FLITCROFT, DIAMOND, JOHN COLEMAN REACTION
Stags' boss encouraged by players' fight in narrow loss
mansfieldtown.net, Friday 30 March 2018
Stags' boss David Flitcroft has said he was 'encouraged' by the fight shown by his players in today's narrow 1-0 defeat to Accrington Stanley.
Left-back Mal Benning was sent off for a high challenge on Billy Kee in the 13th minute, and midfielder Seamus Conneely’s second-half header was the difference between the two sides on the day.
Despite the loss, the Stags’ boss picked plenty of positives from the performance, and was ‘encouraged’ by how hard his players battled after going a man down.
“In the big games we have to show control and composure,” he said.
“We were under the cosh since that [Benning red card], but it was the best start to a football match we’ve had since I’ve been here.
“We had intensity to what we did, we looked threatening and caused them some real early problems. After that [red card], I thought we got to half-time fantastically well.
“It’s the first time I’ve looked at the group and thought ‘these boys are fighting for each other,’ and there was a real effort through the whole of the game.
“Encouraged is the word. The boys fought tooth and nail for each other and that’s what the supporters of Mansfield demand from the players.
“I’ve said to the players that they should walk out today knowing that they have given all they can give.
“You can look at today and say it’s another defeat but there are plenty of positives that I’ve seen today.”
Flitcroft added that he agreed with referee Andy Haines’ decision to send off Benning in the first-half, and that it is only a matter of time before the Stags turn good performances into wins.
“I thought it [the red card] was the right decision, it didn’t look great,” he said. “One lapse of concentration has cost us.
“Accrington didn’t create a lot, we nullified them to just a few chances and we made some good chances ourselves.
“We have a big squad that I’m determined to bring together, and when we get it right we’ll start driving wins.”
Stags have a quick turnaround before their next game, as they wil make the long trip down to Luton Town on Monday (3pm kick-off).
Supporters can view the manager's post match interview in full on iFollow Stags.
Stags' boss looking for same fight in Luton clash
Stags’ boss David Flitcroft is looking for the same amount of effort from his players that they showed in the narrow 1-0 loss to Accrington Stanley at One Call Stadium on Good Friday.
Left-back Mal Benning was sent off in the 13th minute of the game, but Stags responded well to going a man down, being the better side for the majority of the afternoon.
Despite this, Stanley skipper Seamus Conneely’s 60th minute header was the difference between the two sides on the day.
Stags make the long trip to Kenilworth Road on Monday to face Luton Town, and Flitcroft is looking for the same application that he saw in Friday’s game.
“Psychologically and physically, these are the two big outputs that the lads have had today,” he said, speaking after the game. “But you could see by their reaction after the game that they understand that they were absolutely fighting to the death for each other.
“We’ll have to reboot and re-galvanise again over the weekend and make sure that we go there and make sure that our application levels are the same as today.”
The Stags’ boss was full of praise for his players after the fight they showed at One Call Stadium, but conceded that Luton on Monday will be another tough battle.
“We’ve got two days now and we have very good staff here and a good support structure.
“The next two days will be about mentally getting round the players by lifting them, and then getting them physically right by getting them in good condition for a tough game on Monday.
“They’re on top of you [at Kenilworth Road]. It’s one of those old stadiums where they can get on top of you and they use it really well down there.”
Flitcroft also gave an injury update on top scorer Danny Rose ahead of Monday’s game, and said there is a chance he could feature in the big match.
“Potentially - he might be able to feature in some of the game, he’s in all weekend for extensive rehab and we’re hoping that he can play some part.”
iFollow Stags subscribers can watch the full post-match interview, plus words from skipper Zander Diamond, by logging into http://www.mansfieldtown.net/ifollow.
David Flitcroft furious at Mansfield Town’s lack of discipline
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Friday 30 March 2018
Mansfield Town boss David Flitcroft was furious with defender Mal Benning’s 13th minute red card that left Stags short-handed in today’s 1-0 home defeat by table-topping Accrington.
