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FLITCROFT ON TRANSFERS, YEOVIL ETC
14th January 2019 10:54


Stags working hard in window - manager
mansfieldtown.net, Tue 8 Jan 2018

Stags’ boss David Flitcroft has said there is a ‘lot of work going on’ behind the scenes at Mansfield Town in the early stages of the January transfer window.

The Mansfield boss brought seven players to the club in the summer window, and has a target of three additions this month.

The manager says that after a typically hectic first week of the window, the dust should start to settle as we move further into January.

“Without a doubt [advancements have been made on potential incomings],” he said. “There is a lot of work going on behind the scenes, as there always is.

https://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/2019/january/gaffer-pre-yeovil-press-conference/

“At the minute, I think everyone is in a similar boat where they’re all reassembling squads. The first week is almost a wrestle as some players might not want to leave the club that they’re in.

“Yesterday we were unlucky with a couple [of targets] that we have been chasing for a while. But you have to make sure that when you’re chasing, you have other targets in the background.

“Football is one of those where until you see the signature, you have to be really on your guard. If you are looking at good players, then someone else is looking at those players.

“We have a team that is up near the top of the league. In terms of recruiting, do they want to come and work for Mansfield Town Football Club? Absolutely. It’s not for the money, they come here because they know they are going to improve and we have a really good chance of promotion.

“If we can bring maybe three [players] in - and that’s the target - then that’s going to leave surplus.

“There are some good kids coming through, and we have had the benefit of that with Timi Elsnik and Tyler Walker. It’s really important for players to make games.”

The boss also provided an update on the situations of striker Tyler Walker and winger-cum-forward CJ Hamilton.

“[We look at] anyone that’s going to improve us,” he added. “We have room to get three players in, but that could change.

“The Tyler Walker one is important, because we’ve had really good communication, and thankfully our owners have a good relationship with Nottingham Forest.

“You sometimes get excited, but you have to wait for that signature. Until it is, we have to keep our options open.

“It is still the case [no bids for CJ]. This morning we have had another enquiry. They have been told we’re not looking to sell.

“We had a meeting with the chairman and Carolyn, and we discussed that if he carries on with the way he’s playing, it might be hard [to keep him]. We just have to keep driving towards the top of the league, and we’re all hoping that CJ stays with us in that time.”

Until the narrow 3-2 defeat at Carlisle on Saturday, the Stags were enjoying a club record 15-match away unbeaten run in Sky Bet League Two. The manager cited the reason for the run as consistency and a want to improve from his players.

“We had time to plan in the summer, and went with a plan to the owners to give them a strategy. Anything you do, to be successful, you need consistency.

“We knew we were recruiting quality [in the summer]. When you have a lot of players that want to absorb information, then you have an opportunity to progress and improve.

“When you see players at the elite levels, they do things with more of an intensity. I’ve never known anyone get better by doing less.

“With consistency, you have an opportunity to move up the leagues. The players are buying into development and buying into improving and getting better.

“Once the players were on that [unbeaten run], they wanted to hold onto it and wanted to keep it. Even though we’re an expansive team, there have been times in games where we have had to be resolute.

“Even in the second half against Carlisle, some of the blocks that Matty Preston and Pearcey [Krystian Pearce] made, throwing their bodies on the line, they still had that fighting desire to try and protect the unbeaten run.”

Next up for the Stags is Yeovil Town at One Call Stadium, and the manager says he is looking forward to being back at home in front of the Mansfield faithful.

“It didn’t surprise me the start that they [Yeovil] had because we played them early doors and they were a really good team.

“Darren [Way] has assembled a really good group of players, and the budget he has is probably one of the lowest in the league.

“He finds those young players, but they almost always do six-month or three-month loans, then move on.

“Probably that inconsistency in performance is due to some of that, as maybe he’s not picking the same team which is quite difficult.

“At the start of the season they put some good results together. If you look at us, we have managed to get that consistency, but we have had a solid back three-slash-five, and ever-presents like Neal Bishop, Jacob Mellis, Tyler Walker, CJ Hamilton and Mal Benning.

