FLITCROFT, WALKER, PAUL WARNE REACTION
Stags' boss pleased with defensive display in win
mansfieldtown.net, 28 July 2018
Stags' boss David Flitcroft has praised his side's resolute defensive display in Mansfield's 2-1 win over Championship outfit Rotherham United this afternoon.
First-half strikes from Craig Davies and Tyler Walker granted Stags the victory, but the team had to dig deep in the second-half to record their third pre-season win out of a possible four against Championship opposition.
The manager says that this afternoon's affair was closer to what the Stags can expect in the 2018-19 league season than any of the other pre-season fixtures, and heaped praise on the defenders who remained firm to hold onto Mansfield's one-goal lead throughout the entirety of the second-half.
"In terms of results it [win today] did [cap off pre-season]," he said. "Rotherham represent a team full of players that have one cause. They play it forward early and they play it forward fast.
"We've not really come up against that as much because of the sorts of teams we've played. Derby and Sheffield Wednesday wanted to move the ball quick at times.
"This was a robust game and a game that had set pieces we had to be astute on. We conceded a goal from a set piece, which I was disappointed about, but we had to dig in at times and be strong.
"Defensively, the three defenders and Conrad Logan absolutely stood firm when they got tested. I'm delighted with that.
"We scored another two goals and that pleases me. I think we've managed the last two games really well, and that's something we've tried to speak to the group about.
"There's been a lot of positives throughout the pre-season but this has represented real-time football and we came through it pretty much unscathed.
"I look at White and Preston today [as standout performers] I thought Matt Preston had a lot to deal with today. Michael Smith gives anyone a problem. They dealt with that really well.
"As a central defender, I thought he [Preston] was outstanding today. It was the best performance that he's played. As a test, that's probably the hardest test he'll come up against all next season. He came through it with flying colours.
"He [Mal Benning] was someone who committed and really wanted that summer programme. Since I've come in he's been one who has carried on getting better and fitter and stronger. He's a thinking footballer. He thinks about the game and understands the game."
Stags' boss Flitcroft also gave an update on defender Nathan Cameron, who recently trained with Mansfield, and midfielder Otis Khan, who missed today's game through illness.
"Nathan Cameron is a no-go now. He's had a scan and revealed that it's a complete new injury on his knee ligament. Cam's going to have some time out.
"We've got a few good options in term of loan options and one who has come up free who is available now.
"He [Otis] has had a bug. It's important we don't bring him around the other players in such a big week. When I've looked at his game time, he's got the minutes in and trained every game.
"I'm not really concerned. He's got the game time and the supporters have seen what he offers.
"At times we missed Otis today with the way he carries the ball up the pitch."
The manager added that striker Danny Rose managed to play 30 minutes in a behind-closed-doors game against Hull in midweek, as last season's top scorer looks to recover from a toe injury.
"He [Rose] got the last 30 [minutes against Hull]. There was a thought process to starting him. What we wanted to do is wait for the game to settle down a bit.
"When the game died down Danny came on. He got 25 to 30 minutes but that was probably too many for him at this stage. He's only joined in a couple of sessions now. He's working with the first team but we're just giving him that extra what the other players have got with their base fitness.
"We'll get him up to speed and we're working on it as a team. By the end of next week he's going to look much better than he did last week. We'll get that progression I'm sure.
"He'll be with us to to do the phase work and possession work. We've got an angle on it and we'll make sure we get Danny right up to speed as soon as we can."
The Mansfield boss says that there are just a few minor adjustments to be made ahead of the season's opener against Newport County next Saturday, and spoke of his delight for on-loan Walker, who scored his first goal for the amber and blue today.
"If the game [first game of the season] would've been today I would've had no qualms. Next week will just give us that fine-tuning what we need.
"It's just about sharpening the whole thing up. I'm really pleased for Tyler Walker with the goal that he's got. You can see his quality by the way he got past Championship defenders at ease.
"Tyler is one who has had a really robust pre-season. When you're a development player like he's been you probably get eight to 12 weeks to get fit. We've got to try and get these boys match ready in six weeks.
"I can see by the way everyone is celebrating that they're chuffed for him. The goal is a big weight off his shoulders.
"There's a togetherness that we've grown in Portugal which has allowed us to bring in the quality that I talked about last season. There is a hunger and an ambition to what they do. We've had some very tough tests, each one different, but they've come through them.
"I've watched a group of players improve and grow. Now they are ready."
iFollow Stags subscribers can watch David Flitcroft's answers in full by logging into mansfieldtown.net/ifollow later today.
Mansfield Town boss happy with defenders after pre-season win over Rotherham United
chad.co.uk, by MARK DUFFY, Saturday 28 July 2018
Mansfield Town manager David Flitcroft was delighted with his side’s defensive work in Saturday’s 2-1 friendly win over Rotherham United. All the goals came in the first half as Craig Davies gave the Stags an early lead, which was cancelled out before Tyler Walker hit what proved to be the winner. It was the Stags’ third win over Championship opposition this summer - they also beat Sheffield Wednesday and Derby County - as well as drawing with Sheffield United. However, the boss was particularly pleased with the defensive work and said Rotherham represented the sort of test the Stags will face when the League Two season starts with the visit of Newport on Saturday.
