FLITCROFT PREVIEWS FGR & LOOK BACK AT NOTTS
Manager pleased with ‘response’ in training
mansfieldtown.net, Thursday 21 February 2019
Stags’ boss David Flitcroft says there has been a positive ‘response’ from his players this week, as his charges prepare to take on fellow promotion contenders Forest Green Rovers at One Call Stadium this Saturday.
The manager says that he was ‘hurting’ after last Saturday’s disappointing loss against Notts County, but has been pleased with the reaction shown from his players.
The Mansfield boss shared his keenness to record a positive result against Forest Green in order to bounce back from the result at Meadow Lane.
“I was hurting and the town was hurting [after Notts],” he said. “I’ve felt that. Supporters have let me know how they feel, and they have that right.
“I’m a passionate guy, and it does hurt. It’s [about] how long you let hurt affect you, and how long you let that last.
“When you come off that [winning] path, [you need to] get back on it. People will veer off them, and it’s up to me as a manager to get people back on track. That’s what I’ve focused on this week.
“We’re all hurting and the players care. I’ve made sure that as the leader of our football plan, I remain supportive and give them the tough love that I’ve always given.
“There was a lot to play for on Saturday, and we lost out on three points as well. That hurts, but I won’t carry that hurt around.
“We’ve moved on. I’m expecting a huge response, and I’ve seen that response in the week. We’ve all held our hands up in what we got wrong, then we moved on to what we’re going to get right.
“The response has been good, and that’s what has driven me this week. I have good people around me, and that’s important.
“[I’ve seen] a focus. Out of embarrassment, people always tidy their act up. There’s not one day that you can come to any job and not bring your energy.
“You can have bad days, but you can’t have lazy days. That’s something that as a player I really respected. There has been a real emphasis and a shift on getting this right. The game can’t come soon enough.”
The manager says he is looking forward to being back in front of a home crowd after two successive away matches, adding that the expected bumper crowd generated by our under-18s go free offer will help his players.
“There are a lot of points to play for. They’re all big games, and we’ve played big games since the start of the season.
“We’ve just lost that momentum at the minute, and that’s something that we’re in control of. We have to now find that mojo that we’ve had all season.
“I look at our home record, which is one of the best in the league, the lads love playing at home. They love playing in front of the supporters.
“We are coming up against the form teams away from home in Forest Green. It’s a clash of two really good football teams and two really well-run football teams.
“We have to make sure that we’re representing our town and bring that energy, quality and enthusiasm that we have done at home all season.
“It [under-18s go free offer] certainly helped [against Macclesfield]. The lads love playing here and you just want the supporters to keep coming in.
“If we can get more fans in [with repeat of under-18s go free offer], then brilliant. That’s what we’re hoping to do.”
The Stags’ boss reflected on Tuesday’s Central League clash against Doncaster Rovers’ reserves, a game that a selection of Mansfield’s senior players appeared in.
“I’m seeing a lot - the under-18s trained with us on Tuesday, and I watch the under-21s a lot. A young player, Jimmy Knowles, came on the pitch [against Doncaster reserves] for the last 20 minutes and could’ve had a hat-trick. He just made it difficult for the defenders.
“Conrad Logan performed brilliantly, Macca [Alex MacDonald] in the second-half was better, Will Atkinson’s attitude was phenomenal.
“You need to set an environment where they are passing it [attitude] down to the younger players. Ben Turner got 60 minutes under his belt playing more of a central role.
“Our experienced players got good game minutes, and it was important. But you blend that with the younger talent, and you want that environment to be right. You want to see everybody committed.
“There’s a possibility [of changes for Forest Green Rovers match]. We’re making sure that we concentrate and get back the identity that we’ve grown this season.”
David Flitcroft also took the time to provide an injury update on his currently sidelined players.
“The injuries that we’ve got are all mid-to-long term. Hayden [White] sort of had a complication with the surgery (*). He’s had that dealt with now, but it’s taken his recovery time back a bit.
“We’ve got Craig Davies who will be back next season now. Bobby [Olejnik] is again, on that side of long term. Jordan Graham was committed to a tackle in a reserve game, and that one [injury] is coming on, but again I don’t think we’ll have him this season.
