FLITCROFT ON TRANSFERS & PREVIEWS THE SEASON
Hard work will bring success - Flitcroft
mansfieldtown.net, Tuesday 31 July 2018
Stags' boss David Flitcroft says that Mansfield will only achieve success through hard work as his side approach the first game of the 2018-19 Sky Bet League Two season.
Newport County visit One Call Stadium on Saturday 04 August for our first game of the new campaign, and the manager says that the players know what is expected of them when the time comes.
"I was in the building for eight weeks last season," he said. "But now I've had a length of time here and I understand what the hard-working town wants and what the team should represent.
"We'll play in a certain way that's different to last season. Every game there will be a fight and a fight within that unit.
"The Flitcroft way is making sure you have nothing left in the tank after a game. That you give every ounce of what you have during the week and on Saturday to make sure you look after each other and run for each other.
"The league balances itself out after 12 or 16 games. You start seeing a pattern and a trend develop. With the recruitment we've done and the players from last season, and getting them into a cohesive unit, we're expecting to be challenging at the top-end of the table.
"It's a really robust league. It's a dynamic league and an explosive one. We have to work as a team to combat that, and I feel we've got that.
"Everything that anyone has achieved that is successful has been born out of hard work. That's what I'm going to bring to the club. We'll do it with a humility and an authenticity.
"The players were in during the off-season in between their holidays. They've put that base fitness in and I've seen what they've committed to.
"Now we have to carry it into the pre-season. Pre-season is over now and we're working towards the first game this week. We'll be ready for that 3pm start on Saturday."
After an encouraging pre-season, in which the Stags won three games out of four against Championship opposition, the manager is now eager for the league campaign to begin.
"I've enjoyed it [pre-season]," he added. "The main thing during any pre-season is to make sure you spend plenty of time with your players.
"We had a great week in Portugal making sure we were all on the same page in possession and out of possession.
"The biggest thing for me is bringing the signings in just before pre-season. It's had a massive effect. That's allowed me to integrate them into the squad and allowed me to get that fresh impetus into the squad.
"The players of last season have really accepted them well. There's been a cohesion with the squad, and this season I'm seeing a group of players that absolutely want to play for the football club.
"We have a cause this season to make sure we're as good as we can be. Right through the group there's a want to improve.
"We've had some good results through pre-season but they count for nothing. The individual performances are what we're looking at.
"I always am [excited for the new season]. I get excited about the games. There's been a lot of work on the training ground. Now we'll see whether it's been applied and whether it's the right programme to get us off to a good start.
"We've got a lot of players at the club now who are assets. I look at improving the individuals within a team format. What I've gone for are explosive, dynamic players."
Stags' boss Flitcroft also gave an update on the club's current stance in the transfer window, and has revealed that is likely to exercise a loan option on any further potential incomings.
"With only four days left [of the transfer window], we've had some interest in our players. We've had bids that we've turned down on our players. We're bracing ourselves for more potetntial bids and we're still looking.
"The balance is good but we don't know what's going to happen in the next four days. You have to continue to look. Once the window is shut, we still have the loan market and the loan opportunity.
"With the top clubs it's hard to get those players at the start of pre-season because they're usually on a tour where young players get the opportunity with the first team.
"When they get back to the clubs they either spend time in the under-21s or get loaned out. It does present some good opportunities and we could take advantage of that."
iFollow Stags subscribers will be able to watch the manager's morning news conference in full by logging into mansfieldtown.net/ifollow later today.
Mansfield Town hoping on availability of Krystian Pearce
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS
Mansfield Town are hoping skipper Krystian Pearce will feel ready to lead the side on Saturday for the big opening home clash with Newport County on Saturday. An incident in the Sheffield Wednesday friendly last week led to a mass brawl and Stags reporting the Owls to the FA and Police for an alleged racist remark, denied by Wednesday. A furious Pearce had to be hauled off the field by manager David Flitcroft that night and, on Saturday, he was brought off before the interval with Flitcroft deciding he was in no fit state mentally to focus.
