Boss calls on troops to battle at Carlisle
mansfieldtown.net, Thursday 15 August 2019
Manager John Dempster has called for his players to ‘fight for every inch’ in this weekend’s Sky Bet League Two clash against in-form Carlisle United.
Although the Stags are unbeaten in the league this term, the boss expects performance levels to rise on matchdays, with the amber and blue drawing both of their Sky Bet League Two outings thus far.
The manager says that his charges were ‘very disappointed’ after Tuesday night's Carabao Cup exit to Morecambe, but added that the players have returned to training in ‘high spirits’ this week.
He added that the Stags will have to be 'at their very best' to get a result against a Carlisle side that recorded an emphatic 3-0 victory away to Championship side Barnsley in midweek.
“The players and I were very disappointed [after loss to Morecambe on penalties],” the boss told iFollow Stags. “The effort was there, but when you have that amount of time to break down ten men, we wanted to be more efficient.
“To concede two goals again was very disappointing. There will be a discussion before training [today], but talk is cheap, so we need to put things in action.
“Carlisle are in good form and they had an excellent result against Barnsley in midweek. Steven Pressley has changed quite a lot there and he was a player I admired.
“He’s changed the way Carlisle play and the personnel from last season. We know we’ll be going there and it will be a very tough challenge, which it always is when you go to Carlisle. We need to be at our very best to go there and get anything.
“A number of players performed well [on Tuesday] and that’s at the front of my thoughts. We’ll get another good training session into the players today, which will also be taken into consideration.
“We want a competitive environment on a day-to-day basis. Players want to see the light at the end of the tunnel, that if they are performing there is an opportunity for them.
“People have got to want to fight for their shirt and when they get it, they want to fight to keep hold of it.
“Carlisle is a very difficult place to go. The players were very disappointed after the [Morecambe] game in midweek, but have come back in very good spirits thus far.
“As soon as our [training] session starts this morning, I expect people to be fighting for every inch.
“Standards have been at a good level in training and that needs to be taken into games more so.
“I expect performance levels to go up when it comes to matchday. Performance levels - collectively and individually - need to be better.
“This squad of players need to prove themselves. We need to come together and scrap and fight for those inches and those points.
“We need to fight for every inch first and foremost and then the talent will come through. It’s a tough and physical league, so if you get those basics right and have a talented squad, nine times out of ten you’ll come through on top.”
John Dempster says his side must improve on the ‘basics’ and ‘tighten up’ defensively after shipping two goals in each game so far.
“It [improvement] is about doing the very basics right,” he added. “We’ve fallen short on the basics, which has been frustrating, as you can imagine for a manager or coach.
“It’ll be about tightening up in open play defensively. It will be about being better at set plays, for and against.
“But also it’ll be about emphasising some of the good play that we’ve had. We’ve scored two in every game so far, so without stating the obvious, if we can tighten up that defensive side of the game, we’ll be okay.
“We need to start picking up clean sheets, there’s no point dancing around it. We know that whatever side we pick, they are capable of going out and keeping clean sheets.”
The boss spoke about midfielder Dion Donohue, who was substituted at half-time on Tuesday evening, while also speaking of the quality in Stags’ youth ranks - in particular 20-year-old Alistair Smith (below), who completed 90 minutes in midweek.
“Before the game, it was always the plan to see how Dion went. He hasn’t had a lot of football over the last year, so we wanted safety first.
“He got a little bit of tightness in his body, so we wanted to be careful with him. Tactically, we were looking to play him for longer, but as soon as he mentioned the tightness, we took him off.
“I think you can see that he’s a talented footballer who is very good on the ball. He’s somebody that will be important to us.
“We spoke about Alistair Smith after the game in midweek and we were very pleased with his performance. We have some other talented boys who have their foot in the door and are training with the first team every day.
“The long-term vision of the club is to have those players involved and have them in the team. I’m a manager that shares the vision of the football club and it’s something I’m passionate about.”
iFollow Stags can watch the manager’s interview in full by logging into mansfieldtown.net/ifollow later today.
