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Archived News from March 2008

16th March 2008 21:58


If away form had been at home, I would still be here - Dearden
CHAD.co.uk, 11 Mar 08, By John Lomas

Outgoing manager also thanks fans

OUTGOING Stags boss Bily Dearden wished the club all the best in their battle against relegation and insisted – they can still do it.

After nine home games without victory, Dearden's latest 14-month reign at Field Mill ended after Saturday's home hammering by Rochdale.

But Dearden (64) today told Chad: "I want to wish the club all the best.
"I will be looking out for their results and I still think they can get out of this mess they are in.

Full story here

"I think a lot of the club – if I hadn't I wouldn't have gone back last year and then stopped on for this season, even though it turned pear-shaped.

"I also want to thank the supporters. They have done very well with what they have had to put up with at the club."

He added: "If our away form had been at home then I don't think there would have been a problem. Supporters will put up with losing away if you are winning your home games.

"But what has happened has been ridiculous – and it is the same players.

"They still have a chance to get out of it and I am just disappointed to leave them where they are."

On the future, Dearden said: "My phone has been non-stop since Saturday but I am now going to take a bit of a break so start with and see how it goes from there."


Paul Holland told mansfieldtown.net this morning:  "I expect to make a couple of changes.

"There were 22 players training yesterday, and I can only select 16 players to be in the squad.  There'll be some disappointed players, but that's the way it goes.

"As assistant manager, I used to be in and around the dressing room quite a bit, but I know I have to distance myself a bit now.  I have to take this chance with both hands.

Full story here

"It's a precious stage of the season, and the players need to enjoy their football.  I expect people will see a more free-playing Mansfield Town team tonight.  I'm a little bit nervous, but I'm always like this before a match. I can't wait.

"Hopefully I can be given three-four games to show what I can do, and not just tonight's game.  I've been making contact with people today and trying to get as much done as I possibly can.

"I've heard different people say that the permanent manager should be experienced, but if I get the results then it shouldn't matter.  It's a results based industry," added Holland.


Turner wary of Dearden leaving Mansfield
Hereford United manager Graham Turner has told the Worcester News that the fact that Mansfield have parted company with Billy Dearden could work to the advantage of the Stags if the Bulls are not at their best.

"I think that sometimes with a fresh face in the dressing room or a release from the demands of a manager a team can respond and win a couple of games.

"I think that the first goal is vital. If we can get in the lead it's another knock-back for them.

"Concede the first goal and it doesn't half give them a lift. It's going to be as hard as we can expect and we will have to be at our best."

Paul Holland will be in charge of Mansfield this evening.


Hereford boss Graham Turner could name an unchanged side for Tuesday's trip to Field Mill to face managerless Mansfield.

The Bulls got their promotion push back on track with an impressive 2-0 victory over Accrington at the weekend and have no new injury or suspension worries to report.

Dean Beckwith returned against Stanley at the weekend following suspension and the defender is expected to keep his place against the Stags.

Striker Steve Guinan (calf) and midfielder Luke Webb (hamstring) are the Bulls' only injury concerns and they will again be missing from action.

The Bulls remain fourth in the table after the result but now lie just one point off third-placed Darlington, who occupy the final League Two automatic promotion spot.

Mansfield have no new injury problems as they begin life after Billy Dearden.

Dearden left the relegation-threatened club by mutual consent following Saturday's 4-0 defeat to Rochdale at Field Mill.

Paul Holland has been placed in temporary charge and the only players unavailable to him will be Martin McIntosh (calf) and Lee Bell (knee).

Holland has revealed that he would like the job on a permanent basis, he said: "If you want to be in the football business, opportunities like this have to be grasped. I would love the job.

"I have always said I would like to do be involved in management and Mansfield Town is my club. I have been with them since I was 12 years old and the job does not hold any fears for me. No one wants this club to do better than I do.

"I know some people may say we need someone in with experience but no one knows those players in the dressing room better than me."


My personal quest to save Stags...
Evening Post, 11 Mar 08
In putting his cards on the table by saying he would like the manager's job permanently, Paul Holland clearly has a personal interest in the fortunes of Mansfield Town.

But the man who first walked through the gates of Field Mill as a boy of 12 cannot help but have the club's interests at heart as well.

That is why Holland knows, and openly admits, a player shake-up is needed - and fast - to avoid relegation out of the Football League.

Full story here

With the transfer deadline on Thursday, March 27 fast-approaching, the window of opportunity to get players in and out is slight.

