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COUGHLAN, PRESTON, IAN HOLLOWAY REACTION
10th January 2020 10:36


Boss looking forward to first full training week
mansfieldtown.net, Saturday 04 January 2020

Stags’ boss Graham Coughlan says his players were ‘running on empty’ against Grimsby this afternoon, as he looks forward to his first full week of training with his squad since arriving at the club last month.

Mansfield were unable to secure a victory against ten-man Grimsby Town at One Call Stadium, losing the game through an unfortunate Mal Benning own goal.

The Stags’ manager says that his players ‘hit a brick wall’ due to the hectic festive schedule - while also looking forward to imposing a ‘tough’ week of training on his players.

“It [performance] didn’t come as a shock because I knew the players were going to empty at some stage,” he told iFollow Stags. “I knew they were going to hit a brick wall - it was maybe a bridge too far to ask them today to keep going how they’re going.

“We’ve hit them hard since we’ve come in and it looked as if they’d run out of steam today, to be honest.

“They didn’t look sharp, didn’t look fit - it looked as if it was a real slog for them today. There was no sharpness to us and I was really disappointed because we looked flat from the off.

“Overall, the display wasn’t good enough and lacked quality, if I’m being honest.

https://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/2020/january/gaffer-post-grimsby/

“I wanted to see a little bit of bravery and have people get on the ball and control it. It’s not rocket science - when you play against ten men, you have to push the side from one side of the pitch to the other.

“I don’t think I could’ve changed any more. We chucked everything we had at them. But the lads’ tanks were empty and that was unfortunate.

“We knew it was going to come and it was unfortunate that it was here, because we had a couple of decent performances here at home.

“But they [players] have ran a lot and chased a lot over the last four games for us, and it looks like that [Grimsby game] was a bridge too far.

“I knew one or two were unfit and I knew one or two were not at their optimum levels. I know one or two are short in confidence and there’s inconsistency.

“All of those things, we’ll have to look at. We’ll have to delve into it and see where we go and how we react to it.

“I’ll be looking forward to it [first full week of training]. I don’t think the players will be looking forward to it, to be honest, but it will benefit them.

“They have to trust in that and buy into that. It will be tough, but I have to be careful, as I have to leave something in the tank for Saturday [against Forest Green].”

The Mariners were reduced to ten men early on after Luke Waterfall’s late sliding challenge on midfielder Jacob Mellis. The boss offered his thoughts on the dismissal, adding: “I was a centre-half and I don’t mind a challenge - I don’t mind people putting challenges in. You’re going to mistime a challenge every now and again.

“Not every challenge is a red card, not every challenge is a free-kick. But we are where we are in the modern game.

“Was it harsh [red card]? I don’t know, I’d have to see it back. It was a strong, aggressive tackle. But strong, aggressive challenges get punished nowadays.

“I don’t want to get in trouble or cause any controversy, but I’d feel aggrieved if one of my players was sent off for a slightly mistimed tackle.”

There were fears inside the stadium that defender Hayden White had suffered an injury when he was replaced by James Clarke in the second-half, but the boss says the former Peterborough right-back simply ‘ran out of steam.’

“He [White] ran out of steam. That’s his second game in three months - he cramped up at Cambridge and he was just running on empty.

“We obviously had to take him out and get some fresh legs on in young James Clarke.”

Graham Coughlan also commented on potential activity in the January transfer window: “I’ve inherited a squad that needs help and needs shaking up. Let’s see what happens, let’s see where we go and how we do.

“I want an honest, hard-working environment and I want people who can handle this arena. I want people who can do a little bit more than they’re actually doing.

“At the end of the day, I can’t hang around. One manager has lost his job with this group of players already and I don’t want to be the second one.

“I can’t really hang around, so that might give you some indication.”

iFollow Stags subscribers can watch the boss’ interview in full by logging into mansfieldtown.net/ifollow later today.

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Graham Coughlan told Jake Garner on BBC Radio Nottingham:

"We are vulnerable at the back. The manner in which they scored the OG ... I suppose you might say unlucky but my old adage is the harder your work the luckier you get.
Let's be frank, one or two of our players don't work hard enough. So we can't expect the luck or the break of the ball to go our way.
It was a very resilient display from Grimsby, they put their bodies on the line, they did not want the ball to go in the back of the net and I would like some of my defenders to inherit some of that DNA.

