MAYNARD,WHITE,GORDON INJURED / ELSNIK NOT JOINING
Boss demands ‘strong, positive’ response
mansfieldtown.net, Thursday 22 August 2019
Manager John Dempster has called for a ‘strong, positive reaction’ from Tuesday night’s disappointing 3-2 defeat to Leyton Orient when the Stags take on Stevenage this Saturday at One Call Stadium.
The amber and blue held a comfortable 2-0 lead going into the break in the midweek Sky Bet League Two clash, but three second-half goals from the O’s saw the points go back to London.
The boss says that although the second-half display from his side was ‘unacceptable,’ he wants his players to ‘move on quickly’ with maximum points this weekend.
“The players and I were very disappointed after the [Leyton Orient] game. The second-half performance was unacceptable, the players know that and the staff know that.
“It’s important that we learn from it and move on quickly because we have another game on Saturday.
“We take full responsibility for our second-half performance - myself included. It’s important that we learn and move on quickly because we have a massive game on Saturday that we’re well capable of getting the three points from.
Read more at https://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/2019/august/gaffer-pre-stevenage/
“From a professional point of view, it was unacceptable. We can’t allow something like that to happen.
“You don’t want to hold onto that disappointment for too long. You’ve got to use that negativity to fuel you. We have to move on quickly and make sure we’re fully focused for the next challenge.
“I want a strong, positive reaction from everybody involved. We’re a collective and we need to move forward together, and that’s what we’re going to do.
“We look like we’re going to score goals. I feel like we’ve got that right but the goals against column is against us and we need to tighten that up. If we do that, we will be a force.
“There are definitely things we can do better, without a doubt. We’re looking forward to Saturday. We’ll have a good training session today and tomorrow.
“We’re focused. There is a real focus from the group and it’s important that we put it into practice on Saturday.”
The boss also discussed Stags’ substantial injury list and confirmed that midfielder Neal Bishop and striker Nicky Maynard will not feature on Saturday, while adding that wing-backs Kellan Gordon and Hayden White are doubts for the clash.
“Our numbers are low - we’re supported well by our under-21s - but we have to make sure we get our best players out on the pitch,” he added.
“Kellan Gordon had a bit of a bad reaction after the game, his back’s gone into spasm. So he’ll be getting treatment and going to the swimming pool today.
“Hayden White had a whack where he broke his leg. There’s no long-term damage but as you can imagine he’s very tender. He was in on crutches yesterday.
“Nicky Maynard has got a grade one hamstring tear, which will look like a week or two [out of action].
“Bish [Neal Bishop] will probably be available for the Exeter game. It’s not a long-term injury but it’d be nice to have him available on Saturday.
“There’s no point crying about it, we have to get on with it. We’re fortunate that we have quality available in our squad and the XI that we put out on Saturday will be a strong one.
“Bishop won’t be available [for Saturday], Kellan will be 50/50, Hayden White will be 60/40 not to play. Nicky won’t be available for Saturday.
“Jimmy [Knowles] is still an under-18 and there’s a possibility he could make the bench on Saturday. Tyrese Sinclair will also be in contention to make the bench. So it’s brilliant for those players.”
One positive of John Dempster’s squad for this weekend is the availability of commanding centre-back Matt Preston, who returns from suspension following his straight red card against Morecambe in Sky Bet League Two.
“Pressie [Matt Preston] is a defender - in the current climate it’ll be great to have him back. It [right centre-back role] is a role that Preston has done very well in last season.
“He’s a good head in both boxes as well, which is important at League Two level.
“It’ll be good to have him back. He’s been working hard, so to have him back in the squad will be brilliant.”
Due to the seemingly ever-growing injured list, the manager says the Stags will likely venture into the transfer market for ‘reinforcements.’
“We’ve been looking for reinforcements. They’ll be coming in over the next nine to ten days. The likelihood of getting someone into the starting XI on Saturday is slim.
“I’d say two to three maximum [incomings]. We’ll probably look at [signing players to play] through the spine of the team, so centrally.
“Andrew Burgess [head of recruitment] is working hard, currently speaking to agents and clubs from higher divisions.
