STAGS BACK IN PRESEASON TRAINING/COUGHLAN INTERVIE
Wed 22 July 2020
Mansfield Town boss confident he has addressed last year's 'missing ingredients'
CHAD.CO.UK, Stephen Thirkill
Coughlan has brought in five fresh faces as he looks to create a ‘smaller, younger and cheaper’ squad.
And the former Bristol Rovers chief believes the new players will give Stags what they badly lacked season.
“We were missing a few bits and pieces last season and they were glaringly obvious, not just to myself, but the fans as well,” he told the club’s official website.
“I have tried to address that as soon as possible. We missed that little bit of pace up front which Jamie Reid will give us.
“We struggled to hold the ball up last season, which was why I brought in Jordan Bowery.
“We missed the legs and leadership in the middle of the park, which Ollie Clarke will naturally give us.
“I need leadership at the back and a number one goalie. I have brought in experience and good honest hard working pros.”
But he was quick to praise the efforts of those who departed Mansfield at the end of last year’s failed campaign.
“I hope people don’t get the wrong end of the stick, it is a team I wanted to build in my own name and my DNA,” he added.
“The lads that were here last year tried exceptionally hard for this football club..
“It is a manager’s prerogative to want to build his own team and that is what I want to do.
“I thanked the lads that have gone. They gave their all last season, but it didn’t quite work out for them.
“It was a bit of a turbulent season. I don’t think anyone enjoyed last season, myself included, so it was important I freshened it up and maybe get the ingredients we needed.
“I’m looking forward to getting to work with the lads who have stayed and the new lads. It will be exciting and hopefully we can get off to a good start.”
With no firm start date given for the new EFL season, Coughlan is working towards a 29th August start - one of two possible dates mooted along with 12th September.
“I have been working towards 29th August, but if it is 12th September we will tweak one or two things and move on from there,” he said.
“It won’t be the worst thing in the world if it is 12th September, but we have to initially work towards the first date.
“If we worked towards 12th September and were given 29th August it would present a problem and put us behind.
“I will add another couple of players but the squad will be smaller, younger and cheaper than last year and I think that is a must in this day and age given what is going on.”
Mansfield beat play-off winners Northampton Town in their last competitive outing on 7th March.
New Stags striker Jamie Reid is loving playing football again following Mansfield’s return to training this week.
CHAD.CO.UK, Stephen Thirkill
Goal-getting Reid joined Mansfield from Torquay last month and is enjoying dusting off the cobwebs.
Mansfield returned to training for the first time since March on Wednesday, with the players split into two separate morning and afternoon groups.
“It has been a long time coming and it’s nice to get the cobwebs off,” he said.
“I’ve really missed football. We had no warning, it just stopped in March and now it is nearly August.
“When you’ve not had football for so long, it really makes you appreciate being back doing what you love doing.
“It has been a totally different training session this year, there are still some lads I’ve not spoken to but I’m sure in time it will get back to normal.
“The lads I have met are good lads and easy to talk to. I’m sure the other group will be as well.”
And hot-shot Reid, who banged in 32 goals as Torquay United romped to the 2018/19 National League South title, is expecting plenty of tough training sessions ahead.
“I am in a better place fitness wise than when I left football back in March, getting my numbers in running was an area I needed to improve,” he added.
“I’ve done a lot of running in my own time and hopefully that will help for the season and hard pre-season ahead..
“We have some hard running ahead. The boss wants hard work, it should be a given for any footballer.
“He wants a fast tempo hugh pressing team which is what i've been used to
“We will be a bit rusty but we will get rid of it before the season starts. It was a risk to leave my contract but it is something you have to do to push your career on.”
Mansfield Town striker Danny Rose admits it's great to be back
CHAD.CO.UK, Stephen Thirkill
Rose was speaking after completing his first day of training after Mansfield returned to action on Wednesday.
“It has been a tough four months, it's tedious training along and it is good to be back with the lads,” he added.
“We have been doing a lot of running in lockdown, but there is only so much that you can do. We feel ok, we are back now and the worst is over.”
Mansfield’s players trained in two different groups due to the impact of ongoing social distancing restrictions, with sessions mostly involving further fitness work.
“The lads have come back in decent nick,” added Rose. “It is good to be out back on grass and with the lads, that is the most important thing.
“It is restricted in training due to the guidelines in place so we are having to run two metres apart. It’s nice to have a laugh with the lads again.
“It is just important to get the base fitness and then we can start with a proper pre-season.
“We have missed football a lot, it is good to be back having a laugh with the lads.
“We have healthy competition and it raises the standards. Everyone has competition and its important to come back flying and set your own standards.”
The new EFL campaign is set to begin on the weekend of 12th September.