FLITCROFT AND RYAN LOWE REACTION
Stags' boss 'disappointed' with Trophy exit
mansfieldtown.net, Tuesday 04 December 2018
Stags’ boss David Flitcroft has said that despite an improved second half showing from his players, he was ultimately left ‘disappointed’ with Mansfield’s exit from the Checkatrade Trophy at the hands of Bury.
Forward Dominic Telford scored the only goal of the contest, in which there was late drama, as Stephen Dawson was sent off, and Stags’ ‘keeper Conrad Logan saved Caolan Lavery’s penalty in the 88th minute.
The Mansfield manager was frank in his assessment of his side’s display.
“It wasn’t good enough,” he said. “I look at the first half performance and we never got anywhere near Bury. They’re one of the first teams that have come here and [been allowed to] move the ball really well.
“We didn’t lay a finger on them first half. They deservedly went 1-0 up with a well-taken goal so I had no qualms at half-time.
“We made it to half-time only one goal down, and that’s when you stamp your authority. But we were loose with the ball and sloppy. We didn’t represent for each other.
“Second half we looked better and moved the ball better. The injection of CJ [Hamilton] really gave them a problem down that side.
“We had to stay professional and cause them problems when they went down to ten men, but we nearly gave them an opening for the second goal.
“We looked more like ourselves and what our values stand for [in the second half]. But it’s really disappointing to get knocked out and not having the opportunity of still being in the hat and trying to get to Wembley.
“We will certainly be starting work tomorrow and making sure that we are 40 per cent better than that come Saturday.”
When asked if the recent break that his players have had from match action was a possible factor in tonight’s loss, with Mansfield not playing in a competitive fixture since the match against Lincoln on Saturday 24 November, he said: “We looked a yard off the pace from our usual selves. I’m glad I’ve played the players that I have because after that time out, it’s got it out of their system.
“What I do know now is that I have a group of players that like to be in a rhythm. They like to be in a rhythm of Saturday-Tuesday football.
“It’s really important to keep the players in that rhythm because that’s where they found their form.
“We had that feel good factor and the lads were buoyant [after Lincoln], so I didn’t see that first half coming, and to say I’m disappointed is probably an understatement.”
David Flitcroft made three changes at the break - which saw an enhanced performance - and explained his reasoning behind the decision after the match.
“We went to 4-3-3 and changed the shape [in the second half]. KP [Krystian Pearce] had a bit of a groin strain, so we flipped it to a back-four.
“CJ carries and offers that threat. He was ill during the Lincoln game so we have to make sure he gets right, so I only really wanted him to play 45 minutes.
“Timi Elsnik and CJ made a difference second half. The shape looked better.”
Looking ahead to Stags’ next fixture, the Nottinghamshire Derby against Notts County, the manager spoke of how much the game means to himself and the Mansfield faithful.
“I’m hurting now. I’ll get a good night’s sleep, come tomorrow, and all I’ll be focusing on is Notts County.
“I remember the Chesterfield game [last season] and the game against Notts in the snow. It’s red hot. The supporters will be up for it.
“There’s so much riding on it. I’ll be certainly letting the players know what it means to me and our supporters.
“We’ve been really consistent all season in a lot we’ve done. I just have to make sure that tomorrow, all the players know exactly what is expected from each one of them, ready for a red hot game on Saturday.”
iFollow Stags subscribers can watch the full interview with David Flitcroft by logging into mansfieldtown.net/ifollow.
No excuses from boss as below-par Mansfield Town exit Trophy
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Tuesday 04 December 2018
Mansfield Town boss David Flitcroft hopes tonight’s 1-0 home defeat by Bury will spur his side on for Saturday’s big local derby and see off any rust from a 10-day lay-off. The Stags turned in an uncharacteristically poor showing as they were knocked out of the Checkatrade Trophy with ex-Stag Stephen Dawson sent off and Conrad Logan saving a penalty in a thrilling finish.
A strong Mansfield side clearly showed they had not played for a while but Flitcroft said: “I am not making any excuses whatsoever. “When my team players well I will say so, but when they don’t I will admit it.
Read more at: https://www.hucknalldispatch.co.uk/sport/football/no-excuses-from-boss-as-below-par-mansfield-town-exit-trophy-1-9476880
“It wasn’t good enough. In the first half we never got anywhere near Bury. “They moved the ball around really well - as good as MK Dons did when they came here. We didn’t get up close and personal. We had no punch or zip in our play.
