RAYNOR, TAFT, CARVALHAL REACTION
Raynor impressed with Wednesday workout
mansfieldtown.net, 15 July 2017
Assistant manager Paul Raynor says this afternoon's pre-season friendly against Sheffield Wednesday acted as 'a good stepping stone' to where the Stags need to be ahead of the Sky Bet League Two opener against Crewe Alexandra next month.
Premier League hopefuls Wednesday snatched a last-gasp victory thanks to substitute Lucas Joao's strike, but the new-look Stags impressed in large spells at One Call Stadium.
Defender George Taft had cancelled out Owls' striker Jordan Rhodes' early opener, before right-back Rhys Bennett made it 2-2 after Wednesday skipper Tom Lees headed Carlos Carvalhal's side into the lead for the second time.
And assistant boss Raynor says it was a 'fantastic workout' against a Sheffield Wednesday side packed full of quality.
"Obviously the quality of the opposition was there for everybody to see but I thought we dealt with them well," Raynor said.
"I thought we imposed our game for periods as well and I'm slightly disappointed to be on the losing side if I'm honest.
"[It was] a sloppy late goal from them, which should have been avoided that gave them the victory, but on the whole, these pre-season games are about getting ready for the fifth of August at Crewe and it was a good workout for us.
"We're working towards the fifth of August. There'll be good performances, there'll be ones we're slightly not happy with, but that'll come and go. On the whole, all it is is getting ready for Crewe Alexandra away. That was a good stepping stone to where we want to be."
The former Preston North End striker was impressed with some of the Stags' play going forward and also thought they contained the threat of the Owls.
"We tweaked a few things after 20 minutes, they were having far too much possession, but we tweaked one or two things and we seemed to impose ourselves on the game.
"We were more of a threat and for the last period before half-time, we were really pleased with some of the attacking play.
"You see what they've got on the bench - they can bring the likes of [Gary] Hooper on, Steven Fletcher, Premier League strikers.
"They started with Jordan Rhodes, who was a £9m striker, it's absolutely frightening, the quality they had on show, but I thought we held our own and we were a good threat going forward."
The only player not to be involved in today's pre-season fixture was midfielder Alex MacDonald, who reported a minor issue this morning.
Raynor said: "Everything today was geared towards getting everybody 45 minutes. Obviously Paul Digby played a little bit longer as Alex MacDonald just felt something this morning, so it's a no risk [situation] at the moment.
"Omari's (Sterling-James) the same; he's had a little hamstring [issue] while we were away so the plan was always for him to play 30 minutes. Everybody's where we wanted them in terms of game-time.
"We're hoping it's just a little niggle there but this time of the season, in pre-season, you don't take any chances whatsoever. It was the same with Omari today and the same with Alex, we're not taking any chances but when that settles down, we'll know a little bit more."
Supporters can view Paul Raynor's post-match interview by logging in to iFollow Stags.
Raynor happy with Stags’ display against Wednesday
chad.co.uk, by MARK DUFFY, Saturday 15 July 2017
Paul Raynor was left satisfied by Mansfield Town’s efforts on Saturday as they ran Championship side Sheffield Wednesday close in a pre-season friendly at the One Call Stadium.
The Stags’ assistant manager was speaking after a 3-2 win for the visitors which saw an even contest decided by Lucas Joao’s later winner.
And although Raynor felt disappointed by the way that goal was conceded, he was pleased overall by the display.
He said: “It was a great workout, which we expected as the quality of the opposition was there for everybody to see, but I thought we dealt with them well and imposed our game for periods too.
Read more at: http://www.hucknalldispatch.co.uk/sport/football/raynor-happy-with-stags-display-against-wednesday-1-8651844
“We’re slightly disappointed to be on the losing side if I’m honest as it was a sloppy late goal from them which should have been avoided, but on the whole these games are all about getting ready for the opening league fixture and it was a good run out for us.”
Stags took a while to get into the game but once they got a foothold they more than gave as good as they got.
Raynor added: “We tweaked a few things after 20 minutes and seemed to impose ourselves on the game much more and looked a bigger threat, particularly going forward late in the first-half.
“There’s nothing to read into which players played when. It was all about giving the players 45 minutes, or less in the case of one or two. Alex MacDonald felt a tweak this morning so it wasn’t worth risking him, hence Paul Digby getting a bit longer.
“I thought we held our own against a squad with incredible strength. It’s so far so good for us as we are progressing well and today was a good stepping stone to where we want to be.”
Mansfield face Middlesbrough and Nottingham Forest over the next week at the One Call as their preparations continue.
Centre-half pleased with performance in Owls test
mansfieldtown.net, 15 July 2017, By Steve Sharman
Centre-half George Taft says today's pre-season friendly at home to Sheffield Wednesday provided the Stags with a good test against strong opposition.