“We hope he will be right for Saturday - he trained yesterday,” said Flitcroft.
“I have the utmost respect for Krystian Pearce and what he’s stepped up to do. But that took its toll on him. “It is mental pressure and when your mental state is not brilliant, your physical state not either as the two work in tandem and always have and always will.
“The PFA and Kick It Out campaign are supporting tools. “It’s really important we support Krystian over the next weeks or months, whatever it’s going to be. “We have got to do that. I have been very good at that over the years I have been doing this as a coach.
“I manage these players like they are my own family - tough love but also unconditional support. “Krystian will get every bit of support we can offer him through this testing time. “He is meeting the chairman and Carolyn Radford, who want to offer their support too.
“We will get round him. The PFA and Kick It Out have put good structures around to deal with this sort of thing. “So it’s important we all say the same message. “We will get Krystian back to his best and get him up and running.”
Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/mansfield-town-hoping-on-availability-of-krystian-pearce-1-9280524
Late shock as Mansfield Town brace themselves to lose striker duo on eve of season
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Tuesday 31 July 2018
Mansfield Town could lose strikers Danny Rose and Lee Angol on the eve of the new season if the chasing clubs meet Stags’ valuations. With Newport County the visitors for Saturday’s big kick-off (3pm), boss David Flitcroft admitted there were several clubs chasing his two strikers and, although early bids have been rejected as below value, he believes it is likely the prices on their heads will still be met. That will leave him needing to look elsewhere for another striker at the 11th hour, though he said it would only be one as he felt they probably already had one too many already.
Flitcroft, who also expects to bring in a loan centre half this week, said: “I think transparency is important at the football club, especially with where social media is at now, and we have had offers for both Lee and Danny.
“Was I expecting them this late? Probably in the current climate when the domino effect starts after strikers begin getting sold for good money. “The climate has been quite dry for goalscorers and there is real value in them.
Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/late-shock-as-mansfield-town-brace-themselves-to-lose-striker-duo-on-eve-of-season-1-9278069
“We are now bracing ourselves for those bids to go upwards from where they at and we need to start concentrating on maybe having to bring somebody in on the back of that.”
He added: “A football club is always progressing and moving forward and you are always trying to balance what you are doing. “The chairman will receive those bids and obviously we are trying to get as much money as we can for the players.”
Flitcroft stressed that every single player in the world has a value for other clubs to meet and top scorer Rose and hot prospect Angol were no different. He said: “There is a valuation on every single player in every single team all over the world. We have a valuation on those two players and, if that’s met, there is a chance they will go.
“Everyone in world football is for sale as we’ve seen over the summer. Mansfield are no different to the best clubs in the world in terms of everyone having a valuation.
“We’re running a business here. I understand that. Everywhere I’ve been I’ve been very successful at getting good value for the players I’ve had.
“The job of a football club is to keep progressing, finding that next level and that next player to keep improving and driving forward, investing that money back into the stock.
“It’s really important having owners that understand the value of money. They have put a fee on both the players and, if a bid comes in at that level, I am sure they would accept.”
Flitcroft said he was not fazed by the possibility of losing the pair so close to the big kick-off. “It’s not a blow for me, we’d just get on with it if they go. That’s football. I am not a victim,” he said.
“We are all working together at this football club. If we have to reset our targets and look for something different then we’ve got to do that.
“We are working on it now and probably have been for 10 days. “We probably have one too many strikers here already with the emergence of young Jordan Graham.”
Flitcroft said he expected the team to chip in goals from all departments this season rather than rely on a striker like Rose. “I am expecting Otis Khan to score goals for us - we didn’t have any midfield goals last season,” he said.
“I think there might be goals in Macca (Alex MacDonald) - we are certainly working on getting him higher up the pitch. “Mal Benning could also be scoring goals this season with how high he is playing up the pitch.
