FLITCROFT ON YEOVIL AND PLAY-OFF BATTLE
Stags will fight until death for play-off spot, says manager
interview on Tuesday 24 April 2018
Stags will fight until the death to secure a place in the top seven, manager David Flitcroft has said.
The manager knows his side must surely win both of their remaining games against Yeovil and Crawley, and hope results from play-off rivals Coventry and Lincoln go in their favour.
Stags’ boss Flitcroft believes that the play-off run in will go down to the final day of the season.
“I think it [the result in Coventry and Lincoln game] is fundamental to what happens this season,” he said, speaking in his press conference yesterday.
“I know in the Accrington camp they want to win every football match and Lincoln have to go there on the last day of the season.
“Football waits until the last game of the season. We can only control the last two games and we have to make sure we get the maximum six points. Unfortunately we have to wait on the results at other grounds.
“There was a disappointment [in training after the Port Vale game], but we got the session going, working on crossing, shooting and final third finishing. The session got to where I wanted it to be, the standard was high. They know exactly what we have to do on Saturday.
“There was certainly a mood of disappointment but it’s up to me as the leader to lift that and keep the standard high in training.
“We’ll make sure we keep working and implementing our strategies, like I said we only have two games to go and give ourselves the best chance of getting into the playoffs.”
The Stags’ manager also reflected on last weekend’s game at One Call Stadium against Port Vale, and was disappointed that his side did not take all three points after a dominant display.
He also commented on the electric atmosphere inside the stadium on Saturday, and thanked the fans for their incredible support.
“We’ve been able to analyse the [Port Vale] performance and we have to understand that we dominated them, and that was the game plan to go and attack them and create lots of chances, we just didn’t kill them off,” he added.
“When you give teams hope and don’t defend properly for the full 95 minutes you’re susceptible to a sucker punch, and that’s what it was.
“Was the commitment from the players there? Absolutely. Was the intensity there to go and win a football game? Absolutely. Did we create enough chances? Absolutely.
“I was very happy with the performance and how the players performed but very disappointed as to how we didn’t see Port Vale off. When you get that second goal, especially in League Two, it kills off that fight in teams.
“For 98% of the game, this stadium was absolutely rocking on Saturday. The support was incredible for the group of players and that’s what I can thank the supporters for.
“I believe in what I do and believe in unity, only winning football matches is going to do that. I set an environment where people can flourish and over time the results will come.
“There was a real atmosphere and connection between the football the players played and the supporters. It’s really important to build a connection between the players, the team and the supporters.
“The only thing that will build a connection with them and myself is winning football matches, and I’m obsessed with doing that. I’ve not been able to do that at the minute but that will change.”
The manager also gave injury updates on skipper Zander Diamond, striker Ricky Miller and defender Hayden White, and doubts that any of the three will be fit and available for the weekend’s game against Yeovil.
“He [Diamond] has had a back injury that has plagued him for most of the season. It’s connected from his hamstring to his back, he’s had an injection to try and numb the pain. He’s certainly going to struggle for the weekend.
“They [Miller and White] are desperate to play these last two games. They are hamstring injuries so we have to be patient. I don’t think they’ll have enough time on the training pitch to make the game this weekend.”
iFollow Stags subscribers can watch the manager’s answers in full by logging into mansfieldtown.net/ifollow later today.
Stags keeping close watch on play-off rivals’ big clash
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Tuesday 24 April 2018
Mansfield Town’s task of getting into the League Two play-offs could be made harder by the result of tonight’s clash between rivals Coventry City and Lincoln City at the Ricoh Arena. Stags are three points and a place behind Lincoln in seventh and also three points behind Coventry in sixth.
Tonight is both Coventry and Lincoln’s game in hand over Stags. A draw would leave Mansfield four points adrift of both with two games left. A win for home side Coventry would pile the pressure back on Lincoln, who have to go to Accrington on the last day of the season and are only one goal better off on their goal difference than Stags, who have the same goal difference as Coventry.
“We will be watching that result tonight with massive interest,” said Mansfield manager David Flitcroft. “I think it’s fundamental to what might happen this season.