The former Burton Albion man scored Stags' first goal in the 3-2 defeat to the Owls after he stabbed home a loose ball from six yards out following Jordan Rhodes' early opener.
Fellow defender Rhys Bennett struck either side of second half strikes from Tom Lees and Lucas Joao as Stags enjoyed a competitive workout against a strong Wednesday side.
And Taft says playing against such a high-quality outfit was a good test for the Stags as they continue their pre-season schedule.
"To come up against a strong squad such as Sheffield Wednesday and to produce a performance [like that and] learn from their goals, it's going to benefit us all round," Taft said.
"As a new team it's about getting bonds and the communication ready for the season.
"It was 45 minutes in the tank [against] good opposition [and] they are right 'up there' and have a really good chance this year. To play against a squad of such strength and to come so close, it was a good test.
"It was nice to get a cheeky little goal - [I was in the] right place at the right time and bolted it in!"
The former Leicester City trainee partnered summer signing David Mirfin at centre-half during the first half, whilst Zander Diamond and Krystian Pearce played at the heart of defence in the second period.
And the competition for places makes Taft believe he's in for a tough but exciting season.
"There is strength in the squad with the new lads coming in. We were solid at the back last year [and had] a good defensive record. [The gaffer's] brought in more quality [so] it's definitely going to be a tough year.
"It's hopefully going to be an exciting year, we have a strong squad which we can hopefully push for promotion.
"Everyone's gelled; it's good that we have so many new players because we all have a fresh start, everyone's really getting on.
"The quality that has come in is amazing. [The quality of] training has risen again and it's getting us all excited [for the new season]."
Supporters can login to iFollow Stags to view Taft's full post-match interview.
Taft delighted by quality of Stags’ signings
chad.co.uk, by MARK DUFFY, Saturday 15 July 2017
Defender George Taft says he’s been thrilled by the quality Mansfield Town have brought into their team this summer.
Taft was speaking after the 3-2 defeat to Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday in which he scored Stags’ first goal.
And having been pleased with how his side dealt with their Championship opponents, he praised the impact his new team-mates have had.
He said: “The quality that has come in is amazing and the mood in training has risen again amongst those of us here last year.
Read more at: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/taft-delighted-by-quality-of-stags-signings-1-8651856
“It’s getting us all excited again. It will hopefully be an exciting year and we have a squad I hope can push at the top.
“With so many new players it makes it feel like we’re all new in a sense but the vibe is really good amongst the whole squad.”
Taft equalised in the first-half and Rhys Bennett added a second with ten minutes to go, but goals from Jordan Rhodes, Tom Lees and Lucas Joao won the game for Wednesday.
Taft added: “It was good to get 45 minutes in the tank. We were up against good opposition who will be right up challenging again this season so to play against a squad with such strength and to come close to beating them was encouraging.
“It’s good that a strong squad like ours can produce a good display like that against a team as strong as Wednesday and bodes well.
“The bonds and communication is building as we get closer to the season which is important with so many new players.”
Sheffield Wednesday’s opening burst in win over Mansfield Town gives Carlos Carvalhal enough to be happy about
by DOM HOWSON
We are only two friendlies into Wednesday’s busy pre-season programme, but Carlos Carvalhal already feels his players have set the standard for the rest of the season.
Carvalhal claimed he witnessed an “amazing” passage of play in the early stages of his team’s hard-fought victory over Mansfield Town.
Carvalhal believes the Owls are starting to play more to Rhodes’ strengths. The boss said: “Jordan is playing more on the last line of the defence.
“He understands the team better. We are very happy with what he is doing, not just him, but all of our strikers. We have very good strikers with different abilities.”
Carvalhal said: “There were high points and weak points in the game. We started amazing in the opening 20 to 25 minutes. We had a very good dynamic. We played very well. We scored one goal and we had three or four chances to score more.”
Carvalhal said: “After 25 minutes, we dropped a little. We tried to correct at the break. Bannan and Jonno came too near the defenders and we miss a little the control in the middle.”
Carvalhal, who admitted the Owls must “correct” the defensive mistakes they made, said: “I didn’t like too much of what I saw in the second half. But I understand some players come back from injuries and it was their first game.”
“We are building our team,” stressed Carvalhal. “Our proposal is to play more like we did in the opening 25 minutes.”
Read more at: http://www.thestar.co.uk/sport/football/sheffield-wednesday/video-sheffield-wednesday-s-opening-burst-in-win-over-mansfield-town-gives-carlos-carvalhal-enough-to-be-happy-about-stags-2-owls-3-1-8652337
Omari Sterling @OSterling19
30 mins against a good shef Wednesday team feeling sharper, more minutes in the tank #stags