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CHAD VIDEO - Stags vice captain Luke Jones on a crazy first week of the season
13 August 2009
In this exclusive video interview, Chad speaks to Mansfield Town vice captain Luke Jones about a crazy first week to the new football season.
He looks back the 4-0 home win over Crawley, the fantastic backing the home fans provided, the midweek defeat at Luton and the loss of skipper Gary Mills as well as looking forward to the games at Salisbuty City on Saturday and home to Barrow on Tuesday.
Let's move on from the Luton defeat - Holmes
CHAD.co.uk, 13 August 2009, By John Lomas
STAGS first team coach Gareth Holmes has urged the players to put the 4-1 midweek defeat at Luton behind them and focus on this weekend's long journey to Salisbury City.
"We will learn from it and we are not too downhearted," he said.
"We have put a side together with 12 new players. Luton have come down from League Two with a nucleus of that squad and only because they had 25 points deducted, not because they were a weakened side.
"We are disappointed obviously but we will pick ourselves up and drive on to the next game.
"You always strive to be the best in your division. One or two clubs will be there this season looking to set the benchmark and we hope to be one of them.
"Tuesday was a good learning curve for us and we believe there is still scope for a tremendous amount of improvement in this squad.
"All the players know football is a rollercoaster ride and it is important the management and staff keep things on an even keel and we take the high with the lows. You never feel too low and you never believe the hype on the highs.
"We are well aware of the potential and capabilities in this squad and we are looking forward to putting on a show, being competitive, and looking to win the game on Saturday.
"We are hungry - no one wants to get beaten. But the lads have come back in raring to go and hungry for success.
"We are really fortunate this dressing room is full of winners and we want a reaction.
"But it is important we move on from the Luton game. We can't affect that now. All we can do is learn from both games and say where we can improve."
Salisbury have begun the new season well with two wins, replacing Mansfield as leaders after game one, but Stags will be travelling down to Wiltshire the night before and will be fresh and ready for the task ahead.
"Salisbury have some really good players as have most teams in this division. They will be organised and they have good strength and attributes up front," added Holmes.
"We have good contacts in that area and we have had reports and videos on them so we will be well prepared.
"We want to be challenging this season and that means better form away from home. We will do our homework and prepare as well as we can to give ourselves the best possible chance.
"We are going down the night before. The chairman has been excellent and we will be preparing in the right and professional way."
Stags will be without skipper Gary Mills (hamstring injury) and defender Scott Gardner, who was shown a straight red card at Luton Town. He begins a three-game ban though Stags may yet look at an appeal if video evidence suggests the decision was a harsh one.
Holmes said: "Gary Mills fortunately is an experienced professional and as soon as he started feeling something, he came off as a precaution. Now Jason (club physio Truscott) is looking after him.
"We are pleased with his progress and I am sure he will be back real soon. With hamstrings you worry someone will be out a couple of months, but with Gary I am sure it will be days rather than weeks or months.
"The big thing is with this squad we have real competition for places.
Gary Silk has worked really hard and can now come in and grab his chance.
"We will have a look at the video and see how bad Scott's tackle looks before we decide if we want to appeal or not.
"The referee took a lot of stick on the night but to be honest I thought he did okay."
Stags hungry to atone for Luton blip
Friday, August 14, 2009, 07:00Comment on this story
MANSFIELD'S players are 'hungry' to atone for their crushing defeat at Luton with a first away win of the new season at Salisbury tomorrow.
First team coach Gareth Holmes has put the Stags squad through their paces since the 4-1 reverse at Kenilworth Road on Tuesday night.
And he has been delighted with the attitude of the players, who he says have done anything but mope around.
"It was a disappointing result at Luton but we have picked ourselves up and are driving on towards the next game," said Holmes.
"We still believe that there is a tremendous amount of improvement to bring out of this squad and we hope to be one of the best teams in the division.
"We have a lot of people who are winners and want to go and improve and take the chance the gaffer has given them.
"It has been a pleasure coming in to see that. We are hurting, no one wants to lose and we want to be competitive in every game.
"The lads have come back raring to go and hungry for success and a reaction – it's been good."
Holmes says boss David Holdsworth will consider all options before deciding what formation to send out at the Raymond McEnhill Stadium.
The Stags have played 4-4-2 in their first two games but will have to replace Scott Gardner – sent off at Luton – even if they stick with that system.
Holmes said: "We will look at what are the best tactics for this game. There will be times when we need to alter it, whether we have won or lost.
"At times we can go 4-3-3 or there are other permutations. The important thing is to take into account the strengths and weaknesses of the opposition, but other teams will be just aware about us."
Williams remaining upbeat at Stags
Friday, August 14, 2009, 07:00Comment on this story
RYAN Williams has been involved in football long enough to know one result – good or bad – doesn't shape a season.
That is why the 30-year-old wasn't getting carried away after Mansfield thumped Crawley 4-0 at home on the opening day of the new term.
And that is why he is refusing to let the Stags' 4-1 defeat in their second game at Luton on Tuesday night get him down too much.
Williams is a big believer in shaping the future, not ruing the past.
As such, the events of Kenilworth Road have been quickly put to the back of his mind. His focus is now on the Raymond McEnhill Stadium and Salisbury.
There, the diminutive left-winger will hope to be part of the Mansfield side who will take on table-topping hosts, albeit after just two Blue Square Premier games.
Having won at Rushden and at home to Kidderminster, Salisbury are on something of a high and out to claim the scalp of the Stags.
But Williams believe the Stags can get back to winning ways in Wiltshire – and thereby repeat the success of last season, when Mansfield claimed a 3-2 victory.
"It's important we stay positive because we can't do anything about Tuesday night. Everyone was disappointed, but now we are looking forward," he said.
"It is another big game for us tomorrow and we are going down there to win the three points. The gaffer has drilled it into us to be positive.
"Salisbury have had a great start and have got six out of six two games into the season.
"But you can't really judge this early, you have to wait until you are down the line and then have a look.
"We have got two home games after this and if we were to win three out of our next three, then Tuesday would be quickly forgotten.
"That would leave us on 12 points from 15 and you would take that – that's how we have to look at it."
Williams was substituted at half-time by boss David Holdsworth who said following the game that the Luton wide players were getting too much space.
But the Hatters continued to dominate the game in those areas and went on to claim a 4-1 success.
Williams said: "The gaffer said he might change things around, especially away from home.
"If it means getting a win and three points, that's brilliant.
"We are all in this together as a squad and it doesn't matter how we do it.
"If it means going off at half-time, as I did at Luton, that's fine. I'm not going to get into a sulk, I'm just going to get on with it and get back to the hard work on the training ground.
"Against Crawley I had a lot of the ball and I enjoyed myself, especially in front of the home fans.
"But for different games there is a different set-up and sometimes if you are under pressure you have to make changes and I have got big enough shoulders to accept that."
Williams is convinced Mansfield have the right character among their number to put a decent run of form together.
And he feels there will be few tougher games this season than their trip to Bedfordshire.
"It might take a bit of time to gel. It does when you have as many new faces as we have," said Williams.
"But it has been getting better and at the moment, everyone is still very much upbeat in the camp, despite the result at Luton.
"The mood on Wednesday morning when we were back in was positive.
"Sometimes when the chips are down, the team spirit comes through the most and I believe we have got that here."
"I think Luton were up there among the best teams I have seen at this level.
"They have got a young squad, but were a very good outfit.
"If it was not for the points deduction, they would still be a league team and they have not lost too many players since then."
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