“Danny [Rose] is in a place where we just have to make sure when he’s in the training programme, it’s non-contact, and he’s going to come back into contact training in four to six weeks.
“They are all working hard on their own injury problems, and the medical team are working round the clock. Every club gets them, and it’s a part of what a football club is.”
iFollow Stags subscribers can watch the manager’s interview in full by logging into mansfieldtown.net/ifollow later today.
(*) "Hayden White got an infection from the surgery".
I brought Alex MacDonald back too soon admits Mansfield Town boss David Flitcroft
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Thursday 21 February 2019
Mansfield Town boss David Flitcroft has admitted he probably got it wrong by pitching midfield tiger Alex MacDonald back in too soon in last weekend’s derby defeat at Notts County.
MacDonald looked well short on fitness as a second half substitute, having been sidelined with injury since September.
Flitcroft said: “After being out for such a long time, with Macca’s enthusiasm and the way he’s been in training I probably got caught up in that.
“It was only when I put him on that it was a different set of circumstances.
Read more at https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/i-brought-alex-macdonald-back-too-soon-admits-mansfield-town-boss-david-flitcroft-1-9609300
“When you’re on a training ground you are in and among your own players. He lifts the training tempo every day.
“But that was a real hotbed and a difficult game in which to throw him on last Saturday and I probably got it wrong, thinking he was further on than he was with his match-play.”
He added: “He had been out a long time and it probably wasn’t a wise decision to throw him on in such a big game.
“It will take time. We have games booked in for Macca and we’ll work on it.”
Mansfield Town hoping to have Danny Rose back by April
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Thursday 21 February 2019
Mansfield Town striker Danny Rose could be back in full contact training in four or five weeks. The striker had his jaw broken in two places at Newport almost two weeks ago and has been on a liquid diet after having metal plates put into his face.
But Stags manager David Flitcroft is still hopeful Rose will be back in time for the potentially vital final games.
However, there was also bad news on Hayden White’s recovery from a broken leg after an infection setback.
"With Danny we just have to make sure his training programme is non-contact. He will come into contact in maybe four to five weeks time,” said Flicroft.
Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/mansfield-town-hoping-to-have-danny-rose-back-by-april-1-9609557
“The food intake is the problem at the moment. “It’s about getting the required food and supplementation into him so he’s got the energy to train and sustain his muscle mass and his body in a good place. We are working on balancing that at the moment. “Because it’s a facial injury that won’t affect his training performances after that. He will be able to train.
“Then it has to be non-contact and have to design invasion games that have zones that don’t allow him to come under any contact so you don’t undo the surgery that has been done.
“We have to make sure he is going to be fit when he comes back for some key, vitally important games.”
On White, he added: “Hayden had a complication with the surgery, but he’s had that dealt with now. “He picked up a bit of an infection from the surgery. It’s taken his recovery time back a little bit.”
Safety-first as Mansfield Town made sure Ben Turner avoided a red card on his debut
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Thursday 21 February 2019
Mansfield Town took off new signing Ben Turner at half-time on his debut last week before he was sent off. The centre half, only just back from a injury lay-off, got away with an early tackle on Craig Mackail-Smith that referee Lee Mason might have sent him off for.
But, after that Stags manager David Flitcroft could sense the referee might have had second thoughts about only showing Turner a yellow and, with the defender being swamped on his side of the back three, decided not to risk further problems.
“For Ben the tackle he made early on affected his performance as he was on a booking,” said Flitcroft.
Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/safety-first-as-mansfield-town-made-sure-ben-turner-avoided-a-red-card-on-his-debut-1-9609573
“You could see the referee was wondering whether he’d got it right and should he have sent him off. “I had the feeling that everything Ben did after that was a worry.
“Their fans were baying for him to be sent off and we thought if the referee felt he may have got the decision wrong he may try to right that decision.”
“I was worried about it and we got exposed down that side because of it,” said Flitcroft.
“They were sliding balls down that side, everything was at full stretch and full tilt and I was worried he was going to get a second yellow card in a big game.
“So we took the decision at half-time to change it. “Ben was getting exposed down that side and it didn’t feel right.
“When I look back I think if Ben had played more centrally he’d probably have got more protection and that is me looking at me and seeing what I could have done better.”