Read more at: https://www.hucknalldispatch.co.uk/sport/football/stags-keeping-close-watch-on-play-off-rivals-big-clash-1-9132826
“I’ve also spoken to people in the Accrington camp and they just want to win every football match. “Lincoln have to go there last game of the season and it’s a tough place to go and get a result as it has been all season.
“So it’s not over. Football always waits to the last game of the season. We have got to control our last two games against Yeovil and Crawley and make sure we get the maximum six points.
“Unfortunately we’ve got to wait to see what happens at other grounds.”
Mansfield manager sympathises with CEO’s emotional plea
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS
Mansfield Town boss David Flitcroft said he shared and understood the frustrations of club owners John and Carolyn Radford as Stags’ play-off hopes hang by a thread going into the last two games. After two more precious points were spilled when Port Vale equalised late in Saturday’s 1-1 home draw just as rivals Lincoln snatched a winner with 10 men, CEO Carolyn Radford issued an emotional statement demanding the the side play ‘like their lives depend on it’ for the last two games.
After just one win in 11 games and ahead of Saturday’s trip to Yeovil Town, Flitcroft said: “I spoke to the chairman yesterday and had a chat about the statement.
“When you actually strip down what they spoke about, it’s frustration from obviously conceding a late goal and probably what happened at Lincoln late on as well.
Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/mansfield-manager-sympathises-with-ceo-s-emotional-plea-1-9134891
“I can understand that frustration. We’re all feeling it. “But the reason I signed for this football club was the passion of the chairman and Carolyn - the passion they’ve had for this project and the money they’ve thrown at it over an 18-month period. “The money thrown at the project has been incredible and their passion has been outstanding. So I do understand the frustration and disappointment and I share it. But I’ve only been in the job six weeks. “They’ve been trying to drive progress for this club for seven years and the ultimate aim is promotion.” Carolyn Radford’s heartfelt statement on Saturday read: “I am feeling massively disappointed by the outcome of today’s result. And that describes it lightly. “Apart from our families and health, time is the most precious thing in life. And it is time, along with a substantial amount of money, which John and I have invested into our club this season in abundance. “To see our season now pan out in such a fashion is disheartening for us. “We have a minimum of 180 minutes of football remaining and I expect us to play like our lives depend on it. “We have rebuilt our club from the ashes. Everyone can see the time and finance invested in every area of our club and we are immensely proud of the developments we are making off the field. “That time and endeavour must be matched to its absolute maximum in these next two matches. “We have worked too hard for anything else. Thank you for your support.”
Manager Flitcroft knows only wins will get Stags fans onside with him
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS
Under-pressure Mansfield Town boss David Flitcroft said he knows the only way to get fans onside is to win matches. Stags’ play-off push has dramatically faltered since the former Bury and Swindon boss took over eight weeks ago with some fans already saying he was the wrong man for the job. Flitcroft and his players were also booed by some supporters at the end of last weekend’s disappointing home draw with Port Vale. But, despite just one win in his 10 games in charge, Stags head to Yeovil on Saturday still in with a shout of the play-offs and Flitcroft said: “I know the environment I build is the right one. “I know that players are inspired and motivated by that environment when it’s set and I win football matches. “That’s what I have come here to do and will do. You are not going to please everyone. “It doesn’t matter where you go or who the manager is. He won’t please every single fan. My job is to win football matches. “There were some boos at the end last Saturday. But I think we are probably ignoring that for 98 per cent of the game this stadium was absolutely rocking. “The support was incredible for that group of players and I can only thank the majority of supporters.” He continued: “To get booed and called after a football match - well, I got booed by my own fans as a player. So I have learned to understand that without winning matches you are going to get that. “But I believe in what we do and I believe in unity. Only winning football matches will bring that. “I won’t change what I do. I set an environment up that’s conducive to everyone being able to flourish and improve. Over an amount of time the results will absolutely come. “On Saturday I think the fans saw a team that was fighting for them and that was committed to winning a football match. “Whether they support me or not they certainly supported the football team, and that’s really important to build a connection between the players and the supporters. “But the only thing that will build a relationship with myself is winning football matches - that’s all people see. And I am obsessed with doing that. “I’ve not been able to do that in my tenure at the minute. “But that will change and go in a positive direction. When it does we will have that unity that I do believe you can build at a football club.”
