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Archived News from December 2002

14th December 2002 15:00

IAN WILKERSON, Evening Post, 14 December 2002

Mansfield Town striker Andy White believes his loan spell at Crewe Alexandra could turn his season around.

White started the campaign in style with two goals in the 4-3 win over Plymouth on the opening day, but admitted his confidence was low when Dario Gradi offered to take him on loan to Gresty Road.

And now he is determined to show new Stags boss Keith Curle that he is ready to help Stags claw their way off the bottom of Division Two.

He said: "Six weeks ago I wouldn't say I was in a rut, but my confidence was low and, with lots of things going on at the club, I think I just needed to get away for a bit.

"I think a change of scenery just gave me that breath of fresh air.

"Now I'm full of confidence and hopefully I can show it when I play for the reserves and get myself back into the first team."

White said he was taken aback when the country's longest-serving manager contacted then Stags manager Stuart Watkiss and offered to take the towering centre forward on loan, particularly as Crewe had beaten them 5-0 and 4-0 before that point.

He said: "I got the phone call from Stuart to say Dario was interested in taking me on and it was the biggest compliment I could have.

"He has got such a good reputation in the game with so many coaching skills and he wanted me to go to his club so he could work with me.

"I cannot speak highly enough of him. He treats players how they should be treated and he takes them to one side, tells them what they need to do and how they can improve their game, and it wasn't just with me, it was with everybody."

White said he has benefited from some top one-to-one coaching in the last few weeks and believes he can use what he has learned to develop his game.

There was also less pressure on him, with the Railwaymen chasing a promotion place rather than fighting against relegation.

He said: "I was a bit dubious when I went there because I'm a quiet lad and it takes me a bit of time to settle in places, but I got there and everyone made me feel really welcome.

"With Stags being bottom of the league, it was a lot more relaxed at Crewe.

"We did a lot more specialist work on what I had to work at. The defenders would go off into a group and so would the midfielders and the forwards.

"We just worked on what we had to work on.

"The facilities were better and we had a lot more time. You could stay out all day but here, when the nets are taken down, you have to come in.

"I was sub for each game and played in a couple and really enjoyed it. Hopefully that will bode well for the future."


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