the players don't get too excited.
“I must keep the nerves down. Too much stimulation can have an adverse effect. We will mix it up a bit for them in training.”
Ashley Cain said: “That was a massive disappointment as we wanted to finish on a win, going into Wembley.
“But when you have a player sent off so early it is always going to be tough.
“It was backs against the wall trying to close them down. Working so hard it was hard to get a performance out of the lads.
“I got injured against Luton and it's taken longer to get better than first thought. Today was the first time I felt near enough 100 per cent but we were always on the back foot.
“It has been frustrating as I and everyone know what I can do.”
On his Wembley prospects, he added: “It is a big pitch – my kind of pitch. It will be the biggest game of my life so far. I just have to be patient now and hope I have done enough to get the nod.”
Defender Mark Preece was close to the challenge which saw Istead sent off and said: “I saw the tackle but I was watching the ball.
“Then the referee popped up with a red card. The ref said Stevie kicked out after the ball had gone.
“It seemed a bit harsh. Now he can't play at Wembley. You don't need to tell him, you can see it on his face how disappointed he is. He came in to apologise to the boys.”
Preece has only just come into the reckoning due to injuries after spending most of the season injured, out on loan or out of favour, and added: “Everyone's sights are set on a start. I have enjoyed the run of games I have had. The gaffer has a few tough decisions to make now on shirts with players coming back.
“All you can do now is run your heart out in training, do your best, and hope. Everyone has a massive part to play anyway whether they are on the pitch or in the stand.
“It will be one of the best things in my career so far and I am looking forward to it. I just hope I can play to top off a bad season with a good end.
“Even to be out there for the warm-up would be great. You want to be part of the occasion.”
Cain: Stags gave it their all but sending off changed things
ASHLEY Cain was frustrated Mansfield Town could not end their Blue Square Premier League campaign on a high.
The Stags were second best throughout the game and went down 2-0 after goals from Marley Watkins and Scott Murray at Twerton Park.
The visitors' cause was not helped by the early red card for midfielder Steven Istead, who could now miss this weekend's FA Trophy final against Darlington at Wembley as a result.
"It is disappointing to end the league season with a loss, especially going into Wembley," said Cain. "I didn't see the red card offence but from what I have heard, it wasn't a sending off.
"But it was always going to be hard having gone down to ten men so early in the game and made it an uphill task for trying to end with a win.
"It changes the way you have to approach the game. From going out and being positive, they have got a spare man and are passing the ball about.
"It's important then to keep two banks of four to try to get behind the ball and work as hard as you can to stop them breaking into your third, but that impedes your attack because you are too busy focusing on defending."
But Cain denied that any of Mansfield's players had gone into the game half-heartedly, despite Wembley being just a week away.
He said: "I don't think not going in for tackles or not giving your all was in any of the boys' minds.
"Off the pitch you might be able to say that, but when you are on the pitch, the whistle blows and the adrenalin takes over.
"I don't think the lads backed out of anything and they put a lot of effort in. I know I was very tired after the game because of the amount of running I did."
Stags defender Preece keen to banish painful memories
MARK Preece insists Mansfield Town must quickly get the taste of defeat at Bath out of their mouths and re-focus ahead of the FA Trophy final.
Mansfield were poor for large spells of the game at Twerton Park, where they were missing a number of key players.
But central defender Preece insists Mansfield should not dwell on the 2-0 loss with such a big and important game coming up.
The Stags' appearance at Wembley will be the first since they won the Freight Rover Trophy on penalties against Bristol City 24 years ago.
"It was hard work out there for a lot of the lads. I think we were under the cosh for 85 minutes of that game, which often happens when you get an early sending off," said Preece.
"Sometimes you can scrape a draw or even a win with ten men, but we didn't really have the chances to score and do that on this occasion.
"We've got a few out injured as well which makes it that little bit tougher. We missed their experience and were stretched at times.
"As professionals you have to take each game as it comes and not let Wembley take over.
"We came here to get a positive result and at the end of the game we were disappointed we hadn't got one.
"But now we have to forget this and we will be concentrating on Wembley. We will put this behind us and go for a result against Darlington.
"We need to up our game for this week, but there are going to be no problems with motivation because it is going to be the biggest games of most of the players' lives.
"I think we will go there with every chance of getting a result."
After spending a big chunk of the season out of favour or on the treatment table, Preece is hoping he can now retain his place for Wembley.
He said: "There are a few coming back from injury, so it will be interesting to see what the manager does.
"He has got a few tough decisions on his hands and we'll just have to wait and see which way he goes."
audio interview with Bath manager Adie Britton
Latest | May 2011