Can Mansfield Town get clean sheet and make it fourth time lucky on tough Carlisle United trip?
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Thursday 15 August 2019
Mansfield Town boss John Dempster would like nothing better than a 1-0 win at Carlisle United on Saturday.
Still seeking his first win as manager after three games, Dempster believes if they can achieve a first clean sheet, the Stags have enough going forward to win all three points.
But, after three 2-2 draws in a row, losing the last of them on penalties, he has also ordered his players to do the basics and win the right to display their quality by battling harder earlier in the game.
“We will have a good talk before training today. But talk is cheap,” he said.
“We have to put things into action and that's what we will be looking to do at Carlisle on Saturday.
“It was eventful again on Tuesday night which seems to be the case with us at the minute. I'd be quite happy if we picked up a few 1-0 wins on the way and have less eventful games.
“You don't need to be a rocket scientist to say that if we can improve our goals against column, whether that be from open play or set plays, we will be okay.
“We have players who can score goals and we have players who can create goals in our squad.
“We do look a threat going forward this season and, if we can tighten up against them, I am sure we can leave Carlisle with a positive result.”
He added: “On current form you'd say there are going to be goals, but I'd be quite happy with a 1-0 win there. It's always proved to be a tough place to go over the years we've been back in the Football League.”
Despite twice coming from behind against Morecambe on Tuesday, Dempster said his side were failing to do the basics needed.
He said: “ We felt we could have done better on Tuesday. The effort was there, but when you've got that amount of time to break down 10 men, you want to be more efficient with that.
“We were also disappointed to concede two goals again.
“It's purely the very basics where we've fallen short which, as you can imagine, for a manager or coach is frustrating.
“It's about tightening up defensively in open play, being better at set plays for and against, and also emphasising some of the good play we've had - the positives.
“We've scored two goals in every game so far. So, without stating the obvious, if we can tighten up the defensive side of the game for the XI that start on the pitch, we will be okay.”
Dempster continued: “We need to start picking up clean sheets, there's no point in dancing around it. We know that is within the squad we've got - whatever XI we pick they are capable of getting clean sheets.
“It's important to look forward now. This squad of players need to prove themselves. They have achieved nothing.
“We need to come together and really scrap and fight firstly for those inches and those points. If we don't do that, when you come up against the likes of Newport and Morecambe that's the very least they do.
“I keep hearing about how talented this squad are. But we need to fight for every inch first and foremost. Then that talent will come through.
“When you're coming up against the likes of Newport, Morecambe - and the next challenge is Carlisle - you've got to match them physically. It's a tough league. It is a physical league and set plays and restarts are important.
“If you get those basics right and you've got a talented squad, nine times out of 10 you'll come through on top.”
Carlisle opened with a 2-1 home win over Crawley and a 3-2 defeat at Swindon before chalking up a stunning 3-0 win at Championship club Barnsley in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday.
“Carlisle are in good form and had an excellent result against Barnsley during the week,” said Dempster.
“Steven Pressley has changed quite a lot there. He was a player I admired and he is now on his journey in management.
“He has changed the way Carlisle play and personnel from last season.
“So we know that going there will be a very tough challenge - it always is when you go to Carlisle. But, in the form they are in, we need to be at our very best to go there and get anything.”
Dempster made five changes for the midweek cup game and was delighted with some of his squad member's displays, forcing themselves into the frame for Carlisle.
“A number of players performed well on Tuesday so they are at the front of my thoughts currently,” he said.
“We will get a really good training session into the players today and that will also be taken into consideration.
“Shirts are still up for grabs - they always are. We want a competitive environment on a day to day basis and payers want to see that light at the end of the tunnel that, if they are performing, there is an opportunity there for them.
“The players have come back in today in good spirits and I expect every player to be champing at the bit and fighting for every inch.”
Unlikely Mansfield Town will make any more signings as end of transfer window gets closer
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS
Mansfield Town boss John Dempster said it was unlikely he would add to his squad before the summer transfer window closes on 2nd September.
