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Archived News from November 2019

6th November 2019 20:44

Boss discusses Colchester loss
mansfieldtown.net, Saturday 02 November 2019

Manager John Dempster has delivered his post-match verdict from today’s 3-2 defeat to Colchester United at One Call Stadium.

Strikes at the end of either half by Ryan Sweeney and Omari Sterling-James were not enough to prevent the Carabao Cup quarter-finalists from taking three points back to Essex.

The boss says that although the amber and blue created good opportunities in the clash, he felt as if the visitors were deserving of their victory.

“I think Colchester are certainly one of the better teams we’ve seen this season,” he told iFollow Stags. “It was end-to-end and we both had a lot of chances, but they had the better ones.

“We had some good possession but they had a game plan to sit and counter - when they did that, they looked very dangerous.

“We’re disappointed because they’ve scored an outstanding goal to start off with but their second goal comes from our free-kick that we’re putting in the box.

“At times, we looked too open. We want to be attacking and score goals, which we have, but we have to lock that defence up.


“We knew that they had talent on show and some seriously dangerous players, but we didn’t expect it to be as open and end-to-end as that.

“We knew today was going to be a challenge, but we’re disappointed because we feel that they’ve been the better side.

“We could have taken some of our opportunities better, but that being said, Conrad [Logan] has got us out of trouble with a brilliant save from the penalty.

“Conrad is in good form. Both his shot-stopping and his distribution were good again today. That’s a disappointing thing, because the goalkeeper has played well and we’ve still conceded three goals.”

The boss spoke of the need to improve Stags’ defensive displays and home form.

“We’ve scored a lot of good goals this season, but where we’ve let ourselves down this season is the goals against.

“It’s a team effort - it’s not necessarily the goalkeeper and the back four to blame all of the time. That’s something we need to address and what we’re going to be looking at this weekend.

“Our away form is probably top five, our home form has been poor. You can feel the frustration amongst the supporters, but we need to be big enough and brave enough to get on the ball.

“When we correct our home form, and continue our away form, we’ll be fine.”

Reflecting on a positive October for the Stags, in which three victories were obtained, the boss added that November can still be fruitful despite today’s defeat.

“We had a brilliant October - I credited the players before the game - but we’ve parked that, we want to have a good November.

“It [November] hasn’t started the way we’ve wanted, but that doesn’t mean we can’t go on and have a good month.”

The manager also discussed the substitutions he made this afternoon, adding: “Once they took the lead, you know Jacob Mellis can unlock a door and CJ [Hamilton] has pace to burn, which proved to be the case.

“It was a well-worked goal for Omari [Sterling-James] and I was pleased for Omari coming on [and scoring].”

iFollow Stags can watch the boss’ interview in full by logging into mansfieldtown.net/ifollow later today.


Mansfield Town boss John Dempster calls for Stags to improve home form after loss to Colchester United
chad.co.uk, by John Lomas, Saturday 02 November 2019

Mansfield Town boss John Dempster admitted his side desperately need to improve their home form after today’s 3-2 home loss to in-form Colchester United.

“We’ve scored two goals at home and lost a football match and that’s happened too many times this season,” he said.

“When we correct our home form and maintain our away form we will be fine.

“Our away form is probably top five but our home form’s been poor. You can feel the frustration among the supporters.


“We need to be big enough and brave enough and show courage to keep getting on the ball and change our home form around.

“If we do that we will start climbing the table. We’ve had a brilliant October and I credited the players before the game. But we’ve parked that and we now want a good November.

“It hasn’t started the way we’d wanted but that doesn’t mean we can’t go on and have a good month.”

Colchester sealed a deserved win with two goals in nine minutes late in an entertaining end-to-end clash and Dempster said: “I think Colchester are one of the better teams we’ve seen this season and we didn’t deserve anything.

“We didn’t expect it to be that open - it was like a tennis match.

“It was end to end. They had a lot of chances and we had a lot of chances but they had the better ones.

“We had some good possession. But they had a game plan to sit in and counter and when they did that they looked very dangerous.

“They’ve got some good players and they had been well drilled, so credit to John (McGreal). He’s got a good side there and you have to give them credit. They are no mugs.”

Dempster said defending as a team continued to be Stags’ current problem.

“Defending is a team effort,” he said. “We’ve scored a lot of goals this season and we are up there in the goals for column. “But where we’ve let ourselves down is the goals against. If a team look open it’s not necessarily the keeper and back four who are to blame. It’s something we need to address.

“They scored an outstanding goal to start off with, but their second goal came from a break on our free kick we’d put into their box and the third was a breakaway as well.

“At times we looked too open. We want to be attacking and score goals - which we have again - but we’ve got to lock that defence up as that’s been the difference between where we are and where we want to be.”

He added: “Conrad (keeper Logan) got us out of trouble with a brilliant save from the penalty.

“He is in good form both with his shot-stopping and his distribution.

“The disappointing thing is your keeper has played well and we have still conceded three goals. He wasn’t at fault with any of them.”