“Our form at home has been really good and we’ve played some really good football. It’s good to get back in front of our home supporters again.”

This morning we revealed that David Flitcroft has been nominated for Sky Bet League Two’s Manager of the Month award for December. The boss deflected the praise onto the club following his nomination.

“The club is trying to drive towards the results and the consistency. It’s the infrastructure at the club that allows us to go on the runs that we’ve been on.

“You have seen a group of players fighting for each other and fighting for the supporters.

“Any award is not about a person, it’s about people coming together. I see the supporters as part of this, when I see how the supporters have taken to this team.

“I think any award should be recognised as a club award. The club has been able to engage in everything Mansfield Town.”

iFollow Stags subscribers can watch the manager’s interview in full by logging into mansfieldtown.net/ifollow later today.

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Two transfer targets missed, but Mansfield Town boss David Flitcroft still hopeful of new faces this week
chad.co.uk, by John Lomas, Tue 8 Jan 2018

Although Mansfield Town have missed out on two of their January transfer targets, manager David Flitcroft said he was still hopeful of signing two of three proposed new faces this week. He also said the current stature and infrastructure of the club was hugely helping in attracting the interest of quality players and their agents.

“We were definitely hoping to have or or two in this week and we are still hoping,” he said. “Three players is the target, though that can change.

Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/two-transfer-targets-missed-but-mansfield-town-boss-david-flitcroft-still-hopeful-of-new-faces-this-week-1-9526738

“We have hit the bar. Yesterday we were unlucky with a couple we’ve been chasing for a while, but I know from experience that you have to make sure when you chase targets that you have other ones in the background.

“You are spinning a lot of plates - that’s recruitment. “For every six to eight targets you speak to you’re only going to nail one of them. “There is a lot of work going on behind the scenes and there probably has been for four weeks now.

“At the minute I think clubs are in a similar boat where they’re all rebalancing squads and the first two weeks of the window at times can be a wrestle. “Some players may not want to go out of the club they’re in. But then that club may suddenly get someone out of the Championship and that will free someone up.”

Flitcroft said current talks were very promising and the club was a far easier proposition to sell to players than it may have been in the past. “We are getting closer,” he said. “Until you see the signature on paper and it’s legally done you have to be really guarded as, if you’re looking at good players, someone will have them as a target too. “But what we do have is that this is a different Mansfield Town now.

“We have a great stadium and good pitch, a playing style and philosophy that makes players want to come and play with, we have the training ground, we have staff absolutely dedicated to improving players, we have a team near the top of the league, we have fantastic owners and a board who are really stable. It’s really important to agents to have a good infrastructure.

“Players we are speaking to want to come here and work for us. There has been a real shift in that. “They are not coming here for the money or that last windfall, they are coming here as they know they will improve and they have a really good chance of promotion. That’s the thing that excites me. “We are in a really good place as a football club. We are a club with ambition and players with ambition want to come and join us.”

On what position his signings may play, he added: “It’s whatever we think we will improve us. “We still don’t know if Tyler Walker is going to be here. We are hoping and praying CJ is going to be here, but we’re looking at options. “We’ve got room to get three players in. But that could change. You just don’t know what’s round the corner.”

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More clubs join the hunt for Mansfield Town star CJ Hamilton
chad.co.uk, by John Lomas, Tue 8 Jan 2018

Mansfield Town have rebuffed more transfer window enquiries for the thrilling CJ Hamilton. Paceman Hamilton is suddenly hot property this January with Preston North End and West Bromwich Albion reported to have been among the early chasers last week and a fee of £750,000 rumoured. The phone calls have continued this week, but so far the Stags have not had a firm bid and are in no rush to sell a player seen as key to their promotion dream.

“We’ve had more enquires over the last couple of days,” admitted boss David Flitcroft.

Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/more-clubs-join-the-hunt-for-mansfield-town-star-cj-hamilton-1-9526743

“We’ve had another enquiry this morning as to what we are looking to do with him and they’ve been told we’re not looking to sell. “We believe CJ carries the hopes of what we are trying to do this season. He is a driving influence and we feel the engagement between him and the supporters is a key one.

