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DEMPSTER AND HAMILTON PREVIEW SHREWSBURY GAME
1st December 2019 22:17


Manager previews cup challenge
mansfieldtown.net, Tues 26 Nov 2019

Stags’ boss John Dempster has previewed Mansfield’s upcoming Emirates FA Cup Second Round clash away to Shrewsbury and has challenged his players to ‘cause an upset’ at Montgomery Waters Meadow.

The amber and blue made it to the next stage of the competition by way of a 1-0 win over Chorley at One Call Stadium, while the Shrews recorded a victory of the same scoreline in their First Round replay at Bradford City.

Ahead of Saturday’s fixture, John Dempster says he is ‘confident’ of attaining a good result, as long as his charges perform ‘to their potential.’

“I’d have liked a league fixture straight after we performed at Swindon and I think the players feel the same,” he told iFollow Stags.

“That said, we can’t control the fixture list and we’ll always look forward to an FA Cup fixture as it’s something that the club has always taken seriously.

https://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/2019/november/gaffer-pre-shrewsbury/

“We have a tough challenge ahead of us as we’re going to a League One side. But it was only a week or so ago when we went to a League One side [Burton] in the other competition [Leasing.com Trophy] and progressed in that. We’ll be looking to do the same on Saturday.

“Our away form is good and Shrewsbury will be aware of that. They have some good players, which is why they’re competing in the league above us, but we’re confident that if we go there and perform to our potential, we could cause an upset.

“They’ve got some players that I’ve played against when I was a player and we have some players that I’ve watched over the last four or five seasons, having watched the first team.

“I know the level of League Two and above very well. And although we’re going to a team in the league above us, we’re confident of going there and getting a result.

“Looking at their squad and our squad, we don’t feel that we’re too far off. When we go to Shrewsbury, we’ll be aware of their strengths of course and we’ll respect them before the game, but come three o’clock, it’ll be man versus man.”

The boss then reflected on Saturday’s slender defeat to Swindon in Sky Bet League Two, and despite praising the performance, stated the necessity to generate points alongside positive displays.

“The mood was good on Monday although there will always be frustration hanging over you when you’ve lost a football match after performing well.

“We felt that we created quite a lot of good opportunities which we should have capitalised on.

“Although there were lots of positive remarks externally about how the team played, it doesn’t take away the disappointment and the frustration from not getting something out of the game.

“We went away to the league leaders and should’ve come away with at least a point. You’d always take a result [over a performance] but for longevity and consistency, performance is key.

“There were some encouraging signs and good individual performances - Alistair Smith (below) made his [full] debut and Jacob Mellis hadn’t played for a while and performed well.

“We need to turn those performances into points because that’s what we’re paid for.”

With December just around the corner, the manager spoke of how the ‘massive’ Christmas period can change a team’s season, while also adding that his side must improve on the ‘fine margins’ of their game.

“We’ve seen a number of sides already this season and I think there’s only twice where we’ve been outplayed, and one of them was for 60 minutes at Forest Green where we got a point.

“The other one would be Colchester - I thought they were the better side on the day and deserved all three points.

“Other than that, we’ve been in every game. Where we’ve fallen short is when we should have got at least a point out of the game and haven’t - Saturday is an example of that.

“Those are the fine margins that make the difference. If we can improve on those fine margins we can be in and around the play-offs.

“The promotions I’ve been involved in, the business time is around Christmas. Of course you want to give yourself a good run-up to that, but as we saw last season, it’s very important how you finish the season.

“It [December] is a big month. There aren’t any easy months in League Two. Consistency is key to us moving up the table.

“The Christmas period is a massive period in football - it’s one you need to embrace because if you have a positive month, there are loads of points to be picked up.”

There was also an update from the treatment room by the boss.

“Bish [Neal Bishop, below] will train today,” he said. “He’s had tonsillitis and a bit of a back issue, but he had a really physical session yesterday and came through that, so he’ll train today.

“Hayden White’s scan was positive - there’s no need to go back in there surgically and remove any of the rod or screws from when he broke his leg. We’ll be hoping he’s back with the group later on this week, which is a real positive.

“Danny Rose is coming on nicely with his treatment. He’s been outside jogging, but he’ll be [out for] at least three weeks.

“Davo [Craig Davies] will appear in more reserve games before featuring for the first team as he only played 25 minutes [against Rotherham reserves] after being out for such a long period.

“We have to break him back in gradually - he’s had a little bit of a reaction on one of his ankles but we treated him yesterday and expect him to train today.”

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

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‘I don’t read social media’ says under-fire Mansfield Town manager John Dempster ahead of massive month
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Tuesday 26 November 2019

Mansfield Town manager John Dempster and his squad are preparing for a massive December with unrest growing among fans over the promotion-targeting club’s current 15th position in League Two.

Already nine points adrift of the top seven, Stags face five huge games next month against play-off chasing sides in the top nine with many fans already taking to social media to hammer Dempster and his players.

