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12th March 2018 12:01

Ambitious Anderson eyes title tilt
mansfieldtown.net, Thursday 08 March 2018

Versatile wideman Paul Anderson has today insisted that Mansfield Town can still become champions of Sky Bet League Two this season with 11 games remaining.

Stags currently sit just one point outside the automatic promotion places and eight behind league leaders Luton Town, with a clash against the Hatters on Easter Monday edging ever nearer.

And former Nottingham Forest man Anderson, who was in a determined mood when speaking to the media at One Call Stadium earlier today, insists the dressing room is still targeting a title triumph at the end of the season.

“If we do what we can do well, we’ll be there. We don’t have to worry about anyone else in this league," Anderson said.

“At the end of the day, we’ve got 10 or 11 games left, 30-odd points left to play for and if we can take the majority of them, it’s (promotion) ours.

Read more at https://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/2018/march/anderson-8-march/

“We want to win the league, obviously. We’re still aiming to win the league but if you win the league or come third, at the end of the season or the start of next season you’re not going to say ‘we came third or first’. We’ll have done the job we’ve set out to do. There’s nothing standing in our way, other than ourselves.

“I mentioned right at the start, when I came here I signed for the ambition, nothing else. Us as a group of lads, we’re all pulling in the same direction.

“The fans are doing it, the chairman, everyone is pulling in the same direction and if we don’t believe we’re going to be up there, we might as well just throw the towel in now and say ‘we’ll see you next season in League Two’. We don’t want that.

“We’ve got to play Luton yet - we’ll beat Luton and then who knows who’s going to slip up? We’ve just got to make sure we’re not the ones.”

After working with new manager David Flitcroft for just seven days, 28-year-old Anderson has been impressed by the former Bury man since his appointment.

“You have to take your hat off to the chairman (John Radford) and Carolyn [Radford, CEO] for acting so swiftly and bringing in, from what I’ve seen so far, a very good manager.

“All the lads who signed for this season, we signed for what this club wants to achieve. All the boys bought into the club and the ambition the club has got for the future.

“I really like him (David Flitcroft). He’s come in and shown a lot of respect to the boys. He’s reiterated many a time how good we are as a group of lads and as a group of players as well.

“He’s brought in just some positivity to carry on with the positivity we had before. He’s not looking to change things massively; we don’t need to change things massively, we’ve been very successful this season and we’re nearly at where we want to be.

“I really like him as a guy and as a manager so it’s been a good week.”

Supporters can login to iFollow Stags to view Paul Anderson’s news conference in full.


Stags star impressed by new boss Flitcroft
chad.co.uk, by SPORTS REPORTER, Thursday 08 March 2018

Paul Anderson says he's been impressed by new manager David Flitcroft so far and believes he can be the man to keep Stags in the promotion hunt. Flitcroft replaced the Peterborough-bound Steve Evans last week and oversaw a 1-1 draw with Lincoln City on Tuesday night. And Anderson has liked what he's seen from the new man so far.

He said: "The boys were keen to have the right man in the job even if it had taken longer to achieve that. We’re professional throughout the squad and would have carried on as we’re all so positive. We want what’s right as a group.

“The new manager has brought some great ideas to the table and we’re in it together. I really like him, he’s come in and shown a lot of respect to the boys and reiterated several times how good we are as a group of lads and players.

Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/stags-star-impressed-by-new-boss-flitcroft-1-9054744