“We had a board meeting yesterday and the chairman and Carolyn (Radford) were really strong on keeping him. “We know if it carries on at the level he’s playing at and the level of interest it might be hard - it is potentially a matter of when it might happen. “We have to continue to try to drive towards the top of the league and we are all hoping CJ stays with us in that time.

“We hope he stays and helps us achieve our dreams and aspirations.”

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Mansfield Town want Paul Anderson and Omari Sterling-James to find new clubs this month
chad.co.uk, by John Lomas, Tue 8 Jan 2018

Mansfield Town boss David Flitcroft is hoping he can persuade Omari Sterling-James and Paul Anderson to find new clubs during the January transfer window. Neither player is in his future plans and at least three new faces are due this month, but both Anderson and Sterling-James are contracted until the summer and could sit tight.

“I am hoping players that are not involved in the team want to go out there, make games and get their football careers back on track,” said Flitcroft. “You can easily become a ghost in football, especially with the good, aspiring kids coming through like Tyler Walker and Timi Elsnik. The next generation is coming through.

Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/mansfield-town-want-paul-anderson-and-omari-sterling-james-to-find-new-clubs-this-month-1-9527661

“I am a retired footballer now and every day I wish I could still play and be in that dressing room, part of something. Luckily for 15 years I was. “Football time is the quickest time. You choose a profession at 16 and sometimes it’s over at 30 or 35. “When I played I wanted to be in the team and I had a target of 500 league games as a player. I think that goes missing a bit in the modern day game with players sat outside the team and it’s all a bit too easy.”

With new faces imminent, Flitcroft said Anderson and Sterling-James would be even further away from the first team picture. “If we can bring maybe three in - and that’s the target - then we will have a surplus,” he said. “Omari has not been round it. But I look at the emergence and development of Jordan Graham, he is someone who’s got his head down and wants to be part of what we’re doing. “That does leave Omari able to go out and get some football.”

On Anderson, he added: “I think last season he probably played more game time than CJ Hamilton. “But our plan and strategy is to make sure we are a club moving forward and it is probably the right choice I’ve made with Paul.

“He’s not been involved in the games. He has had a training programme and, like Omari, it’s his choice if he wants to get out and play games. “He is fit and ready and he has vast experience. If he does want to go out I am sure there’s clubs out there that want to take him. “We have actively tried to get him out. He has six months left on his contract and my advice to any player is go and play football.”

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David Flitcroft praises team effort after another Manager of the Month nomination
chad.co.uk, by John Lomas, Tue 8 Jan 2018

Mansfield Town boss David Flitcroft was delighted to get another Sky Bet EFL League Two Manager of the Month nomination for December - but stressed the success of the month was a combined team effort. “Any award is not about one person. It’s about people coming together and the supporters are part of this too,” he said. “Any award should be recognised as a club award.

“The nomination is great, but I am very experienced and I know it’s a wider picture. Everyone has played a part in the run and results we’ve had.

Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/david-flitcroft-praises-team-effort-after-another-manager-of-the-month-nomination-1-9527589

“It’s great to get the recognition as a club but it’s down to a lot of people working hard to achieve that.”

Praising the backing he has been given from the chairman and board, he added: “It’s all about the club and the support they’ve given me. “Just look at our new training ground. I came here nine months ago and it was just a piece of land. Now we are sat in it.

“We will hopefully be out on grass soon, we will have a gym coming in the near future - it is brilliant. “The results and consistency we’ve had are down to the infrastructure that’s being built. That allows us to go on the runs we have.

“The lads have been stimulated by coming here (to the new training ground). Their togetherness has certainly grown by coming here. “It’s a smaller building than the One Call and keeps us closer as a family.”

Stags collected 10 points from four unbeaten games in December. They conceded only two goals and also extended their remarkable unbeaten run away from home as they moved into the play-off positions.

Flitcroft is up against three other managers for the award -Danny Cowley, of leaders Lincoln City, Mark Cooper, of Forest Green Rovers, and Michael Jolley, of Grimsby Town.