“We’ll try and strengthen the team - there’s no point bringing people in for the sake of it.”
The manager also revealed that talks had been held with free agent midfielder Timi Elsnik, on loan with the Stags last season, but discussions had 'hit a dead end.'
iFollow Stags subscribers can watch the manager’s interview in full by logging into mansfieldtown.net/ifollow later today.
Nicky Maynard tears hamstring as threadbare Mansfield Town reel from new triple injury blow
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Thursday 22 August 2019
Mansfield Town’s ever-growing injury list has suffered a triple blow today with the news that striker Nicky Maynard will miss Saturday’s visit of Stevenage with a torn hamstring and there are also major doubts over Hayden White and Kellan Gordon.
All three picked up injuries in Tuesday’s 3-2 home defeat by Leyton Orient to rub salt into Stags’ wounds.
With Andy Cook and Neal Bishop already out alongside long-term injured pair Bobby Olejnik and Craig Davies, it leaves the Stags squad looking very threadbare.
“Kellan Gordon had a bit of a bad reaction after the game and his back’s gone into spasm,” said boss John Dempster.
“He is getting treatment as we speak and then he will be going to the swimming pool for a couple of sessions. He is 50-50 for Saturday.
“Hayden White had a whack on the side of where he broke his leg.
“There’s no long term damage but, as you can imagine, he is very tender and he was in on crutches yesterday, so he is 60-40 not to play.
Read more at https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/nicky-maynard-tears-hamstring-as-threadbare-mansfield-town-reel-from-new-triple-injury-blow-1-9950419
“Nicky Maynard has a grade one hamstring tear which will see him out for up to two weeks maximum. It’s not a bad tear.
“It’s likely Bish will be available for the Exeter game - it won’t be long term - but it would have been good to have him available for this Saturday.
“But there’s no point in crying about it. You just have to get on with it.”
Dempster said he would have to add some U21 players to the bench but still believed he has enough quality to see off a Stevenage side also hit hard by early season injuries.
“We are fortunate we do have quality within our squad and the XI we put out on Saturday will be a strong XI. There is no doubt about that,” he said.
“But we are thin on the ground and it’s at times like this we need people to come together and support us through thick and thin.
“We also need the players to step up and do the business.
“We will have to promote U21s for now. It’s a brilliant opportunity for them. But we have to be mindful that they are drip-fed in and not just chucked in at the deep end.
“We are fortunate to have them as we’d be in a pickle without them.
“Jimmy Knowles is still an U18 but there is a possibility he could make the bench on Saturday and Tyrese Sinclair will also be in contention for a place on the bench.”
One player Dempster will have back on Saturday is centre half Hayden White, who has completed his three game suspension.
“With him being a defender, in the current climate it will be good to have him back,” said the manager.
“Hayden White has shown he has all the attributes to play on that right side of a three, but it’s a role Matty Preston did very well for the whole of last season.
“He is also a head in both boxes which is important at League Two level. He’s been working hard and it’s great to have him back.”
No Timi Elsnik, but injury-hit Mansfield Town chase transfer triple before window closes
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Thursday 22 August 2019
Mansfield Town manager John Dempster is now hoping to bring in up to three new players ahead of the 2nd September deadline after seeing an early season injury crisis mount at the One Call Stadium.
With three more players in the treatment room after the midweek home defeat by Leyton Orient, Stags are now frantically searching for new faces with a defender, a midfielder and a forward on the shopping list.
“We are looking for reinforcements and they will come in within the next nine to 10 days,” said Dempster.
“The likelihood of getting someone in for the starting XI on Saturday would be slim, but the option is open.
Read more at https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/no-timi-elsnik-but-injury-hit-mansfield-town-chase-transfer-triple-before-window-closes-1-9950527
“I would say we’d bring in two to three maximum and we’d probably be looking down the spine of the team centrally.
“Andy Burgess is working hard speaking to agents and clubs from higher divisions.”
He added: “We want to strengthen the squad. It’s important we don’t just bring bodies in for the sake of it. They have to be the right character and the right footballer.”