“He’s carried on the positivity from before. We don’t need to change things massively as we’ve been successful all season. We may need to tweak a few things, which it looks as if he’s doing, but as a guy and as a manager he’s impressed me and it’s been a good week." On the quick turnaround between Evans leaving and Flitcroft's arrival, Anderson added: “In your head there are questions but you have to take your hat off to the chairman and to Carolyn for acting so swiftly and bringing in a very good manager. “It affects the lads initially but it was barely 48 hours before we were back in training and doing as the new manager asked. Everyone who signed here in the summer came here for what the club was aiming to achieve, irrespective as to who was in charge. It’s about the ambition the club has now and in the future.” Reflecting on the draw with Lincoln, Anderson felt that in the end it was a fair result, and also praised the fans who helped clear the pitch of snow to get the game on. He said: “It was a bit scrappy. There was perhaps a degree of nervous energy as everyone was trying to impress the new manager. I don’t think we were good enough on the ball and kept giving Lincoln the chance to lump it back in which seemed to be their tactic, but what they do is effective and we probably didn’t deal with it well enough sometimes. “It was disappointing from us as a group but we can also come away knowing we defended really well throughout considering they bombarded us with long balls. It was a shame that one lapse at the end cost us - Conrad Logan made an unbelievable save in the lead up to it and on another day we’d have kept the ball out and won 1-0 but overall I think a draw was probably a fair result. "You have to take your hat off to the fans and the locals who helped out and the least we can do is join in - I’m not bothered about shovelling a bit of snow! “It’s great for people to turn out - there was even a toddler out there helping - and for the fans to see that we’re human and will come and do these things too. So we thank the fans and hopefully we can give them something to celebrate come the end of the season." As for his own role in the team, Anderson is happy to play where asked but feels an attacking role remains his strongest position. He said: “I want to play as far forward as possible. It’s what I’ve done throughout my career and what I’m known for over 12 years as a pro. “I want to play on either wing or in the hole - I even had a chance up front which was good. I’ll play right-back when asked as I think I’ve done well there and helped the team a lot. I’ll do whatever I have to do - even play in goal - if it helped us to creep up those couple of spots in the table."


Anderson: I believe we can win the league
chad.co.uk, by SPORTS REPORTER, Thursday 08 March 2018

Mansfield Town winger Paul Anderson says the Stags can still win League Two - and that he wouldn't be at the club if he thought otherwise A 1-1 draw with Lincoln on Tuesday night leaves Mansfield eight points behind leaders Luton Town, who Stags still have to play, with 11 games remaining. And that's left Anderson in no doubt how close things could get.

He said: "We just need to be ourselves. If we can do what we know we can do and do it well, we’ll be there, and we won’t have to worry about what anyone else is doing in this league. “We’ve got ten or 11 games left and 30-odd points to play for and if we can take the majority of them it’s ours. We want to win the league, but whether we do that or come second or third, we’ll have done the job we set out to do if we’re a league higher next season. There’s nothing in our way other than ourselves.

“I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t think we could win the league. I came here for ambition and we’re all pulling in the same direction, fans, the chairman and the players. If we don’t believe we’ll be up there we may as well throw the towel in.

Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/anderson-i-believe-we-can-win-the-league-1-9054709

“We’ve got to play Luton yet. We’ll beat Luton, then who knows who might slip up. As long as it’s not us.” Anderson says that despite an action-packed season with its share of twists and turns, everybody is willing to get behind new boss David Flitcroft and push Stags over the line. He said: "It’s been a mixed campaign. As a squad we’ve been brilliant. Steve Evans put together an unbelievable squad and we know we’re a talented bunch of players and we’re right there and fully believe we’ll finish in the top three as we set out to. “The boys are all buying into the new gaffer’s stuff and we’re ready to give it a go. “The talent in the changing room and the desire gives me confident we’ll be up there. Everybody is prepared to say what they want to say and do what they’ve got to do out on the pitch. “As a group of men, everybody is willing to put their body on the line when they need to."


‘There will be changes!’ - Colchester United boss John McGreal
08 March 2018, by Carl Marston


Colchester United boss, John McGreal, has insisted that “there will be changes” for this Saturday’s trip to top-five side Mansfield Town.

The U’s have suffered back-to-back 1-0 defeats in their last two games, at the hands of the relegation-threatened duo of Crewe and Barnet, while last weekend’s away fixture at Morecambe was postponed because of a frozen pitch.

McGreal has therefore had a couple of weeks to reflect, especially on possible team selection, as his U’s side bid to revive their flagging play-off fortunes.

“I’d be telling lies if I was to say that I will be keeping the same personnel, and the same team from the Barnet game,” revealed McGreal, during this lunchtime’s press conference at Florence Park, Tiptree.

“There will be changes!

