FLITCROFT, DINO MAAMRIA REACTION
Manager set for MK Dons ‘cup final’
mansfieldtown.net, Saturday 27 April 2019
Stags’ boss David Flitcroft has said that the upcoming week will consist of preparing his players to deliver ‘one massive final effort’ in next Saturday’s crucial match away to MK Dons.
Mansfield welcomed Stevenage to One Call Stadium this afternoon, and despite pulling the score back to 1-1 through Tyler Walker’s neat finish in the 83rd-minute, were shocked by Ilias Chair’s stoppage-time winner.
The manager emphasised the need for a good reaction throughout next week ahead of the amber and blue’s big game away to automatic promotion rivals MK Dons.
“I want to see an enthusiasm and a love for football [in training this week],” he said. “I want to see competition, I want to see full commitment. I’ll emphasise that all week.
“I don’t have to tell the lads how big this game is or what this game means to everyone concerned.
“They know that, and if they don’t, they’re in the wrong place. It just comes down to a group of players who are totally focused on delivering one final massive effort.
“We’ve had ten minutes after the game. The lads will get a day off tomorrow. It’s a reflection day.
“When we come in on Monday, we’ll outline the plan and what they need to do in the week. That’s what we will be doing.
“I can’t control what they do tonight and tomorrow in terms of how they think. But I can affect that in the week.
“In life, you have things that go against you, and you then have a choice - you either stay in bed and roll up in a ball, or you come bouncing out and start fighting again.
“I want a squad fighting next week, all week. Fighting to get into the starting 11 and then really making an impact on the game.”
The manager added that today’s result is a ‘missed opportunity.’
“Without a doubt [it’s a missed opportunity]. It was an opportunity that we had to take. At half-time, I was really happy under difficult circumstances with the wind.
“It was important that we came in [at half-time] with a clean sheet. At half-time, I said it’s a case of really turning the heat up.
“Rosey [Danny Rose] had a couple of good opportunities on his head. Jorge Grant got loose and had to do better. We had corner after corner.
“We probably didn’t test the ‘keeper as much as what I’d want. We’d got through the tough stage which was in the first-half.
“I think we stepped on the gas in the second-half but we just didn’t finish them off. After we got 1-1, the fans, it was like we were going to do it.
“The second goal just takes that energy out of you. You could see the players lying down [after the game].”
The amber and blues’ chief explained that although today’s defeat to Stevenage ‘hurts,’ he is urging his players to ‘move forward.’
“At 1-0 down, the fightback is there again,” added the manager. “Tyler scored a great goal - he finished it brilliantly. We went chasing that [winner] and got done on the counter.
“It’s raw at the minute and it hurts. Out of that hurt, I will make sure that the group have a resolve and understand why we’ve not won today.
“We’ve not got the win that we were desperate for, but it’s about now how I react and lead this group this week.
“The lads have had a right effort. They showed commitment, passion and tried. Next week, we have to be better in every aspect of our game.
“What I say to the players is ‘think forward.’ We had that chance today, and we haven’t taken it, so let’s move forward this week.”
iFollow Stags subscribers can watch the manager’s interview in full by logging into mansfieldtown.net/ifollow later today.
Mansfield Town manager David Flitcroft says last-day showdown at MK Dons will be a promotion cup final
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Saturday 27 April 2019
Mansfield Town boss David Flitcroft has told his players they must quickly put today’s shock 2-1 home defeat by Stevenage behind them and get ready for their promotion ‘cup final’ at rivals MK Dons next Saturday.
A 93rd minute heartbreaker from Ilias Chair left Stags needing to win at MK next weekend to be sure of promotion.
Flitcroft said players were entitled to mope or reflect tomorrow but on Monday he wanted to see it behind them.
“It’s now up to me and the way I act around them,” he said.
“If they want to spend some time moping around with their families that’s up to them. But when we get to Monday I don’t want any ‘victims’ or poor body language. I want a real galvanised spirit come Monday.
“We are in for one hell of a week and I will pick the team for MK on the training. So I want to see competition and that enthusiasm and love for football.
“We are in a great position. It’s in our hands. We now have to go down there and give a phenomenal account of ourselves.”
Mansfield know the enormity of the game at MK.
“We are preparing like it’s a cup final. I said that to them straight away,” he said.
“All the conundrums are done. We know what we know. It’s one last game and it’s like a play-off final game - that’s what it’s come to.
“I have to prepare a squad for that. They will need to be mentally strong for the occasion. It will be one hell of a game and one hell of a week.
“They were on the floor at the end. They care and have cared all season. They have given everything and today it wasn’t enough.
“The only way to get them back on firm ground is to give them support. They know what is required.”
Mansfield had come from behind to level and were pressing for a winner when they were caught out on the counter-attack at the death.
“That was a missed opportunity,” he said.