Stop hurting and look forward to Saturday, Mansfield Town boss David Flitcroft’s orders his players
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Thursday 21 February 2019
Mansfield Town boss David Flitcroft has ordered his squad to leave the hurt of Saturday’s derby defeat behind them and focus solely on beating Forest Green Rovers on Saturday. The lacklustre 1-0 defeat at bottom club Notts County was a bitter pill for the embarrassed manager, players and fans to swallow.
But Flitcroft told his squad that the hurt had to stop on Monday and he wanted no ‘victim’ behaviour as, after a frank exchange of views at the start of the week, all eyes had to be on the future and securing promotion.
“We were all hurting and I felt that Saturday night, Sunday and into Monday,” said Flitcroft. “But it’s how long you let hurt last and affect you.
Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/stop-hurting-and-look-forward-to-saturday-mansfield-town-boss-david-flitcroft-s-orders-his-players-1-9609220
“There has been a lot of soul-searching. They were embarrassed. I was embarrassed. But we are a group that makes sure we are together in everything we do.
“We now move on together and make sure we are moving forward and not looking back. “We had a really good chat on Monday and I showed the players how a supporter would have viewed the game and they all held their hands up, as did I, in what went wrong.
“We aired some very honest views. It was a very honest meeting. Then we moved on to what we were going to get right.
“I have good people around me who help me see the bigger picture and there are so many points still to be fought for from Saturday until the end of the season.
“There has been a focus from the players and an embarrassment. Out of embarrassment people always tidy their act up, whatever they do.”
He continued: “You can’t go to work at any job and not bring your energy bag. We didn’t do that on Saturday. That is the most disappointing thing for me.
“If someone makes a mistake that is human error. You can have days, but you can’t have lazy days. You are playing football for a living.
“We have an opportunity to put this right on Saturday and the game really can’t come soon enough.”
Flitcroft said he tried to manage his players like a responsible parent. “I manage how I parent - and I am proud of being a good dad,” he said.
“I will make sure they know when they have done wrong, but they know they are forgiven for us to move on. “Once people come off the right path and values it’s up to me to get them straight back on track. That is what I have focused on this week.
“We were all hurting - the players care, the staff care and I deeply care. “As the leader of the football plan I have made sure I remain supportive to them and give them the tough love I have always given them.
“I won’t carry the hurt around. If my kids do something wrong I don’t lock them in a cupboard for a week - that’s the Victorian father. That’s gone. That’s not the way to develop or teach kids or anyone now. “We have moved on and I am expecting a huge response. I have already seen a huge response in training.”
He added: “I won’t let any victim behaviour infiltrate the group or the environment that’s been set. We have built a positive environment to work in.
“I can’t stand ‘victims’ in life or football. Negative people drive me mad and I don’t have them in my life. “I stay absolutely clear from them and don’t give them a minute of my time.
“Time is the most precious thing we’ve got. You lose it every single moment you are breathing so I spend that time with great people around me. But they are honest people and if I am poor they let me know.
“I have played for managers before who have sulked all week, not spoken to me or any of the other players all week. “I don’t go up and down. I am on a level and am consistent in what I do. We are in a good place and we’re looking forward to Saturday’s game. “We owe each other a big performance on Saturday and that’s always the best way to get rid of disappointment.
“There is always disappointment in life. You can either crawl under a rock or pick up the rock and start living and wanting to get better. “Anyone seen hurting past Monday, you’re no good to me. You are not moving on and looking to the future. “In 13 games time it could look absolutely beautiful for us.”
Forest Green Rovers showdown is not must-win or Mansfield Town’s biggest game of the season assures boss David Flitcroft
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Thursday 21 February 2019
Mansfield Town manager David Flitcroft has played down talk of Saturday’s home showdown with promotion rivals Forest Green Rovers being either a must-win game or Stags’ biggest game of the season.
Mansfield have lost two on the bounce for only the second time this season but stay in the top three promotion spots, four points clear of Saturday’s visitors.
But Flitcroft dismissed talk of the game’s huge importance saying: “There are a lot of points to play for.
“So if we are not careful and we define this game totally as the season is over after it then we have got a problem.
“Saturday was a massive game and we failed on Saturday. But there are still 39 points to play for.