Dempster has made five summer signings and wants to keep the current squad happy and make sure talented youngsters coming through have every chance of being involved too.
“We have constantly got agents ringing us about players,” he said.
“Having met with the chairman and CEO last week, there are funds there if we were to go back into the market.
“But I am conscious about getting the balance right and having a group of players that are all going to play a part and feature rather than senior pros sat in the stand, twiddling their thumbs, wasting money for the football club, which has happened in previous seasons.
“That’s something I don’t want to do. I want to be efficient. I want to have a group of players that are together.
“And it’s up to the players in our current squad to show me they want to be a part of that.”
As former Academy manager, Dempster knows he has talented youth coming through as well.
“If we were to just go out and get bodies in for the sake of it it would also have an adverse effect on the academy players and the academy products,” he said.
“We spoke about Alistair Smith after the game on Tuesday. We were really pleased with his performance and we’ve got some other talented boys knocking on the door and training with the first team every day.
“The long term vision of the football club is to have those players involved and get them in the team.
“I am a manager that shares that vision of the football club rather than managers that may maybe have a short term vision for themselves. It’s something I am passionate about.”
Softly, softly as Mansfield Town ease new boy Dion Donohue back to fitness
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS
Midfielder Dion Donohue will not be forced back into full Mansfield Town match action too quickly.
The summer signing, who arrived when not fully fit after injury last season, came through the first 45 minutes of Tuesday’s Carabao Cup clash with Morecambe, but was withdrawn as a precaution.
“Before the game it was always the plan to see how Dion went. He’s not had a lot of football over the last year so we wanted it to be safety first with that one,” said boss John Dempster.
“He got a little bit of tightness in his body, so we wanted to be careful.
“Tactically we were probably not looking to play him for the full 90 minutes but, as soon as he mentioned about the tightness, we took him off and wrapped him in cotton wool.
“But you could see he is a talented footballer - very good on the ball.
“He is a good passer with a sweet left foot and he’s someone who is going to be important to us.”
Striker cites reasons for good start
mansfieldtown.net, Thursday 15 August 2019
Striker Danny Rose has attributed a ‘good pre-season’ and ‘adapting well’ to manager John Dempster’s style of play as the reasons for his strong start to the campaign.
The former Bury striker has scored in both Sky Bet League Two fixtures thus far and confidently tucked away his spot kick in Tuesday night’s Carabao Cup penalty shootout defeat to Morecambe.
The 25-year-old added that the summer arrivals of ‘very good strikers’ Nicky Maynard and Andy Cook makes for healthy competition, which he says ‘spurs’ him on.
“I didn’t really have much of a pre-season last year because of injuries,” the striker began. “I think the pre-season has been key this season, because I’ve had a good one with the new gaffer [John Dempster].
“I’m just wanting to kick on now. I’ve had a good start but I want to keep that up throughout the season.
“There has been a change in style this season and that takes time to gel when a new gaffer comes in. I’m sure that when we adapt to things, we’ll be fine.
“I think Nicky [Maynard] works well off me when I’m winning flick-ons and he’s gambling on getting in behind. Cooky [Andy Cook] is also good at that - he had a very good game [on Tuesday] before he picked up a little niggle.
“I think we [strikers] complement each other very well. The gaffer has fetched in those two very good strikers who are proven at this level.
“It brings healthy competition and spurs you on. I just need to work hard every day and hope I get in the team.
“Under the new gaffer I’m adapting really well to his system. I’m hoping that continues throughout the season - I don’t want it to be a good start that veers off.”
Rose also looked forward to this weekend’s game against Carlisle United, a match he says the Stags will have to ‘start well,’ but will enter ‘full of confidence.’
“It’s a good start for me personally, to get the two goals is nice. But the bigger picture is that the lads are a bit disappointed that we’ve not picked up a victory out of the two league games.
“It’s been pretty similar how the games have gone. The starts have not been ideal because we give ourselves a mountain to climb, but we’ve done well to pull it back to 2-2.