“You have to score goals from all over the pitch and every great team does that in a positive campaign rather than put all your eggs in one basket and rely on one player. “If he gets injured from day one what is your strategy then?”
Mansfield Town set to sign young centre half on loan
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS
Mansfield Town hope to have a young centre half in on loan from a higher division ahead of the weekend’s season opener against Newport County. After trialist Nathan Cameron was ruled out with a knee injury, boss David Flitcroft has turned his attentions elsewhere and said: “We’ve moved on a couple of players after Cammy got injured.
“The difficulty has been that a lot of young players have been away with Premiership and Championship squads. “Now, with a week or so to go, it really loosens off and clubs start to look at their squads and see if it’s too big. “That should open an opportunity to bring someone in on loan.”
He added: “We’ve had a look at a couple of permanent options, but they’ve not been right in terms of finance. “We looked at a couple of out-of-contract players but the figures were too high. “They were trying to hold us to ransom a little bit so that ship has now probably sailed. “So we will probably dip into the loan market. We are working with a couple of clubs at the minute on that situation.
“It could happen Wednesday (today), if not we’ll have one in training with us on Thursday for sure.”
Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/mansfield-town-set-to-sign-young-centre-half-on-loan-1-9279347
Mansfield Town boss backing Colchester United to be League Two’s surprise package
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS
Mansfield Town boss David Flitcroft believes Colchester United could be a surprise League two title challenger this season. For the second year in a row, Stags are among the favourites to go up and Flitcroft said: “I get the promotion favourites tag but nobody had Accrington as a promotion favourite last season, and look at the work they did with an honesty and an authenticity. “I think Lincoln City will be up there, Notts County again too, and Colchester could be a surprise package. “There are four or five teams that will be challenging and we certainly want to be one of them. That’s my ambition and the players’ ambition.”
Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/mansfield-town-boss-backing-colchester-united-to-be-league-two-s-surprise-package-1-9280571
David Flitcroft happy with Mansfield Town’s fitness levels
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS
Mansfield Town will fine-tune fitness this week to make sure players are perfectly fresh for Saturday’s opener. “We are in a good place,”said boss David Fltcroft. “We just have to get the doses right this week in terms of distance covered and speed covered over that distance. “Every game we’ve played, before and after, we’ve not had much recovery in the players. “We’ve got the distance into them and come through a really tough pre-season programme. “So it’s just making sure that that freshness is there on Saturday now by fine-tuning our work. “It’s all about continual progression for me - seeing improvement individually and collectively. “We need to keep striving forward with an honesty and a sincerity. “Any success that has been achieved has always been born out of hard work, dedication and sacrifice. And I have a group of players there that are prepared to do that, a staff that are prepared to do that and our owners that epitomise that sacrifice, dedication and sincerity.”
Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/david-flitcroft-happy-with-mansfield-town-s-fitness-levels-1-9280583
I'll match manager's enthusiasm - Preston
Stags' defender Matt Preston says he is looking to match manager David Flitcroft's enthusiasm on the pitch in the upcoming 2018-19 Sky Bet League Two season.
Recently-signed Stags' centre-back Matt Preston has been happily welcomed into the squad by his new teammates and - as one of just a handful of summer signings by boss David Flitcroft - looks to leave everything on the pitch for the manager, who has highly praised Preston’s performances.
"I’m going to replicate his [Flitcroft’s] enthusiasm," Preston said. "It’s a good feeling knowing you can do your thing and you know the gaffer is going to back you.
"[The pre-season] has gone very well. We’ve played a lot of very good Championship teams and got some wins, and that can only be a confidence boost going into the season.
"For myself personally, I’d say the number one thing for me is to play the games. I think that the more you play and the more experience you get, the more you learn.
"I’m more about learning and I want to develop my game and play at the highest level I can, and I think that’s everyone’s ambition in football.
"As a team, I personally don’t like to look too far ahead. I like to think of each performance as they come. If you get a good performance in the league, then all the other things will look after themselves.