“I was always taught you are never, ever out of a fight until your last breath. That’s my way of thinking.
“You might get beaten up in the first round of a fight, but you might win it in the last round.
“So I completely disagree that Saturday is must-win. Supporters saying that have every right to say that, but I have been taught different.”
He continued: “They are all big games. We have played big games since the start of the season.
“We played big games in pre-season to build momentum and we have just lost that momentum at the minute. That’s something we are in control of and we’ve now got to find that mojo we’ve had all season.”
Flitcroft said fans had rightly had a go at them this week after the tame surrender at Notts County and admitted he may change the side.
“At the Tuesday reserve game supporters let me know how they feel and they have that right - I do understand it as I am deeply passionate guy.
“It hurts watching your team perform with no drive in a local derby.
“There is a possibility I will make changes. At this stage we are just concentrating on getting back the identity we’ve had this season. We need to reset that for Saturday.”
Flitcroft said his side usually bounced back well after a setback and also expressed his admiration for visiting Forest Green.
“We have responded well all season whether it’s when we’ve got beaten or just a dip in form. Players have responded and been positive,” he said.
“Our home record is one of the best in the leagues. The lads love playing at home in this stadium for our supporters.
“But we are coming up against one of the form teams away from home in Forest Green.
“It’s a clash of two really good football teams and two really well-run football teams. I have huge respect for their manager. I always have had.”
He added: “We’ve got to make sure we are representing our town and our supporters with that energy, enthusiasm and quality that we have done at home all season.
“Rovers do have class and it’s going to be a tough game but it’s one we need to come quicker than Saturday really to get rid of this frustration and anger from last weekend.”
Young striker Jimmy Knowles impresses for Mansfield Town
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Thursday 21 February 2019
Another of Mansfield Town’s up-and-coming youngsters has impressed manager David Flitcroft. Sutton-born 17-year-old striker Jimmy Knowles was a substitute in Tuesday’s reserve defeat by Doncaster Rovers and Flitcroft said the ex-Forest youngster’s cameo performance had really enthused him.
“Young player Jimmy Knowles came on the field for the last 20 minutes and on a different day he could have had a hat-trick. He impressed me more than anyone,” said Flitcroft.
Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/young-striker-jimmy-knowles-impresses-for-mansfield-town-1-9609548
“He was an enthusiastic workaholic and just made it difficult for the defenders. He wanted to run
“The experienced players put a right shift in and the younger players absorbed that.”
Extra support can boost Stags - goalkeeper
mansfieldtown.net, Thursday 21 February 2019
Goalkeeper Jordan Smith says that the extra support generated by Stags’ ‘under-18s go free’ offer for this weekend’s game against Forest Green Rovers will make a ‘huge difference’ to the players.
The offer has been set up by chairman John Radford and CEO Carolyn Radford for our upcoming home clashes against Forest Green and Cheltenham Town, and was deployed for the first time in our 3-1 victory over Macclesfield earlier this month.
On-loan Nottingham Forest ‘keeper Smith reflected on the win over the Silkmen, and says that the added support gave them a ‘ten percent’ boost in the game.
“We played them [Forest Green] fairly recently and it’s one where we know them a little better,” he began. “We know what they’re about, we know what they can do, and we know they’re a good footballing side.
“We know if we do what we can do well - especially in front of this home support - that will be what drives us on.
“It [under-18s go free offer] makes a huge difference. I’m a local boy and I’d be jumping at the chance to come and watch any football game.
“I’d implore them to come out. It’s the second time we’ve had this offer; we had it for the Macclesfield match, and that extra few hundred or thousand people it can bring in, that really does make a huge difference.
“It spurs the boys on and it really does give you that extra lift in terms of getting you over the line.
“The result is going to be mega important in the [Forest Green] game, so hopefully they [fans] will be the ones who get us the three points.
“We’ve scored a lot of late goals this season, and that just comes from the supporters being behind us and cheering us on until the very last minute. They’re the ones who can give you that ten percent lift.”
Smith reflected on last week’s disappointing trip to Meadow Lane, and has his sights set on bouncing back quickly against Forest Green on Saturday.
“It [Notts result] is a difficult one to put our finger on. All I can say is no-one really left the pitch with much credit, and no-one was more disappointed than ourselves.