“Rotherham represent a team full of players that have one cause. They play it forward early and they play it forward fast. “We’ve not really come up against that as much because of the sorts of teams we’ve played. Derby and Sheffield Wednesday wanted to move the ball quick at times. “They play for the manager and there is a real togetherness at the football club.
Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town-boss-happy-with-defenders-after-pre-season-win-over-rotherham-united-1-9274391
“They hurt you from every angle and are not afraid to put in crosses, so it represented real-time football. “This was a robust game and a game that had set pieces we had to be astute on. We conceded a goal from a set piece, which I was disappointed about, but we had to dig in at times and be strong.
“Defensively, the three defenders and Conrad Logan absolutely stood firm when they got tested. I’m delighted with that.” “We managed the game in the last 20 minutes really well.”
Flitcroft said there had been a lot of positives throughout the pre-season. He added: “But this has represented real-time football and we came through it pretty much unscathed. “I look at Hayden White and Matt Preston today (as standout performers) I thought Matt Preston had a lot to deal with today. Michael Smith gives anyone a problem. They dealt with that really well.
“As a central defender, I thought he (Preston) was outstanding today. It was the best performance that he’s played. As a test, that’s the hardest test he’ll come up against all next season. And he came through it with flying colours.
“Hayden White is getting better in that right-sided position and Mal Benning was someone who committed and really wanted that summer programme. “Probably since I’ve come in he’s been one who has carried on getting better and fitter and stronger and more dynamic. He’s a thinking footballer. He thinks about the game and understands the game.
“I think he was exceptional.”
Flitcroft said the Stags were still looking to add another defender to the squad and his preferred 3-5-2 formation.
But Nathan Cameron, who recently trained with Mansfield, will not be joining the Stags. “Nathan Cameron is a no-go now. He’s had a scan and revealed it’s a complete new injury on his knee ligament. Cam’s going to have some time out,” said Flitcroft. “We’ve got a few good options in term of loan options and potentially one who has come up free who is available now.
“It is just down to the numbers and making sure we can get the right balance and that is what we are working on probably going into next week.”
Mansfield Town are ready for new season, says manager David Flitcroft
chad.co.uk, by MARK DUFFY, Saturday 28 July 2018
Mansfield Town’s new-look squad are ready for the start of the new League Two season, according to manager David Flitcroft. The Stags completed a fine pre-season programme on Saturday with a 2-1 home victory over Rotherham United to remain unbeaten against four Championship sides this summer - Rotherham, Derby County, Sheffield Wednesday and Sheffield United, winning three of the matches.
Flitcroft said: “There’s a togetherness that we’ve grown in Portugal, which has allowed us to bring in the quality that I talked about last season. “There is a hunger and an ambition to what they do. We’ve had some very tough tests, each one different, but they’ve come through them.
Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town-are-ready-for-new-season-says-manager-david-flitcroft-1-9274411
“I’ve watched a group of players improve and grow. Now they are ready. “If the game [first game of the season] would’ve been today I would’ve had no qualms. Next week just gives us that fine-tuning what we need.
“Lessons we have learned from today (against Rotherham) we will get into that. It is just about sharpening everything up.”
Flitcroft also praised matchwinner Tyler Walker for his goal that ultimately beat the Millers, and for his pre-season work. “Tyler is one who has had a really robust pre-season. When you’re a development player like he’s been you probably get eight to 12 weeks to get fit,” said Flitcroft.
“We’ve got to try and get these boys match-ready in six weeks. “I can see by the way everyone is celebrating that they’re chuffed for him. The goal is a big weight off his shoulders.”
Walker 'can't wait' for season to begin
mansfieldtown.net, 28 July 2018
On-loan forward Tyler Walker says he 'can't wait' for the season to start after scoring the winning goal in Stags' 2-1 victory over Championship side Rotherham United this afternoon.
Walker's 41st minute strike left goalkeeper Marek Rodák rooted to the spot, giving Stags a third win out of a possible four against Championship opposition in pre-season.
The 21-year-old praised Mansfield's performances in pre-season and added that the entire squad are looking forward to the 2018-19 league campaign.
"It's our fourth Championship team of pre-season," he said. "The lads have done really well. It was enjoyable to get the goal today and play well with the lads.
"That's what pre-season is for. You want to get back into the swing of things and get sharp and ready for the season. Everyone's been talking in the changing room and we can't wait for the season to start now.
"It's a new team and we're all getting used to each other. It's going to take a bit of time to get used to what runs everyone makes and who does what. But it's only pre-season and it's only going to get better."
