Mansfield Town boss David Flitcroft says he wants more from his front line, after beating Carlisle United one-nil on Saturday at the One Call Stadium.
Tyler Walker’s second half penalty proved the difference in a game in which the Stags dominated in terms of chances, and despite the Stags picking up all three points, a clean sheet and remaining unbeaten – boss David Flitcroft wants a better end product
“[It was just] a 1-0 win. I do want more,” he said. “I do want us to improve on that aspect of the game. We’re creating chances and we’ll be up there with created chances in the league. You have to put teams to the sword. If you get that 2-0, it breaks the soul and heart of a team. It stops them coming at you.
“Unlike Colchester a few weeks ago, we withstood that last little bit of pressure. Any team with hope are going to keep coming at you.
“We carved them open at time and I thought some of our passing was really good. That’s something that has definitely improved to get us into the last third. We have to make our home form the key. Away from home we’ve had a few solid draws this season. We’re unbeaten.
“Nothing is ever given. You have to earn the right for three points. We’ve made sure we earned that victory today and it was good to watch.
“Pearce, Preston and Sweeney really come together. They’re improving. Bobby’s performance was excellent in the key moments and the key saves. I’m happy with a lot that’s gone on today but again, loads to improve on.
“When a team has hope they will keep on coming at you. When it’s 1-0 it feels a little cagey. Players are going to miss chances and as a support we have to support them in that moment.”
The Stags are next in action on Tuesday when they travel to Lincoln City in the first of three group matches for this year’s checkatrade Trophy Competition – they’ll face home games with Wolves U23s and Scunthorpe United later in the year
Mansfield Town defender Mal Benning says he’s enjoying playing in the left-wing back role – following a change of shape implemented by boss David Flitcroft.
Benning, the clubs joint longest serving player, has moved from left-back to left wing-back as part of the change of system, with boss Flitcroft switching from 4-4-2 to 3-4-1-2/3-5-2 since pre-season.
“Wing-back is a role that I like. I’ve been enjoying it out there. Everyone knows that I like attacking from left-back and you do get that freedom. You’re further up the pitch and have to adapt your game.” Said the 24 year old.
“It’s one of those where if I am caught up the pitch I have Pearce or Sweeney on the left down there to back me up.
“Since the gaffer has come in with his fitness regime, I feel much fitter this year. I’m feeling much fitter and sharper. At left wing-back you do need to put a shift in and I’m putting much more of a shift in now.
“It [increased fitness] is very important at wing-back. You have to be attacking and defending, so you have to put a shift in out there.”
Benning has started every game so far this season with CJ Hamilton on the opposite side – a system which has seen the Stags become difficult to break down and beat – with a two wins and three draws in all competitions thus far
He added ““We’ll take that [unbeaten start] from pre-season as well. We played against some decent teams and we’re unbeaten against them as well so it’s a good stat to have and we want to keep it up.
“We’re all frustrated not to have picked up two wins in the last two games, but we’re unbeaten and that’s a great stat to have.
“We’re in a decent stage in the table so it’s one of those where if you get a couple more points we’re right up there.”
Stags boss David Flitcroft was pleased with his sides display, despite failing to break down Tranmere Rovers as Mansfield earned their third consecutive draw.
Mansfield had chances to take all three points as Tyler Walker, Otis Khan and Craig Davies all spurned opportunities in the second half - but after conceding a 95th minute equalizer against Colchester United on Saturday, the Stags boss highlighted the importance of keeping a clean sheet.
“I think it was a really open game in the second-half, The first-half was a cagey affair but the start that Tranmere had in the second-half, they came at us.” Flitcroft said
“The chances that we have then created, Tyler Walker’s header, and the one-on-one. He’s the player you would want to see on that ball at that moment with his finishing quality. I thought we would just see the back of the net ripple.
“We had to work really hard for our opportunities. When you see the game open up and you see Otis [Khan] 12-yards out with just the ‘keeper to beat, he’s just lost his composure a little. When you don’t score them [chances], it’s really important that you don’t concede and keep that clean sheet.
“You reflect on tonight and it becomes a fantastic point if we had won on Saturday. We’re unbeaten again, and all credit goes to that group of players that’s gone out there and made sure that we kept that clean sheet.”