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D-Day approaching for Mansfield Town decision on Jake Kean future
chad.co.uk, by John Lomas, Tue 8 Jan 2018

Mansfield Town will make a decision on the future of goalkeeper Jake Kean over the next week. The former Sheffield Wednesday stopper, who suffered concussion during yesterday’s reserve game, had joined the Stags on a one-month deal as emergency cover for Conrad Logan following Bobby Olejnik’s serious knee injury last month. Kean had spent time on loan at Stags two years before and is now hoping to be offered the chance to stay for the rest of the season.

“I think his contract is up on the 13th and we will have a look at that then,” said manager David Flitcroft.

Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/d-day-approaching-for-mansfield-town-decision-on-jake-kean-future-1-9527449

“It was always a short term deal to see how he fits into the squad. “He has been great in and around it. It was always the case to have a really good look at him on the training ground but we’ve probably not had enough games to assess him. “We are keeping our eyes and our options open on that one.”

Kean will not be allowed to play next week under protocol over concussion. He had to come off after 57 minutes of the 3-1 win over Rotherham United after a collision knocked him out. After the game Stags coach Richard Cooper said: “I think Jake is okay. “I think it was just a precaution taking him off. “Because of the new rules, any bangs to the head, the medical team are straight on the pitch. “He’s full recovered now, so we’ll just have to keep an eye on him over the next 24 hours.”

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Mansfield Town blow as striker Craig Davies is ruled out long term
chad.co.uk, by John Lomas, Tue 8 Jan 2018

Mansfield Town have been dealt a fresh blow over the ankle injury to striker Craig Davies. It had been hoped an operation at Christmas would clear up the problem, which had seen floating pieces of bone restricting him. However, the post-operation news is that he will be out longer than expected.

“Craig has had the operation now. They took out the floating chipped bone but there was a little bit of damage to his ligament.

Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/mansfield-town-blow-as-striker-craig-davies-is-ruled-out-long-term-1-9527451

“So it’s a long term injury now. He is in a cast, then he goes into a boot. It’s non weight-bearing so that’s a longer one than we anticipated.

“We thought about eight to 10 weeks but it could now be longer than that.”

Stags paid an undisclosed fee for the 32-year-old from Oldham, but he has only scored two goals in 14 games in an injury-hampered season.

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Let’s start another unbeaten run says Mansfield Town boss David Flitcroft
chad.co.uk, by John Lomas, Tue 8 Jan 2018

Mansfield Town must put the misery of seeing their 17-game unbeaten run halted last weekend and start another one at home to Yeovil Town on Saturday, said boss David Flitcroft. Stags lost 3-2 at Carlisle on Saturday and had the influential Neal Bishop sent off, but ahead of two home games in four days, the manager said: “One door closes and another one opens - I am a big believer of that in life.

“A run is always going to come to an end. It’s what you do after it. “Our form at the One Call has been really good and the football has been excellent.

“It’s good to get back in front of our home supporters again. The lads know how good they’ve been at home. “The run has gone but let’s try to start another one. Our values don’t die over one defeat. We have them every day. “I bounced in yesterday and got the players back on it. “The unbeaten run has gone and we have to make sure we shelve it, flush it and move on, which two home games will give us the chance to do.”

Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/let-s-start-another-unbeaten-run-says-mansfield-town-boss-david-flitcroft-1-9528645

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Suspended Mansfield Town star Neal Bishop told to ‘forgive himself’ for costly red card
chad.co.uk, by John Lomas, Tue 8 Jan 2018

Mansfield Town boss David Flitcroft has told veteran midfielder Neal Bishop to ‘forgive himself’ for his costly red card last weekend as Stags’ 17-game unbeaten run was halted by a 3-2 defeat at Carlisle United. Flitcroft said Bishop had taken his one-game suspension badly, but he had to look forward and quickly put it behind him.

“He was beside himself over the weekend,” said the manager. “But we told Bish to forgive himself. I made mistakes myself as a player. “You can’t carry them around. Football moves on and life moves on. We have to move on really quickly.

“I told him ‘make sure you go home to your family and spend quality time with them. Don’t take the result or how you feel home to them’. “It’s really important and I got taught that at an early age as a young player. You can’t carry frustration around. It’s a wasted emotion.