Fans were hoping the midfielder being chased might be Timi Elsnik, who is a free agent after impressing at Mansfield last season on loan from Derby.
However, Dempster said: “Timi has been in my thoughts, but having spoken to his agent, that is now dead in the water.”
Mansfield Town boss John Dempster demanding big reaction against injury-ravaged strugglers Stevenage
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS
Mansfield Town’s players have been warned that boss John Dempster is expecting a big reaction against Stevenage on Saturday after their midweek capitulation.
But, despite the visitors having an even worse injury crisis than the Stags with a full team of players out, only one point and no league goals scored so far, Dempster knows Stevenage will still be physical and dangerous.
Leading 2-0 against Leyton Orient on Tuesday, Stags went in at half-time to see themselves temporarily sat top of the League Two table.
But, they somehow contrived to lose the game 3-2 and Dempster said it was unacceptable and lessons had to be learned.
“Even if we’d still been top at the table at full-time we’d have had to be very careful with that as there’s only been four games played,” he said.
“But the players and I were very disappointed after the game as we felt we should have had enough in the locker to walk away with all three points.
“The second half performance was unacceptable. The players know that. The staff know that. Now it’s important we learn and move on quickly from it as we have another big game on Saturday.
“You have to learn - myself included - but you don’t want to hold onto the disappointment too long. You have got to use the negativity to fuel you inside your stomach and also take the positives.”
He added: “The atmosphere we created in the first half was one we want to create consistently at home - it was exceptional.
“But equally we take full responsibility for the second half performance - myself included.
“The game of football is an unpredictable one. Strange things happen at all levels. But from a professional point of view we can’t allow that to happen. Walking in 2-0 up at half-time you expect to walk away with all three points.”
Now Dempster wants to see his players stand up and be counted.
“I want a strong, positive reaction from everyone involved,” he said.
“We are a collective. We need to move forward together.”
Dempster will be without several key players with others facing fitness tests, though does welcome Matt Preston back from suspension.
“We are nursing the wounds we’ve got and our numbers are low,” he said.
“We are being supported well by our U21 players, but we’ve got to make sure we get our best players out on the pitch when we can.
“Our medical team are working very hard and we’re using more than one treatment table!
“Stevenage are similar to ourselves. They have got some injury problems. They are going to be thin on the ground and it’s important we look where their weaknesses are where we can attack them.
“If there was an issue with our team from Christmas onwards it was that they didn’t score enough goals. I feel we have righted that but the goals against column is not good enough and we need to tighten that up. If we do that we will be a force.”
He added: “Dino Maamria (Stevenage boss) is renowned for getting his teams working hard. They will be very streetwise and they will come here and be very physical with us.
“We know what challenge is in front of us and it’s important we meet them head on physically.
“First and foremost we must match them when it comes to the battle and I am sure after that our quality will shine through.”
Stags eager to improve in Stevenage clash - wing-back
mansfieldtown.net, Thursday 22 August 2019
Wing-back Mal Benning says that the Stags are ‘very eager’ to ‘put right’ Tuesday evening’s disappointing 3-2 defeat against Leyton Orient ‘in front of the fans’ at home to Stevenage this Saturday.
Benning, 25, has appeared in all five of Mansfield’s matches this season, following on from his 55 outings last term.
The defender says that the squad cannot get ‘too low’ after Tuesday’s match due to the season being in its early stages.
“I don’t want to say it [Leyton Orient result] was a freak result, because we could’ve prevented it ourselves.
“We have to dust ourselves down and go again. I think we felt too comfortable and we could’ve finished the game off - including myself because I had a couple of chances.
“With the second chance [I had] in the second-half, normally I blast them. But I think I concentrated too much and tried to place it rather than putting my foot through it.
“It’s still early days and we’ll click soon enough. When we do click, we’ll go on a run. We can’t get too down, because if you look back at last season, we started slowly with a lot of draws.
“We can’t get too low. We just have to keep working hard and working on what the gaffer wants us to do.
“We’re very eager [to bounce back]. No-one likes losing football matches, especially after a great win on Saturday [against Carlisle].