After having Krystian Pearce sent off last weekend, Stags today lost Benning for a nasty high challenge on Billy Kee.
“I was disappointed with the challenge. I’ve had a look at it and it’s a nailed-on sending-off,” said Flitcroft.
Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/david-flitcroft-furious-at-mansfield-town-s-lack-of-discipline-1-9091374
“It didn’t look great and it was the right decision. It was a nasty one that could have caused serious injury.
“Mal will be disciplined. We must have discipline and focus as that’s two sendings-off in my five games through lack of discipline. We will sort that out internally. “You are asking us to defend against one of the best attacking teams in the league with 10 players through a poor decision. “It lacks discipline to go down to 10 men in a massive game after 15 minutes. We have got to show control and composure in those moments. “It’s a tackle the referee missed but the linesman saw it and he’s given it. He didn’t have to make that tackle. “You’re under the cosh after that and it had been probably the best start to a match we’ve had since I came here. “Mal has to do better and be more professional in his approach.” Stags had started well enough and Flitcroft said: “We had an intensity. We looked threatening and caused them some real early problems. “After the red card I thought we got to half-time well. The shape, organisation and structure was good and they were fighting for each other. “That’s the first time I’ve looked at this group and thought these boys are fighting for each other and the supporters. I have seen real fight today. “I am encouraged they fought tooth and nail for each other. That’s what I demand as a person. That’s what our supporters demand from the players.” The winner came on the hour and was a free header from six yards for Seamus Conneely. “One moment’s lapse of concentration has cost us,” said Flitcroft. “CJ should have been up the pitch but, down to 10 men, he had to do defensive duties and Conneely has come in and ended up scoring. “I want accountability and responsibility from my players. We have to see those moments through as Accrington didn’t create a lot.” He added: “We had good chances ourselves. Hemmings had a great chance he’s go to finish. Could Ricky Miller have gone down when he got tagged in the box? Possibly. “What was really difficult was listening to Accrington singing ‘we are top of the league’ and banging in the dressing room after the game - what it means to them to go top of the league. It was warranted. “It’s about the team spirit they’ve built over a period of time and I promise our players we will get that team spirit and that fighting spirit. I have done it at every club I have been at and I believed in it as a player. “When we get it right we will start driving performances and wins again. “Our supporters really got behind the team today and there was a real togetherness in the stadium. The fans were brilliant. “I have told the players to walk out the building with their heads high. They have given it their best shot today. “We’ve got to be able to do that over 46 games of a season like Accrington have. We need to be consistent.”
Top-three place still a possibility, says Mansfield Town boss Flitcroft
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS
Stags manager David Flitcroft has still not given up hope of a top-three spot ahead of a tough game at Luton Town on Easter Monday. Good Friday’s 1-0 home defeat to Accrington was Mansfield Town’s sixth League Two game in a row without a win and left new boss Flitcroft still searching for a victory after five games in charge. It also opened up an eight-point gap between the Stags and third place with seven games to go. Mansfield slip out of play-off places Flicroft furious at lack of discipline Diamond admits comeback game was tough However, Flitcroft said: “It is still a possibility. “You look at the other results. Luton got beat on Good Friday too and the pressure comes on and effects different people in different ways. “We have games to come that are massively winnable. “It is a big weekend and we will see how we come out the other side of it. “We will try and drive for three points on Monday. If the deficit is higher after Monday with another game run out then maybe that will be it. But there is certainly everything still to play and fight for.” He added: “We have very good staff. It is about getting about the players and mentally lifting them as well as getting them physically right for a tough game on Monday. “They (Luton) are top of you. It’s one of those old stadiums and they use it really well down there. “The supporters are close to the pitch - it was designed that way. It’s a traditional football club. “We will have to reboot, re-galvanise and make sure we go there and our application levels are the same as today.” On injured top-scorer Danny Rose’s chances of a return, Flitcroft said: “Potentially he might be able to feature in some capacity. “He’s in all weekend for extensive rehab and we are hoping he may be able to play some part. “We hope he will be on the grass on Sunday. It has improved though still not where we want it to be.”
Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/top-three-place-still-a-possibility-says-mansfield-town-boss-flitcroft-1-9091622
Stags' skipper says Accrington result does not reflect performance
mansfieldtown.net, Friday 30 March 2018
Defender Zander Diamond has said there are plenty of positives to take from Good Friday’s game against Accrington, despite the Stags’ afternoon ending in defeat.
Left-back Mal Benning was sent off for the Stags early in the first-half, and Stanley midfielder Seamus Conneely headed home in the 60th minute to give the visitors all three points.
Although the Stags left One Call Stadium empty-handed, the skipper believes that the result of the game did not reflect the performance shown by David Flitcroft’s men.
“I think it was [a harsh result] in the context of the game,” he said. “We put so much into it and we conceded from a set piece - that’s the disappointing context of it.
“We were very rigid in our shape and we always looked dangerous. But, we leave here disappointed and we can say we’ve done well but ultimately it is a defeat.
“You have to take the positives, after going down to ten men there was a real fight and desire from the boys as a collective. But that’s the disappointing part because we’ve conceded from a set piece.
“We’ll take the positives to the training pitch tomorrow and then go to Luton.”
Diamond returned to the starting lineup today after being sidelined for the last fortnight, and says he was ‘delighted’ to be back playing in front of the Stags’ fans.
“I was delighted [to be back in the side], it was more of a psychological barrier to get over as I’ve hardly completed a game in recent weeks.
“It tested my reserves going down to ten men but I dug in and came out unscathed.”
The 33-year-old also added that there was no time to dwell about today’s defeat, with another huge game just around the corner.
“It will be a difficult test [against Luton], I’ve played there before and the fans get right behind them,” he said. “Obviously they’re flying at the correct end of the table and it’ll be a difficult challenge for us, but if we meet that challenge head on then hopefully we’ll have a positive result come five o’clock on Monday.
“There’s seven games to go, there’s no point dwelling over what’s been. We have another game to go and put something right.
“We know that the Stags fans will travel in big numbers and hopefully we can reward them on Monday.”
The game against The Hatters kicks off at 3.00pm on Monday at Kenilworth Road.
iFollow Stags subscribers can watch the full post-match interview with Zander by logging into http://www.mansfieldtown.net/ifollow.
Zander Diamond admits comeback game was tough
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Friday 30 March 2018
Mansfield Town skipper Zander Diamond admitted his comeback game from injury had turned into a strength-sapping test as his side played much of the 1-0 home defeat by Accrington Stanley with 10 men. Mal Benning’s 13th minute red card left Stags up against it, but only a Seamus Conneely goal separated the sides in the end.
“I was delighted to be back,” said Diamond. “It was more of a psychological barrier to get over to finally complete a game after recent weeks.
Read more at: https://www.hucknalldispatch.co.uk/sport/football/zander-diamond-admits-comeback-game-was-tough-1-9091406
“It tested my reserves going down to 10 men but I dug in there and came through it unscathed.” He added: “I think that was a harsh result in the context of the game. “We put so much into it, going down to 10 men and we’ve conceded from a set play - that’s the really disappointing aspect. “We have been very rigid in our shape and always looked dangerous when we got into goalscoring positions. “We have done well but ultimately we’ve lost again. You have to take the positives and down to 10 men there was real desire from the boys, individually and collectively. “I thought we were bang at it. We could accept it if we’d been cut open from open play. But we’ve been done by a set piece. “Now we will lick our wounds, get back on the training field and go to Luton on Monday. Diamond knows how tough it will be at a hostile Kenilworth Road. He said: “It will be difficult. I played there a few years ago and their fans get right behind them. They are flying at the correct end of the table and it will be a difficult challenge. “We have got to get our own shop in order and if we meet the challenge head on hopefully it will be a positive result come 5pm on Monday. “The mood in our camp has to be high still. There are only seven games to go and there is no point in dwelling over what’s been. “This is another game to go and put something right. Our fans will travel in numbers and hopefully we can reward them.”
