Stags' boss looking to take advantage of 'powerful' home support
mansfieldtown.net, Wednesday 28 March 2018
Manager David Flitcroft has said he is looking forward to getting back in front of the Stags' 'powerful' home support against Accrington this Friday.
Although he admits that the game against high-flying Accrington will be a 'tough encounter,' Flitcroft maintained that his side are ready for the challenge that John Coleman's side will bring to One Call Stadium.
Stags currently sit in seventh place in the League Two table, seven points shy of third placed Wycombe, with a game in hand on some of their promotion rivals.
Meanwhile, Accrington find themselves level on points with table-toppers Luton Town, despite playing two less games than The Hatters.
“For the game against Accrington on Friday we’ll probably look to do what we’ve always done,” said the Stags' boss, speaking in his press conference today. “We want to carry on the good work that’s happened at home.
“We have to make sure we create the energy on the pitch [with our play], so that energy comes from the support. Mansfield Town support is very passionate, and we have to tap into that.
“It’s a big weekend - we come up against two teams in good form. Luton away, wherever you are in the league, is a big fixture. Accrington have been so consistent all season and they’re up there - rightly so.
“We have to make sure we find a weakness against Accrington and make sure we keep asking questions. We’ve got to be on our A-game, and everyone is ready for a tough encounter on Friday."
The Stags’ manager also spoke of his recent formation change, as he lined his players up in a 4-3-3 system in the away clash against Forest Green Rovers last Saturday.
“For a lot of the season the team has been playing 4-4-2, and at home it’s produced good performances. When I look at the system at home, it’s worked, but away it has produced a lot of draws,” he added.
“I have to look at correcting that because we have got to win a good percentage of our away performances.
“In the first-half against Forest Green we created plenty, but our end product was really poor.
“The 4-3-3 was a look to change the fortune away from home and really be brave by attacking with three.”
Flitcroft also gave an update on Danny Rose’s injury, which caused him to be substituted in the first five minutes of the game against Forest Green.
Many feared the worst when Stags’ top scorer went down injured, but the manager has explained that the situation is not as bad as was initially thought.
“We had a similar situation with Jacob Mellis and that ended up being just over two weeks, and the situation with Danny is not as bad as that.
“There’s not as much swelling - Jacob stayed on the pitch for 20 minutes and the swelling got worse.
“We got Danny off the pitch almost immediately, just a couple of minutes after the injury, so we’ve been able to get the compression and the ice on.
“He’s shown good recovery. He’s been in a boot, which he is now out of, and we’ll hopefully start some light training with him tomorrow.
“We thought it could have been two or three weeks, it’s certainly not going to be.”
The Stags' boss also provided an injury update on Zander Diamond, and said that the defender is being 'assessed' each day, as he nears a return to the starting XI.
Stags are set to play twice over the Easter weekend, including the game against Accrington on Friday, and a trip down to Luton Town on Monday.
Supporters can buy tickets for the matches by logging into http://www.stagstickets.co.uk.
iFollow subscribers can watch the manager's press conference in full at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/ifollow.
Race against time as Rose injury is not as bad as feared
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Wednesday 28 March 2018
Mansfield Town are relieved and delighted to find that top scorer Danny Rose’s ankle ligament injury is not as bad as first feared. The Stags’ 17-goal star currently has an outside chance for this weekend’s big games if he comes through some light training. But manager David Flitcroft is also prepared for Rose to be ruled out and just happy the player’s season isn’t over after he limped off in the early minutes of Saturday’s 2-0 defeat at Forest Green.
“We had a similar thing with Jacob Mellis and that ended up being just over two weeks,” said Flitcroft. “This one is not as bad as that. There’s not as much swelling. Jacob stayed on the pitch another 20 minutes and the swelling got worse and the injury got worse.
“But we got Danny off early - almost a couple of minutes after he did the injury. So we’ve been able to get the compression on and the ice on and he shown good recovery.”
Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/race-against-time-as-rose-injury-is-not-as-bad-as-feared-1-9086940
Rose immediately wore a protective boot after leaving the field and Flitcroft said: “We gave him a boot and he is now out of that boot.