“We want to put it right on Saturday in front of the fans. You saw in the first-half on Tuesday and away at Carlisle, we’ve shown how good we can be.”
Benning says that the Stags will look to play Saturday’s clash against Stevenage ‘on the front foot,’ while also critiquing his performances this term.
“There are a lot of experienced pro’s - including myself - playing now in the squad. We take a huge responsibility and we take a responsibility for Tuesday night.
“The gaffer can give us instructions, but to concede like we did in the 96th minute is down to the players. But we can’t dwell on it as it’s still early days.
“We want to be on the front foot with no negativity or sitting back. We want to go out there and express ourselves [on Saturday].
“Against Stevenage - or any team in League Two - it’s going to be a tough game. But if we impose ourselves on them, I’m sure we’ll be fine.
“I’d say [my performances have been] average. I’ve not done anything too spectacular or anything too bad. Obviously I think I can do more.
“I’ve been trying to put as many crosses in [as possible] and make chances. I’ve been doing that, but I want to impose myself on the games more and make a bit more of a difference.”
The wing-back also recently reached a Mansfield milestone, having made his 150th league appearance for the amber and blue away to Newport on the opening day of the season.
Benning says it was a ‘proud achievement.’
“I’m quite proud to achieve that landmark of 150 league appearances for Mansfield Town. It’s been a very good period on my career so far and I’m hoping to continue it.
“Me and Pearcey [Krystian Pearce] have been here for a long time, but we’re still enjoying it.”
iFollow Stags can watch Mal’s interview in full by logging into mansfieldtown.net/ifollow later today.
Stalwart Mal Benning not worried about Mansfield Town’s slow start to the season
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS
Stalwart Mansfield Town wing back Mal Benning, who has just chalked up 150 Football League appearances for the Stags, is not worried by their slow start to the new campaign.
“It’s still early days and I am sure we’ll click soon enough. And when we do we’ll go on a run,” he said.
“Everyone is down from the result on Tuesday. But you can’t get too down if you look back at last season when we started off very slowly with many draws.
“You win on Saturday and it’s a new perspective and everyone is buzzing again. We just have to keep working hard. Win Saturday and it’s a new day. It changes everything.
“We are eager to put it right on Saturday in front of the home fans.
“We showed in the first half on Tuesday how good we can be.
“We need to be positive and on the front foot - no sitting back, no negativity. We need to go out there, express ourselves and do what we do - put on a show and score goals.”
Against Leyton Orient on Tuesday, Stags saw their 2-0 lead slip away to lose 3-2 to a late goal but said: “We did the same thing at Colchester last year.
“I wouldn’t say it was a freak result as we could have prevented it ourselves. But we have to dust ourselves down and go again.
“I think we maybe felt too comfortable. We could have finished the game off - myself included. I had a couple of chances to score the third goal.
“For the first chance in the first half I felt a bit of contact and I should have just concentrated on finishing it and not going down.
“For the second chance in the second half, normally I am blasting those. I concentrated too much on trying to place it instead of putting my foot through it.
“After they scored their first goal, it was one of those where we had to regroup and concentrate on not conceding a second.
“But things happen and, if I’m honest, I think it was a lack of professionalism at the end, conceding in the 96th minute.”
Last season Stevenage stunned promotion-chasing Mansfield with a shock late 2-1 win at the One Call Stadium that proved so damaging in the final outcome.
“I don’t really want to think about that game - it’s gone,” said Benning.
“It’s always going to be a tough game against Stevenage or any team in League Two. But if we impose ourselves on them I am sure we’ll be fine.
“Last season we were unbeaten for a long time at home and it’s a good base for us to pick up points from.
“We did lose here on Tuesday. But if we can start an unbeaten run here on Saturday from now until the end of the season, it will stand us in good stead.”
On his 150th game for the club, he smiled: “I didn’t know that until I saw it on Twitter.
“But I am quite proud to achieve that landmark of 150 League appearances for Mansfield Town. It’s been a very good period in my career so far and I hope to continue that.
“Me and Krystian Pearce have been here a long time now and we are enjoying it.”
Latest | August 2019