The Stags boss gave a start to keeper Bobby Olejnik – only his second league start since joining the club – Flitcroft said “I ask this squad for respect and how we respect each other. We’ve got a good squad with good quality in that squad. It’s probably ten less than last season but I’ve gone for quality.
“There will always be football decisions, never personal. I knew there would be a lot of crosses tonight. It’s a strength of Bobby’s, collecting crosses. But his passing was good [too].
“The save he’s made in the second-half was phenomenal. Bobby has been waiting in the wings as it’s his first league match under me. He has supported and respected Conrad with everything.
“He’s been patient. I felt as though I should give him that chance that I would give an outfield player. He’s done the club proud and the group proud. Conrad’s supported him and that’s again what I want in the group.
“It [respect] is something that you grow over time and something that you have to try and foster in the environment. Then when they come on the pitch they know exactly what they have to do and what they are prepared to do for the group and the cause.”
Mansfield Town’s Academy Manager John Dempster has spoken of his delight of players making the transition from the youth set-up to the first team.
Lewis Gibbens, Jordan Graham, Henri Wilder and Tyler Blake have all made the step-up with defender Gibbens taking a regular spot on the bench as the clubs home grown player as per new EFL Ruling.
Dempster, who has overseen the development of the new academy since hanging up his boots as a player, said “The boys that have made the step up have a long way to go but the experience they are getting, training with the senior pros – what they’re learning on a day to day basis is something we [the academy] can’t actually give them. The link between Academy and first team has been brilliant – I can’t ask for much more really”
The former central defender who was part of the conference winning side added “Having been to see the first team in pre-season and starting the league and cup campaign, these [young] players are going to have to really step up because standards have gone up – the performance against Accrington was exceptional and it really hit home that we [the academy] have a lot of work to do [to match that standard].
“The manager [David Flitcroft] has put a massive emphasis on developing youngsters, he knows all of the under 18s, he knows all of the under 21 players – he’s keen to get them up as much as possible – he wants them training with the first team as much as possible.”
The Stags youngsters have won three consecutive titles in the Youth Alliance North East Division, Demspeter continued “Both the gaffer and Futch [Assistant boss Ben Futcher] have been really complimentary about the physiques, how they [the youngsters] are quite robust which is quite uncommon in academy players – they’ve been pleased with their intensity levels, as when they train with the first team they are pushed to the maximum.
“The feedback from the players is about the intensity of [first team] training, so we try and recreate that as much as possible, we mirror the formations that they play but one thing we can’t recreate is the actual playing/ training alongside the senior pros.
“We are still in our infancy just going into our fourth season so there are certain areas that I’ve highlighted that will help us improve the program and if we keep doing that, hopefully the players will keep improving and we’ll see one or two [more] in and around the first team at some point – but we do have to be patient, because the gap between under 18 and first team football is massive – but we are bridging it”
A full list of under 18 fixtures can be found here, whilst the fixtures for the under 21s, participating in the central league, can be found here.
Stags boss David Flitcroft says Colchester United’s 95th minute equalizer on Saturday has “ripped the heart” of his side, who took home just a point in a 1-1 draw.
The Stags took the lead against a resilient Colchester in the 81st minute when substitute Craig Davies riffled a volley into the top corner, but the home side failed to hang onto all three points – as Sammie Szmodics stole a point in the 95th minute.
Reflecting on the late goal, which denied the Stags the chance to go top of League Two, Flitcroft said “I’ve just watched it [again on a replay] it’s ripped the heart out of us – it’s totally flawed me because Colchester have come here, shut up shop they’ve had one shot on target and it looks like it’s gone straight in.
“It doesn’t matter how much time they put up, it’s not the referee’s fault it’s the way we’ve defended it – it’s not good enough, we could have gone top of the league tonight.
“If we get that last half a second right we go to the top of the league and that’s the difference between success and failure. I’ve got some players who didn’t deserve to be not a winning team today – I thought Ryan Sweeney was on a different level, I thought he was outstanding.
“I’m bitterly disappointed for our supporters because we should be walking away from here with three points and we’re not. I’ve told them [the players] after the game no matter if it’s five or seven minutes that goes up, it doesn’t matter – embrace that time , you’re one-nil up you’ve got something to hang onto, something to protect – that’s the spirit that I’d like to grow and foster.”
The Stags are back in action tomorrow [Tuesday] as they travel to newly promoted Tranmere Rovers, 7.45pm.