“Hopefully he will start some sort of light training tomorrow. “Where we thought it would be two to three weeks, it’s certainly not going to be that long.”
He added: “It’s too early to say if he could play this weekend. It’s a ligament injury and you’ve not got a definitive on a ligament injury.
“They do really well early doors when you get the swelling out and the compression on. It’s an injury that shows a lot of promise.
“But then there is always after-pain with a ligament injury. “Danny said he knew straight away it was ligaments and that’s what has been diagnosed.”
Flitcroft is calling for noisy backing from supporters for Friday’s visit of leaders Accrington Stanley and admitted: “I don’t want to give myself that hope that we could have Danny as well as the supporters as it might take a turn for the worse towards the end of the week. “We will keep assessing the situation.”
Pearce suspension a blessing in disguise?
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Wednesday 28 March 2018
Friday’s one game suspension for Mansfield Town skipper Krystian Pearce may be a blessing in disguise for the big defender.
Pearce has been battling on with Achille’s tendon problems, so the chance to ease up on training and put his feet up for a game at such a crucial stage of the season could benefit him and the team.
Manager David Flitcroft said: “The fact that he is suspended has given us a chance to offload him. “It’s good to be able to give him some recovery time to heal.
Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/pearce-suspension-a-blessing-in-disguise-1-9087587
“He has been carrying an Achille’s injury that he has comprehensive work done on most days. “We have given him some down time. He’s still been working and doing his CV work, but he’s come off the training pitch. He’s not pounding around.
“It’s one of those injuries that when a season gets to this sort of level, in terms of nearly 40 games played, for a player like Pearcey sometimes less is more. We are certainly taking that approach with him this week.”
Now Stags are hoping Zander Diamond will have shaken off an injury of his own to be able to replace him against Accrington Stanley on Friday afternoon.
“Zander came through a good back end of the week and today is an important training session for him,” said Flitcroft.
“We will assess him today and we will see where he is after the session with a view to potentially starting him on Friday.”
Stags to revert to 4-4-2 against Stanley
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS
Manager David Flitcroft will revert to a 4-4-2 formation when promotion rivals Accrington Stanley visit on Good Friday. New boss Flitcroft, hoping for his first win at the fifth attempt, tried a 4-3-3 formation in last weekend’s 2-0 defeat at Forest Green.
He explained: “For a lot of the season the team has been playing 4-4-2 and at home, it’s produced good performances - 37 goals this season. So when I look at the system at home it has worked. “Away from home there have been a lot of draws and only 19 goals scored.
Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/stags-to-revert-to-4-4-2-against-stanley-1-9088775
“I have to look at correcting that as we’ve got to win games. “First half we did create going forwards but our end product was really poor.
“Whether it be the final pass or final cross, we didn’t deliver.” He added: “I am looking to change our fortune away from home and really try and be brave and defend with seven but try to attack with three - that was the thinking behind it.
“For this game on Friday we will probably look to play with a 4-4-2 and carry on the good work that’s happened at home.”