“To turn out the performance that we did, was miles off what we know we can do. It’s just something that we have to look back on and use as fuel in any of the remaining games in the season.
“It [Notts’ goal] was a bit of a wonder strike really. It doesn’t really numb the pain for me as at the end of the day I conceded and it ended up being the goal that sealed our fate.
“The fans that came out were absolutely fantastic. To go over and applaud them for their turnout, but also having to apologise, was super difficult. It really did take some getting over this week.
“While we might have wanted a Tuesday game this week to turn it around as quickly as we can, the game here on Saturday [against Forest Green] just becomes a bigger game, where we have to put everything right.
“We’ve worked very hard this week and we’ve analysed the game last weekend. The gaffer [David Flitcroft] and Futch [Ben Futcher, assistant manager] are going to make sure we do everything we can to put it right.”
The 24-year-old also spoke of his performances since joining the Stags on loan from Nottingham Forest in January, adding that Mansfield’s style of play suits him.
“I think that I’ve done really well. More frustratingly, I think my best two performances have come in the last two games, which we’ve lost 1-0.
“I know what I have to do and my job doesn’t change. Whilst we’re not content and always looking for extra, I’m doing the exact same.
“In terms of a personal level, I want to show what I can do, but on a team level, I want to help as much as I can.
“There is no secret that we’re a good football team. It’s important for us now that we do it [passing play] more often, show more of it, and get the success that it brings.
“Ultimately, that starts with me, with the ball at my feet or at my hands. It’s a little bit of a weapon of mine, and something that the manager encourages.
“We have the attacking flair and we have the pace to just let them [players] free. I just try to keep the back door shut and let them do the scoring.
“We know where we want to go, and as the weeks go by, we know more and more what we have to do when we get there.
“I think we need to come together as a squad and do it for ourselves on the pitch to show the ultimate respect to the manager. He sets us up brilliantly and gives us the freedom to play.”
iFollow Stags subscribers can watch Jordan Smith’s interview in full by logging into mansfieldtown.net/ifollow later today.
Mansfield Town keeper Jordan Smith keen to exorcise Notts County demons
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Thursday 21 February 2019
Jordan Smith says a positive response to last week's defeat at Notts County will be crucial as Mansfield Town aim to get their promotion bid back on track. Smith was beaten by a wonder strike from Craig Mackail-Smith to give bottom-of-the-table Notts a 1-0 win, with Forest Green Rovers being Stags' next opponents this weekend as they come to the One Call Stadium also with promotion on their minds.
And, as he reflected on the display, the Nottingham Forest loanee is desperate to see Mansfield make amends.
He said: “It’s a difficult one to put our finger on. Nobody was more disappointed than ourselves with it being such a big game, probably the biggest of the season for numerous reasons, so to turn out the performance that we did was miles off what we know we can do.
Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/mansfield-town-keeper-jordan-smith-keen-to-exorcise-notts-county-demons-1-9609745
“It’s something we have to look back on and use it as fuel to make sure it doesn’t happen again for the rest of the season as it was very uncharacteristic.
“It was a bit of a wonder strike but it doesn’t really numb the pain for me as it’s disappointing to get beaten in any way from any angle and it ended up being the goal that sealed our fate.
“We were utterly wounded, it was unbelievable and very sombre in the dressing room afterwards. We were sat there for a long time and it was a while before anyone spoke. It was a horrible mood and we don’t want that feeling ever again.
“The fans were fantastic and virtually sold out that entire side of the ground, so to have to go over afterwards and applaud them while at the same time apologising for the performance was very, very difficult and it really did take some getting over this week.
“There’s always another game and while we might have wanted a Tuesday game this week to try and get over the Notts game, the game here on Saturday becomes a bigger game and where we know we can put it right. We have to channel those frustrations.
“We’ve looked at the game and hopefully identified what went wrong and where we know we need to do better and the management team will be looking to make sure we do what we’ve spoken about and get a performance and result.”
Smith says he's been happy with his form since arriving from the City Ground last months, but is aware he can't get complacent if he's to maintain his place in the team.
He said: "I’m massively enjoying being here. There’s nothing better than playing football matches and doing so here is massive and I want to pay that back with my performances both individually and as a team.