Read more at: https://www.hucknalldispatch.co.uk/sport/football/manager-flitcroft-knows-only-wins-will-get-stags-fans-onside-with-him-1-9136379
Skipper set to miss Stags’ big game at Yeovil
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS
Mansfield Town skipper Zander Diamond looks unlikely to be fit in time for Saturday’s crucial trip to Yeovil Town. Diamond was ruled out of last weekend’s game with back pain and is struggling to be fit enough to play at Huish Park as Stags try to stay in the play-offs hunt. “He’s had a back injury that has plagued him this season,” said boss David Flitcroft. “It’s a neuro problem and connected to his hamstring and his back and Zander’s had an epidural injection put into his back to try to numb the pain. “I am almost certain he is going to struggle for the weekend. We’re just waiting for it to calm down and react. “But I’m not too sure he’ll get much training time on the pitch his week.” Hayden White and Ricky Miller, who have been out with hamstring problems, also look unlikely to be back. “They are probably not going to get the work in on the training ground that’s we’d hope for.” said Flitcroft. “They are desperate to make these last two games and the medical team are trying everything to get them on the grass. “But, with hamstring injuries, if you overdo it and over-commit to it, you are going to get a recurrence. “It’s a muscle injury that you have to be patient with. You have to do the right thing.”
Read more at: https://www.hucknalldispatch.co.uk/sport/football/skipper-set-to-miss-stags-big-game-at-yeovil-1-9136386
MATCH PREVIEW: Can Stags boss lift players for final push?
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS
Mansfield Town manager David Flitcroft is spending this week lifting his players’ mood from disappointment to determination as they head into their penultimate game at Yeovil Town still in the play-offs mix.
A late equaliser in last weekend’s damaging 1-1 home draw with Port Vale felt more like a defeat and, amid the growing pressure, Flitcroft admitted: “The mood when I walked back into the club this week was one of disappointment.
“That’s up to me as the leader to lift that and make sure the standard of training is as high as possible.”
Read more at: https://www.hucknalldispatch.co.uk/sport/football/match-preview-can-stags-boss-lift-players-for-final-push-1-9134926
He said Stags needed to be learn to be able to see games out when ahead. “At Bury, one thing we became masters of was locking the pitch down once we’d gone in front. I think we won something like 14 of the last 17 games,” he said. “That is something you work on over a season and something I’m trying to implement here. “We’ve not been able to do it so far and it’s become our Achille’s heel, not getting maximum points on three or four occasions now, which would have consolidated our place in the play-offs. “We only have two games now to make sure we at least have a fighting chance of getting into the play-offs.” Saturday’s opponents Yeovil made sure of safety last night with a 0-0 home draw with Forest Green Rovers, who achieved the same, and Flitcroft said: “Yeovil are not having the best of times. “We watched them against Accrington two weeks ago and it was probably one of Accrington’s best performances of the season. “They were front foot and attacked them from every angle possible. “In the end Yeovil could not cope with the pace of Kayden Jackson and skills levels of Sean McConnville and Jordan Clarke.They really struggled on the night. “So we’ve watched them at close hand live and we can’t wait to get this week out of the way and get down there and play them.” The Glovers are six games without a win and have now not scored in five successive homes games, losing four of them. Pre-season aspirations were for Yeovil to solidify their position in League Two and try to climb the table. Safety was finally achieved last night, but fans are wanting more after five consecutive seasons fighting relegation. While a very dangerous team when they are firing on all cylinders, Yeovil have struggled badly for consistency this season, which is reflected in their position towards the bottom of League Two. Manager Darren Way has split opinion among fans this season. While regarded as a club legend as a result of his playing days, his two and a half years in charge have seen Yeovil mostly confined to the bottom half of League Two. As a result, a section of the fanbase has grown restless and there were some calls for him to go earlier in the season. Way will argue that he has done a good job on a limited budget, however, and results and performances have generally improved in the second half of the season, with the FA Cup game with Manchester United in particular giving the squad a lift that resulted in improved league form in the following weeks. His position is not in any immediate danger. Former Stags striker Alex Fisher will be the man to look out for on Saturday, having netted five times in his last eight matches, A typical poacher, Fisher has a habit of being in the right place at the right time and is one of the more accomplished finishers that Yeovil have had in recent times. Fellow striker and top scorer Francois Zoko will also be a threat for Yeovil. Having scored 14 goals in all competitions, his finishing prowess and experience makes him a threat for any opposition. As well as his shooting ability, Zoko is also capable of beating players and his hold up play brings others into the game. Already without long-term injured David Mirfin, Stags are also set to be without skipper Zander Diamond (back/hamstring problem) and hamstring injury victims Hayden White and Ricky Miller. For Yeovil, Stuart Nelson (broken arm), Artur Krysiak (knee), Jake Gray (ankle) and Dan Alfei (knee) are all out for the season. James Bailey (knee), Ryan Dickson (ankle), and Shaun Donnellan (concussion) are doubts.