“We have a big squad, with bodies coming back (from injury), and we had a very productive 11 versus 11 in-house game on Tuesday,” added McGreal.


Colchester United head coach John McGreal wants his players to rediscover the 'feel-good factor'
by Jonathan Waldron


John McGreal wants his Colchester United players to rediscover their feel-good factor this weekend - and keep their League Two play-off hopes alive.

The U’s head to fifth-placed Mansfield Town on Saturday aiming to revive their quest for a top-seven finish, which has faltered after damaging back-to-back defeats.

Colchester, who lie seven points off the play-off positions with 11 games remaining, are desperate for a win to put pressure on the teams above them.

And ahead of their trip to Field Mill, head coach McGreal says it is time for them to show their fighting qualities.

McGreal said: “There’s no better feeling come 5pm on Saturday of having those three points and that’s what I want to get back to, that feel-good factor.

“It’s about getting that unity back again and it’s amazing what a win can do, so that’s what we’ll be trying to do.

“We’ll be trying to keep our season going - that’s what we’ll be trying to implement into the boys.

“We’ve got two months left of the season and it’s now about trying to keep it alive.

“We know we haven’t done particularly well of late and that we’ve let ourselves down in the last couple of games but it’s now a case of seeing what we’ve got, as we’ve got all the teams to play around us.

“We want to stay in and around the play-offs and the only way to do that is to put in good, strong-willed and determined performances to try and get the points.

“It’s about building a siege mentality - we have 11 games to go and it’s all about positive thinking.”


Between the Sticks: Colchester United goalkeeper Sam Walker's weekly column


We're all itching to getting back to action this weekend at Mansfield Town and we’ll be aiming to get three vital points.

Colchester have had a great record against Mansfield over the years but I don’t think you can read into things like that too much before games.

Saying that, we beat them at home earlier in the season and put in an excellent defensive performance to draw 0-0 with them, the last time we played at Field Mill.

After that result, we managed to carry that kind of form into Christmas and it would be great to put in a similar kind of performance again, just with a few more chances created.

Mansfield have a new manager and when that happens, it’s sometimes a case of not really knowing what to expect.

But the manager and Bally went up to watch their game against Lincoln City on Tuesday night so I’m sure they will have a good idea of what to expect.

Will David Flitcroft change things much, because they have been quite successful under Steve Evans, who has now moved onto Peterborough United?

It’s the old cliché as far as I’m concerned - we will be focusing on ourselves and looking to put the last couple of weeks behind us.

We’re 35 games into the season - we’ve done some very good things and there have also been some poor performances but that’s gone now and now we have to focus on what’s in front of us.

We have 11 games to go and we have to try and take maximum points from each of them.

I was straight down the gym

It was frustrating to be left without a game last weekend, after our match at Morecambe was called off because of the freezing weather.

We planned last Friday very well - we held fire with the travelling until we knew what the outcome was of the inspection.

We had a very good session and then the manager gave us the weekend off, on the proviso that we did some work at home.

I headed out to the gym early on Saturday morning but it was a very odd feeling to be without a game, especially being in full-season mode as we are at the moment.

As a professional, you work hard in training all week with the game on the Saturday in mind and we were all ready to go up to Morecambe to put in a good performance and put the last couple of weeks behind us.

But we’re now 35 games into the league season and there are one or two niggles and strains as you would expect, so in that respect the postponement did us no harm at all.

We will now have to go up to Morecambe for a midweek game in a couple of weeks’ time but it’s another game of football.

It will be a long trip up there on a Tuesday night and a very late one but that’s part and parcel of football - Carlisle have to those kind of trips all the time!

We’ve all done them before and it’s just one of those things that we will need to deal with.

I watched with interest the results come in from our league on Tuesday night, with three of the four games played on the night finishing up as draws, which were pretty good I think from a Colchester United point of view.

It didn’t really surprise me that the games were so tight, as you tend to get that at this time of the season.

I think 3-0 or 4-0 results will be more of a rarity over the coming weeks and teams will try and generally keep things tight.

The vast majority of teams in our division are playing for something right now, whether it’s automatic promotion, the play-offs or fighting against relegation.