“I think I’ve done really well. Frustratingly, my best two performances have come in the last two games where we’ve lost 1-0, but I know what I have to and I am always looking for the extra one per cent, five per cent, ten percent - whatever I can do to contribute to the team and get us to where we want to be.
“The team suits my style. We are a good footballing team and we’ve showed that when we move the ball at speed there aren’t many that can cope with us, so it’s important that we do more of it and ultimately that starts with me in being the first wave of attack.
“It’s a weapon of mine, especially with my throw which I look to use and that the manager has encouraged as we have the attacking flair and pace to let the boys go free if I can set a move off as soon as I collect a shot or cross.
“If there is a way I can contribute then it’s all part of being a modern day goalkeeper.”
Looking ahead to Forest Green, Smith sayss familiarity will play a part with the teams having met just a few weeks ago at the New Lawn. “We played them fairly recently so it’s one where both teams will think they know each other a bit better," he said.
"We know what they’re about and what they do and they are a very good side. We played out a good game plan there but their pressure in the final few minutes told and they got an equaliser and put more pressure on us at the end.
“We know if we do what we can do well, especially in front of the home support then that will be what drives us on and will get us the three points, I feel. Our home form speaks for itself and with the crowd behind us we feel we can achieve anything.
“I think we’ve got to know where it is we want to go and as the weeks go by we know more and more what it takes to get there. So we have to come together as a squad and manage games a bit better in terms of not being figured out, and if we are figured out then making sure we do it ourselves on the pitch and showing the ultimate respect to the manager because he sets us up brilliantly and gives us the freedom to go and do it.”
Make or break time for Forest Green Rovers if they are to 'perform miracle' in their promotion bid
Boss Cooper highlights importance of Saturday's game
By Bobby Vincent, 21 FEB 2019
Mark Cooper has insisted his Forest Green side have got to win this weekend’s trip to Mansfield if they want to keep their automatic promotion hopes alive.
Cooper’s team beat Yeovil Town 3-0 last weekend to return to winning ways following a run of three games without a victory.
Rovers are in fifth-place in League Two and are six points off Bury, who occupy the last automatic promotion spot.
Saturday’s opponents, Mansfield, sit two places above Forest Green - but a win for the latter would move them within a point of David Flitcroft’s team.
“I think if we’ve got any illusions of performing a miracle and getting automatic (promotion), then these are the games we have to win,” boss Cooper said.
“We’re not dressing up that fact. We have to win some big games between now and the end of the season if we want to do that. The players know what they have to do.
“We’ve got to enjoy it. There’s no pressure on us, so we’ll go there and we’ll be looking to enjoy it.”
Forest Green and Mansfield met at the New Lawn at the end of January, with Jorge Grant’s opener for the visitors being cancelled out by a Reuben Reid equaliser.
Mansfield have lost their last two games against Notts County and Newport County to dampen their promotion hopes, but Cooper is expecting a tough game.
“They’re one of the best,” Cooper admitted.
“Bury are the best we’ve faced (this season), but we could have got six points against Bury.
“Mansfield, in terms of football, because every team poses a different challenge, they’ve got threats and can hit you from all different angles.
“The Mansfield game will be a different challenge than the Yeovil game, for certain. It’ll be a big crowd and a good atmosphere.
“Also, a team that will desperate to right their wrongs after their derby defeat to Notts County.”
Cooper also gave out some positive injury updates on the likes of Dayle Grubb, Liam Shephard and James Montgomery ahead of the weekend trip.
“Grubby is back involved, so he’ll be in the squad,” the Forest Green boss revealed.
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“Shephard will be touch-and-go for the weekend. James Montgomery is fit as well - he’s still got no teeth - but he’s fit to play.”
Digby feels he'll have an advantage when he faces Mansfield
FOREST Green utility man Paul Digby feels he'll have a slight advantage when he returns to face his former club Mansfield Town on Saturday.
The 24-year-old spent last season at the One Call Stadium where he made 21 appearances in all competitions.
Digby is excited about facing his old team and believes he has a bit of an upper given his knowledge of the Stags squad.
"I think when you go back to your former club you've always got an advantage because you know most the players," said Digby.
"I trained with them every day so I know what they're about as people and players so that gives me strength and confidence and I feel it's a real advantage for me.
