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FLITCROFT, RICKY MILLER AND DAVE ARTELL REACTION
12th April 2018 10:36


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Stags' boss assesses Crewe defeat
mansfieldtown.net, Saturday 07 April 2018

Stags’ boss David Flitcroft has apologised for his side's first-half showing against Crewe Alexandra, and despite a spirited second-half performance, it wasn't enough to earn Stags points.

Stags found themselves 4-1 down at half-time, but second-half goals from Kane Hemmings and Miller were testament to an improved showing after the break.

Flitcroft apologised for the Stags' first-half performance following the loss at One Call Stadium, but praised the 'enthusiasm' shown by substitutes Ricky Miller, Danny Rose and Krystian Pearce, who contributed to what was nearly a dramatic comeback.

“I can only apologise for the first-half. It doesn’t represent anything that I said when I first came here,” said Flitcroft.

“Mansfield is a hard-working town and the supporters pay good money to come and watch football and in the first-half we let them down.

https://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/2018/april/flitcroft-post-crewe-h/

“There was no pride in the first-half performance. We injected some enthusiasm through Ricky Miller and Danny Rose and just through sheer desire they changed the course of the second-half.

“They tried to salvage something and all credit to the players in the second-half but it shouldn’t come to that.

“Danny [Rose] wasn’t fit enough to start, but we knew we were going to be able to get him on the pitch. We altered the shape and put Ricky Miller on, who was a nuisance and caused Crewe all sorts of problems.

“The enthusiasm of Miller, Rose and Pearce made a difference. Pearce coming on allowed White to push higher and he defended like his life depended on it. That’s what I expect from any defender.”

Flitcroft also reflected on the polar opposite performances that the Stags produced in each half.

“It’s almost unexplainable. We capitulated in the first-half but absolutely dominated in the second-half. That’s what we saw today,” he added.

“In the second-half we saw a completely different energy level. The fans turned up and backed us again today and we’ve let them down.

“My work is now to understand why the players started the way they did. That’s where the game was lost.

“You don’t see it coming when you look at the work we do on the training ground. I can’t justify what I saw.

“In the first-half there was no belief, but in the second-half we saw it. The players were fighting for a cause, they were fighting for the pride of the town - that now has to be the case for 90 minutes.”

Stags make the trip down to Stevenage on Tuesday, and Flitcroft spoke of his plans to pick the players that best represent the supporters for the clash.

“Tomorrow we’ll make sure to get the players regrouped and define what the Stevenage game is going to look like.

“I’ll be picking the players who represent the supporters. By force, energy and desire in the second-half, we’ve seen a football team who have tried to do anything to win the game.”

iFollow Stags subscribers can watch David Flitcroft’s post-match interview in full, by logging into mansfieldtown.net/ifollow later today.

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Flitcroft apologises to fans for first-half horror show
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Saturday 07 April 2018

Mansfield Town boss David Flitcroft apologised to supporters for his team's dreadful first half defending that saw them 4-1 down at the break in today's thrilling 4-3 home defeat by Crewe. Half-time substitutes Ricky Miller and Danny Rose sparked a brave fightback that fell just short. But Flitcroft was shocked by his side's dithering defending in a dire first 45 minutes.

“I can only apologise for the first half,” he said, as Stags went an eighth game without victory.

“The difference in the two halves is inexplicable. We capitulated first half and then absolutely dominated second half.

Read more at: https://www.hucknalldispatch.co.uk/sport/football/flitcroft-apologises-to-fans-for-first-half-horror-show-1-9103625

“Our supporters are from a hard-working town and pay good money to come and watch football. “We have let them down in that first half with a lack of fight, a lack of spirit and a lack of defensive responsibility. “There was no pride in that first half performance. It was a shameful performance from us all. “We injected some enthusiasm through Ricky Miller and Danny Rose and through sheer willpower, enthusiasm and desire they changed the course of the second half. “But it was too little too late. I need to understand why they started as they did and carried it for 30 minutes - that's where this game was lost.” He added: “We did try to salvage something and all credit to the players second half for rallying round. But we shouldn't be 'rallying round' against any team, and not against Crewe. “If we followed the game plan and got on top of them, as we did second half, dominating them and making them make errors, you can really infiltrate them and score goals. “From the work we did on the training ground I didn't see that coming.” Stags' defenders took the brunt of Flitcroft's anger and skipper Zander Diamond was taken off after only 31 minutes. “I can't justify what I saw from the two centre halves, two players who have played a lot of games,” he said. “You get yourselves organised. We defended horribly and didn't protect Conrad Logan today. “The players have opened up and caved in and left Conrad exposed. “The fans turned up again and backed us a million per cent again and we've let them down. “You saw in the second half they were fighting for a cause and the pride of the town. But that has to be for 90 minutes.” Stags now head for Stevenage on Tuesday night, two points off the play-offs with five games to go.

