FLITCROFT, HAMILTON, MARK COOPER REACTION
We played without fear - manager
mansfieldtown.net, Saturday 23 February 2019
Stags’ boss David Flitcroft has said that his players were fearless and played with aggression in this afternoon’s 1-0 victory over promotion rivals Forest Green.
Tyler Walker’s header in the second-half wrapped up the three points in a deserved win at One Call Stadium.
David Flitcroft hailed the ‘quality’ and ‘commitment’ displayed by his charges.
“You always have to look at the performance,” he said. “I was after that performance, and if we got it, I thought we would’ve won.
“We’ve been really good at home all season and that’s one of the best first halves we’ve had all season.
“The only bit is the end bit, and I’ll keep alerting to that. We get a lot of chances, and that’s the most disappointing thing about the last couple of games, we haven’t done [created chances].
“There was quality and a commitment to the performance and a commitment to the supporters, who were let down on Saturday.
“There was an aggression about the play and a no-fear approach. The players love playing at home and representing the supporters.
“It’s been a really good environment and a platform for the players to work in. There’s a real collective [spirit], and we’ve built that.
“We’re not in and individuals sport, we’re in a sport where you choose to be a team player and work for a club. You can’t have any selfish behaviour. It was an absolute team performance.”
The manager emphasised the importance of rebuilding momentum as we approach the season’s final furlong.
“It [momentum] is important for the lads. The last couple of games, we’ve come off what we do, and that’s hurt us.
“They’re back on it and have got a lot out of that performance, playing like they did. They ran for each other and the team.
“I’ve got a strong belief system - we will get things wrong and I’ll be the first to admit it when we do.”
The Stags’ boss says that the players’ ‘commitment’ and ‘connection’ with the fans were key to getting a win from a ‘tough game.’
“They [Forest Green] have a good structure and have unpredictable players. They’ve been outstanding all season, and have had a brilliant season.
“It was always going to be a tough game. The lads have really committed this week, and there’s that connection they have with the supporters.
“We dug in and got a little bit lucky late on. They had a couple of good chances that they maybe should’ve scored from.”
Midfielder Willem Tomlinson made his first start for the Stags this afternoon, and the manager described his performance as ‘excellent.’
“I thought he [Tomlinson] was excellent - I thought he backed Bish [Neal Bishop] up. He’s organises his department well. Him and Bish really locked the centre of the pitch down.
“Willem came in, was guided by Bish a little bit, and it was almost like a son and his lad play Sunday football together!
“They’re quite similar in how they go about the business. I thought he [Tomlinson] was brilliant and I’m delighted with his performance.
“He gave freedom to Mells [Jacob Mellis], to Tyler [Walker] and to Jorge [Grant]. CJ [Hamilton] absolutely tore them to bits in the first-half.
“It’s another clean sheet and it’s really important that we’ve kept that - a massive well done to our supporters because they could’ve come in with a negativity.”
iFollow Stags subscribers can watch the manager’s interview in full by logging into mansfieldtown.net/ifollow later today.
Flitcroft unperturbed by impending Walker ban after Mansfield beat Forest Green
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Saturday 23 February 2019
David Flitcroft said his side would cope with a suspension for top scorer Tyler Walker after his 95th minute red card in today's vital 1-0 home win over rivals Forest Green Rovers. Walker's 21st goal of the season secured Stags three vital points, but he was dismissed at the end with no one seeing what happened.
Stags will wait to see if it was dissent or another misdemeanour and if the ban is for two or three games. It will leave Stags short up front with their other injury problems, but manager Flitcroft said: “We have coped well with it all season. I have not once moaned about it. We have just got on with it.
“The lads who have come in have coped really well and as a squad we have coped really well. It might give me an opportunity to get the boots back on.
Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/flitcroft-unperturbed-by-impending-walker-ban-after-mansfield-beat-forest-green-1-9612870
“It's one of them. It's part of football. You will always get a percentage of injuries and suspensions but you cope with it.
“The lads coming in know exactly what is expected of them.”
After two successive defeats, the three points were crucial today and he said: “It's been a good response all week. The lads have worked hard all week.
“Bringing Will Tomlinson in gave us a bit more solidity in midfield, but the three up front caused them all sorts of problems, though we didn't finish or put them to the sword first half.
“But Tyler Walker scores second half goals - it's something he does. He waits until defenders switch off and nails them.”