Stags' winger believes manager has improved him
interview on Thursday 26 April 2018
Stags’ winger CJ Hamilton has said that the work he has done with Mansfield Town manager David Flitcroft has seen him improve as a player.
The speedy winger believes he has contributed more this season at One Call Stadium than he did during the previous campaign, and spoke of the extra work he has done with Stags’ boss David Flitcroft since his arrival at the club.
“I think it [this season] has been a lot better than the first campaign because I’ve done a lot more on the pitch, got a lot more game time and contributed to the team a lot more with goals and assists,” he said.
“I think in an attacking sense I’m always trying to pick someone out now, I’m looking up a lot more. Definitely [I need to work on end product], you see in games I’m not always hitting the right man so I need to work on that.
“Since the new gaffer has come in he’s helped me so much, we do extra one-to-one sessions. He’s getting me to the byline and makes me pick out areas. He shows me which areas I should be hitting, and shows me the different options.
“Ever since he’s come in he wanted to work with me, we’re out there two or three times a week now just me and him.
“I think like most players, when you’re confident, you don’t even think about what you’re doing you just go along with it. Everything just comes off.
“Everyone wants to be confident, sometimes it comes out of nowhere - it can be a little thing in training or in a game and it comes.”
Next up for Stags is the long trip down to Huish Park to face Yeovil Town, who held onto their league status for another season with their 0-0 draw against Forest Green Rovers on Tuesday night.
The 23-year-old spoke of the test that the Glovers will have waiting for them at Huish Park, yet he is confident that if Stags take their chances, they will come back to One Call Stadium with three points.
“It’s a huge game and we’re all up for it. The boys know we have a chance of getting in there [play-off spot] and we want to get in there,” he said.
“It’s up to us now to do what we need to do, go down there and get the three points.
“We’ve been working on lots of different things [in training] like trying to finish off more chances because we haven’t been doing it in games.
“We need to be more ruthless in front of goal I think. We do well to get in the final third but then it’s that half-a-yard where we miss things or don’t really connect. If we put our chances away we’ll beat Yeovil.
“They’ve got quite a good team down there and they’ve done well all season. Everyone knows these [final two games] are two massive games so hopefully we can go down there [Yeovil] and get the result.
“Everyone knows we can still make it into the play-offs and hopefully with a bit of luck we can.
“I think we’re still there, but it’s a strange one. Because results haven’t gone our way, you think we’re not confident, but we still are. Just no luck is going our way at the moment.
“It’s to do with a bit of luck sometimes. We’ve been playing well in games but just haven’t been getting the results.”
iFollow Stags subscribers can watch CJ Hamilton’s answers in full by logging into mansfieldtown.net/ifollow later today.
Happy Hamilton delighted with extra coaching from new mentor Flitcroft
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Thursday 26 April 2018
Flying Mansfield Town winger CJ Hamilton believes he is a better player now than ever before and thanked new manager David Flitcroft for all the extra one-to-one coaching he is now getting. Hamilton will be hoping to help shoot down Yeovil Town on Saturday and keep the club’s play-off hopes alive at the end of a season the former Sheffield United man has enjoyed.