"I said to the group of players, I won't have anyone try and pull the wool over my eyes. An honest week's pay deserves an honest day's graft, and there's one or two that left me a little bit short today.

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We ran out of steam today admits Mansfield Town boss Graham Coughlan after home defeat by 10-men Grimsby Town
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Saturday 04 January 2020

Mansfield Town boss Graham Coughlan said the busy Festive period had caught up with his new charges today as they slipped to a 1-0 home defeat by 10-men Grimsby.

Mal Benning's own goal gave all three points to a Mariners side that had defended superbly since the 10th minute dismissal of Luke Waterfall.

“It didn't come as a shock as I knew the players were going to empty at some stage,” he said.

https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/we-ran-out-of-steam-today-admits-mansfield-town-boss-graham-coughlan-after-home-defeat-by-10-men-grimsby-town-1-10183777

“I knew they were going to hit a brick wall. It was maybe a bridge too far to ask them to keep going today.

“We have hit them hard since we came in and today they looked as if they had run out of steam.

“They didn't look sharp or fit and as if it was a real toil and a real slog for them. They looked like they were running in treacle, probably to be expected after five games in such close proximity.

“Their tanks were empty. We knew it was going to come and it's a shame it had to be here after a couple of decent home performances.

“I was bitterly disappointed. We looked flat from the off and the sending-off didn't help either team to be honest. But they are circumstances and obstacles we should be overcoming.

“No excuses, overall, the display was not good enough - it lacked a bit of quality.

“I wanted to see a bit more bravery. We needed a bit more guile and experience.”

Waterfall was dismissed for his late lunge on Jacob Mellis, but former tough-tackling defender Coughlan had sympathy for Grimsby.

“I was a centre half so I don't mind putting challenges in,” he said.

“Not every challenge is a red card. But we are where we are in the modern day game. It was a strong aggressive challenge and they get punished these days.

“If I was a referee I would not punish strong, aggressive challenges. I'd understand the game and that tackles can be made and mistimed. I would feel aggrieved if one of my players was sent off for a slightly mistimed tackle.”

Coughlan now can't wait to up side's fitness levels in his first full clear week in charge without a midweek game.

“I am looking forward to it but I don't think the players will be looking forward to it to be honest,” he said.

“But it will benefit them going forward so they have to trust in that and buy into that.

“It will be tough. But I have to be careful as I have to leave something in the tank for next Saturday when we go again.”

He also hinted he may bring in new faces sooner than later in the current transfer window.

“At the end of the day I have inherited a squad of players that needs help and maybe needs shaking up,” he said.

“I just want people on board who can handle this arena and I want people to do a little bit more than they're actually doing - and that's not a big ask.

“I can't hang around. One manager has lost his job with this group of players already and I don't want to be the second one.”

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We have to be better in both boxes - defender
mansfieldtown.net, Saturday 04 January 2020

Defender Matt Preston believes Mansfield Town must improve in ‘both boxes’ after a 1-0 defeat against Grimsby Town at One Call Stadium.

Ian Holloway’s side claimed victory with a 66th-minute own goal that was inadvertently turned home by Mal Benning.

And despite the Mariners being reduced to 10 men early on, their counter-attack proved enough to earn all three points.

Subsequently, Preston reflected upon the situations in either penalty area on Saturday afternoon as an area to improve heading forward.

“We need to be clinical in both boxes, myself included,” the centre-half began.

“We’re not defending our box well enough and we’re not scoring enough goals in the opposition’s box, so it’s something we need to fix up.

“I’m not even sure if they’ve had a shot on target but they’ve managed to come away with a win. It’s frustrating, we’ve had a few chances where we should be scoring but we haven’t.

https://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/2020/january/preston-post-grimsby/

“They’re down to 10 men and they’ll always look to hit on the counter. They’ve managed to do it once so it’s massively frustrating.”

The 24-year-old did remain positive, however, knowing manager Graham Coughlan is now set to undertake his first full week of training with the group.

“I can tell the gaffer has been frustrated, so far, that he hasn’t been able to get a full weeks training.

“Having a full week where he [Graham Coughlan, below] can drill in what he wants to us will be massively beneficial.