Stags excited by Easter tests against top two
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS
Mansfield Town go into the huge Easter weekend excited by the enormity of the two games with manager David Flitcroft insisting this season’s promotion chase will go right down to the last weekend. Stags, without a win in five games and in seventh spot, face Accrington Stanley at home tomorrow (Good Friday, 3pm) before a trip to Luton Town on Easter Monday (3pm) with Luton only keeping Stanley off top spot on goal difference. Flitcroft is still searching for his first win after four games in charge and, despite last weekend’s defeat at Forest Green, said: “I and the players are excited about the weekend. “This season is going to go to the wire - right to the end of the season. “Everybody saw the Chesterfield v Notts game. Before the game with all the pundits it was nailed on that Notts were just going to go and roll Chesterfield over. “But Chesterfield are fighting for their Football League status and you’ve seen results up and down the country like that.” Despite the importance of the Easter games, Flitcroft insisted they would not define Mansfield’s season. “We have what we have left and people want defining moments of the season,” he said. “But at Bury we got up on the last day with 12-14 minutes to go to get promoted out of this league. “So you can define something. But once you’ve defined it and said that’s it, then everyone just gives up. You never give up until the last breath of the last game and that’s what we’ll continue to do. “Wherever I have been in football and wherever I’ve been this week, you get the feeling it’s been set up this weekend. “It’s a big weekend against two teams in good form all season. “Luton away for all fans, wherever you are in the league, is one of the big ones. “Accrington have been so consistent all season and, rightly, over the last few weeks have ended up top of the league, even though they’ve just been overtaken. “They have had a phenomenal season and all credit to them. “I think they have finished every season higher than the season before. That’s difficult to do and keep doing. “They kept driving and pushing when they were non-League. They’ve had disappointments in play-offs. “Now they have added some real quality in the team and you can see they have galvanised a fantastic team spirit within the camp.” He added: “It’s now up to us to make sure we find a chink in their armoury - a weakness. We must make sure we are asking questions of Accrington and we stay solid. “They have a potent strike force. We have to be on our A game. “I want to see the work we have implemented on the training ground over the last couple of weeks. “When we attack we must attack with a verve, a zest and an enthusiasm. And we need more end product. “We also need more clean sheets. We have to protect our keepers more. It’s important - we’ve only had nine all season. “A clean sheet starts from training on a Monday morning and from the top of the pitch and how we press and stop crosses.” Mansfiedl have not beaten Accrington in 13 League meetings and Flitcroft admitted: “It’s a phenomenal stat and you do get them in football. “The great thing with records like that is that someone eventually is going to reverse that. “It’s certainly not a stat I will be using with the players as we do try to focus on what we need to do and the task in hand. “Stats and records are there to be broken and we’ve got to make sure via hard work, endeavour, honesty and quality that we can cause real problems for Accrington.” The manager can’t wait to get his first Stags win under his belt after a difficult start to his tenure. “I am desperate for that,” he said. “The day I walked out here, that was the day I realised what I’d walked into. “The reception I got and Futch (assistant Ben Futcher) got was something that will last for a long, long time. “I am desperate as I’ve ever been to do well for this football club and the owners. I am going to galvanise a group of players to do that as I’ve never felt in a better place in my life in football. “I want to make sure that hope these fans have becomes a reality.” Flitcroft believes those home fans can be key tomorrow. “After feeling the energy from the supporters in my first two games here, that’s what we’ve got to use to set alight this stadium,” he said. “It is powerful. We felt the force and the power from that “Look at our fight back with 4,000 fans behind us at Notts. We’ve got to tap into that. “The team has done that really well all season. We’ve got to make sure we create the energy on the pitch so the energy comes from the supporters. “The Mansfield Town support is very passionate and we have to tap into that for sure.”
Read more at: https://www.hucknalldispatch.co.uk/sport/football/match-preview-stags-excited-by-easter-tests-against-top-two-1-9089227
New manager has wowed Stags' squad, says defender
mansfieldtown.net, Wednesday 28 March 2018
Stags' defender Rhys Bennett has revealed that he knew from day one that David Flitcroft was the right appointment, after being left 'wowed' by the boss' first training session.
Bennett has been an integral part of the Stags’ defence this season, forming solid partnerships with Krystian Pearce and Zander Diamond respectively.
Flitcroft's Stags currently find themselves seven points shy of third-placed Wycombe in the table and have a game in hand over some of their promotion rivals.
Speaking ahead of Good Friday’s big match with high-flying Accrington Stanley, the defender was full of praise for the new Stags’ boss.
"From his first day you can just tell [that he was the right appointment]," he said. "The word I went home with from his first training session was ‘wow.’"
Bennett also commented on the fresh ideas that Flitcroft has brought to One Call Stadium, and feels that it is only a matter of time before the new system clicks for the Stags.
"Training’s been good, it’s been productive. We’re trying as hard as we can as a group to get the gaffer's ideas and put them into place on the football pitch," he added.
"He’s implemented a different style of play - I think you can see that - especially in the first-half on Saturday [against Forest Green].
"Obviously it’s difficult to come in at this stage of the season, but, having said that, we feel like we’re going to go on a run and win games of football under him.