“You don’t know how these games pan out.
“At half-time I was really happy and really comfy under difficult circumstances with the wind. It was important to come in with a clean sheet.
“I said at half-time let’s turn the heat up. We won corner after corner, penned them in. Then got caught on the sucker.
“We fought back to 1-1 with a great opportunist goal from Tyler Walker.
“We knew how important the wind was going to be to maybe seal it. But when we really went chasing it, we got done on the counter in the 93rd minute.”
The players lay shattered and gutted on the pitch at the end and Flicroft said: “It hurts. Out of that hurt I will make sure we have a resolve. We need to understand why we’ve not won today and take that down the motorway next week.
“I think we did enough to win it in the second half.
“We stepped on the gas but just didn’t finish them off.
“The fans gave us everything to try to win it. But the second goal just takes that energy out of you.
“We didn’t get the win we were desperate for.
“But the players now have to think forward. You can’t think about what might have been. They’ve had that chance today and not taken it.
“So let’s move on and look forward.
“I don’t have to tell the lads how big this game is. They know that. It just comes down to a group of players that are focused on delivering one final massive effort.
“We have to be better at every aspect of our game. If we are we will offer excellent competition for MK Dons.”
John Radford @JRadfordMTFC
Gutted but we are Mansfield. We go again. Thank you for the support today
Our best display, says Stevenage manager Dino Maamria after 2-1 win at Mansfield Town
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Saturday 27 April 2019
Stevenage manager Dino Maamria said today’s shock 2-1 win at Mansfield Town was his side’s best display of the season.
Stevenage look set to miss out on the play-offs, but have now won four and drawn one of their last five games and their late victory at promotion-chasing Mansfield was achieved with two excellent finishes.
“That was probably our best performance of the season,” he smiled.
“It was an unbelievable performance to come to the second of the league with what they’ve got.
“We did some prep in the week but when we got here today I actually threw it all out of the window.
“I told them they had to treat this like a cup final or play-off final game where we had to win to go up.
“I told them to press them, be brave on the ball, dominate everything and go all in as a team.
“We did that and, my god, what a performance from start to finish. Mansfield were lucky to go in 0-0 as we should have scored two or three and had a stonewall penalty not given.
“You won’t see better goals on the telly tonight, even in the Premier League. They were outstanding.”
Maamria believed the result actually flattered the Stags with the chances the visitors carved out.
“That performance had everything. Some of our football was unbelievable today, especially in the first half,” he said.
“I think 2-1 flattered them. It was a full house today and I think everyone will have gone away thinking this Stevenage team are a proper team.
“Mansfield have the best home record in the league but today it was men against boys.
“Even when they equalised I had faith we would go on and get a second goal and it was that man Ilias Chair again who stepped up when it mattered most.”
Byrom: "Given ourselves best possible chance"
Joel Byrom said he and his teammates ‘thoroughly deserved’ their victory over Mansfield Town on Saturday, as Stevenage kept their season alive going into the final day...
Having taken the lead through Kurtis Guthrie’s seventh goal in his past five games, former Boro loanee Tyler Walker pegged Boro back with less than 10 minutes remaining. With both sides desperate for the win to further their own agenda, it was Stevenage and Ilias Chair that found the added time winner, sparking superb celebrations amongst the travelling supporters.
“It was brilliant. I think the lads, all the way through the team, have been brilliant today," Byrom said. "It is a difficult place to come with their home record being as good as it is and to play well from minute 1 to minute 90, we thoroughly deserved it I thought.
"The manager came in the dressing room at 1pm and said ‘come on let’s go for them, let’s go and attack them’. We have got good enough players and players in attacking areas that can really hurt teams, so we have got to use our strengths and I thought we did today.”
After a goalless first half in which Stevenage were on top, Byrom admitted feeling frustrated knowing that the wind would be against he and his teammates during the second half. Despite that, Byrom says he knows that with Kurtis Guthrie and Ilias Chair playing in the form of their lives, it always gives the team a chance.
“When the first half was going on I was thinking, 'come on let's go and get the goal whilst the pressure is on' and although we didn’t get it, the lads stuck to their guns in the second half and we know that with Kurtis and Ilias up there, you are going to get chances and they both took their goals so well.
“Kurtis was on the pitch 'just saying get me one chance and I’ll get you a goal', that is the confidence in him at the minute and that is what happened. It was a great ball in and a great finish. For the second goal, Ilias has got such a tiny gap to fit it into but you just fancy him. When he gets into those areas you just fancy him."
The win means that Stevenage have a chance of moving into the final Play-Off spot on the final game of the season, when Cheltenham Town visit The Lamex Stadium next Saturday.
“We have given ourselves the best possible chance, Byrom said. "The last four or five games we have deserved what we have got and that is it now, we have got one more game to go and all we can do is get the three points."
Latest | April 2019