“There are so many good things we’ve got to look forward to this season and beyond and I remind the players of that. I think it’s really important I set the tone on the training ground. “I don’t want any moping around after any defeat. We have been dealt a few blows this season with injuries to players.

“But our squad is galvanised by spirit. That comes from the management. If you allow victim behaviour to develop it will stay around. We break it up and move on very quickly and we all forgive very quickly.”

However, Bishop has been one of the club’s most consistent performers all season and Flitcroft admitted: “He will be a miss there is no doubt about that. He would be to any team. “Bish, with his game knowledge and know-how and his presence on the pitch, has performed incredibly all season. “We have to do the work this week to make sure we plug that gap. Any good player leaves a void - it’s up to us to come up with a system and game plan to negate that.”

Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/suspended-mansfield-town-star-neal-bishop-told-to-forgive-himself-for-costly-red-card-1-9528650

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Can Mansfield Town bounce back to extend struggling Yeovil Town’s miserable run?
chad.co.uk, by John Lomas, Tue 8 Jan 2018

Struggling Yeovil Town arrive at the One Call Stadium without a win in 10 games on Saturday with Mansfield Town boss David Flitcroft sympathetic to the problems faced by opposite number Darren Way.

“They started off so well, which didn’t surprise me as we played them early doors and they were a really good team,” said Flitcroft as Stags aim to bounce back from a first loss in 18 games. “Darren had assembled a group of good players, even though his budget is probably one of the lowest in the league.

Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/can-mansfield-town-bounce-back-to-extend-struggling-yeovil-town-s-miserable-run-1-9528630

“Yeovil is so difficult to get to, it’s a hard place to attract players to.

“But he keeps finding gems. He is always finding young players who then move on, so he is always chasing his tail. “Probably some of that inconsistency in performance is due to that, maybe not picking the same team. “They did put some good results together, but they have not found the consistency we’ve had.”

Former Stags striker Yoann Arquin has committed himself for the second half of the season, extending his initial six-month deal. Algerian defender Adel Gafaiti has also extended his contract at Huish Park for the remainder of the campaign after originally joining on a month-to-month contract in November. However, fellow defender Shaun Donnellan has left them after having his contract terminated by mutual consent. The 22-year-old joined the Glovers on an 18-month contract in January last year, arriving from West Bromwich Albion. Loanees Enes Mahmutovic and Omari Patrick have also returned to their parent clubs while winger Wes McDonald has left the club after the expiry of his short-term contract.

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Big day for Alex MacDonald on Mansfield Town injury comeback trail
chad.co.uk, by John Lomas, Tue 8 Jan 2018

Today marks a very important moment in Mansfield Town midfielder Alex MacDonald’s battle back from a long term knee injury. After an operation and 15 weeks of hard graft in the gym, MacDonald finally takes to the grass today to start running with a special programme of games being drawn up to build him back up to full match fitness.

“Alex is on the grass this Thursday and we have pencilled some reserve games in for him in two weeks,” said manager David Flitcroft. “Whether they are behind closed doors or not, we have to make sure we get them solely and purposely for Macca.

Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/big-day-for-alex-macdonald-on-mansfield-town-injury-comeback-trail-1-9530042

“What was initially a short term injury has turned into a medium term, longer than we all expected. “From a conditioning point of view, Macca is going to need game time so that when he comes back into this team that’s playing well, he fits straight into it and there’s not a period of him catching up.”

MacDonald is ‘desperate’ to regain fitness and help the team with their promotion push. “It’s been the longest period of my career injured,” said the midfielder. “It was hard at the start and it’s even harder now watching because the lads are doing so well and you’re desperate to get back involved. “I want to be out there with the lads helping.” MacDonald admitted it had been a long, gruelling road back to recovery. “I’m in earlier than most of the other lads, doing a lot of gym-based work” he said. “I’ve had to come off my knee completely for quite a long period of time because of the bone bruising. It’s been hard as it’s been long days of not really doing too much on the knee.