Fans were fully behind Mansfield from the off, despite two defeats and a dire show at Notts County last week. “The supporters could have come in here today still a little bit peeved and upset with what happened last week,” said Flicroft.
“But there was no overspill from Saturday's poor, poor performance.
“The players produced a display that was high-energy, high-octane that our supporters have been used to us playing against one of the best teams in the league, certainly away from home. They are a threat and they've got good players.
“First half I thought we were outstanding and second half we showed the other side with our resolve. We were steadfast and it was a full team performance. “I thought first half that was one of the best we've played.”
He added: “The win was important for the players. I am very process driven and level-headed. “In life when things are not going too well you either crawl under your bed cover or get out of bed and work hard.
“Bad results come and go. Work hard and the results come back as we have been consistent all season. “That's because you have been doing the right things for a long time.”
Back to our best in win, says CJ
mansfieldtown.net, Saturday 23 February 2019
Winger CJ Hamilton believes that Mansfield had turned back to their normal selves following an impressive 1-0 victory over Forest Green Rovers.
Hamilton, who was stationed at left-wing back, was a constant threat for the home side throughout Saturday’s affair.
The first half ended as a stalemate, but Mansfield sealed all three points midway through the second period courtesy of Tyler Walker’s header.
And Hamilton reckons that his side returned to their usual ways after a disappointing fortnight prior to this afternoon’s win.
“Everyone’s turned back to their normal selves after the last two games,” he admitted.
“We weren’t really there so we’ve put ourselves out to make sure we’ve done well against a very good team.
“First-half we were different class, too. Everyone was running, pressing and making angles for each other and you could definitely see that in the first half.
“The boys have put a lot of work in training this week - different parts of the game we’ve been working on with the gaffer and Futch which has paid off today.”
The 23-year-old also paid credit to Rovers’ footballing style but conceded that the Stags were able to halt any chance of them putting their stamp on the afternoon’s clash.
“Forest Green have got one of the away records in the league, like us, and they’re a very good team.
“You can see that from when we played them away, so to do what we did in the first half and get the victory in the second is very good.
“They also like to play football like us but we didn’t let them play the football in the first half as you could see.
“Second half they didn’t really have much going at our defence. We had a lot of chances that we didn’t finish but obviously we got the goal and got the three points.”
Hamilton cited the victory over Mark Cooper’s side as a massive win, while wanting to build upon the three points against Cheltenham Town next Saturday.
“It was a massive win today, coming after back to back defeats we needed to bounce back and get the three points to put the pressure on the top teams.
“It’s all about getting another win on Saturday now, though.
“It gives the boys another boost and we’ll go out next Saturday with the same mentality to get the three points again.”
iFollow Stags subscribers can watch CJ's interview in full by logging into mansfieldtown.net/ifollow later today.
Hamilton keen to maintain promotion push after Forest Green win
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Saturday 23 February 2019
CJ Hamilton said the Mansfield Town players will dig in and try to keep the promotion push going, despite losing 21-goal star Tyler Walker to suspension. Stags are awaiting the referee's report to see why he was red-carded in stoppage time in today's crucial 1-0 home win over Forest Green Rovers.
Walker had already netted the winner on 69 minutes and Hamilton said: “He will be a massive loss. “You've seen how many goals he's scored.
“But I think we can dig him out, put on some performances for him and get the points for him. “We need to aim for back-to-back home wins now next Saturday.”
Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/hamilton-keen-to-maintain-promotion-push-after-forest-green-win-1-9612910
Stags sparkled again today against Rovers after two successive defeats and a dire display at Notts County last week.
Hamilton said: “Last week's performance wasn't the best, so we said we needed to put that right today and we did. “I loved every minute of today. Everybody enjoyed playing at home and giving the fans the football that they like.
“I really enjoyed the first half though second half we kind of half-stopped switching the ball about as much, but getting the victory was the main thing.
“Everyone played at a higher tempo and we pressed all over the pitch. Everyone was looking for the ball and making angles.”
He added: “It's always good to bounce back after two defeats. The main thing today was to get the three points and keep pushing up towards the top.
“Everyone is buzzing with the win and the way we played.”
Willem Tomlinson @WillemWillem8
Buzzing with the three points and the home debut today. Fans were class, on to the next one
Can Will Tomlinson become the ‘new Neal Bishop’ for Mansfield Town?
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Tuesday 26 February 2019
New Mansfield Town midfielder Will Tomlinson is hoping he can become the ‘new Neal Bishop’. Tomlinson made a battling full debut alongside veteran Bishop on Saturday and said: “I got the man of the match award, which was really pleasing, and the gaffer compared Bish and I to a father and son afterwards.
Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/can-will-tomlinson-become-the-new-neal-bishop-for-mansfield-town-1-9617116
“When we came in after the weekend, that’s when everyone started calling me mini-Bish after Davo started it going.
“I’m very happy with that, because Bish is 37 and still going strong, so that means at 21 I’ve got another 16 years in the game yet.
“It’s great to play with Bish and I was asking him about things throughout the Forest Green game. I’m just starting out, and I want to learn as much as I can.
“He has played hundreds of games and has so much experience, so I think he has to be just about the best person I could learn from.”
Mansfield Town confident, despite two-game ban confirmed for talisman striker Tyler Walker
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Tuesday 26 February 2019
Promotion-chasing Mansfield Town have been left threadbare in the striker department as top scorer Tyler Walker starts a two-game ban when Cheltenham Town visit on Saturday. But manager David Flitcroft and the players are adamant they will cope without their 21-goal hero.
With Danny Rose, Craig Davies and Jordan Graham out injured, it leaves Nicky Ajose as the only recognised striker after Walker was red-carded last weekend for a one-fingered gesture to a linesman.
New signing Will Tomlinson, who made his full debut in the 1-0 win over Forest Green, said: “It is going to be a big miss with Tyler being suspended for two games, but we have others in the squad who can step up and do the job while he is out, and I’m sure they will do that.”
Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/mansfield-town-confident-despite-two-game-ban-confirmed-for-talisman-striker-tyler-walker-1-9617122
Tomlinson’s gutsy display was one of the highlights of Saturday and he said: “I really enjoyed making my debut and it was great to help the team get back to winning ways after the defeats at Newport and Notts County.
“The bare minimum you can do as a player is work hard, get your tackles in and make it hard for the opposition. “What people didn’t see much of from me, though, was what I can do on the ball, but hopefully I will improve on that side the more I play and the sharper I get.
“I haven’t played much for the last five months, so there’s more to come. “The fans have been really good to me so far and they are going to have a massive part to play during the rest of the season. When they’re behind you, it gives you that extra five to 10 per cent.”
Saturday’s visitors Cheltenham have lost four away games in a row without scoring, but he warned: “You can never read too much into a side’s league position. You have to earn the right to win a game by competing first.”
Stags’ gate will be boosted by free tickets for U18s for the third and final time on Saturday.
Forest Green boss Cooper laments missed chances
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Saturday 23 February 2019
Forest Green manager Mark Cooper was left ruing a string of missed chances as his side lost their crunch showdown 1-0 at promotion rivals Mansfield Town.
“We missed some brilliant chances today and if you come to a team as good as Mansfield and don't score gilt-edged chances then you are asking for trouble,” he said.
Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/forest-green-boss-cooper-laments-missed-chances-1-9612857
“I think we have had five gilt-edged chances. “I thought Mansfield were better than us in the first half. We didn't get to grips with it, but I thought second half we were really good.
“I thought we were in the ascendency, but you can't come here and miss that many chances. You have to put them away.”
Tyler Walker netted the 69th minute winner as he beat keeper Lewis Ward to the ball to head home and Cooper said he was happy with the goal after arguments over a foul by Walker.
“There was a bit of controversy around the goal but for me the keeper should deal with it. It wasn't a foul,” he said.
“The only other question was whether it was offside. But I don't think it was. I think it was a good goal that we should have defended better.”
Ward made some fine stops otherwise, but Cooper said:“He made some good saves. But there is no point doing that if you are going to let one like that in is there? “But he has been good and will continue to be good.
“I said to the players I can't be too hard on them as second half we were really good. Not many teams come here and create the clear cut chances we did second half.”
He added: “I must say the official for both team were really poor. They were totally inconsistent all day. It was all about the referee today. Not the players.”
Frustrated Mark Cooper rues 'mistake' as Tyler Walker sent off after scoring controversial winner for Mansfield Town against Forest Green Rovers
Forest Green Rovers manager Mark Cooper admits he “never really felt in too much trouble” despite a 1-0 defeat to promotion rivals Mansfield Town at the One Call Stadium.
A controversial 69th-minute strike from Mansfield’s Tyler Walker, who was then sent off in stoppage time, cost Rovers the three points.
An open start to the match saw chances for both sides within the first 10 minutes, but neither Mansfield’s CJ Hamilton nor Rovers’ George Williams were able to take their chances.