Mansfield Town midfielder Calum Butcher has been taken OFF of the Transfer List, assistant manager Ben Futcher has confirmed this morning.
The midfielder arrived last August from Milwall but failed to really hit the ground running, spending the latter end of last season on loan at Billericky Town in order to be closer to his family.
He was then transfer listed and becomes the second player taken off the list, following his impressive display against League One Accrington Stanley in midweek, where he contributed by winning a penalty, assisting Otis Khan’s goal and setting up the chance for Tyler Walker, who then won a penalty which initially levelled the game.
Assistant boss Ben Futcher said “Calum has come off the transfer list, he’s definitely part of what we’re doing. I think it was always a difficult one for Butch, he really didn’t enjoy it last season here and he was keen to leave in the summer after what happened.
“He’s come back, he’s got his head down and he’s worked quite close with the manager – he’s been fantastic in training and whenever he’s come in he’s done great. He’s really enjoying his football now and I think you saw that the other night. A Calum Butcher who is fit, firing and enjoying his football is definitely a great addition to a league two squad or team.
“He’s an attacking midfielder, he’s had two promotions out of league one playing as an attacking midfielder – that’s where we see him. He can run, he’s powerful, he’s dynamic and when he’s on it like he was the other night – he’s a real handful”
Mansfield Town striker Danny Rose made a triumphant return to the squad last night as the Stags came from behind to smash Accrington Stanley 6-1 and reach the second round of the EFL cup for the first time in over a decade.
A first half hat-trick for Tyler Walker, which included two from the spot, sent the Stags on their way before Otis Khan added a fourth before half-time.
Rose, who met with boss David Flitcroft on Monday to talk about his future, came from the bench to replace hat-trick hero Walker on 65 minutes – and took just a minute before latching onto CJ Hamilton’s left sided assist to score his first of the campaign and the Stags fifth.
CJ Hamilton netted the Stags sixth and final goal of the night in the final minute, and after the match, boss David Flitcroft put an end to the Danny Rose situation “I’m delighted for Danny [getting his goal] – the aggression that he’s run with to go and get that, it was nice to see the Danny of old. Seeing Danny Rose run at full flight to goal and get that goal, which was so important to him, was important
“Anyone in football and life will tell you that forgiveness is the best human quality – I’m not stubborn in anything I do I’m always professional – the valuation wasn’t met for Danny so he’s a Mansfield Town player contracted for Mansfield Town.
“We had a really good chat yesterday regarding that the move didn’t happen. He was worried about turning out tonight because of some of the stuff on social media, he was worried about that. I thought it was the right game to put him on and introduce him back into what we are doing.
“Danny’s made a mistake, we all do, he needs support – he needs my support, he’s been led down a line, he’s been lied to, manipulated, by the buying club – he was told he was a Peterborough player, absolutely told outright he was a Peterborough player and Danny’s chose to believe it.
“Now he can knuckle down and it might be a good thing – because he knows that he’s got to win these fans back over – he’s already done that once and he knows he’s got to do it again – he’ll fight for them, he’ll scrap for them, and he’ll run for them – that’s what the Mansfield public need, it’s what Danny’s got to do now. He’s not done that since I’ve been here but certainly tonight I saw the Danny Rose of old – and I’m delighted for him.”
CEO Carolyn Radford told Mansfield 103.2 “He’s a Mansfield player, he’s always given us 100% he’s an excellent person to work with personally and professionally. Sometimes [with] players, you have to remember they’re very young – they can be misadvised and there’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes that we can’t disclose.
“It’s not been a very fair ride for him either, Danny knows what he is here for – he wants to develop and he wants to play for the club.
“The meeting [between David Flitcroft and Danny Rose] was productive, they spent a long time talking and they aired a lot of the issues that had been going on which makes it clear for all of us so we are in a better position to know where he’s coming from and what was going on – it’s clarified a lot of things in our heads and we’re thrilled [that’s he back involved].”
Mansfield Town boss David Flitcroft says he’ll speak with striker Danny Rose today (Monday) about his future, after the want away front man didn’t leave before Thursday’s deadline for permanent deals.
Rose handed in a transfer request a fortnight ago amid interest from League One Peterborough United and former boss Steve Evans – current Stags boss David Flitcroft believes something wasn’t quite right about the situation.