“Now we’ve stepped it up and I have been working long and hard with Tom (Whittamore, head physiotherapist) and DT (Daryl Taylor, fitness coach) to get the leg strength up and there’s a sort of mini-pre-season coming up for me. “It’s time to get fit now and really motor on and hopefully help the lads in the back end of the season.”

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Mansfield Town enjoying life at new training ground
chad.co.uk, by John Lomas, Mon 14 Jan 2018

Mansfield Town’s players are already beginning to feel at home at the brand new £2 million Radford Hymas Academy in Pleasley - and boss David Flitcroft said he was very excited about the future. The new Woburn Lane training ground had been in the planning for many years and, although it has not yet had an official opening ceremony, players and manager have been using it since just before Christmas. “I had been waiting for this since I sat down with the chairman and Carolyn and we talked about the job and the reasons why I would leave Swindon,” said Flitcroft. “Training there for the first time was a brilliant day and one I had been waiting for for a long time. “I am really excited by it. When I first came here it was just a bit of land that was in the process - no concrete on site and no base in. “Now we are actually using it and this is why I’ve come. “The lads have been stimulated by coming here. Their togetherness has certainly grown by coming here.” Radford and Hymas’ joint company Mansfield Town Developments has supplied £1.5 million to the project, while the company also received a grant of £500,000 from the Premier League and FA Facilities Fund. The state-of-the-art facility boasts a full-sized floodlit 3G pitch, built to FIFA standards, plus three-full sized grass pitches and a mini-pitch, which will make the facility a hive of activity at weekends. The pavilion consists of four dressing rooms, showers and associated physio rooms, as well as a function room on the ground floor, which will include kitchen facilities to allow the room to be used by the local community for functions. “It is fundamental to any football club to develop your own training ground,” said Flitcroft. “Some people see it as a cost to a club. But it should be seen as an investment. “We have the 3G pitch here, we will soon have the grass pitches, we have the building. It’s now what we do in it and how we use it.

“It’s how we spend our time teaching people. It’s the teachers, the educators and the coaches that will be in the building and they have got to have a passion to make people better. “If you get that right and make sure everyone is singing from the same hymn sheet and trying to improve staff and players all the time, then is becomes an investment. “It allows you to add value to every player, every staff member and every person that wants to come and work for Mansfield Town Football Club.” He added: “It’s really important everyone has an ambition and a purpose when they go into work. “I have certainly told my staff what it means to me to support me in this building. “Anyone who doesn’t come into this place with a purpose to improve I will send home - player or staff member.” Flitcroft expects everyone using the facility to show high values from cleanliness to respect for neighbours. “It’s now time for every single person in this football club to step up to the plate - right down to cooking the breakfast,” he said. “Are we the best we can be? Cooking the meals, keeping the building pristine - absolutely spotless - showing great values running right through whoever works here. “What the chairman, Steve Hymas and the board have built here is pristine. It is beautiful. It starts with cleanliness and respect. “We are near a local school, so we have to show respect to the children and parents dropping off. “All of that is really important to me. We have to get that right and go to the next level of standards.” Flitcroft said the training ground is a much better base than the One Call Stadium for several reasons. “The One Call has been fantastic and that is our special place of work where everything has to be maximised to get you three points,” he said. “But when you are training there every day, does it remain that special, unique place I believe it should be? Or do you get familiar with it? “At the One Call all your rooms are in different stands which can make things difficult at times. I am not as close to the players there as I want to be. The staff is also fragmented and we only have three quarters of a pitch. “That isn’t really conducive to development. But the new training ground has been built to connect people. “It’s a smaller building than the One Call and keeps us closer as a family.” The manager wants to see respect develop between the different tiers of development. “We can have the U21s up here so we can get an in-depth knowledge of the players, physically, technically what they can do, tactically what they know and socially, how they interact with people,” he said. “Social skills are a big thing for me. I want to interact U21 players with the first team and see what respect they have. “I only have to look back when I was a young player and the first time I got in and around the first team at Preston I rang my old man up that day. “He came off site and they were all peering over the fence watching us. It had that excitement. I’m not too sure it’s like that any more when playing and training with the first team is almost a given. “We will try to have that respect level run right through the building and create ambition to want to train with the first team. That’s going to be vital. “The U21s will start training here on certain days. We will also have opportunities for the U18s to come and train here.” Flitcroft said he wanted to continue to coach gifted players into adding hard work to their game so improve them. “Part of my philosophy has always been to develop a technically gifted player,” he said. “Technically gifted players usually don’t want to work as hard as a more workmanlike player. “I was a workmanlike player and I loved to come into work every day, but I worked with so many technically gifted players that thought they just had to turn up. “It’s about taking a technically gifted player and seeing if we can turn him into someone that values hard work, out of possession work, and what some say is the ugly side of the game. “Not to me. For me that is the beautiful side of the game. “If someone wants to run for his team mates, himself, his family and our supporters, that to me is the beautiful side of the game. “It’s about turning a technically gifted player into a Marine. That’s what I pride myself on. We have the opportunity to do that up here.” He added: “The only thing we have missing up here is a functional gym so we can keep the weights up and the boys strong. We are looking at options for one. “If you attain high standards with the U18s then you will train with the U21s. If you attain the highest possible standard in the U21s then you be training with the first team. “The kids we have coming through excite me. But you have to spend time with them. “This now gives us the chance to get them out on the 3G. It doesn’t matter what the weather is. It can be frosty, it can be lashing down, snowing, it doesn’t matter.”

Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/mansfield-town-enjoying-life-at-new-training-ground-1-9535203

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Stags 'firing' ahead of Yeovil clash - defender
mansfieldtown.net, Tue 8 Jan 2018

Stags’ defender Matt Preston says the Mansfield squad are ‘firing’ in training ahead of Saturday’s Sky Bet League Two clash at home to Yeovil Town.

The commanding centre-back says that playing at One Call Stadium is a ‘big bonus,’ as the Stags look to bounce back from Saturday’s narrow defeat away to Carlisle.

Despite the absence of midfielder Neal Bishop through suspension, Preston says that Mansfield have enough ‘firepower’ to get back to winning ways against the Glovers.

“There’s no-one that can replace Neal Bishop,” he said. “We have players that can do a good job and that’s exactly what we need. We have depth in the squad to stand in for key players like Bish.

https://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/2019/january/preston-pre-yeovil-press-conference/

“We have people that can fill in for him and I’m sure we’ll have enough firepower in our team to be able to hurt Yeovil.

“I said at the start of the season that we needed to turn it [One Call Stadium] into a fortress and I feel that we have done.

“The management and players all feel like that it’s a big bonus when we play at home. I don’t think there is a team in the league that can do much to us at home. It gives you an extra 10 percent playing in front of a home crowd.

“The lads are all firing. You can tell that the weekend will be brushed over as we’re all ready to get back training.”

The 23-year-old also spoke of the ‘outstanding’ defensive record that the Stags have maintained this season, the joint-best in Sky Bet League Two.

“From the [defensive] record that we’ve had, I wasn’t expecting to do as well as we have done,” he added. “I think we have an outstanding record.

“That’s the standard that you want to hold yourself to, but to actually achieve it is another thing.

“It’s been nice to have a high standard, and to have kept it. The weekend was a blip and something that we have to overlook and get back to keeping clean sheets and winning games.”

The defender also reflected on Saturday’s defeat to Carlisle, which ended Mansfield’s club record unbeaten away streak of 15 league matches.

Preston, who scored in the match, says that the Stags are determined to bounce back from the loss.

“As the game panned out [against Carlisle] I think we were unfortunate. We were down to 10-men second half and they played some good stuff.

“We killed ourselves in terms of being two-nil down, so the second half was always going to be a climb.

“When I got my goal, I thought we had a fighting chance. Unfortunately, it just didn’t pan out that way.

“It was an unusual body shape [when I scored]. We’ve been practising set pieces in training, and I’ve always said to them [team-mates] that if you get it in the right area, I will at least challenge for it.

“I don’t even know how to describe it because it happened quickly. I think it hit the side or back of my head and I flicked it towards the end of the goal I was hoping for and it went in.