“It’s a big month, there’s no getting away from that,” said Dempster ahead of Saturday’s FA Cup trip to League One Shrewsbury Town.

“But you can look back on the fixtures we’ve had and look forward to the fixtures in the future and you’ll see there are no easy months in League Two.

https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/i-don-t-read-social-media-says-under-fire-mansfield-town-manager-john-dempster-ahead-of-massive-month-1-10123515

“Whether you’re playing bottom of the league or top of the league, it’s a challenge and a lot of the time it’s about who turns up on the day.

“That is what has been the frustrating thing at times this season, we’ve not turned up. That consistency will be the key to us moving up the table.

“The Christmas period is a massive period in football.

“It’s one you really need to embrace because if you have a positive month there are loads of points to be picked up, and that’s certainly what we’ll be looking to do.”

Dempster said he was aware of the vitriol on social media but chose not to read it.

“I am not on social media. That said, I am not deaf. I do hear things,” he said.

“I’ve got a wide group of friends who kindly send me the odd screen shot of things that are written on social media - generally the more humorous things.

“Someone mentioned I dress as a wine taster for home games, which I thought was a good one.

“But we’d be here for hours talking about my views on social media.

“I think it’s brilliant for spreading awareness and charity work, but there’s some really dark things on social media in terms of why people post.

“Some people haven’t got a lot to do in their lives.”

He added: “It was something that was very important to me while I was managing the academy - educating the young players on the trials and tribulations of social media.

“I think it’s important we educate our young players on the pros and cons of it because it can run people’s lives, especially young people.

“They live their lives in the hope of getting some likes or of people commenting on a status.

“I think you’ve got to be very careful that you don’t portray a life of pure happiness on things like Facebook as that’s not reality.

“Nobody has got a perfect life and I think people could sometimes do more beneficial things with their time.”

Dempster said the more experienced Stags players were able to handle being under fire on social media.

“Our first team players are more experienced than our younger players, so they have experience in dealing with criticism,” he said.

“The more senior ones have got to this position because they can handle the pressure. They can deal with the negativity that comes with being a professional footballer.

“But, of course, if at any point my staff and I can help or aid the players with anything - be it on or off the pitch - we’re always there to support them.”

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CJ sets sights on improved form
mansfieldtown.net, Tues 26 Nov 2019

Mansfield Town winger CJ Hamilton believes it is only a matter of time before he recaptures his form of last season.

The 24-year-old was immense last term, registering 14 goals and nine assists in an impressive campaign which saw him named in the Sky Bet League Two Team of the Season.

Speaking at a news conference this morning at The RH Academy - the club’s training ground - Hamilton declared his determination to break his goalscoring deadlock in 2019-20, as well as adding to his two assists.

He said: “This year hasn’t gone the way I thought or wanted it to but I’ve got to keep working hard to try and get myself back to the way I was performing last season, or better.

https://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/2019/november/hamilton-pre-shrewsbury/

“Coming off the back of a good season, going into the next, you just want to carry on what you did in the last. Obviously I was scoring and assisting [last season], this time, in terms of scoring, I haven’t got off the mark yet - that’s what I’m trying to do at the moment,” he added.

“I’m feeling confident at the minute, I just need to bring that out on the pitch and prove that’s the case. Everyone will see the confidence I have once I start scoring, which I believe will happen.

“My main target is still to do better than last season. There are a lot of games to go so I think it’s still possible. I’ve got a couple of assists to my name, I just need that goal and then I think they’ll start coming regularly.”

Hamilton also feels as though the Stags have been much better than their results have implied in recent weeks, citing Saturday’s defeat to league leaders Swindon as a prime example.

“Obviously everyone’s working hard to put things right. Hopefully that happens soon because people are getting frustrated now, not just the fans, everyone around the club.

“We know we’re a lot better than what we’ve been showing and I hope that’ll come to the fore really soon.

“The second-half on Saturday, playing against top of the league [Swindon], we should’ve been scoring the chances we had. We created a lot going forward and played good football - if we keep doing that, it’s going to come together at some stage,” he explained.

The wideman will be aiming to begin a positive run of form on Saturday as the Stags face League One side Shrewsbury Town in the FA Cup. Ahead of the clash, the speedster declared his adoration for the world’s most famous domestic club competition.

He said: “Everyone loves playing in the FA Cup, you always like to get big ties. Everyone wants to get through to the next round and on Saturday there’s that opportunity.

“They’ll be a good side, they’re in the league above, doing well and we have the chance to go there and upset them.

“The FA Cup’s full of upsets so the lower league teams will always try to upset the bigger clubs, that’s what we’ll be looking to do on Saturday.

“It’s going to be tough, it always is when you go away to a League One side. They’re going to be strong but we have a chance to go there and produce a surprise.”

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

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CJ Hamilton dreaming of an FA Cup run for Mansfield Town
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Tuesday 26 November 2019

Mansfield Town winger CJ Hamilton is excited to have an FA Cup giant-killing opportunity on Saturday and the possibility of a big name third round draw as a prize.
Stags head to League One Shrewsbury on Saturday for a second round showdown and Hamilton said: “Everyone loves playing in the FA Cup, you always like to get big ties.