Walker also commented on the winning mentality that the Stags take onto the pitch for every game, and spoke of his first goal in amber and blue.
"I feel fit and I feel sharp. I'm ready to go. It's the same with all the lads. We've played four Championship teams and we've done really well against them and held our own.
"I think it's important that whatever team we play, whether it's a Championship one or not, we go out to win. It's that winning mentality that we're looking for.
"We feel that every game is a winnable game for us. We've got a good squad, and that [win] is what we've done.
"It was a good build-up by the team. I'm happy I scored it and I'm happy we got the win today.
"I can't wait for it [the season] to start. It's going to be a good season and hopefully we can deliver for the fans."
Walker also said that the Stags are looking to 'excite' the fans this season with their style of play, and hopes that the squad can deliver on the fans' expectations.
"We're trying to excite them [the fans] and play good football. The gaffer has been brilliant with us. Hopefully it will just get better and better from here.
"I've really enjoyed myself [in pre-season]. With previous loans I haven't come in this early and I feel like that's helped me a lot. I feel really settled now.
"Every season is a big season for me. It's gone really well in pre-season and hopefully this season we can all do what's expected of us and deliver."
iFollow Stags subscribers can watch Tyler Walker's interview in full by logging into mansfieldtown.net/ifollow later today.
Mansfield Town loan striker Tyler Walker can’t wait for League Two season to start
chad.co.uk, by MARK DUFFY, Saturday 28 July 2018
Tyler Walker said he could not wait for the new season to start after hitting his first Mansfield Town goal as the Stags continued their remarkable pre-season form against Championship clubs. Walker struck the winner four minutes before half-time as David Flitcroft’s men overcame Rotherham United 2-1 - following wins over Derby County and Sheffield Wednesday and a draw against Sheffield United.
Walker, on a season-long loan from Nottingham Forest, said: “It was enjoyable and to get the goal and play well with the lads was brilliant. “Pre-season is for getting back into the swing of things and getting sharp ready for the season. All the lads in the changing room are saying we can’t wait for the season to start now... so bring on Saturday (when the Stags host Newport County in League Two).
Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town-loan-striker-tyler-walker-can-t-wait-for-league-two-season-to-start-1-9274358
“I feel fit and sharp and ready to go - the same as all the lads. We have played (against) four Championship teams and done really well and held our own. We feel like it is coming together. “I can’t wait for it to start. It is going to be a good season and hopefully we can deliver for the fans.
“We are trying to excite them (the fans) and play good football, which is suiting the lads and can only help everyone. The gaffer has been brilliant with us and hopefully it will get better.”
Walker said it would take time for the Stags’ new faces to gel, but they were already doing well. “It is a new team and we are all getting used to each other. It is going to take a bit of time to get used to the runs everyone makes and who does what, but I feel like we have done really well in pre-season,” he said.
“We are only going to get better as a team. “It is important that we go out to win (no matter who we are playing). It is a winning mentality that we are looking for and every game is winnable we feel because we have got a good squad.” Talking about his winner, the striker said: “It was a good build-up by the team and I was set up nicely. I am happy I have scored it and happy we have got the win. “I have really enjoyed myself (at Mansfield). With previous loans I have not come in this early, so this has helped me to settle in a lot and get to know the boys. I feel really settled now. “Every season is a big season but hopefully this season we can all do what is expected of us and deliver.”
POST MATCH - Warne pleased with final run out
Rotherham United boss Paul Warne spoke to iFollow Millers after his side’s final pre-season match of the season.
The Millers enjoyed a tough final runout at Mansfield with the Stags edging a close encounter 2-1.
“The second-half performance was excellent,” said Warne. “I don’t think they had a corner or a shot on target, second-half. We made changes to give everyone a fair chance of winning a shirt for Brentford. A lot of people can come out with a lot of credit.
“I like to win, but it wasn’t the case today. I can’t fault their effort and we kept knocking on the door. On another day we might have won the game but Mansfield are a good side. I knew it would be a difficult game. I think, in fairness, we were the better team but the scoreline doesn’t reflect that.
“I made a lot of changes today and gave the lads who didn’t start the other night a chance to try and grab a shirt off some of the others.”
A goal from Sean Raggett cancelled out Mansfield’s opener from Craig Davies before the hosts regained the lead through Tyler Walker before half-time. But Warne was most pleased to see Jamie Proctor back in action, as were the travelling 466 Millers fans.
“It was great to have Proctor back on the pitch,” added Warne. “I thought he looked pretty good, to be fair. He’s still a little bit rusty but he was a definite handful, as was Smithy when he was on the pitch. Bally looked bright, Joe Mattock was excellent. I had to end the game with Semi and Wilesy in midfield.
“I thought Proctor’s header was going in and then he chipped the ‘keeper, if it had gone in the bench would have gone ballistic for him. It was a good day and I’m not disappointed at all. We’ll look at the game and show the lads where they went wrong but we tried to win the ball back and that’s all we can ask for.”