Explaining why Rose wasn’t part of the side which drew 2-2 at Yeovil Town on Saturday, Flitcroft said “Thursday got late and I think everybody including Danny was told that he was a Peterborough player – he was told that all week and then when it didn’t go through and they got Ivan Toney in then there was a realisation for Danny that he might still be a Mansfield player.
“We set off really early Friday [for Yeovil] so I gave Danny the weekend to sort of consider what he wants to do and consider probably what’s just happened to him that week – it was a tough week for Danny psychologically, he’d almost committed to the move, Peterborough committed him certainly behind the scenes [with] what he got told – but the valuation [on Danny] wasn’t met.
“Our chairman was really strong on that and the money that the chairman wanted for Danny didn’t come in – that’s a fact.
“We’ll have a good chat, I’m looking forward to seeing Danny on Monday we’ll have a great chat and go from there – I’ve spoken to his representatives, we’ll sit round a table and find the next solution – players can still leave on loan with a view to a permanent move so there still could potentially could be movement.”
The Stags did make one out-going deal on Thursday as they sold fellow front man Lee Angol to League One Shrewsbury Town, boss David Flitcroft confirmed the Stags had included a sell-on clause, should Angol earn a move elsewhere.
Speaking on incoming deals Flitcroft added “We’ve got a couple of weeks now [before the loan window shuts] to keep watching the situation if any of our players move out – if you can improve the squad and better it then that is something as Mansfield manager – I’ll always put those opportunities to the chairman.”
Mansfield Town enjoyed a relatively quiet Transfer Deadline Day, completing just the one deal in selling striker Lee Angol to League One Shrewsbury Town for an undisclosed fee, completed moments before the window slammed shut.
The 24-year-old scored 10 goals in 34 appearances in his one and only season for Mansfield last term following his transfer from Peterborough United the previous summer.
Elsewhere all eyes were on Danny Rose and where the want-away striker would end up. Four clubs were rumoured to have shown an interest in the popular 24 year old, however no movement was made and at the end of the window, Rose remains a Mansfield Town player.
Transfer listed midfielders Paul Anderson and Calum Butcher also didn’t make departures, nor did injured defender Zander Diamond who hasn’t been given a squad number for this season despite being the team captain last season.
Movement could still be made as clubs have until the end of the month to make loan deals, along with the following in accordance with EFL ruling clubs can…
Mansfield Town boss David Flitcroft has hit back at predecessor Steve Evans claims of a bad relationship between him and want away striker Danny Rose.
The front man handed in a transfer request last Wednesday following speculation that Peterborough United, managed by former Stags boss Evans, had made a bid for the Stags leading front man.
Rose missed the Stags’ opening game of the season, a 3-0 win over Newport County – speaking after the victory to iFollow, Flitcroft cleared up the speculation “I felt towards the back end of the week it [the situation] was turning into a bit of a circus with the media – I thought that our professionalism was outstanding.
“We received a bid, it wasn’t good enough – the Chairman’s made that quite clear, if he wants to move, it’ll be at the Chairman’s valuation, no one elses.
“I think some of the stuff that’s come out from the club that has bid for him, certainly from a personal point of view – it was a personal attack on me and my relationship with Danny Rose.
“Just to set the record straight with Danny, I put him in the team and gave him his debut when I was at Barnsley – he helped secure me the job so I’ve nothing but admiration for Danny.
“When I went to Bury, I signed him and persuaded my then chairman Stuart Day to spend good money on Danny – I got promoted with him. In League One then when I was at Bury I had to stay in the league, so I got Leon Clarke and Tom Pope in – two League One top hitters.
“I explained to Danny that by getting them in, it’s important that he goes and plays games and really sets his career alight. He then moved to Mansfield, yes I was then manager that sold him then, I didn’t see him as the third choice centre forward – I saw him as a front line centre forward, he came to Mansfield and the rest is history – he was outstanding.
“I’ve had a fantastic relationship with Danny Rose. Every game he was available last season, I played him until he was injured”
The window for permanent deals slams shut at 5pm on Thursday, Flitcroft continued “I’d like to say that if Danny Rose goes on to do fantastically well I’ve played a part in that, in his career – that’s setting the historical facts right, I think it’s important that the truth is told and that’s what happened during my time with Danny Rose”
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