FLITCROFT AND TOMMY WRIGHT REACTION
Stags' boss reflects on 'fantastic' meeting
mansfieldtown.net, Saturday 05 January 2019
Stags’ boss David Flitcroft has spoken of a ‘fantastic’ meeting held on Thursday, in which Mansfield’s transfer strategy for this month was discussed.
Present at the meeting, along with the manager, was chairman John Radford, chief executive Carolyn Radford, head of football operations Greg Abbott and assistant manager Ben Futcher.
The Stags’ manager says it was ‘brilliant’ to review the season so far, and implement a plan for the closing months of the season.
“It [meeting with the chairman, chief executive, Greg Abbott and assistant manager Ben Futcher] was fantastic,” he said. “It was a meeting where we were making sure that the strategy and the business plan were on track.
“We were discussing how we were going to reassemble and rebalance, and make sure that in the next four months we’re all fully aware of the football plan.
“Recruitment has to be clear and precise. That’s what we’re trying to do. It’s something that’s important to me as a manager to know why we are doing what we’re doing.
“It was brilliant to review where we are at this stage of the season, and the strategy for the business end of the season.”
The Mansfield chief also elaborated on the current situations of forwards CJ Hamilton and Tyler Walker, the latter of which has a recall option in his loan deal from Nottingham Forest.
The boss says there have been no bids for Hamilton, and that Walker’s representatives are ‘comfortable’ with where the striker is currently plying his trade.
“There’s been no official bid [for CJ Hamilton] at the minute,” he added. “There have been enquiries for the services of CJ, but we’re not going to talk about which clubs.
“He is a player that is courted and there’s no doubt about that. It’s no good trying to hide the fact that clubs want him.
“I just hope it doesn’t affect CJ and the way he has been playing and thinking, as he has really been focused on the team and his individual performances.
“CJ is a player I love working with and spending time with. He is a player that will keep getting better. He has the tools, and that’s my job, to tap into that potential.
“We’ve not had anything to tell us otherwise [on Walker staying at Mansfield]. Greg [Abbott, head of football operations] has been on with that, and they [Nottingham Forest] are really comfortable with where he’s at.
“It’s the transfer window and things can change, it’s just how it is. We have to prepare for all eventualities and possibilities, and that is something that we will be doing.”
Tonight’s loss against Carlisle was the Stags’ first away defeat in Sky Bet League Two this season, and despite a ‘valiant’ second half showing from his charges, the manager conceded that they were beaten by the ‘better team on the day.’
“We expected them to come at us and they sat quite deep. When you’re a possession-based team like we are, you have to be in position.
“We were away from home but worried about the counter-attack situation. That’s how they’ve done us for the first goal.
“This is a big pitch, and with ten men, and I thought the lads showed a valiant effort second half. We gave them a few problems when we put the ball in the box.
“We just had to be more patient and clinical with the ball. We’ll look at that and make sure we get it right for the next game.
“The key for me was the third goal. If those last ten minutes are at 2-1, it becomes edgy. But when they got the third one, it gave them a bit of breathing space.
“Carlisle were the better team on the day so respect to them. They were excellent today.”
The manager also discussed Neal Bishop’s red card, after the midfielder was sent off at the half-time interval, whilst adding that the Stags will bounce back quickly from tonight’s defeat.
“Bish [Neal Bishop] is as honest a player I’ve worked with. He is totally committed to his profession.
“You could see something boiling over before the half-time interval. He was aggrieved, and rightly so, after a horrendous tackle on him.
“We went into the tunnel, and the two players that were involved [Bishop and Danny Grainger] went face-to-face as nobody got in between them.
“The fourth official was nowhere near it, and those two players have been allowed to walk off the pitch together.
“Grainger has put his face into Bish’s, and Bish has put his face into his, and he [referee] has deemed it a second yellow.”
“We will face what has not gone right today, and take the positives. We’ll make sure we get rid of those mistakes and errors.
“Teams know how we play and they raise their game. We have to go to that level and beyond it. It’s the business end of the season.
“We have to be better in what we do and first half we weren’t. We’ll flush it out and move on very quickly.
“We have to move on and be ready for the next task. The preparation for that will be as good as anything.”
iFollow Stags subscribers can watch the manager’s interview in full by logging into mansfieldtown.net/ifollow later today.
Manager David Flitcroft says Mansfield Town must quickly put Carlisle United disappointment behind them after runs are ended
chad.co.uk, Saturday 05 January 2019
Mansfield Town manager David Flitcroft said his side had to quickly put the disappointment of losing their unbeaten records in today’s 3-2 defeat at Carlisle United behind them and move on. Trailing 2-0, Stags had Neal Bishop sent off for a half-time altercation with United’s Danny Grainger and, despite a battling second half, saw their 17-game unbeaten run and unbeaten away record halted.
“It’s an uphill task when you’re 2-0 down with 10 men on this pitch,” said Flitcroft. “But I have to credit Carlisle as I thought they were really good today. They played with a freedom and were the better team on the day.
Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/manager-david-flitcroft-says-mansfield-town-must-quickly-put-carlisle-united-disappointment-behind-them-after-runs-are-ended-1-9522116
“We were protecting a fantastic run of games and our boys had that fight about them. It would have been interesting if we could have kept it at 2-1 a bit longer. It would have become edgy.
“They had a right go but just didn’t affect them enough which is the disappointing aspect of today. Our biggest crime today was not moving the ball quickly enough first half.
“We have to face what’s gone wrong today and focus on the positives. “We have to flush this out really quickly. I have to forgive the lads and they have to forgive themselves. We need to move on very quickly.”
Flitcroft was unhappy with the officials over Bishop’s dismissal. Already on a yellow card, Bishop was upset over a bad tackle from Grainger before the break and the two players were allowed to walk off together.
“Neal Bishop is beside himself in there,” said Flitcroft. “It started just before near the home dug-out. It was a horrendous tackle on Bish, we could all see that. “Bish was clearly distraught with the decision - it was a bad one.
"The altercation down the tunnel came when the two players walked down by the side of each other, both sledging. “As they both turned round Grainger has put his face in Bish’s and Bish has put his face in his.
“The fourth official at that point gets really brave and makes a decision instead of doing it before. “He should have been proactive and got between the players. This is what happens with League Two refereeing.
“Afterwards he said it was nothing to do with them. But you are still in control if you can send a player off in a tunnel. “He’s been a fantastic player for us this season and he is a big miss.”
Stags were already up against it after letting in two early goals. “The early goal gave Carlisle an opportunity to sit deep and defend their half of the pitch, which they did really well,” said Flitcroft. “We just didn’t have enough spark or expertise to go and really undo them. “They almost played like an away team, but are they quite good on the counter-attack. “The really important thing when you are a possession-based team like we are and trying to move the ball is you have got to be in position. “As you are trying to move the ball through the pitch you have to be in good positions for that counter-attack.” He added: “It’s mad going away from home and you are worried about a counter-attack situation, but that’s how they’ve done us on the first one. “Then they switched it quickly on the second one and we weren’t in good positions to recover from that. “You’re 2-0 down, then we had a man sent off at half-time. This is a big pitch, so the lads’ effort second half was a valiant one.”
Mansfield Town hoping transfer speculation won’t distract the focus of star man CJ Hamilton
chad.co.uk, Saturday 05 January 2019
Mansfield Town manager David Flitcroft is hoping speculation over the future of CJ Hamilton does not affect the player’s fantastic form in the January window. With clubs like Preston and West Brom said to be interested in buying the winger/wing back, Flitcroft said there had been no actual bids as yet.
“There is interest and there are enquiries,” he said. “There are a lot of questions being asked. But nothing official had dropped through on the email yet. We’ve had no official bid.
Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/mansfield-town-hoping-transfer-speculation-won-t-distract-the-focus-of-star-man-cj-hamilton-1-9522134
“We won’t mention which clubs. We will leave speculation to the media and do our business professionally. “But I just hope there is no skulduggery going on behind the scenes with agents and messing around with CJ’s psyche.
“CJ has had his success from listening to the right people who are having a positive impact on him. “If there is a quick buck to be made then what tends to happen is they try to make a decision. But CJ is not a youngster - he is experienced.
“We will look after him here. He’s in a good place and we don’t want to see him get distracted from his football. “He is only focused on Mansfield Town and getting better as we’ve seen all season.”
Mansfield are hoping to get the green light from Nottingham Forest to keep top scorer Tyler Walker for the rest of the season, but may have to wait until 15th January for a final answer. Flitcroft said: “Greg (Abbott, football operations manager) has been in contact with them and right now they are very happy with how it’s gone and what we’ve done with Tyler. They’re happy with his progress.
“The chairman and Carolyn (Radford) have an excellent relationship with the owners of Forest.
“Everyone is doing what they can. But you never know in football. Things can change in the window and you must prepare for all eventualities. “I think the 15th January is when we get the definitive.”
On the incoming side, Flitcroft said there could be a new face this week after a meeting between himself, Abbott and the Radfords. “We had a fantastic meeting on Thursday - very productive, looking at our targets and really nailing the key targets we are after,” he said. “Maybe in the next two or three days we might have some movement.”
Neal Bishop @NealBish
Apologies to everyone for yesterday, my stupidity probably cost us a point, the boys were different class 2nd half and I owe them big style. I take full responsibility and am determined to make amends. @mansfieldtownfc
REACTION: It was all about team work
Tommy Wright with his thoughts on the Mansfield victory
carlisleunited.co.uk, by Andy Hall
Caretaker boss Tommy Wright gave us his reaction to the home win against Mansfield Town which took the team to six wins a run - the first time that has been achieved by the club since 2008.
“We’re disappointed with the goals we conceded but I thought some of the football we played was terrific,” he said. “The three goals were fantastic team goals, and we’re pleased with the performance because Mansfield are a good side who were unbeaten in 17. We’re delighted.
“We had a plan, and I spoke to a couple of the players before the game about us sitting in a bit and trying to get on the counter-attack. I think we’re a very good counter-attacking team, which we showed against Oldham when we scored six.
