FLITCROFT, ASKEY, RICKY MILLER REACTION
Manager demands immediate response
Stags’ boss David Flitcroft says he is expecting ‘one hell of a performance’ from his players in Tuesday night’s clash against Crawley Town, following this afternoon’s disappointing 2-1 defeat at Port Vale.
Former Mansfield forward Ricky Miller fired home twice in quick succession in the second-half at Vale Park, before Stags’ striker Nicky Ajose headed home to spark a potential comeback for the amber and blue.
Port Vale held on to their one-goal advantage, however, and the Mansfield boss subsequently revealed that changes could be made ahead of Tuesday evening’s trip to Crawley.
“There are questions I’m going to pitch to the players tomorrow,” he said. “We need to get the balance right.
“We have to look at that to come up with the solution and go down to Crawley and give one hell of a performance.
“I’ll be picking a group of players that want to do that. If I’m a supporter today, I’m disappointed and I go home unhappy - and I get that. Times that by ten, and that’s how I’m feeling right now.
“Come Sunday we’ll all know who is going to move forward with us away from home and who’s not.
“We were poor against Newport and really poor against Notts. We weren’t brave enough today. That’s a trend for me and something I won’t ignore.
“We’ve had a really good week of training, but it doesn’t matter having a good training week, it’s about your business being at three o’clock [on a Saturday].
“I had nothing in the week to tell me that today’s performance would be like this, but it has been, and I have to affect that change.
“I’m going to speak to the players individually. I’ll tell them not to become choked by it [promotion push], but to go and embrace it.
“We’ll be having that chat tomorrow as they know how important it is to myself and to the club. We just have to make sure we find those solutions that we’ve not been able to find in the last three games away from home.”
The Mansfield chief says that a poor start from his charges this afternoon gave the hosts a ‘lift,’ which he believes was key to how the contest ended.
“I felt we started poorly and that gave them a lift. We needed to make high impact decisions and have quality in our work.
“We’ve been undone and Port Vale deservedly won the match today. When you’re in possession of the football, you have to be responsible for it.
“But when you’re not in possession, you need to be tracking, blocking a cross or winning that hustle. We didn’t get that right today and that’s a trend for us away from home.
“I have to do something about that. The team selection for the next game will be a team who want to do the things right off the ball as well as on it.”
Despite finding the net in the second-half, Ajose was denied from the penalty spot in the opening 45 minutes, following a strong save from Vale ‘keeper Scott Brown.
The manager expressed his belief that the missed opportunity was not decisive, due to the way his players were performing prior to the foul on CJ Hamilton in the area.
“I don’t think so [penalty miss was decisive]. I don’t think we were playing well enough. You could argue it’s a different contest if it goes in, but it didn’t.
“When you’re in form, you’ll make chances. After that [penalty] we had corner after corner and kept them penned in.
“But that was only for a small period of the game and we let them out too easily. We didn’t apply enough pressure. On the ball, it’s possibly the worst we’ve been all season.
“There were good players making really bad execution, and it happened too often today.
“I felt once Nicky’s goal did go in, we’d claw something back. But Port Vale dug in and stood firm for the three points.
“It’s incredibly disappointing that we’ve not backed each other up better today.”
iFollow Stags subscribers can watch the manager’s interview in full by logging into mansfieldtown.net/ifollow later today.
Mansfield Town’s poor start contributed to defeat at Port Vale, says boss David Flitcroft
chad.co.uk, Saturday 09 March 2019
David Flitcroft said a poor start to the game from his Mansfield Town players contributed to their defeat at Port Vale.
The Stags missed the chance to go ahead in the first half when Nicky Ajose saw his penalty well-saved by opposing stopper Scott Brown.
Ricky Miller, who had a loan spell with the Stags in early 2018, scored a quick-fire brace to put Port Vale in control at Vale Park.
Ajose halved the home side’s advantage but Mansfield were unable to get a second to salvage a point in what was a third straight away loss for Flitcroft’s Stags.
“I think the start was poor,” said boss Flitcroft. “We didn’t start well. We were loose and untidy in our work.
“That gave them a lift first half and we kept giving them lift after lift.
“Whether that’s a misplaced pass or an untimed run or a bad angle, we gave them lift after lift and encouragement after encouragement.
“We weren’t at our best. I look at the second goal and that’s as poor a goal as you’re going to see.
“It ricocheted and we didn’t clear our lines.
“We’ve prided ourselves on clearing our lines all season, concentrating on our work.
“There was a change to the back three, to the back four, and it looked like that today.
“It looked wrong.
“Sweeney’s had to come off but again I’m disappointed with how that’s happened.
“He’s taken a whack to the head, a big smash to the head, and he didn’t let us know how he was feeling.
“I love Sweenes but he’s got to make those decisions. He’s come out at half time and still feeling groggy.
“He’s fallen down on the pitch and they’ve score in that moment.
“That’s not professional for me, that, and I’m going to look into that and how it’s happened.
“It’s small detail but it’s massive.
“There’s a consequence to everything.