Defeat a 'sucker punch' - goalkeeper
mansfieldtown.net, Saturday 02 November 2019

Goalkeeper Conrad Logan labelled this afternoon’s narrow 3-2 loss at home to Colchester United as a ‘sucker punch’ following a positive month of results during October.

The Stags were able to accumulate 10 points from five Sky Bet League Two fixtures as they sought to pick up three more against the U’s this afternoon.

Instead, it was the visitors who claimed victory, despite Logan making a fine penalty save from Frank Nouble early in the second period.

And the amber and blue ‘keeper shared his disappointment after not being able to build upon their growing league form.

“We’re disappointed, it’s a home defeat and a little bit of a sucker punch because things we’re going the right way over the last month,” he began.

“We’ve got to go again. We had some opportunities in the second half and then we kicked ourselves, really.


“We had the chance to put the ball in their box, they ended up clearing it and come down the other end to score from our attack.

“Then, the game opens up and we need to try and rectify that situation, but we were hit with another - which does happen when you’re 2-1 down.”

The former Hibernian shot-stopper produced another fine individual display, which earned him the sponsor’s Man of the Match award at One Call Stadium.

“Any save for a goalkeeper’s important. When you make a save, we rode our luck a little but it’s just part and parcel of it.

“It was a good save [from Poku’s effort] but unfortunately it wasn’t to be.

“It [Brandon Comley’s goal] was a great strike - sometimes you just have to tip your hat when someone strikes a ball like that.

“The other goals we all take collective responsibility for. We want to dig each other out and if someone makes a mistake, maybe the next person will get a chance to rectify that.”

The 33-year-old also reserved high praise for John McGreal’s side who sit eighth in the league table.

“I thought Forest Green were one of the better sides we’ve faced this season, but they [Colchester] are a good team,” he continued.

“They set their stall out, make things difficult for us and the use powerful, quick players that can break on you.

“They used that to their advantage and stuck to their game plan. I think, from the teams we’ve played so far, they aren’t going to be far away come the end of the season.”

iFollow Stags subscribers can watch Conrad's interview in full by logging into mansfieldtown.net/ifollow later today.


Mansfield Town goalkeeper Conrad Logan says home defeat to Colchester United is a “sucker punch”
chad.co.uk, by John Lomas, Saturday 02 November 2019

Despite a penalty save and other good stops Mansfield Town man of the match Conrad Logan finished up on the losing side in today’s 3-2 home defeat by Colchester.

Logan was typically modest after a fine display, saying: “It’s part and parcel of goalkeeping making saves, it’s what you’re there to do.

“You just hope your team can go down the other end and take advantage of what you’ve done.

“We are disappointed. It’s a home defeat and it’s a bit of a sucker punch.


“We thought things were going to right way over the last month. Now we’ve just got to lick our wounds and go again.

“We missed chances at 1-1, we had a couple of opportunities, then we kicked ourselves as we had a chance to put the ball in their box, they cleared it and scored and we’re 2-1 down from our attack.

“The game then opened up and were were hit by another one. But you can’t sit back, you go for it.”

Logan has a secret method of how he deals with penalties and smiled; “It’s been all right. It’s been working so I’ll stick with it. I have gone the right way and made the save.

“Hopefully we won’t give away too many penalties so I won’t have to use it.”

On another fine save he made: “I maybe rode my luck as I turned it onto the post and hoped my defenders would clear, which they did.”

Logan was initially beaten by a superb 30-yarder from Brandon Comley and said: “It was a great strike from the lad and sometimes there is not much you can do and you have to tip your hat to them.

“We all take collective responsibility for the others, they were sloppy goals.”

Logan is tipping United to be in the mix by April.

“Colchester are a good team and they set their stall out to soak things up and make things difficult,” he said.

“Then they have powerful, dynamic, quick players that can break on you and they use that to their advantage.

“They stuck to their game plan. From the teams we’ve played so far they won’t be far away come the end of the season.

“But there are no gimmes in this league home or away and it might be a different story at their ground when we play there.”


Colchester United boss John McGreal on Mansfield win
gazette-news.co.uk, By Jonathan Waldron

COLCHESTER United boss John McGreal praised his side's 'excellent' performance after they claimed an impressive 3-2 win at Mansfield Town this afternoon.

Goals from Brandon Comley, Courtney Senior and Luke Gambin sealed the U's win at Field Mill, to help them finish a great week on a high.

McGreal said: "I thought the boys were excellent.

"From the euphoria of the win (at Crawley) on Tuesday, to the draw on Thursday morning against possibly the biggest club in the world and then to travel yesterday and put the prep in that you need to for these type of games, they've nailed the tactical side of it, especially in an attacking sense.


"To put on a performance like that against a Mansfield team that have picked up of late and have been getting good results.

"It's a tough place to come and I've been here four times and we've had three draws previously but I just thought the 3-2 scoreline makes it look closer than it should be."

Colchester went ahead through Comley's wonder strike but Ryan Sweeney equalised for Mansfield, just before the break.

Frank Nouble had a penalty saved by keeper Conrad Logan early in the second half but Courtney Senior gave the U's the lead again, with 15 minutes remaining.