Only by acting now, not when a permanent successor to Billy Dearden has been appointed, will a meaningful change of personnel be realised.

That's why Holland is pushing for new blood and will be making immediate enquiries - whether he, or someone else, is in charge to utilise those fresh faces.

"I have had the lads in on Sunday and said to them there will be changes. We need to get a couple of faces in after tonight and I will be looking at that," said Holland.

"I'm meeting with Mr Booth (Stephen, chief executive) and I have a list of players. I don't want to waste four or five days before something happens. We are getting to the stage where we can't afford to waste any more games.

"I have worked closely with the players this season so I know what they can do and what they can't do.

"I think it's fair to tell the lads who are not in my plans and see if they can get something sorted out.

"There are players we (Holland and Dearden) agreed on that would benefit us and players who we didn't see eye to eye on, which is normal.

"I am looking to strengthen all round the squad. I want people making competition for places. I don't want anyone getting in the team for the last 12 games on reputation."

Having been around the first team at Mansfield for some time, Holland is convinced he has the qualities to be boss.

He points to his knowledge of not only the club's financial constraints, but also that he already knows the current playing staff.

He said: "I have always said I would like to be involved someday in a managerial capacity and Mansfield is my club.

"I know the pitfalls at Mansfield. People may say you need experience but I know the players better than anyone.

"I am confident I can get us out of trouble and I would like the job until the end of the season.

"I want to be the person to get us out of this hole. No one wants Mansfield Town to do well more than me.

"I know the club will be speaking to other people but I have not been excluded and so I hope to show what I can do."

As player and then as a coach, Holland has been around long enough to know he, like Dearden, could be given his own P45 by the club. But he is hoping things won't come to that if he can carry on in the same vein as his last temporary spell in charge - a 2-0 win at Darlington in December 2006.

Holland will be assisted in his temporary capacity by senior goalkeeper Carl Muggleton and youth team coach Ivan Hollett.

His first task will be to lift a team who have lost eight out of their last nine home matches and are taking on a promotion-chasing side in Hereford.

Holland said: "They were down after the game and then everything that happened on Saturday night.

"They were in on Sunday and it was just a case of explaining to them what had happened.

"There were a few sad faces but we have to get on with it because it is a very important part of the season.

"The club has to move on and Billy understands that. We have to go out there and play without fear, not worry about mistakes before we have even made them.

"We have to get them enjoying the game again and I have to try to instil some confidence back into the players."

Certainly a run of the type the Bulls have managed this season would be most welcome at Mansfield right now.

Dutch is man for the job, says player
Evening Post, 11 Mar 08
Jake Buxton has thrown his backing behind caretaker Paul Holland to become Mansfield's full-time manager, ahead of tonight's home game with Hereford.

The club's assistant boss has put his name forward to be the permanent successor to Billy Dearden, who left the club on Saturday.

And Buxton, who has worked with Holland, or "Dutch", at youth team level and in the senior set-up, believes he should be given a chance to prove his worth.

"Paul was gaffer of the youth team for a long time and then stepped up to assistant manager and I think he has the quality to be a manager," said Buxton.

Full story here

"We have been told he has got the game tonight to prove his point to the players and fans.

"Hopefully we will put on the right show for him so that it makes him a candidate for the job.

"I am going to give my support to anyone who is in the running for the job. We all supported Billy Dearden but we haven't been getting the results and that's why he's gone."

Buxton said the players were shocked that Dearden left straight after the 4-0 defeat to Rochdale.

But, as skipper, he is determined to get his team-mates fired up for tonight's important League Two game with promotion-chasing Hereford.

He said: "The timing and the situation with Billy was a shock to the players.

"If it had been eight to ten games before then we could probably have expected it.

"We thought Billy would be seeing out the season with us, but that's a chapter in the book now, it has gone, and we have to look to the game tonight.

"It is my job now to get everyone pulling in the same direction and the players are playing for their futures.

"We are no worse off in terms of the gap to Macclesfield than we were on Friday, even though our manager has gone.

"If we can get a result against Hereford, then things could look a lot brighter, but if we don't we could be in trouble."

Holland has hinted already he is keen to instigate a clear-out to make way for new players.

Buxton insists whatever cause of action is taken, it needs to happen fast.

"Dutch has seen us all over a long period and probably the best man at the moment to know about the players," he said.

"Whether we make changes or start with a clean slate, I'm not sure what is needed, only time will tell. But the one thing I do know is we haven't got long to experiment."


Latest | March 2008