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Miller set for full Stags debut at last at Stevenage?
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS

Petereborough loanee striker Ricky Miller is likely to finally make his long-awaited full debut for Mansfield Town in tomorrow night’s crucial trip to Stevenage. Stags boss David Flitcroft will also make a late assessment on the fitness of top scorer Danny Rose to see if he is capable of a start.

The Stags desperately need to get their play-off chase back on the rails after eight games without a win and four defeats on the trot. And second half subs Miller and Rose were among very few players who shone in Saturday’s 4-3 home defeat by Crewe.

Flitcroft, without a win in his seven games in charge, said: “I will be picking the players that I think reflect our supporters - players that want to run for each other, the town and me. “We need to regroup, define what the Stevenage game is going to look like, and make sure when I look in their eyes that the players want to be out there.

Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/miller-set-for-full-stags-debut-at-last-at-stevenage-1-9105285

“That’s the biggest part of the battle - making sure players want to be there representing the team and the town.”

On Rose and Miller, he added: “We will have to see how Danny is. “He put in one hell of a shift in the second half after being out two and a half weeks. He would probably have blown up after 55 minutes if he’d started.

“Him and Ricky carried the team in the second half on Saturday. “Ricky’s energy, enthusiasm and desire was fantastic.”

Miller scored his first goal for the club on Saturday in his eighth appearance off the bench. Stevenage have just won two in a row under new manager and former player Dino Maamria. The 44-year-old Tunisian rejoined them from National League North side Nuneaton to replace Darren Sarll, who was sacked on 18th March after two years in charge.

They are three unbeaten and have only lost once in six outings. Flitcroft said: “New manager Dino has gone in there and tried to regroup them. “It’s a tough place to go. They are on top of you and they have a very robust, dynamic, strong team. “They are very direct, but we have to combat that and play with an enthusiasm and energy we played with in the second half against Crewe.” The home side may again be without teenage star Ben Wilmot, who was withdrawn from the squad that won at Newport on Saturday as negotiations continued over a move to a Premier League or Championship club when the window opens.

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Stags had 'too much to do' in second half, says striker
mansfieldtown.net, Saturday 07 April 2018

Striker Ricky Miller claims Mansfield Town left themselves too much of a mountain to climb this afternoon as they were beaten 4-3 by Crewe Alexandra at the One Call Stadium as a spirited second half display was not enough to overturn the 4-1 deficit Crewe held at the interval.

Miller was introduced at the break along with fellow forward Danny Rose and made a big impact, helping to assist Kane Hemmings’ 50th minute goal before scoring his first goal for the Stags in the 77th minute.

This was after Lee Angol’s first half goal was sandwiched in between four Crewe goals scored by James Jones, Jordan Bowery, Harry Pickering and Charlie Kirk all inside a frenetic opening 27 minutes.

Speaking post-match, the on-loan Peterborough United forward claims the Stags were punished for that poor opening half an hour period.

“We just left ourselves too much to do,” said Miller.

“We could’ve nicked a point, could’ve nicked three maybe but we can’t be giving teams a three goal head start.

https://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/2018/april/miller-post-crewe/

“We just didn’t turn up in the first half. If we could have started [like we played in the second half], on the front foot, going for broke, we could have been 4-1 up at half time.

“[In] the second half, they were just holding on to a lead so it gave us the freedom to play a little bit.

“There was a couple of penalty shouts. Maybe if we’d have scored with five minutes to go, you never know but it’s all ‘Ifs and buts’. We come away with no points and we’ve got to get points on Tuesday. [Today’s] gone, we’re in tomorrow and roll on Tuesday.”

The defeat means Mansfield have now lost their last four league encounters but the Stags are still well in the race for a play-off place in the Sky Bet League Two and Miller claims he and his fellow Stags are not giving up with five games to go.

“We’re disappointed. We can’t put our finger on it but we’re not going to give up.

“We’re two points outside the play offs, there’s a lot to play for and there’s lots of twists and turns [to come]. We’ve just got keep our heads up and go again.

“We’ve just got to dig in. We know we’re good enough, we’ve been there, we’ve done it. We’ve just got to retune ourselves in and focus on Tuesday.

“We can’t do [anything] about [today], we can learn from it, we can work harder and just focus on that next game.”

On a personal level, Miller’s celebration after netting his first goal in amber and blue showed how much it meant to the 29 year old and after making an impact off the bench, he is now looking for a run of games in the Stags team to help them in their hunt for play-off glory.

“[I was] a little bit rusty. I had the shot for the first goal [which striker Kane Hemmings] tapped in and scored the other one.

“I need a run of games, it would be nice if I could get a run of games and we could get into the play offs but it’s out of my control.

“I was disappointed to not start but it’s one of those things. I’m not in charge of team selection, the gaffer is, and you’ve got to respect his decision.

“I’ve just got to turn up for training, get my head down and focus on Tuesday.”