Hamilton was a constant threat throughout the game, but Cooper instead opted to look at the Stags’ threat as a team rather than just the 23 year-old: “They’re a good team Mansfield, let’s not forget that.
“If you look at how many chances they had throughout the game, it wasn’t many and their goal came from a mistake from us.”
Several chances followed for both sides, but neither were able to take that early advantage that would have given them the incentive to go on to win the game as Cooper admitted he was a bit frustrated.
He said: “I thought we were good value and we had some really good chances in the second half,” he said.
“We had a couple of good ones in the first half but second half, we had some great chances and if you don’t put those away, then you leave yourself open to what happened.”
It was clear that changes were needed from Forest Green at half-time if they were to try and pick up all three points and Cooper confirmed he made a slight change to his tactics at half-time.
“I was pleased at the fact that it was still 0-0,” he said. “We needed to change some things, which we did.
“We played 4-3-3 to try and cover the pitch and second half, I thought we played really well.”
Although Forest Green were much better in after the break and looked more of a threat, a controversial 69th-minute strike from Walker saw Rovers left with a mountain to climb.
Despite calls for offside, Hamilton was played into the penalty box, play continued and although his shot was saved by Lewis Ward, the Reading FC loanee looked to be fouled as he jumped for the second ball with Walker’s looping header finding the back of the net.
Cooper admitted that it was “a mistake from us”.
“We should catch that and we should deal with that, it’s simple," he said.
“We’ve also had one-on-ones to score headers from three yards out.
“George Williams is clean through on goal, Joe Mills puts one over the bar when it looks like as though it’s easier to score.
“We’ve had some really good chances and if you don’t take them then that’s what happens.”
Despite the mistake, the Forest Green manager admitted that he can’t be too hard on players as they gave everything to get the win but just couldn’t take their chances.
“You’re not going to get those chances too often against them.
“At some point they’re going to hurt you because they’ve got quality players and that’s what happens.
“But listen, we move on. Second half, we were very good and we deserved something out of the game.”
This result means Forest Green remain in sixth place as they fall to seven points behind Mansfield in the first automatic promotion places in third position.
Despite a well-contested second half from Forest Green, they now look ahead to another tough game at the top of the table as they host league leaders Lincoln City at the New Lawn next Saturday with Cooper believing “it’ll be a great game and we’re looking forward to it.”
Mansfield Town: J Smith, M Benning, M Preston, K Pearce, N Bishop, J Mellis, W Tomlinson (B Turner 90’), T Walker, Jones, C Hamilton, J Grant.
Forest Green Rovers: L Ward, L Collins (U Godwin-Malife 88), F Rawson, C Winchester, C Doidge, R Brown, G Williams, G Gunning (N McGinley 81), P Digby (S McCoulsky 81), J Mills, J Mondal.
REACTION : Farrend Rawson post-Mansfield Town
We spoke to defender Farrend Rawson following yesterday's 1-0 defeat to Mansfield Town.
He speaks about the frustrations of the narrow defeat, his thoughts on the performance and how they must refocus on next weekend's visit of Lincoln City.
A 1-0 defeat away at Mansfield, what is the overriding emotion after that one?
We're disappointed about the result, we felt like it could have gone a different way and I feel like, especially second half, we played well. I feel like we had the better of the chances through the whole game. It's happened now and we've got to dust ourselves down and move on and the season goes on. At the stage we are at in the season now, we've got to take all the positives from the game and there were lots of positives out there today. I feel like we've come to a really big side here in Mansfield and in their back yard, we've taken the game to them.
When you come to a side like Mansfield with their forward line, you know it is going to be a big test, how did you feel you did defensively?
They had their strengths which are there attacking players, who are some very good players. We had a game plan and I think defensively we were very strong. We rode our luck a little bit but you have to in games sometimes and overall I think we defended really well. I don't really want to talk about the goal because I'm not too sure what happened there, I think there maybe could have been a foul but that's not for me to decide on.
At that time, how did the goal impact you and how did you respond?
It's not our decision, you have referees and linesmen to make those decisions for you, so there is nothing much you can do, you have just got to get on with it. I think all the lads reacted really well and for the last 25 minutes we were on top and we could have got something out of the game in the end.
As you say, you can't dwell on it, it's onto the next one and another big test against Lincoln.
There's still quite a few games left, there's still a lot to play for. As a team, we believe in ourselves and we have got to take it game by game and we'll bounce back.