"We have full confidence that he is the guy to do it for us and we're looking forward to it."
The club are hoping for a bumper crowd at One Call Stadium for Friday's match, and Bennett hopes Stags' performance will galvanise the home fans.
"Good Friday games are normally very special in terms of crowd and atmosphere.
"We’re looking forward to a good atmosphere, and hopefully a good performance.
"The buzz word is excitement. We always have to look forward to the next game and show what we can do.
"Good teams bounce back, so we’re looking forward to bouncing back and getting a positive result."
Supporters can buy tickets for this Friday’s game by logging into http://www.stagstickets.co.uk.
iFollow subscribers can watch Rhys Bennett’s interview in full by heading to http://www.mansfieldtown.net/ifollow.
Bennett believes Flitcroft is the man to take Stags to glory
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS
Ahead of the big Easter games for Mansfield Town, defender Rhys Bennett talks all things Stags. He talks about the promotion run-in, the growing pressure, the departure of Steve Evans, playing centre half and why he thinks David Flitcroft is the man to take the club up a division and more.
Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/spotlight-bennett-believes-flitcroft-is-the-man-to-take-stags-to-glory-1-9089381
SPOTLIGHT ON RHYS BENNETT
After his conversion from right back to centre last season, Rhys Bennett has become an integral part of the Mansfield Town rearguard this season. Despite a run of five games without a win, Bennett is still convinced the Stags can gain promotion and said he and the players are excited rather than apprehensive over the prospect of facing the top two over Easter. Here are Bennett's thoughts on the season so far ahead of tomorrow's visit of Accrington.
ON STAYING THE COURSE FOR PROMOTION
“Training has been good. We are trying as hard as we can as a group to take the gaffer's ideas and put them into place on the football pitch.
“We are all looking forward to games of football at this time of the year.
“Every good team bounced back from a defeat, so that's what we are looking forward to doing.
“It was only three or four months ago we were down in mid-table and we went on a run and got ourselves into the play-offs and only two points off the top three. There's nothing to suggest we can't do that again.
“Saturday's defeat was hard to take. But we've only had seven all season.
“Eight games to go and this is why you play football - trying to get yourself automatically promoted or, if not, through the play-offs.
“These are the types of games at this stage of the season you look forward to playing. This is what you prepared for in pre-season and I think we are ready."
ON TAKING ON THE TOP TWO OVER EASTER
“League Two is a league where you see the supposed best team get beaten by the supposed worst team as you saw with Chesterfield beating Notts County.
“It's not about the 'size' of game. You have to prepare for every game on its merits which we will do for Friday.
“We were the team to beat. We've had that tag all season. Luton have also been the team to beat. It's just another game of football.
"From our perspective we are looking forward to it to put things right from last Saturday."
ON THE BUILDING PRESSURE ON THE STAGS
“There is pressure. But you should embrace pressure. This is why you play football - to have that pressure, hopefully score that goal or get that win that gets you over the line. These are the games of football you enjoy playing in.
“Good Friday games are normally very special in terms of crowd and atmosphere. We want to put on a good performance. We are excited. This is our next game and we're looking forward to showing what we can.
“They are a good team. I have a lot of respect for them and their manager John Coleman goes about things the right way. He is doing very well there."
ON NEW BOSS DAVID FLITCROFT
“He has implemented a change in our style of play. I think you can see that, especially in the first half on Saturday. We played some really good football.
“Obviously it's a little bit difficult coming in at this stage of the season, but having said that we feel like we are going to go on a run and win games of football under him.
“We have full confidence that he is the guy to do that with us. We're looking forward to it.
“For me personally, you could just tell the first day. The word I went home with after his first training session was 'wow'.
“When we get this right we are going to go from trying to nick the third spot to winning the league. That's how it feels under him."
“He has changed the style of play and he's changed how we are as a group. Long term I think it can only benefit us.
“I am really happy. I was excited by his appointment. I think he is the man to take us forward and get us promotion, not only out of this league but probably the division after it as well.
“First of all he is a likeable person. And he has a tactical awareness and knowledge which is basically second to none. That was what astounded me after his first training session.