“This season has been a lot better than my first season here,” he smiled. “I’ve done a lot more on the pitch, got a lot more game time and cemented my place in the team a lot more.
“I’ve contributed a lot more to the team with goals and assists. “At the start of the season it was hit and miss for me as I wasn’t playing as much.
Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/happy-hamilton-delighted-with-extra-coaching-from-new-mentor-flitcroft-1-9137142
“But ever since I got in the side October time I’ve kept my place and been doing well.”
He has now noticed the improvements in his game, being helped hugely by new boss Flitcroft putting an arm around him. “In an attacking sense in trying to pick someone out, I am looking up a lot more now and my defensive duties have got a lot better,” he said. “I know I still need to work on my end product a lot more as I am sometimes still not hitting the right space or the right man. “Since the new gaffer has come in he has helped me so much. He has stayed out and done extra one-to-one sessions with me. “This has happened ever since he came in. He noticed me straight away and wanted to work with me individually two or three times a week. “I think I have always needed that little bit of coaching to get me where I need to be. “I have a bit of confidence now and when I am confident I don’t think as much as I do when I am not confident. It gives me a lot more freedom. “Like most players, when you are confident you don’t even think about what you are doing. You just go along with it and everything just rolls off on its own.” Now the pressure is on to win at Yeovil and set up a thrilling last day of the season in the chased for the play-offs. Hamilton said: “It’s a huge game and the boys are all up for it. We still think we have a good chance of getting in there. “We have to go down there and do what we have to do to get the three points. We have to be ruthless in front of goal. “These are two massive games now that can define our season, so hopefully we can go down there and get a result. Everyone is confident we can get the six points and see where it takes us from there. “It’s been a weird season when you look at it as we’ve been in so many good positions this season and have killed ourselves by not getting the results we needed to.” He added: “It was a very frustrating game up here against Yeovil. “They kept us at bay and kept everything out. I think it will be the same down there. They’ve got quite a good little team down there and they’ve done it all season. “They managed to keep themselves during in the week and they are a tough team to beat. “They went to Coventry and managed to beat them 6-2, so we can’t underestimate them at all. We have to go there and put our game plan into action and beat them. Hamilton said manager Flitcroft had been trying everything possible to improve results, but a lot of it was simply down to a lack of recent luck. “The manager has been bringing every player in individually and giving them a little boost to help them out on the pitch,” he said. “You would think because results haven’t gone our way we’re not still confident. But we are. It’s just no luck’s going our way at the moment. “When you see some of the chances we have, it’s like someone makes a block and, for other teams, they get ricochets and they go in. “We have been playing well in some games and it’s been unbelievable how we’ve not managed to get any points at all out of them.” Lincoln are six points clear of Mansfield and Coventry three and Hamilton said: “We are still trying to catch both. “Lincoln have one or two tough games and, if they slip up in both and we win both we can even overtake Lincoln as well. “But we have to focus on ourselves and winning our games.We need to make sure we get our six points and everything else will take care of itself.”
Stags' midfielder praises manager's attention to detail
interview on Thursday 26 April 2018
Stags’ midfielder Alex MacDonald has explained that manager David Flitcroft’s attention to detail is ‘second-to-none,’ as he looked ahead to the final two games of the Sky Bet League Two season.
The 28-year-old also added his belief that the Stags’ boss is one of the best managers he has worked for in his career.
“It [the mood in training] has been good,” he said. “We’ve trained really hard this week ready to be all guns blazing for this weekend with the long trip down to Yeovil.
“We’ve looked at videos and watched footage and gone through each game thoroughly. We’re trying as hard as we can, we’re on the training ground and looking at clips.
“If you look back on Saturday [and the other matches], if we take our chances, the league position would be completely different to what it is at the minute.
“The manager has been brilliant. I know the results haven’t gone the way we all hoped, but the thoroughness of his work and attention to detail that he puts into his training sessions, his analysis, is second-to-none.
