Mansfield Town boss David Flitcroft says he’s ready to test his sides’ defensive capabilities ahead of the first of four home friendlies against Championship opposition over the coming fortnight.
The Stags return to the One Call stadium for the first time this pre-season to welcome Frank Lampard’s Derby County tomorrow, Wednesday 18th, before they welcome Sheffield United, Sheffield Wednesday and Rotherham United over the next two weeks.
Flitcroft, who is yet to record a victory as Stags boss at the One Call stadium since taking over in March, told iFollow “The opposition we’ve faced at the minute is just about players getting their patterns of play and develop our strategies to attack.
“I think in the next three or four games, we’re going to be looking at the defensive responsibilities of the players, how we defend as a team and how we defend as a group.
“In Derby you’ve got probably one of the contenders to get promoted next season by bringing Frank [Lampard] in and the excitement surrounding that.
“It’s going to be a fantastic game for us, it’s a massive stimulus for our players to play against such quality opposition in all the games coming up.
“There’s still three or four weeks to go [until the season starts] and there’s still a lot of work to do, the next phase is looking at how we get sharper, toning the fitness, the reaction speeds and the shooting drills will all add to what we’ve been trying to do”
Leading scorer Danny Rose is yet to feature in pre-season, recovering from a toe injury which he picked up towards the tail end of last season – Flitcroft confirms he won’t take part in tomorrow’s friendly with Derby County, and will more than likely miss Saturday’s clash with Sheffield United
“Saturday’s too short for him [Rose] we’re probably looking at the week after [for him to be back involved]. It’s really important with Danny that he gets a full week pre-season with us, he’s had the time in the summer to recover but as the lads have been doing double sessions everyday, Danny hasn’t and you can never really catch up – so we have to make sure Danny gets all his work in that the lads have done” Flitcroft said
The Stags manager also spoke briefly about transfer listed defender Zander Diamond who hasn’t featured during pre-season, Flitcroft confirmed he is on the injury list with an on-going back problem which could require further surgery.
get the latest
Catch up with the latest club news and player updates from within the dressing room - ALL the latest and exclusive news can be found at www.mansfieldtown.net