“We’ll look forward to Carlisle now - I’ve played there quite a few times. We’ll go there full of confidence, we’re unbeaten in the league so you have to take the positives.
“We just need to get that first league win and I think we’ll be fine after that.
“They [Carlisle] are a good side and had a good midweek win against Barnsley in the cup, so they’ll be full of confidence going into Saturday’s game.
“If we turn up, we know we can beat anybody on our day, so I think we’ll be fine.
“It’s obvious that we need to start games better than we have been doing. Going 2-0 down isn’t ideal, so if we start well and stay in the game then we’ll be a force to be reckoned with this season.”
iFollow Stags subscribers can watch the forward’s interview in full by logging into mansfieldtown.net/ifollow later today.
One win and watch us go says Mansfield Town striker Danny Rose
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Thursday 15 August 2019
Danny Rose believes once Mansfield Town can get that elusive first win under their belts they will start to soar.
The Stags head for Carlisle United on Saturday with striker Rose looking to add to his two goals in the first two League Two games.
Two 2-2 draws and a penalties defeat after another 2-2 draw in the Carabao Cup have left Stags frustrated so far.
“As soon as we get that first win, which I hope will be this Saturday, we’ll be fine,” said Rose.
“It’s been a good start for me personally and to get the two goals has been nice, but the bigger picture is the lads are disappointed that we’ve not at least picked up one victory out of the two league games we’ve played so far.
“All three games have been pretty similar in how they’ve gone so far.
“Obviously going 2-0 down is not ideal and gives us a mountain to climb, then we’ve done well to get back to 2-2 before the red cards have, not killed the game off for us, but given us less chance of winning.
“But we’ve shown great character. Obviously you see many teams 2-0 down bottle it at half-time and not come out fighting. We have come out fighting and if we can start games like we do second halves we’ll be fine.
“I think it’s obvious we need to start games better than we have been doing. If we can stay in the game for the first 15 minutes I think we’ll be a force to be reckoned with this season.”
Rose added: “I’d like to play as much as possible this season, but you do have to play well and earn your right to be in the team.
“I’d like to hit double figures. I felt like last season I was not up to my standards that I’d shown the season before.
“It’s a good start but I just want to continue that now throughout the season.”
Rose was Mansfield’s late hero in December 2016 with a stunning late 25-yard winner in a 3-2 Checkatrade Trophy success at Brunton Park - Stags’ last victory there.
“I have played there quite a few times, not just for Mansfield but for Bury as well,” he said.
“We go there unbeaten in the league which is a positive we have to take.
“We led there 2-0 in the Checkatrade two years ago, then it was 2-2 and then I got the winning goal which was nice. I am all for the same on Saturday.
“We just need to get that first league win and we’ll be fine after that.
“Carlisle are a good side who were there or thereabouts last season and they had a very good midweek win against Barnsley in the cup, battering them 2-0. So they will be full of confidence going into the game.
“But if we turn up, we know we can beat anyone on the day.
“I think we are pretty similar in the way we play. We like to press high and get the ball back as quickly as possible.
“It should be a very entertaining game between two good sides who I think should be up there come the end of the season.”
After ending top scorer in 2017/18, Rose had a miserable season last time around with an early season transfer request saga turning sour and injuries including a double break of the jaw.
“I didn’t really have much a pre-season last season, obviously with what happened with the transfer saga wasn’t ideal as well as injury,” he said.
“Pre-season was key this season and I have had a good pre-season under the new gaffer. I’ve had a good start and I just want to kick on now.
“We have had a change in style. The gaffer last season had a different style to the one this season and I feel like I am adapting well and I feel like the lads are as well.
“It’s quite a hard one when a new gaffer comes in and it takes time to gel to the new system. I am sure once we’ve adapted to things we’ll be fine.
“We have not got many new players but it still take time.”
Rose has big competition with two new potential strike partners with Nicky Maynard and Andy Cook among Stags’ summer signings.