“There is nothing to fear.
"The gaffer emphasised we had 12 games to go and said it's an exciting challenge- let's just go for it with no fear and see what happens at the end.
"That is basically our mantra for the rest of the season."
BENNETT ON STEVE EVANS' DEPARTURE
"Obviously it was a shock as no one in the changing room saw it coming.
"But this is football. If you offer anyone the chance to get promotion in life or get a job with a higher spectrum they would take it.
"That's just life. You can't wish bad on anyone for doing that as we'd all do the same thing."
ON PLAYING CENTRE HALF
“It's a position which I grew up in the footballing world playing.
"Steve Evans moved me there towards the end of November last season and I finished out the season there.
“Since I have played about 75 per cent of the season there and I feel it's my best position.
"But I have to go out on the pitch and prove it."
Byrom believes Easter glory can re-ignite the promotion dream
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Tuesday 27 March 2018
Mansfield Town midfielder Joel Byrom believes two good results over Easter could kickstart the Stags for a final promotion push. A return of just four points from the last five games have seen Stags slide to seventh and they now face top two Accrington and Luton in four days.
But Byrom said: “It’s a great chance for us to re-generate momentum heading into the last stages of the season.
“We want to test ourselves against the best teams in the league, and for a lot of the season Accrington have been up there in the top positions.
Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/byrom-believes-easter-glory-can-re-ignite-the-promotion-dream-1-9085618
“But our manager is meticulous in everything he does, so we’ll be well prepared for the Easter double header. “We know they’re two big games and we’ll be doing all we can inside the dressing room to achieve two positive results for our supporters, who have been brilliant in their backing towards us this season. “It’s an exciting time of the season for everyone. “We’re in a positive frame of mind, respectful of every opponent we face, but at the same time knowing that we have the desire in the camp to perform well and achieve for Mansfield Town.” A 2-0 defeat at Forest Green on Saturday was a huge blow. However, Byrom added: “We know we can play better than the last few games have suggested. “But we have a near full week in training now where we’ll be working hard heading into a big game this Good Friday. “The lads are positive and determined to bounce back from Saturday. “We’ve reviewed the match and I thought we were dominant in the first half but we know that the second half wasn’t good enough and we’re determined to give a much greater account of ourselves over the Easter weekend.”
Chairman: Where there is unity, there is victory
mansfieldtown.net, Wednesday 28 March 2018
In a column for http://www.mansfieldtown.net chairman John Radford expresses the positivity and excitement around One Call Stadium ahead of the Stags' massive Easter double header against promotion rivals Accrington Stanley and Luton Town.
There’s a real optimism at One Call Stadium right now, writes Mr Radford.
Everyone can see the progress we are making off-the-pitch as we continue to place strong foundations for the club’s future. Progress is the key word, for me, in football. Otherwise, if you stand still then you are on the road to nowhere.
Work is continuing at the new training ground at Woburn Lane in Pleasley. We have submitted plans to Mansfield District Council for a new Hampton-by-Hilton hotel at One Call Stadium which would be of great benefit for the Town as well as providing the football club with another revenue stream.
Our academy is growing stronger and developing month-by-month. We are making positive strides forward to strengthen our infrastructure and in truth, I would be surprised to see any other club in the English Football League developing on the scale which we are.
I have been impressed by the way our manager is viewing our long-term strategy as the first team have forged much stronger links with the academy in the past few weeks, to the extent where five under 21 players have been training with the senior side recently and the same number from the youth team.
I have full faith in our players and management to fulfil our objectives this season. Promotion to League One remains our primary goal.
We all know that the second half performance at Forest Green Rovers on Saturday was below-par but that performance and result is now in the past and is unchangeable. As a club, we remain in the promotion hunt and have eight big matches to play, with 24 points to play for.
It is an exciting time for everyone who has the Stags at heart. We are in the promotion mix and have a squad which we know is capable of delivering the success we all desire. The players want it as much as we do and I know the pride every single one of them feel when they pull on an amber and blue jersey before 3pm on a matchday.