“We were hoping to bring the same mentality [from Cambridge] here today. [The mood] is deflated because of the circumstances, them being down to 10 men and then coming away with a 1-0 win.

“We’ve got to take it to the training ground with the gaffer and bounce back.”

The former Swindon man was also left frustrated after another opportunity for a clean sheet slipped away.

“In comparison to what we were like last season - you shouldn’t compare years - but you’re always going to when we’ve got the same personnel,” he continued to iFollow Stags.

“We’re not doing what we were last year and we’re all frustrated. I have no idea what [the issue is]. We are getting unfortunate but that’s no excuse for it.

“It’s tough to even say - it’s not to do with wanting because nobody wants to concede goals but there has to be something.”

iFollow Stags subscribers can watch Matt's interview in full by logging into mansfieldtown.net/ifollow later today.

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Mansfield Town defender Matt Preston frustrated at Stags’ failure to build on win at Cambridge against Grimsby Town
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Saturday 04 January 2020

Mansfield Town defender Matt Preston spoke of the players' frustration that they failed to build on their New Year's Day win at Cambridge when losing at home to 10-men Grimsby Town today.

A Mal Benning own goal saw Grimsby crown a brilliant defensive performance after losing Luke Waterfall to a 10th minute red card.

The win at Cambridge was their first in 10 games, but it was fellow strugglers Grimsby who claimed all three points against a tiring Stags.

“It was massively frustrating. I don't know if Grimsby even had a shot on target and they have managed to come away with a win,” said Preston.

“We had a few chances we should be scoring and we haven't.

“They were down to 10 men so looking to shut up shop and counter us on the break. They have managed that once and it didn't even go in off one of their players.

“We need to be more clinical in both boxes, myself included.

“We are not defending our box well enough and we are not scoring enough goals in the opposition's box.”

It's a far cry from last season when Stags had the meanest defence in League Two.

“You shouldn't compare years, but you are always going to when you've got the same personnel and we are not doing what we were doing last year,” he said. “We are all frustrated.

“I have no idea why. We are getting unfortunate, but that's no excuse for it. No one wants to concede goals and I have no idea what it's down to.

“We were hoping to bring the same mentality from Cambridge here today and we feel deflated now because of the circumstances of the game and them coming away with a 1-0.

“We must now take it to the training ground with the gaffer and bounce back.”

He added: “I can tell the gaffer has been frustrated he's not been able to give a full week's training and drill us in certain things. Having a good full week with him will be massively beneficial to us.”

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Matt Preston told Jake Garner on BBC Radio Nottingham:

"I wouldn't put it (the defeat) down to fitness ... I mean maybe because there's been so many games come thick and fast ... maybe it has come down to that."

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Ian Holloway on his pride for Grimsby Town after beating Mansfield in first game in charge
grimsbytelegraph.co.uk, By James Findlater, 4 JAN 2020

New Grimsby Town manager Ian Holloway was brimming with pride after seeing his side win against the odds in his first game in charge.

The Mariners beat Mansfield 1-0 thanks to a Mal Benning own goal in the second half at Field Mill, despite playing for 80 minutes with ten men after Luke Waterfall’s red card.

The victory means Town have started the New Year with back-to-back victories, having previously gone without a win since September in the lead-up to Holloway’s arrival.

And after seeing his side give their all for the cause, Holloway couldn’t hide his emotions at full-time.

“I can’t tell you how proud I am,” Holloway said.

“I’m proud of the football club, I’m proud of what it means, the history, and what more can you ask?

https://www.grimsbytelegraph.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/ian-holloway-grimsby-mansfield-reaction-3706430

“What a bunch of people, what a bunch of players. To do all of that, young as well, unreal, absolutely.

“If I could have bought them that, I would have done! I did say at half-time I thought the pressure would be on them and not us, and I expect you to win.

“We haven’t got that far a journey to make, and I just want to thank them (the fans). It’s an absolute honour and a privilege to be here, and I’m so happy with my new bunch of footballers!

On his players, Holloway added: “If I could have bought them that result, for how they’ve been, I would’ve, and for me that would have been the most expensive thing I’ve ever bought in my life because wow! What a performance.