"I like to just think of where I am at the time. I just want to play the best that I can per week, and the rest will look after itself in the future."
Despite only joining Mansfield in the summer, Preston has heard talk from his teammates that there’s a different feeling in the dressing room compared to the majoirty of last season.
"I don’t know what it was like last year, but from what the players are saying, it’s a completely different atmosphere and there’s more togetherness.
"That’s what you need in a football team. It has to be a team - not just individuals."
Preston also commented on what he believes is a versatile, determined Stags' team that is focused on taking it match-by-match this season.
"I’d say being dynamic is our number one thing. We’ve got a lot of strings to our bow.
"We can change formation and we can play different types of football with the players that we’ve got. That’s a credit to the gaffer for the players that he’s recruited.
"Everyone is going to give their all in every game. I feel like that’s what fans want to see. They want to see people throwing themselves in front of tackles, blocking, and passing the ball right to make it look like it means something - because it definitely means something.
"I feel like you’re putting in added pressure if you start to think too far ahead and get carried away. It’s best to stay grounded, think about what’s going on right now and concentrate on your personal performance for each game.
"We will give 100 percent effort in our performances."
Logan highlights importance of squad unity
Stags' 'keeper Conrad Logan has emphasised the importance of 'togetherness' in the squad heading into the new campaign, due to the tough nature of Sky Bet League Two.
Stags kick off their 2018-19 season at home to Newport County on Saturday 04 August.
Mansfield shot-stopper Logan stressed the need for unity heading into the new season, and added his belief that the players will have a different mindset heading into the new campaign compared to last season.
"We’ve worked really hard on that togetherness, that’s something that is vital," Logan said.
"There’s going to be tough Tuesday nights away in these leagues where you need to all stand up together and be together to get that result.
"It’s a work in progress for this club from where they’ve come from over the last few years. There was a great buzz about the club when I signed last season.
"We signed a lot of players last year, myself included, and we probably sort of got caught up on, ‘if you sign enough players you’ll get promoted’, and we all know that’s not the case.
"We can’t promise anything, and I think it’s wrong to think we promised anything last year. It’s an expectation more than anything with clubs.
"If owners come in with a lot of money and start buying players, there’s no guaranteed success. I think that as a group, players and management staff, we’ll give our all this season and really try and improve on where we finished last season.
"League Two is a very difficult league. Every game is a hard-fought game, there’s no gimmies. I think the structure and what the manager has done this year will hopefully stand us in good stead for the season to come."
Logan also spoke of manager Flitcroft's additions to the Stags' squad since the turn of the summer transfer window.
"You know, we weren’t a million miles away last season. We’ve added a couple players to it, we haven’t gone mad and we’ve probably just added what the manager has set his targets on," Logan said.
"He’s got the type of players and the personnel he’s wanted from the start, so he’s added that quality to the squad. We realise where we possibly went wrong last year and what we can improve on, and I think that little bit of quality will help us."
Logan also says he is ready to get the League Two season under way, which kicks off on Saturday at 3pm against Newport.
"Pre-season is great for getting in fitness, getting in games and tactics sorted, but when you wake up this week, this is work week. This is what it’s all about. Three points on the board on Saturday and everybody will be happy.
"It [pre-season] is good for confidence and breeds confidence, but we can’t get too carried away. They are friendly games albeit against a lot of Championship teams, and we’ve held our own.
"We take the positive side of that, but we don’t read too much into results because we all know the amount of changes that can happen in friendly games.
"It’s dog-eat-dog [in League Two]. As I say, there’s no gimmies. Some people probably disrespect some of the smaller teams, but no game is easy.
"It’s a long, hard season and you’ve got to keep your head down. Hopefully we get off to a good start and get the wins and points on the board and keep looking forward to the next one."
iFollow Stags subscribers can watch Conrad Logan's interview from this week's news conference by logging into mansfieldtown.net/ifollow.