Watch Ricky Miller's post match interview in full later tonight on iFollow Stags.

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Scorer Miller confident Stags can still make play-offs
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Saturday 07 April 2018

Mansfield Town striker Ricky Miller bagged his first goal for the club in today's 4-3 home defeat by Crewe and said the Stags still have every chance of making the play-offs. The club are without a win in eight games at a crucial time of the year after just failing to recover from a 4-1 half-time deficit.

“We are disappointed,” said the Peterborough loanee. “You saw the second half. If we could have started like that on the front foot and gone for broke we could have been 4-1 up at half-time instead of Crewe.

Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/scorer-miller-confident-stags-can-still-make-play-offs-1-9103672

“But we are not giving up. We're two points off the play-offs and there is a lot to play for and a lot of twists and turns to come. We need to keep our heads up and go again. “We have to dig in. We know we are good enough. We have to re-tune ourselves in and work harder.” He continued: “We just left ourselves with too much to do. We could have nicked a point, we could have nicked three maybe, but we can't be giving teams a three goal head start. “Second half they were just holding onto a lead, so it gave us the freedom to play a little bit. “We just didn't turn up in the first half. “We could have won it. There were a couple of penalty shouts and if we'd scored with five minutes to go, you never know. It's all ifs and buts. “We come away with no points. It's gone now so roll on Tuesday. We still have five games to go.” Miller is still awaiting his first start for the club and is hopeful his man of the match display against Crewe will see him picked for Tuesday's game at Stevenage. He said: “I was disappointed not to start but I'm not in charge of team selection. The gaffer is and you have to respect his decision. I said to him I am there if you need me. “I came on and played my part but, at the end of the day, we got no points. “It's out of my control. I just have to turn up for training, get my head down and focus on Tuesday. “I was a little bit rusty - I need a run of games.”

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Artell: "We Were Terrific Today"
crewealex.net

Crewe Alexandra moved within three points of the 50 point mark after a thrilling 4-3 win over Mansfield and boss David Artell said we throughly deserved the points after a superb first half display. Goals from Jones, Bowery, Pickering and Kirk saw us 4-1 up at the break and although the Stags scored twice in the second half to set up a grandstand finish, the Railwaymen saw out the closing stages to secure the three points.

Artell told the club's official website: "People may look at the last 20 minutes and say you were lucky to hang on or whatever but were we heck. We were terrific in the first half, scored four goals and although I wasn't here during the golden age of Dario's teams, I would say that was one of the finest first half performances for a number of years. We were excellent and scored some excellent goals.

"The first half was some of the best football we have played and it goes to show how far they have come that they are disappointed in the dressing room afterwards because it went to 4-3. There was no over celebration, more of a round of applause. That goes to show what they are made of now because they have come to a club who want to get in the play-offs and won the game.

https://www.crewealex.net/news/2018/april/artell-we-were-terrific/

"Jonah has produced a moment of skill to feint to go one way and go the other to get a shot off. Jordan has got a poachers' goal and he is ticking awat nicely with his goals. Pickering's shot was unstoppable and Kirk has got another goal. Kirk is getting in the box more and is getting his rewards because of that. He has been terrific.

"We had a great chance to go 5-2 up but Jordan has missed a sitter in the second half and it perhaps made it look closer than it was.

"We had to dig in and see it through in the second half. They were men again. They stood up to it and have shown that they are capable of doing it. They did it at Newport and they did it again today. They did at Barnet as well, but I think the pitch and the decision killed us there."

"To a man again they have all played well and it is a great three points for us.

On our league position, Artell said: "I honestly don't look at the league table. I see it if it is put under my nose or someone tells me, but I just concentrate on us and making sure we put a performance on. I just concern myself about who is developing and they are all coming along nicely."

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Ex-Stag Artell hails win over former side
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Saturday 07 April 2018

Former Mansfield Town defender Dave Artell said his side's 4-3 win at his old club today was the best football he had ever seen from a Crewe Alexandra team. The Railwaymen boss was purring after a game in which they sparkled their way to a 4-1 lead and then saw his young side defend like men against a late aerial assault.

Said Artell: “People will remember that last 20 minutes and say we got lucky - but did we hell? “We were 4-1 up at half-time and they couldn't get anywhere near us. We missed three other great chances.

Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/ex-stag-artell-hails-win-over-former-side-1-9103629

“They were throwing balls into the box and going for it - they had nothing to lose. “But the football we played in the first half was some of the best I have seen a Crewe team play, though I wasn't here in the golden years, but we were terrific.” He continued: “The pleasing thing is they are actually disappointed in the dressing room. “That's how far we've come. There's no hollering or whooping. “It's still a great result against a play-off team. “The lads dug in in that second half and wore the shirt with pride. “When I asked them to be men for that last minutes, they were. It was as if the Luftwaffe were going for our box. Balls were coming in from everywhere. But we saw it through and deserved the victory.”

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