“It’s the same every season,” he said. “The gaffer wants to fetch his own players in and he has brought in two very good strikers who are proven at this level.
“Andy Cook scored 17 goals at League One last season and Nicky Maynard scored 20-plus in League Two.
“It’s healthy competition and it spurs you on. You want to train well every day to get into the team.
“I think Nicky works well with me, I am good in the air and winning flick-ons and he’s gambling in behind.
“But Cooky is also good at that. He proved that Tuesday when I thought he had a very good game before he picked up a little niggle. He was very unlucky not to score.
“I think we complement each other very well.”
Rose said he had no problems with his broken jaw and looks back to full confidence in his aerial challenges after some early trepidation.
“I have not felt any problems so far. It might be quite different if I get an elbow in there,” he smiled.
“But you can’t think about that going into games. You’ve just got to hope it’s fine.
“It was psychological to become with. It wasn’t ideal as my game is that I am always up in the air. So having a jaw injury was not ideal.
“But I feel good now. I feel fit and I am raring to go. I’ve not really missed any training sessions and I feel good and full of confidence.
“I don’t want my good start to veer off now. I had a decent enough start to last season under the old gaffer and it just veered off after that.”
MANAGER: We're expecting it to be a really difficult game
Steven Pressley ahead of the visit of Mansfield Town
United boss Steven Pressley spoke to us ahead of the visit of Mansfield Town on Saturday as he looks for his side to build on the encouraging signs seen in the first three games.
“There are some really encouraging signs, I agree, but I will stress again that this is a new team,” he said. “We’re all still coming together as a group, and the players are working hard to get to where they want to be.
“I’m sure there’ll be disappointments along the way, but as long as we keep reacting like we did on Tuesday night, and we keep improving as a team, then I’ll be satisfied. We’ve been good in stages of all three games but ideally I would have liked to have won all three games so far.
“That’s why the aim on Saturday is to make it three wins from four. That will be a satisfactory return, but it’s still not a brilliant return. That’s why we have to keep striving to keep improving.”
Looking ahead to the Saturday home game, he told us: “The sign of a good team is that it doesn’t dwell on the Tuesday night success.
“It refocuses and immediately turns its attention to Saturday. The big question after a performance like we had at Barnsley is always, can you get back to those levels?
“It’s a feature of all of the top teams that they can do that. Liverpool and Man City can have huge European nights and then go out and perform again in the league at the weekend. That’s what we have to work to do.”
On what he expects to see from the opposition, he commented: “Mansfield are a club that has invested heavily over the last three or four years, as they seek that all-important promotion, and they’ve made some good signings in the summer as well.
“They’re a good side, there’s no doubt about that, but we’ll respect them at the same time as working hard to deliver on what we want to do. If we continue to try to improve in the areas we’ve highlighted it’s another game I know we can win.
“They have a number of strikers capable of contributing with goals, there’s no doubt about that. They’re a well organised side and they have experience in the right areas. They’ve always been competitive and at the top end of the table, so we’re expecting a really difficult game.
“There’s some good physical presence in the team and some good players, so it’s an interesting challenge.”
“They haven’t lost yet this season during game time, even though they’ve found themselves behind on all three occasions,” he added. “That tells you they have a really good mentality and a belief in what they’re doing.
“Being honest, the results they’ve had so far don’t count for much. You always get indifferent results through the early part of the season and it’s over the next couple of weeks that the league and teams will start to settle down.”
And with an almost clean bill of health, he said: “Young Josh [Dixon] had his operation on Monday and that was very successful. His focus can now be fully on his recovery, which is great news.
“Hallam [Hope] trained fully on Thursday and he’s come through that fine. It was his first football fitness session and there are no ill effects. With Kelvin [Etuhu], he’s working hard but it’s not one we’ll put a timeframe on. He’s doing it properly and I know he just wants to be back and out there.
“The rest are fine. It’s amazing because when you’re winning games you find that there aren’t too many tired players. That’s football, and I’m sure our players will be feeling good about themselves just now.”
Latest | August 2019