“We’ve not been at our best today and we’ve given Port Vale too many leg-ups today.”
Willem Tomlinson @WillemWillem8
Not good enough from everyone today, apologies to the fans. Stick with us #Stags
John Askey pays tribute to players and fans
stokesentinel.co.uk, By Michael Baggaley
Port Vale boss John Askey said his team's excellent win over promotion-chasing Mansfield has been coming as the Valiants pulled seven points clear of the relegation zone.
Goals from Ricky Miller, on 50 and 52 minutes, helped Vale to victory against Stags side who pulled a goal back through Nicky Ajose on 61 minutes. Ajose had a penalty saved by Scott Brown on 16 minutes, but the Valiants created the chances to have won a thrilling game more convincingly.
Askey was pleased with his team's performance in their goalless draw at Notts County last weekend and felt they built on that.
The manager said: "I thought right from the off we played really well. It's been coming and I am really pleased that we got a result. It is the way we won as well, it wasn't a fortuitous win, we could have scored more.
"I just don't know what to do now because I am not used to winning!
"The players have been working really hard and I thought their fitness showed, they never stopped running all game and put them under a lot of pressure.
"Mansfield are a good team, they will probably get promoted, but we more than matched them today."
Askey also praised the Vale fans, saying: "It just shows that if we play well the supporters will get behind us. I thought the supporters again were absolutely fantastic.
"When I came here I wanted to see people put smiles on people's faces. I know that is only one win, we just hope we can keep that going now."
A good day for the Vale was completed as the bottom two, Notts County and Macclesfield, both lost. Vale have moved up a place to fourth-bottom, going above Yeovil who lost at Lincoln on Friday night.
Tom Pope missed today's game with a knee injury. He was replaced by Miller in the only change to the side
'We want to get people out of their seats' - Port Vale's John Askey
Port Vale boss John Askey said the win over promotion chasing Mansfield will give the whole club a lift as the Valiants look to repeat that performance at home to Yeovil tomorrow.
Vale produced a storming performance to beat the Stags 2-1 at Vale Park and go above Yeovil in the table, now seven points clear of the relegation zone.
The win was Vale's first in six attempts since Askey took charge, but they had been unfortunate not to get three points last week when they had the better of their goalless draw at Notts County.
Askey said the performance against Mansfield showed the high-tempo, high intensity football he wants his team to play - and he was delighted to see them finally rewarded for their efforts.
He said: "What this does is give the players belief. It gives me belief that what we are doing is the right thing. So, hopefully, if they can keep working like they did here then I am sure we will create a gap.
"But what we have to be wary of is ourselves, that we don't get too carried away. But I was just pleased how we played.
"It was like when I watched Vale in the past - we had two wide men, players trying to take people on and trying to score goals and that is what we want to do. We want to create chances and get people out of their seats. It won't always happen but today it did."
Askey added: "We know Ricky has goals in him. When I first came in he was suspended. Tom has been doing well, even though he has't socred.
"It was forced on us but I think it (the goals) has been coming. It is not just the fact Ricky has come in. I think as a team we have been improving as I think everyone saw against Notts County."
Ricky Miller delighted with Mansfield victory
Ricky Miller has had to be patient for an opportunity over the recent weeks, but he was back with a bang on Saturday afternoon as he fired home a second-half brace to secure all three points against Mansfield Town.
The striker stepped in for the injured Tom Pope, and his performance has certainly given John Askey something to think about ahead of Tuesday’s Sky Bet League Two fixture at home to Yeovil Town.
Miller was a menace during the 81 minutes he was on the pitch, and he almost added a third goal late on to cap off a stellar display. Despite leaving the field to a standing ovation, the 29-year-old was just delighted to get back to winning ways.
He said: “It’s a great win for us. Browny saved the penalty in the first half, and I think we more than merited the three points with the performance following that.
”That save was massive as it was a moment in the game that could’ve swung things one way or another, but today it’s gone our way.
“I hope the supporters can see that we’re starting to gel and things are coming together now, so hopefully we can have a good end to the season and they can continue to get behind us.
“In the changing room at half-time I said that, if we could keep solid and remain organised, we would score. We did that, and we managed to get the victory.”
Vale’s success over a Mansfield side who are chasing for automatic promotion will provide the squad with a huge confidence boost, and the gap between the Valiants and the bottom two now stands at seven points.
That margin could be widened even more if Askey’s men come out on top against the Glovers on Tuesday, and Miller is determined to build on his own form to help ensure his team can finish the season as strongly as possible.
He said: “I thought I put in a good performance personally against one of the best teams in the league. I hope they go on and get promoted because they’re a good club, but it’s a great result for us.
“I could’ve had a hat-trick, so if they had equalised I would’ve been more disappointed, but I don’t really care about all that. We got three points, and that’s the main thing - onwards and upwards.
“We’ve got Yeovil here on Tuesday and that’s another six-pointer for us, but hopefully we can kick on now.”
Miller also told iFollow Vale:
"I hope they (Mansfield) go on and get promoted. They are a good club."