Substitute Luke Gambin then made it 3-1 late on and although Omari Sterling-James gave the Stags hope in stoppage-time, it was not enough to prevent Colchester from sealing a third straight win.

McGreal said: "Some of our play and pace especially in the first half was excellent, along with the passing and penetration.

"The ping could have gone in after the euphoria of Thursday and it could have been a case of after the Lord Mayor's Show after conceding in the 48th minute right on half-time.

"But the boys went again and KP (Kwame Poku) found a bit of magic to lull the defender in for the penalty.

"We haven't scored it and the ping could have gone in again but it didn't and we kept going and going and going.

"We defended particularly well and protected Gerks (Dean Gerken) but I thought our threat and passing exchanges was fantastic.

"Courtney's goal was very similar to last week's (against Newport) with his right foot.

"He's dropped his shoulder and had a step over before putting it onto his left foot.

"Then little magic man Gams (Luke Gambin) and was Johnny on the spot to give us that little bit of breathing space.

"Mansfield are a big team and with the set plays, we felt we were able to move the set plays around and mix it up quite well.

"We recycled it around the edge of the box and Brandon's put it in the top corner.

"It's only what he deserves as he's been outstanding of late and he deserved that goal."


Colchester United boss John McGreal praises Frank Nouble
gazette-news.co.uk, By Jonathan Waldron

FRANK Nouble apologised to his Colchester United team-mates after having a penalty saved in their 3-2 win at Mansfield Town.

But U's head coach John McGreal insists there is no need for him to say sorry, after the experienced forward led the line superbly for his side at Field Mill.

Nouble had a penalty saved by Mansfield keeper Conrad Logan in the opening minutes of the second half.

It was the second time in three league games that the former West Ham United youngster had seen a spot-kick saved, after Crewe Alexandra keeper Will Jaaskelainen denied him from the spot in the final seconds of the U's 0-0 draw at Gresty Road.

McGreal admitted there has already been some friendly chatter among the Colchester players about who might take the next penalty, when it arrives.

But the U's boss says Nouble should not feel apologetic for his penalty disappointment after he led Colchester's attack brilliantly in the absence of their injured leading goalscorer Luke Norris.

McGreal said: “Noubs is as disappointed as anyone, missing two pens in a row.


“He’s apologising to the guys but you’re like ‘for what?’.

“He’s had to put a real shift in and toil on his own and he’s been able to get the ball in for the third goal.

“If Luke (Norris) isn’t fit, I’m sure Callum (Harriott) will be on the penalties next because there’s a little bit of jovial banter between the two of them!"

Nouble tweeted after the Mansfield win: 'Right that’s me off pens for a while...thought we were soo good today what a win. Safe trip home travelling fans we heard u loud and clear in the cold. P.s what a week'.

McGreal was also praiseworthy of Colchester's fans, with more than 200 of them making the trip to Mansfield yesterday.

“I’m thankful to the fans - I’ve got to give them a mention," said the U's boss.

“There were nearly 1,800 of them at Crawley and a few hundred (at Mansfield).

“It’s a wet, cold afternoon in Mansfield and hopefully we’ve given the fans something to cheer about again.

“It’s nice to score late goals, second-half goals where we’re coming in drawing a game but now we’re able to win a game in the second half.

“It’s a lovely habit to have - we did it the other night (at Crawley).

“Their manager John (Dempster) was very complimentary at the end and I thought some of our play was very, very good."


Colchester United boss John McGreal full of praise for his team after win against Mansfield Town
chad.co.uk, by John Lomas, Saturday 02 November 2019

Colchester United boss John McGreal was delighted with his side’s powerful and deserved 3-2 win at Mansfield Town today, despite the fatigue of their midweek cup glory.

The U’s have only lost three of their last 19 games and made the quarter-finals of the Carabao Cup in midweek, landing a plum tie at Manchester United.

So the win over Stags crowned a perfect week and McGreal beamed: “It couldn’t have been any better.

“I can’t credit the boys enough. They have been excellent. Our game management was good.


“We are going from strength to strength.

“It’s nice to score late goals and we are now able to win a game in the second half which is a lovely habit to get hold of.

“We did it the other night. We were ahead today but they clawed it back before half-time. So it was good to see us go again.

“I thought some of our play was very good today and their manager was very complimentary at the end.”

Games are coming thick and fast for United, but the players are on top form and desperate to keep their places.

“We have just said that when you’re on a train and you’re ploughing through stations you want to buy a ticket - you want to be involved. But you can’t buy a ticket as they are just ploughing on through,” said McGreal.

“The training has been excellent, even though it’s been a tough week.

“We had bumps and bruises from Newport last weekend and then the emotions and highs of Tuesday and Thursday.

“But we got back on the bus again yesterday, then we stayed in Nottingham which took us an hour to get here today. So we’ve had all that to deal with.”

Colchester could even afford to miss a penalty as Conrad Logan made a superb save from Frank Nouble.

“Noubs is as disappointed as anyone, missing two penalties in a row and apologising to the guys,” he said.

“But just look at the shift he’s had to put in, toiling up there on his own today and he’s been able to get the ball for the third goal.”



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