“Everyone wants to get through to the next round and on Saturday there’s that opportunity.

“Shrewsbury will be a good side, they’re in the league above, doing well and we have the chance to go there and upset them.

“The FA Cup’s full of upsets so the lower league teams will always try to upset the bigger clubs, that’s what we’ll be looking to do on Saturday.”

https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/cj-hamilton-dreaming-of-an-fa-cup-run-for-mansfield-town-1-10127576

He added: “You do have to raise your game against sides from divisions above as they're up there for a reason. I love the challenge.

“It’s going to be tough, it always is when you go away to a League One side. They’re going to be strong but we have a chance to go there and produce a surprise.”

Stags have already sold 350 of their 500 ticket allocation for the game but fans are reminded they can also pay on the day.

Stags hope to have veteran Neal Bishop available again for the game after returning to training this week following problems with his back along with a bout of tonsilitis.

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One goal can kickstart my season, believes Mansfield Town winger CJ Hamilton
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Tuesday 26 November 2019

Almost a year since Championship clubs were chasing his signature, CJ Hamilton is struggling for a regular Mansfield Town place and, after scoring 14 times last season, is still without a goal too.

But the winger believes one goal will kickstart his season.

“This year hasn’t gone the way I thought or wanted it to, but I’ve got to keep working hard to try and get myself back in the gaffer’s team and to the way I was performing last season, or better,” he said.

“Coming off the back of a good season, going into the next, you just want to carry on what you did in the last.

https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/one-goal-can-kickstart-my-season-believes-mansfield-town-winger-cj-hamilton-1-10123511

“Obviously I was scoring and assisting last season, this time, in terms of scoring, I haven’t got off the mark yet - that’s what I’m trying to do at the moment.

“I think every player, when they’ve got that bit of confidence, plays that bit better. You don’t even think about things on the pitch - they just happen.”

However, he assured fans: “I am feeling confident at the minute, I just need to bring that out on the pitch and show that.

“Everyone will see the confidence I have once I start scoring, which I believe will happen.

“My main target is still to do better than last season. There are a lot of games to go this season so I think it’s still possible.

“I’ve got a couple of assists to my name, I just need that goal and then I think they’ll start coming regularly.”

Hamilton knows his own inconsistency mirrors that of the side as a whole and he admitted: “The season has not gone the way everyone wanted it to go.

“Obviously everyone’s working hard to put things right. Hopefully that happens soon because people are getting frustrated now, not just the fans, everyone around the club.

“We know we’re a lot better than what we’ve been doing and I think that’ll come to the fore really soon.

“The second-half on Saturday, playing against top of the league Swindon, we should’ve been scoring the chances we had.

“We created a lot going forward and played good football - if we keep doing that then at some stage it’s going to come together.”

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Sam Ricketts Pre Mansfield Town
https://www.shrewsburytown.com/news/2019/november/interview-sam-ricketts-pre-mansfield-town/

Sam Ricketts previews Town's second-round FA Cup tie with Mansfield Town.

Shrewsbury Town welcome Mansfield Town to the Montgomery Waters Meadow this weekend as the FA Cup second-round commences.

Sky Bet League Two Mansfield come into the fixture having progressed past Chorley in the previous round to earn a chance at reaching the next stage of the competition.

Town manager Sam Ricketts is expecting a tough test from the Stags and hopes his team can progress into the third-round of the cup.

“They are a decent side with some good players,” said the Town manager. “They were really unlucky last year missing out in the play-offs. They have some good players, players who won that league last year.

“It will be a tough test but it’s a test we are looking forward to. We all know it won’t be easy. We can’t have it where we always go to teams in the above leagues. We expect a real tough battle coming the other way.

“We have to really respect Mansfield and their threats whilst we try to impose ourselves and ultimately win the game. We prepare the exact same way, it doesn’t matter who we are playing - we will make sure we are ready.

“We have a routine of how we prepare for games and that will continue for every game that we do play. Nicky Maynard is someone we need to be wary of, alongside some other players.”

Town will be aiming to secure a spot in the third-round of the cup, the same round in which the Shrews defeated Stoke City to progress further last season.

Sam Ricketts admits the possibility of facing another higher-ranked opponent is good motivation for his players going into the tie.

“It is exciting for everyone,” said Sam. “That’s why everyone looks forward to this round. We have to win this game to give ourselves the opportunity. Hopefully, we can watch the draw with our number in the hat.

“They have got some good players and we have to be very wary of them. It just shows that in English football there is big competition between all of the teams.

“They have similar threats to Bradford, some good forwards. It’s not an easy game. They come here with nothing to lose and everything to gain. They come here with the freedom to express themselves that little bit more.

“We have to approach the game where we try to impose ourselves on them. We all want that win and that’s what we are striving for.”

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