John Coleman praises players as Accrington Stanley open up lead at top of table
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Friday 30 March 2018
Accrington boss John Coleman paid tribute to 10-men Mansfield Town’s valiant efforts against his table-toppers as Stanley edged a 1-0 win this afternoon. After Mal Benning’s 13th minute red card, Stags made sure it was an even contest, despite being short-handed against the best side in League Two and only a Seamus Conneely header on 60 minutes split the teams.
“It was a stop-start game. Mansfield came flying out of the traps and pinned us back for the first few minutes and almost scored,” said Coleman.
“Then we warmed into the game and should have scored two goals ourselves from two good chances.”
Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/john-coleman-praises-players-as-accrington-stanley-open-up-lead-at-top-of-table-1-9091387
On the red card he said: “I was unsighted by the fourth official so I couldn’t comment on the actual challenge. “But Billy has a hole in his groin. You don’t get a hole in your groin by not getting a high challenge. “For 10 minutes after that we really upped our game and pinned them back. “But give Mansfield their due. They forced us back themselves, had a real go and the crowd got right behind them. “We restricted their chances and thankfully got the goal with a rare Seamus Conneely header. “After the goal I thought we saw it out very professionally and could have added one or two more. “We defended a lot of balls into the box and defended them well. “I do think we looked a little bit rusty for having a couple of weeks off.” “But we now have a massive game coming up on Monday and we have to give it our all.”
Violence after Accrington Stanley's win at Mansfield
Ciaran Duggan @CiaranDugganLT
ACCRINGTON Stanley fans have recalled the 'horrific' violent episode following their side's 1-0 away win over Mansfield.
Trouble erupted as fans were heading for the exits by the Stanley support coaches outside Field Mill stadium.
Crowd safety officers were forced to intervene to break up a crowd of around '100 people'.
Ian Reynolds-Young, 59, who has supported the club since last January and made the 180 mile round trip to watch Stanley play Mansfield, said: "The coaches didn't get there until half time because there was an accident on the M62 and when we got there the away end numbers doubled.
"When Conneely scored (in the second half) right in our end the team and fans went ballistic which seemed to affront the Mansfield fans.
"When I walked out of the stadium and got onto the coach a Mansfield fan said something to me really threatening and snarly. I was a little worried.
"The next thing I saw was a whole surge of people around the coaches and blows being exchanged and stewards trying to get involved. There was then all kinds of kicking and punching going on.
"One (Accrington fan) was kicked to the ground and his head was repeatedly pushed into a kerb while a bunch of other (Mansfield) fans were taking pictures and laughing.
"We were like sitting ducks until we saw blue lights flashing and the cavalry turned up. The police managed to get the whole crowd back and the coaches left in convoy."
Mr Reyonlds-Young also said fans travelling by coach back to Accrington had to wait 'over an hour' after the game ended before they departed.
Peter Leatham, chairman of the Official Accrington Stanley Supporters Club, also attended the game and said he had not seen anything like it in 40 years of watching football.
He said: "A lot of clubs have some fans who take part in an element of unsavoury behaviour.
"Unfortunately the last two games, away to Mansfield and away to Luton, there's been similar problems at both.
"Because of where Stanley are in the league unfortunately it seems to have brought out the Neanderthals.
"There were scenes where groups of people were running around with black scarves over their faces, they were out to cause trouble, they might not even have been supporters.
"The majority of Stanley fans just want to go and watch the game and enjoy themselves.
"I've been watching football 40 odd years and I've never seen scenes likes this before, and I've been to a lot bigger games than this."
A 41-year-old Accrington Stanley fan, who also attended the match, said: "This is like what happened at Luton the other week. The (Mansfield fans) were waiting outside for us.
"It's one of those things you don't want to see at a football match and could put people off going to games in the future.
"There weren't enough police at the game but then again they wouldn't have expected trouble at a League Two game."
After the game, one Accrington fan tweeted: "So called Mansfield fans waiting for us at the coaches and it kicked off.
"Fights broke out police lashing out with batons."