It will be a big test for us on Good Friday. Infamously, we have not beaten Accrington in the 13 league matches played against them. Now is the time to put right that unwanted record. They will be imposing and challenging opponents as their form and league position well suggest. We, however, will have the added advantage of thousands of passionate Stags’ fans in the stands.
Speaking to our players as I often do, they regularly talk about the genuine difference that can be made to their performances when they hear an encouraging and loud home support such as ours.
It is only human nature to feel an extra sense of confidence and certainty when you hear thousands of people willing you to do all that you can on the battlefield.
Where there is unity, there is victory, and I therefore ask everyone connected with the club to play their part, however large or small, in these remaining eight matches. Whatever happens at the end of the season, I want us to reflect and make one remark with absolutely certainty, ‘We did all that we could. We gave it our all’.
Together, let us do all that we can in these exciting, final eight games and make this is a campaign to remember for Mansfield Town Football Club and all of us who love our club and Town.
Come on you Stags!!!
Coley relishing Stags trip
by Alex Glover, 29/03/2018
John Coleman is expecting a fiery Field Mill atmosphere tomorrow when he takes his Stanley side to fellow promotion hopefuls Mansfield.
With a bumper crowd already expected, and Stanley having sold over 600 away tickets, the Reds boss believes that it could be an entertaining afternoon.
The Stags appointed Gary Flitcroft in March following the departure of Steve Evans and Coleman admits it has been a difficult situation for his opposite number to arrive into.
“It is a hostile place to go,” he said. “But I don’t know a League Two ground that isn’t hostile, any game you play away it is difficult to win.
“They spent heavily in the summer, that doesn’t always guarantee you getting a good squad but they recruited proven players and if you do that you have got half a chance.
“They might be disappointed with how it has gone of late but you can quickly turn your season around in this league, as we have proved since Christmas.
“I’ve got a lot of time for Flickers, he plays entertaining football and he’s always been quite successful at our level.
“It’s been different for him as he’s taken a team that’s been doing well rather than struggling, but you’d think he should be able to get a tune out of them between now and the end of the season.”
With Stanley sitting eight points clear of the play-off places, Coleman knows that the finish line is in sight but insists his side won’t be resting on their laurels.
“Between now and the end of the season we play five out of the top eight but every game we play is going to be difficult,” he added. “It doesn’t matter if you are coming up against teams at the top or bottom, look at Chesterfield on Sunday beating Notts County - they were exceptional.
“You’ve got to be consistent in your approach and pick up the points, which thankfully we have done in recent weeks.”
Stanley raring to go insists Janoi Donacien
lancashiretelegraph.co.uk, by Alex James @alexjameshack
ACCRINGTON Stanley defender Janoi Donacien wants the Reds to thrive on the big stage when they travel to Mansfield tomorrow afternoon.
John Coleman's side were without a game last weekend after their scheduled clash with Yeovil Town was called off due to international call-ups for the Glovers.
That allowed Luton to leapfrog the Reds at the top of the League Two table on goal difference but Stanley have an eight point cushion to fourth as they chase down promotion in their final nine games.
The Easter fixture list has thrown up two big clashes for Accrington with tomorrow's trip to seventh place Mansfield followed by a home game against Notts County on Monday.
But Donacien insists the Reds will cope with the Stags and a likely big crowd.
“I’m looking forward to it and I’m sure that all of the lads are too,” said the 24-year-old.
"We are expecting another tough test and a big atmosphere.
“If we can pick up another positive result then it is another step closer for us.”
The week off has also allowed the Stanley squad to rest up given that Coleman has largely used the same XI during a remarkable run of 12 wins from 14 games.
“It was nice to get that rest,” Donacien told the club's official website.
“Of course we want to play football, but we have a very heavy run of important fixtures coming up now, so it’s given us that chance to be that little bit fresher going into those.
“The results really did seem to go for us last weekend, normally it doesn’t go for us and we can’t rely on other teams to do us a favour, but that happened this time and we are still in a good position.
“Luton were the only side up there with us that won, Wycombe, Notts County and Mansfield all dropped points, so hopefully that gives us that gap that we need to go forward again.”