“When we did we were not composed enough to hurt them with any quality. “We didn’t lay a finger on them first half and they deservedly went 1-0 up with a well-taken goal. “I had no qualms at half-time as they were the better team.”
Stags went from three at the back to a back four after three half-time changes and were improved. But the manager said: “It’s no good having a second half resurgence as you have wasted 45 minutes of your life when you should have been stamping your authority. “Second half we moved the ball better and caused them more problems, though we didn’t work the keeper enough.
“The injection of CJ Hamilton gave them a problem down that side and we nearly got in a couple of times while the keeper pulled off a good save.
“But even after (Stephen) Dawson’s sending-off, we were loose and gave the ball away and it was only Logan’s good penalty save that’s kept it at 1-0.” He added: “It’s really disappointing to get knocked out and lose the opportunity of getting to Wembley this season. “It is a wonderful place and we aspired to do that this season.
“We will start work tomorrow and make sure we are 40 per cent better than that come Saturday.”
Flitcroft believes the lay-off disrupted their rhythm and was delighted he played a strong side. “It certainly looked like it first half. We looked a yard off the pace from our usual self,” he said. “I am so glad I played the players I played to get that time out out of their system.
“What I do know now is that I have a group of players that enjoy being in the rhythm of Saturday/Tuesday football. “That’s where they have found their form.
“I was gutted to have the game called off against Crawley last Tuesday. “I am not too sure if the team tonight would have been as strong had we got the Crawley game in.
“Once that was off it was important with the derby game coming up that we got the players back in the rhythm of work. “I hope they will now be absolutely en pointe for Saturday.
“Training has been good this week and I didn’t see that first half coming, so to say I am disappointed is an understatement.”
Stags have a concern over skipper Krystian Pearce, who came off at the interval, and winger CJ Hamilton, who has been ill. “KP was feeling something in his groin strain at half-time. So we decided to be cautious with Saturday’s game coming up,” said Flitcroft. “CJ has had a lot of illness and he wasn’t well against Lincoln. “He has had a bad abscess and hasn’t been eating properly. “He has dropped quite a bit of weight so we have to make sure we get him right. So we only wanted him to play 45 minutes and we need to make sure we get as much fuel in him as possible.”
Ryan Lowe on
RL: Proud coming to Mansfield and playing like we did
RL: I’m spoilt because I don’t just have a good team, I have a good squad
RL: I’m pleased with the performances of Barjonas and Tommy Miller
RL: Mansfield are a good team and have some good players but we have to credit the lads, we played some good stuff
RL: It was a great little finish but I’ll always be critical of Dom because I know what he can do
RL: I appreciate that [Manager Of The Match Nomination] but it’s not just me, it’s the others, I don’t just have the squad, I have the coaching staff too
RL: Proud as punch of the players - Happy to be in the next round - I’d love to get to Wembley for myself, the players and my staff!
RL: You don’t want to lose 2 or 3 on the bounce, you want a winning mentality and we’ve got that
Lowe pleased with Shakers squad options as festive period looms on horizon
By Ben Collins
After Saturday’s FA Cup exit against Luton, Lowe made nine changes to his starting line-up for Tuesday night’s Checkatrade Trophy tie at Mansfield.
The Shakers hung on for a 1-0 win after Stephen Dawson’s red card six minutes from time to book their place in the third round. And Lowe has no qualms about making further changes over Christmas.
“I’m proud to go to Mansfield and play the way we did,” he said. “We had to freshen it up because the games are coming thick and fast now.
“As I’ve said to the lads, I think I’m a bit spoilt because I haven’t just got a good team, I’ve got a good squad that can be relied on at any moment.
“We’ve got a whole bunch we can rely on. It’s frustrating for some of them at the moment but I’ve told them that patience is the key.
“The way we’re playing in the league and in the cups shows the hard work and determination they’re putting in to take things on board.
“The style of play we’re playing is nice to see and it’s comfortable watching it because I always feel we’re in a good spot.”
Midfielder Jamie Barjonas is one of those who has had to bide his time, with the 19-year-old coming in for his eighth Bury appearance at Mansfield since joining on loan from Rangers in the summer.
“We’ve got a brilliant squad and the manager can trust players to stand in and do a good job, and that’s what we did at Mansfield,” he said. “To a man, the attitude was brilliant and everyone is very fit. We work on that in training a lot.
“In games like that, when you go down to 10 men, your fitness levels show.
“It helped us get the win, which we thoroughly deserved, and all the lads are buzzing.”
The draw for the third round of the Checkatrade Trophy will take place on Saturday at 12:20pm, during Sky Sports’ Soccer Saturday programme.