“It was a big blow to us when we came off the pitch [at Carlisle]. We’re not used to conceding one at the minute, never mind three.

“We have to give them credit where it’s due as they scored good goals. It’s not what we’re about, and we need to bounce back from it.

“It [defeat] is something that you have to brush off your shoulder. We want to get that momentum back and get back to keeping clean sheets and [earning] more wins.”

iFollow Stags subscribers can watch Matt Preston’s interview in full by logging into mansfieldtown.net/ifollow later today.

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Mansfield Town defender Matt Preston targets all-time clean sheet record
chad.co.uk, by John Lomas, Tue 8 Jan 2018

Despite unexpectedly giving up three goals in one game last weekend, Mansfield Town defender Matt Preston said there was still time to break the all-time Football League record for clean sheets in one season. Mansfield Town’s 17-game unbeaten run was halted by a 3-2 defeat with 10 men in a ‘blip’ at Carlisle, but it still left miserly Stags joint top of the League Two clean sheet charts with MK Dons on 12 shut-outs.

Now Preston is eyeing up the 30 clean sheets record achieved by Port Vale in Division 3(N) over 46 games in 1953/54.

Preston said: “We want to get back to keeping clean sheets and earning more wins.

“And we’d love to get the record for clean sheets for a season. We have gone 12 already so it’s certainly do-able. You never know, we’ll see what happens.”

Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/mansfield-town-defender-matt-preston-targets-all-time-clean-sheet-record-1-9530674

Preston admitted it had been a shock to let in three in one game. “It was a big blow to us when we came off the pitch. We’re not used to conceding one at the minute, let alone three,” he said. “It’s not what we’re about, and we need to bounce back from it - and I am sure that we will. “We’ve shown all season we can defend well. It’s not in our personalities to accept things like this and we won’t. “It is something that you have to brush off your shoulders as quick as possible and get back to winning. We want to get that momentum back and go on another run. “Regardless of last Saturday we are still flying, so it’s other teams that have to be worried about us.” Preston said the team were very proud of their defending so far with just over half the season gone. “I wasn’t expecting to do as well as we have done,” he said.

“I think we have an outstanding record from a defensive point of view. “That’s the standard that you want to hold yourself to, but to actually achieve it is another thing. “It’s been nice to have a high standard, and to have kept it for such a long time. “The weekend was a blip and something that we have to overlook and get back to keeping clean sheets and winning games.” Preston said, despite the disappointment, you sometimes had to credit the opposition for opening you up. “As the game panned out I think we were unfortunate,” he said. “We were down to 10-men second half and they played some good stuff. You have to hold your hands up. A couple of their goals were very good goals. “We killed ourselves in terms of being 2-0 down and down to 10 men, so the second half was always going to be an uphill climb.” It was Preston who netted to give Stags late hope, but United dug in for victory. “When I got my goal to make it 2-1, I thought we had a fighting chance and a foot in the door. Unfortunately, it just didn’t pan out that way,” he said. “We’ve been practising set pieces in training, and I’ve always said to the players that if you get it in the right area, I will at least challenge for it. “I don’t even know how to describe it because it happened fast. I think it hit the side or back of my head and I flicked it towards the end of the goal I was hoping for and it went in. “I didn’t even get time to celebrate, which was unfortunate. It was get the ball and straight back to the halfway line to start going again.” Stags will be without influential midfielder Neal Bishop this Saturday after his red card at Carlisle and Preston admitted: “There’s no one that can replace Neal Bishop. “But we have players that will do a job and that’s exactly what we need. We have depth in the squad to stand in for key players like Bish. “We have people that can fill in for him and I’m sure we’ll have enough firepower in our team to be able to hurt Yeovil.” Preston and his team mates can’t wait to play two home games in four days after two games on the road. “I said at the start of the season that we needed to turn the One Call Stadium into a fortress and I feel that we have done,” he said. “The management and players all feel like that it’s a big bonus when we come home. “I don’t think there is a team in the league that can really do much to us at home. It gives you an extra 10 percent playing in front of a home crowd.”

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