“I’ve worked under some good and successful managers in my time and he’s certainly up there with them.
“It’s just been unfortunate that we as players haven’t put that together and come up with the positive results that we’ve all been striving for.
“It’s going to be one of them, it’s how much we want it. It’s really just [down to] taking our chances, we’re creating some really good opportunities.”
MacDonald also reflected on the season so far, and says he is feeling better than ever heading into the two final games of Stags’ league season.
“Personally it’s been a good season, I think I’ve played well. I don’t think I’ve played as well over the past month and that’s disappointing.
“When a new manager comes in you want to make an impression, but I felt like I was back to my normal self again on Saturday and I hope that continues into the final two games.
“I’ve really looked after myself like I’ve never done in my career, I’ve really slimmed down. I know that when I come into work I’ll try hard and give 100% in games and training.
“When I’m away from it [football] that’s where I’ve probably let myself down a bit in previous years, but now diet and life is brilliant.”
The midfielder also looked ahead to this weekend’s huge game away to Yeovil Town, and added that the relieved pressure of escaping a relegation fight may make the Glovers even more dangerous on Saturday.
He also spoke of the fighting performance that the Stags’ fans deserve from the players over the final two games.
“I’ve been in a relegation battle before and when you come away and you’re safe, you’re still playing for contracts and your families,” he added.
“It’s not a case of it’s going to be a straight forward game which is probably what it looks on paper, but we know what we’re coming up against in Yeovil and we’ll look to dealing with that one before we move onto next week against Crawley.
“When you come away from that [a relegation battle], it’s a big weight off your shoulders and it can be dangerous at times against these types of teams. It’s going to be tough but we’re well aware of what their threats are.
“There’s only a few times [over the course of the season] where you can say it wasn’t a fighting performance or that the lads didn’t give 100% and that’s something that we pride ourselves on. The Stags’ fans deserve that, it’s a football club that we want to make the town proud [of].
“The bare characteristic of that is giving 100% every single game and that’s something that we pride ourselves on heading into the last two games.”
MacDonald also looked back on a season where he has played in a number of positions, but admitted that his favourite role is in the heart of midfield, where he can get heavily involved in the match.
“I’ve played all across the midfield, as a number ten, as a striker, but as long as I’m out there on the pitch then I’m a happy man.
“I do like playing in centre-midfield, since I’ve made the transition I’ve really enjoyed being in there and it’s always great being so involved.
“Sometimes when you go to League Two grounds, as a winger you don’t see that much action. But when you’re in the centre you’re always involved and I feel it brings the best out of me.”
iFollow Stags subscribers can watch MacDonald’s answers in full by logging into mansfieldtown.net/ifollow later today.
MacDonald warns Stags against complacency at ‘safe’ Yeovil
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Thursday 26 April 2018
Mansfield Town midfield star Alex MacDonald warned against complacency on Saturday away to a Yeovil Town side that made themselves safe from relegation in midweek. Stags head there desperate for a win to keep their play-off hopes alive in the penultimate game of the season, but MacDonald warned that teams can be dangerous when the pressure is finally off them.
“It’s not going to be as straightforward on Saturday as it looks on paper,” he said. “Yeovil haven’t really got much to play for when you look at the league table, but I’ve been in a relegation battle before with Plymouth and it’s tough.
“When you know you’re safe, it’s a big weight off your shoulders and they can be dangerous at times when you’re playing against these teams.
“You are still playing for contracts, you’re playing for your future, you’re playing for your family.
Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/macdonald-warns-stags-against-complacency-at-safe-yeovil-1-9137156
“We know what we’re coming up against at Yeovil and we are looking to take care of that one first and move onto next week. We are well aware of what their threats are and what we’re going to go down there and do.” Stags are chasing Coventry and Luton who are three and six points ahead of them respectively. “You’d rather be in their shoes, as you know it’s in your own hands,” he said. “But we have to make sure we take care of our own business, which is Yeovil away on Saturday, to go into the last game of the season full of confidence. “We know what’s at stake and we’re not deluded enough to not know we have two very tough games. But we know the prize at the end of it. “I’ve been in the play-offs a number of times and promoted a number of times and to go out and strut your stuff at Wembley, there’s not many things better in football. That’s our one aim now.” MacDonald has enjoyed his first full season with the club, particularly playing his current central midfield role, and believes his success is down to keeping his weight down with a better diet away from the club. “Personally it’s been a good season and I think I’ve played well,” he said. “I don’t feel I’ve played as well as what I had done for three or four months over the past month or so. “That’s frustrating as when a new manager comes in you want to make an impression. “But I felt like I was back to my normal self on Saturday and I felt good again. Hopefully that continues for the last two games and it takes us where we all want to be.” On the various positions he has been employed in, he said: “It’s been a mad one. I’ve played all across the midfield, as a number 10 and as a striker. But as long as I’m out on that pitch I’m a happy man. “I can’t lie - I do like playing in central midfield. Since I’ve made the transition there early on in the season I have really enjoyed being in there. “You’re always part of the game and it’s great to always be involved. “Sometimes in League Two games, as a winger, you don’t always see much action or be involved in the games as much as you’d like to be. “When you’re a central midfielder you’re always involved and I think it brings the best out of me with my energy.” He added: “I feel I have come on this season and that it’s all down to my physical condition. I have really looked after myself like I’ve never done in my whole career and slimmed down. “When I come into the club I know I will always give 100 per cent in games and training. But when I’m away from it, that’s when I’ve probably let myself down a little bit in previous years. “I still have to maintain it as it’s what has been successful for me all season. I don’t want to come away from it at this stage of the season.” MacDonald concluded: “It’s frustrating to see where we are now, having been in the driving seat most of the season. “But we’ve still got a chance to put that right. Until that’s taken out of our hands, we are going to fight until the very end. “The mood is positive. We’ve trained really hard this week and we’ll be all guns blazing this weekend for the long trip down to Yeovil.”
Alex MacDonald full of praise for David Flitcroft
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Thursday 26 April 2018
Midfielder Alex MacDonald said David Flitcroft was up there with some of the best bosses he’d ever worked with so far and the players were desperate to rewards his thorough work with results, starting at Yeovil Town tomorrow “The manager has been brilliant since he’s come in and I have enjoyed working with him,” he said.
“I speak on behalf of a lot of the lads and we have really enjoyed his training. “We are out on the training ground for a long time. It’s not the tedious old school kind of training. It’s really good match-related, building up to games and how we can affect the opponents.
“I know the results haven’t gone the way we’d all hoped and wanted them to go. But the thoroughness in his work and attention to detail that he puts into his training sessions, into his analysis, and into his pre-game analysis is first class.
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“I’ve worked with some good and successful managers in my time and he’s certainly up there with them. “He’s been brilliant on the training ground. It’s just unfortunate that we as players and as a group can’t put that together and come up with the positive results that we’ve all been striving for.” Although results have taken a huge downward turn over the past 11 games, the side have, largely, continued to play well and it’s hard for them to single out what the problem might be apart from finishing. MacDonald said: “We have looked at videos, we’ve watched footage, we’ve gone through each game thoroughly - players with management staff - and if there was one thing we could put our finger on we would have definitely done that by now and put it right. “We are trying as hard as we can. If you look back at the games - and Saturday was a prime example of that - if we take our chances the league position is completely different to what it is at the moment. “It’s going to be how much we want it now. It’s been there for the whole of the games since the manager’s been here - it’s just about taking our chances. “We are creating some really good chances at the minute and if we take them at certain points in games, it’s an old cliché that goals change games. “I certainly believe if we put two and three past people then you have seen what it does to teams.” MacDonald feels the necessary fight is there in the players to make the play-offs and added: “It’s been there all season. “There’s only been a few times you could really say it wasn’t a fighting performance or the lads hadn’t given 100 per cent. “It’s only happened once or twice this campaign and it’s something we pride ourselves on. I think the Stags fans deserve that. “This is a working town and it’s a football club we want to make the town proud of. We can only do that by performances on a Saturday and giving 100 per cent.”