HOLLAND IN CHARGE OVER EASTER
Holland thanks players for upturn
Mansfield Town caretaker manager Paul Holland has credited his players for putting him in pole position to get the job on a permanent basis.
Holland has been given two more games to prove his management credentials after impressing the Field Mill board since taking over from Billy Dearden.
He said: "I can't emphasise enough how important the lads have been.
"The training has been superb, they've been sharp and the attitude and tempo they are achieving is what I want."
The Stags were unfortunate to lose to Hereford in Holland's first game in charge and followed that up with another good display in the away win over Bradford.
And Holland, whose side face Grimsby and Bury over Easter, added: "I want the team to play without fear and go out and enjoy it and they doing that.
"But we're not resting on anything. We have a very tough game on Saturday followed up with another tough game on Monday."
Stags hand Holland two-game deal
BBC.co.uk, 18 Mar 08
Mansfield caretaker boss Paul Holland will remain in charge for the next two matches, reports BBC Radio Nottingham.
Holland took charge for the defeat to Hereford and the win over Bradford City after Billy Dearden left the club.
He will now be acting manager for the Easter Saturday game with Grimsby and Easter Monday's trip to Bury.
Chief executive Stephen Booth said: "Paul always remained a prime candidate for the long-term role. It would be fair to say he is a prime candidate."
Booth added: "This view has been enhanced by the reaction of the squad. I have just finished a meeting with several senior members of the squad who unanimously endorsed Paul and his contribution.
"Results and performances in the two games since assuming the caretaker role have done him no harm whatsoever.
"I have therefore decided that Paul will remain in charge for the next two games and I will then review the situation.
"I am optimistic that the dramatic improvement in attitude, tempo and performance will continue and that I will have no decision to make."
On Monday Mansfield said they expected to name their new manager within 48 hours with former Lincoln City boss John Schofield and ex-York manager Billy McEwan both linked with the post.
Holland in charge of Stags for Easter
By Tim Morriss and John Lomas, CHAD.co.uk, 18 Mar 08
MANSFIELD Town caretaker boss Paul Holland will remain in charge of the side for the Easter weekend - and a long overdue home win on Saturday could be the key to him landing the job on a permanent basis.
Chief executive Stephen Booth had promised an announcement of a permanent appointment this week - with Holland and former Stags player Billy McEwan the front runners.
But on Tuesday afternoon he announced that he had yet to reach a final decision - and that Holland, assisted by keeper Carl Muggleton and youth coach Ivan Hollett, would continue in their temporary roles.
Mr Booth, impressed by the side's upturn in form under Holland, said that he had met with the senior Stags player today (Tuesday) and that they had all endorsed the caretaker boss.
Now 'Dutch' will remain in charge for Saturday's visit of Grimsby and Monday's trip to Bury - both vital games in the fight against relegation - with victory on Saturday to end the home hoodoo stretching back to Boxing Day and the last Field Mill win probably the key to the ex-midfielder getting the manager's job.
Since being made caretaker manager, following the departure of Billy Dearden 10 days ago, Holland has inspired the Stags to two fine performances as they battle the drop.
Full story here --> http://www.chad.co.uk/stags/Holland-in-charge-of-Stags.3889436.jp
On Tuesday afternoon Mr Booth urged Holland to continue the trend and leave him with no option other than to make the former assistant the new Mansfield Town manager.
The chief executive said he would review the manager's position next week. He admitted he had initially wanted someone with more managerial experience for the role, but that Holland is now the 'prime candidate'.
Mr Booth told Chad on Tuesday afernoon: "There has been a great deal of speculation. When I had to make the inevitable decision to part company with Billy (Dearden) after the debacle against Rochdale my initial thoughts were that my preferred solution was to bring in a more experienced individual to work alongside Paul Holland.
"Paul was appointed catetaker manager last Monday and in the meantime I have seen a number of potential candidates and the calibre was very high.
"But Paul has given me a dilemma, starting with the match against Hereford. It was a total turnaround from the capitulation against Rochdale.
"It was a very, very dynamic performance which didn't get the rewards it deserved. That made me think twice.
"Then we had the performance at Bradford on Saturday which unfortunately I didn't attend, but every single piece of feedback I have had was outstanding.
"Paul was always a candidate for the role, but he did himself no harm whatsover with theose two performances.
"Having considered the various options, I was left with a fairly pleasant dilemma. Such had been the remarkable turnaround in fortunes that Paul's claims for the role increased almost daily.
"This was reinforced after I came out of a meeting with five senior squad members who all without exception endorsed the role that Paul had played in the changing of fortunes of the club over the past 10 days.
"As a conseqence Paul will remain in charge for the next two matches over the weekend and on the basis we continue to see the improvement we have seen in the last two matches, then Paul will be in pole position. It would leave me with no decision to make.
"We need to win at home - that is vital. And we then have a very difficult game at Bury - a classic six-pointer.
"I am setting no artificial points targets. I just want to see the improvement continue, which will leave me in the very enviable position of having no decision to make.
"As things stand at the moment Paul is the right guy and, unless there is a dramatic deterioration, I don't see any reason to change that opinion.
"Paul has licence to do what he need to do and the full backing of the squad.
"I now hope the fans turn out in their numbers on Saturday and get behind the team, which is a tremendous uplift for them. I believe Paul can do it.
"He is a young inexperienced manager but for a number of years he has worked under a number of other managers and learned from all of them.
"You can see that in the style we have played and the effort in the last couple of games.
"Paul has dramatically improved his position over the last two weeks. Everyone is working with him and for him. This is not about individuals - it is about a team effort which is so important.
"In just two games Paul has got an awful lot more out of them and they are playing with no fear.
"That was a common feature of what the players told me. They don't feel that if they makie a mistake that is the end of the story for them. That engenders a very negative attitude to football."
Holland has made it clear that he wants the job and has won the backing of the players, too, who spoke out in favour of 'Dutch' being given the job until the end of the season.
However, McEwan - a former Derby County coach and manager at Rotherham and York City - has also been in discussions with the club over the vacancy. Chad has twice spoken to the former Stags midfielder, who would like the challenge of keeping Mansfield in the Football League.
It is thought that one of the options being considered was a dual role between the two leading candidates - though that would seem unlikely given Holland's public desire to be given his chance in management.
The vacancy was created when Dearden left the Stags following a 4-0 home defeat by Rochdale and a run of no home win since Boxing Day.
On Tuesday afternoon Holland, working hards to bring new players to the club in the next few days, told Chad: "Obviously I am delighted. The ball is in my court and if the performances keep going and results follow it makes it very hard for things to change.
"I am very confident in myself and the players. I have been kept informed all the way through and this is a positive outcome for me. I can't emphasise how much this is down to the lads. They are looking so sharp in training - absolutely superb.
"As a player and a coach I have always been someone who rises to the occasion and this will be no different. It is up to me to deliver the goods.
"I know I am inexperienced. But you have to start sometime and get that experience.
"I urge the fans to come back and support us on Saturday. Come and enjoy the football - me and the players are.
"I can totally understand supporters wanting a more experienced manager. It would have been easy for the club to have installed a more experienced manager and I would like to thank the players for voicing their opinions which has helped my case.
"We won't be resting on anything. That's only two games and we need to work even harder to sustain it now."
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