"I'm looking forward to it, seeing a few familiar faces but it's like any other game, I prepare the same way and go out and try and win."
Digby reflects on his time at Mansfield positively although he felt admits some aspects didn't go his way.
"It was good," he commented.
"I enjoyed it, being at home but I thought I should have played a bit more so on that front it was a bit disappointing but it will be good going back there and playing."
The former Barnsley and Ipswich Town man started the 3-0 win over Yeovil Town on Saturday alongside another ex-Mansfield man in Lee Collins.
Digby felt the pair complimented each other well and says he loved playing in a midfield combination with the 30-year-old.
"I really enjoyed it, I love playing with Collo. We're both tall, can both play centre half or centre midfield and we're good in the air. We know each other well and I think we were very effective at the weekend.
Forest Green played out an entertaining 1-1 draw with the Stags less than a month ago.
Mansfield are currently third in League Two and Rovers could go within a point of them if they win on Saturday.
They then have another crucial game against table toppers Lincoln City on Saturday, March 2 in what is shaping up to be an important week in the promotion race but Digby insists it won't define their season and that Rovers' is attention is solely on Mansfield.
"I don't think define the season, we take it game by game," he said.
"We're going to go to Mansfield and focus on beating them and once we get that out the way we'll focus on Lincoln. You here a lot of players say it but that's what you do at the moment.
"Once you start looking too far ahead or focus on other things you're not focused on the game in hand and we need to put all our energy into Mansfield and give them the respect they deserve.
"It's the business end of the season and as a player these are the fixtures you want to be playing in, you want that added pressure going into games and that brings the best out of you. I know for me personally if there's something else on the line that's when I feel I play my best football."
Stakes are high in Saturday’s promotion showdown admits Mansfield Town chairman John Radford
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Tuesday 19 February 2019
Mansfield Town chairman John Radford admitted Saturday’s home clash with promotion rivals Forest Green Rovers is massive for both clubs and the stakes are high. But, despite two successive defeats, Radford has every faith Stags can bounce back on Saturday and has called on the club to cement a place in the top three automatic promotion spots to avoid the lottery of the play-offs.
David Flitcroft’s men turned in a poor display in Saturday’s 1-0 derby day defeat at Notts County, dropping to third, and Radford said: “You have to get up and move on. It wasn’t a good result or performance. Let’s hope that it’s a one off.
“I have made a (superstitious) rule of not seeing my manager 24 hours before or after a game, because my passions run so high.
Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/stakes-are-high-in-saturday-s-promotion-showdown-admits-mansfield-town-chairman-john-radford-1-9604405
“Unfortunately, I had to meet with David before Saturday’s game and I think it’s my fault why we lost the game.”
Forest Green are just four points behind Stags and Radford admitted: “It’s a massive game for both clubs, there’s no other way of describing it and we know that no game can be taken for granted. “Our main objective now is for us to cement ourselves within the top three.
“I don’t want us to lose our automatic slot and then have to battle in the play-offs. “To maintain our high-riding position within the top three of the league will mean us having to acquire three points for most of our games from now until the end of the campaign.
“This is, of course, possible, with the players we have and a manager who has a promotion on his CV from this division.”
He added: “The stakes are high and it’s an exciting time for the club and the town of Mansfield. “I want us to put on a show for our fans, to respond in characteristic Mansfield fashion on Saturday.
“It should be a fascinating game of football, with the division’s two best footballing sides going head-to-head.”
Stags took 4,300 fans to Notts on Saturday and this weekend’s crowd should be boosted by free tickets once again for U18s.
“Many chairmen will say this, but I absolutely mean it; our fans have been brilliant this season, supportive, encouraging and vocal when our players have needed them most,” he said.
“It was heartening to see an excellent result and a bumper crowd when we did the free U18s tickets against Macclesfield and I want a repeat performance of the result from that game this Saturday.
“This offer enables young people to get out and interact with people in real situations. “It’s good to get out and support your team as opposed to ‘supporting’ in front of a telly. “This is our local professional football club, where we were born and brought up. This football club matters enormously to people. “It is one of the best things in life to be able to support and follow your own local team; you make good friendships and it contributes to a real community spirit.”
Latest | February 2019