“We had a game plan which worked well. I thought the two centre halves did really well in the first half, they dealt with a lot of crosses and were first to every ball. Like I say, we scored two great goals on the counter, which is pleasing.”
On the devastating manner of the attacking football the team is playing at the moment, he said: “We’re attacking at pace and keeping control of the ball, with Jamie Devitt right at the heart of it. Danny Grainger has done well in that position on the left as well, particularly with his quality in the last third.
“We played some great stuff in the first half, but I thought the two centre halves were very good, so I’m very pleased. Adam [Collin] did well with crosses in the first half as well, and his decision making was fantastic.
“I thought we could have counter-attacked more from Adam, but I’ll watch the game back and have a look at that. We sat on our heels a bit when he got the ball in his hands, and I want us to get out and forward much more from that kind of situation.”
With goals of real quality proving to be the difference between the sides on the day, he commented: “The first two goals were all about team work and people having vision. There was a lot of unselfishness and Hallam [Hope] was in the right position to put it in the back of the net for the second.
“Sowerby keeps popping them in at the moment, so we’re very pleased. All three goals were good goals which probably belong at a higher level, to be honest. If you saw those goals in the Premier League people would be saying they were great goals.
“We’ve got quality here, we just need to keep producing what we’re doing at the moment and believe in themselves, because they’re good players.”
“I was disappointed with the goals we conceded because I thought it let them back in a little bit, and a time when we were totally in control,” he admitted. “I don’t think some of the fans were happy when we were passing it square and backwards, but it’s been a hectic period and I wanted them to save a bit of energy, if they could.
“The big thing about this weekend was that we’ve een on a great run and we wanted to keep it going. We’ve been scoring quality goals, we’ve been playing with a bit of style, and that’s what’s been impressing me most.
“Yes, you want to score from set pieces and things like that, but we’ve scored some great team and individual goals. In this game it came down to teamwork and players being unselfish.”
Despite what could have been an unsettling 24-hours, he also spoke about how pleased he was with the reaction from the group.
“I’ve been encouraging the lads all the time to believe in what they can do,” he explained. “The most important thing for all of them is to make sure they take care of the ball.
“That little yellow and white thing they kick around out there can make them millionaires, or it can put them on the dole.
“Love it [the ball]. Love it as much as you love your girlfriend or your wife, because it’s your life. The best teams in the world don’t do silly things, they don’t give it away, they keep it. They concentrate on the little things, and it’s the little things that made the difference for us today.
“That’s why I was disappointed with the two goals we conceded, because they were basically high balls into the box that we should have dealt with.
“But, like I say, we’re beating good teams in a good way and the fans are enjoying it as well. That’s credit to the players, and if they can keep the consistency going, they’ll be in a great place.”
Tommy Wright happy at Carlisle but concedes the identity of John Sheridan's successor needs to be confirmed before he commits his future at United
By Thomas Reeves, Carlisle News and Star
Wright, and first-team coach Paul Murray, were in caretaker charge of the Blues for their 3-2 home victory over Mansfield after Chesterfield-bound Sheridan’s resignation on Friday.
They guided the Blues to a sixth successive win, meaning they are on their best run since 2008, and are up to fifth in the League Two table with Hallam Hope netting twice and Jack Sowerby also on target.
But, despite their recent success on the pitch, the identity of the next man in United’s hot-seat is hot on the agenda with Gavin Skelton the new bookmakers’ favourite having resigned as Workington Reds manager yesterday.
Wright says he is enjoying working at Brunton Park, and didn’t rule out taking the position himself on a permanent basis.
Asked if the vacancy interested him, the 52-year-old Scot said: "Well, they [the board] have got to ask me first, although I know you probably think that’s a bit of a cop-out. But I do like it here.
"I get on with Dave [Holdsworth, director of football] very well and I get on very well with the chairman [Andrew Jenkins] and we’ll have a glass of Malbec together, so we’ll see what happens.
"I’ve been in football a long time and I’ve been caretaker before.
"It’s a very attractive job, so I’m sure Dave and the chairman’s phones will be ringing all the time, especially when you have won six on the bounce. It’s up to them. The balls in their court.”
When asked about the possibility of staying at Carlisle as a No.2 should the Blues appoint a new boss, Wright added: "It depends who the person is.
"If it’s someone who I have a bit of history with and don’t like, that’s not going to work! We’ll just see. It’s been a hectic time."
The future of a number of United players is still to be resolved, with Ashley Nadesan due back at Fleetwood tomorrow and Anthony Gerrard’s current contract also up this week.
"Ashley has been recalled, that was his last game. We are still talking to Fleetwood. We’re not sure what Fleetwood want," Wright said.
"I don’t know what Gez is doing. Maybe playing a game. Dave is talking to him and has been over the last couple of days, but he likes a bit of drama Gez, don’t he."
On yesterday's win that ended the Stags’ long unbeaten run and saw Carlisle equal their best run since John Ward’s reign, Wright said: "We are disappointed with the two goals we conceded. But I thought some of the football we played was terrific.
"I thought the three goals were fantastic team goals. I’m really pleased with the performance because they are a good side [and were] unbeaten in 17 so, overall, I’m delighted."