“We’ve got skill, and belief is coming! And we can pass, and we can play, and my goalie can make saves! Wow, happy new year!”

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Grimsby Town boss Ian Holloway apologises to Mansfield Town fans for 'over-celebrations'
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Saturday 04 January 2020

New Grimsby Town boss Ian Holloway said sorry to Mansfield Town fans for his wild celebrations after his 10 men won 1-0 in his first game in charge today.

Despite having Luke Waterfall sent off after only 10 minutes, the visiting Mariners leapfrogged their fellow strugglers thanks to a Mal Benning own goal on 66 minutes.

“I want to apologise to the Mansfield fans as I think I over-celebrated,” said Holloway.

https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/grimsby-town-boss-ian-holloway-apologises-to-mansfield-town-fans-for-over-celebrations-1-10183787

“I have been out the game for 18 months, I felt I lost my job unfairly, I lost my mum a week later.

“So I do apologise. A lot of them clapped us up and were wonderful. I lost my temper a little bit and that won't happen again.”

On the game, he said: “What a performance. I can't tell you how proud I am. What more could I ask from such a young side - absolutely unreal?

“If I could have bought them that win for how they've been, I would have done.

“I don't care about the sending-off now, it doesn't matter.

“I said at half-time the pressure would be on Mansfield not us and I expect you to win.

“We are a long, long way off where I want to be. But I feel we are marching the right way with belief, heart and endeavour.

“Graham got it right pushing everyone forward, so it was tough.

“It was an own goal, but we'd put it in a dangerous area.

“What a magnificent save at the end too. But, had it gone in, I don't think they would have deserved it.”

He added: “It's an absolute honour and privilege to be here and I am so happy with my new bunch of footballers. Happy New Year!

“I can't wait to carry on now. I feel absolutely ticketyboo.

“It was a big decision as it's a long way from home and my beautiful grandchildren.”

Holloway was a spectator as Grimsby won their first game in 16 against Salford on New Year’s Day.

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Ian Holloway: I waited in vain to see former Bristol Rovers boss Graham Coughlan after Grimsby Town beat Mansfield Town
The Bristol Rovers legend reflects on his first week at Grimsby Town

By Ian Holloway, Bristol Live Columnist, 10 JAN 2020
https://www.bristolpost.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/ian-holloway-waited-vain-see-3721481

One thing Grimsby Town players will not be doing with me as manager is taking dives or cheating in any other way.

I have already made it clear that anyone rolling about on the ground trying to get an opponent into trouble will not be selected for the next game.

It’s a stance I hope more managers will follow because I am sick to death of seeing footballers, even in our Premier League, over-reacting to what used to be regarded as no more than a robust challenge.

Former Liverpool midfielder Danny Murphy was a player after my own heart, who liked a tackle, and I am pleased to see that in his role as a Match of the Day pundit, he continually criticises players who go down too easily.

The only way we will stamp it out is for managers to take responsibility for their own teams and punish offenders without waiting for the authorities to do it.

I was less than ten minutes into my first game in the Grimsby dug-out at Mansfield last Saturday when we had our centre-half sent off.

He was shown a straight red card for a tackle that was a bit late, but I couldn’t be too hard on him because it might well have been described as an Ian Holloway challenge!

Their player rolled around a lot, which didn’t help, and I needed all my experience to reorganise our ten men to deal with the way Mansfield tried to break us down.

If they had scored the first goal, it might well have been curtains for my lads.

We were hanging on in the first half, but at the break I made it clear the pressure was on Mansfield because they expected to win and I felt we could go on to take all three points.

It would only happen if every player was prepared to run like he had never run before. And that’s what happened.

We forced an own goal in the second half and had the chances to get a couple more before right at the end Nicky Maynard, well known to Bristol City fans, hit a dipping volley that looked sure to equalise.

I’m not kidding when I say that the save by our keeper was as good or better than the one by Gordon Banks from Pele in the 1970 World Cup.

The elation at the end matched any high I have ever felt as a manager. In four days my players had gone from believing they couldn’t win to knowing they could, even playing a man down for most of the match.

I shook hands with Graham Coughlan before the game and waited in vain to see him afterwards. The former Bristol Rovers boss has got a tough job on his hands at Mansfield because of the expectation level there.

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