RAYNOR, ANDERSON, GARY MONK REACTION
New-look Stags showing good signs of cohesion
mansfieldtown.net, 19 July 2017
Assistant manager Paul Raynor is pleased with how the Stags' new-look squad are gelling following tonight's 2-2 draw at home to Championship side Middlesbrough.
Stags raced into a 2-0 lead at One Call Stadium thanks to a Jonny Howson own goal and an excellent finish by striker Lee Angol, but they were pegged back before the break as defender Dael Fry and winger Mikael Soisalo responded for Garry Monk's side.
So far in pre-season, Stags have recorded a 5-0 victory over a Malta Players' XI, defeated Stocksbridge Park Steels 4-0 and ended on the wrong side of a 3-2 scoreline against a strong Sheffield Wednesday outfit.
And Raynor believes the Stags are progressing well, both in terms of their fitness and how the squad are bonding on the pitch.
"We've looked at the science about it and how we can utilise the game time and it's gone fantastically well," Raynor said.
"There's been some good performances, the fitness levels have looked particularly good and we're where we want to be in terms of fitness and how we're gelling as a team.
"On the back of last night's performance and the performance against a team that was in the Premier League last season, I don't think really, bar a couple of centre-halves, they could've been any stronger so I think the quality of our play, particularly in the first half [was very good].
"We nullified the threat in the second half and to be fair, we were worthy of at least a draw.
"In the first half, to go 2-0 up against a team of that quality was exceptional. We switched off a little bit; you always hear people talking about you being susceptible just after you've scored and we'll have to learn those lessons."
After displaying highly competitive performances against both Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday and Garry Monk's Middlesbrough tonight, Raynor says it has been fantastic for Stags to come up against such high quality opposition.
"These games are fantastic. We've had a long close season, although a busy one in terms of getting people in and getting the squad together but over time it's growing.
"We've had a very enjoyable couple of games and now we've got a game at Stamford and then a fantastic one to look forward to against Forest on Saturday.
"The quality of opposition we've had here this week has been absolutely fantastic. A full strength, pretty much, Sheffield Wednesday team, a team that graced the Premier League [last season] tonight and then we've got one of our local rivals on Saturday at home - it doesn't get any better. I hope it's a big crowd and we can entertain them as well."
Stags can now look forward to a trip to Evo-Stik Northern Premier League side Stamford on Friday before welcoming Nottingham Forest on Saturday and former Cambridge United midfielder Raynor has expressed the importance of recovery ahead of those games.
"We tried to split it a little bit between last night and tonight and everybody's come through pretty much unscathed, apart from a few tired legs, I'm sure. They'll recover well and we'll be ready for the weekend.
"The boys will have a bit of a recovery day and then get back to it. It's absolutely important that we recover. They've put a lot of effort in - it's the first real 90 minutes they've had last night and today so it's absolutely vital that we get the recovery ready for the weekend."
Supporters can login to iFollow Stags to view Paul Raynor's full post-match interview.
Raynor delighted with Stags’ showing against top class opposition
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS
Mansfield Town assistant boss Paul Raynor described tonight’s 2-2 home friendly draw with Championship Middlesbrough as a ‘an excellent work-out against a fantastic side’. Stags roared into an early 2-0 lead before Garry Monk’s Boro showed their quality to square the game before the break.
The draw followed a 4-0 win at Stocksbridge PS for the other half of the Mansfield squad last night and Raynor said: “That was a fantastic work-out on the back of last night’s performance. “It was a performance against a team that was in the Premier League last season - and I don’t think, bar a couple of centre halves, they could be any stronger.
Read more at: http://www.hucknalldispatch.co.uk/sport/football/raynor-delighted-with-stags-showing-against-top-class-opposition-1-8659422
“I was pleased with the quality of our play, particularly in the first half, and we nullified their threat in the second half. We were worthy of at least a draw.
“The second half was more controlled. We huffed and puffed a little bit as they did too. They tried to control possession but we dealt with it very well.”
He added: “To go 2-0 up against a team of that quality was exceptional. “Then we switched off a little bit. People always say you’re susceptible just after you’ve scored and we have to learn those lessons. “These games are about learning about each other and nullifying the mistakes. “We’ve learned we need to defend better from set pieces. I think George (Taft) lost his man a couple of times, had a couple of warning, but lost him again and got punished for the equaliser.
“And I think Mal (Benning) switched off for a straight ball just after we scored the second. “But we will learn from that and it was an excellent work-out against a fantastic side.”
Most players got their first full 90 minutes under their belts and Raynor said: “That was the plan. We tried to split it between last night and tonight and I think everyone had come through pretty much unscathed apart from a few tired legs. “They will recover well and we’ll be ready for the weekend. “There were some good performances and the fitness levels are where we want to be as is how we are gelling as a team.”
Winger impressed with Stags' performance in Boro draw
mansfieldtown.net, 19 July 2017
Winger Paul Anderson says Stags 'gave a great account of themselves' in tonight's 2-2 draw with Championship favourites Middlesbrough.
The former Northampton Town man played 90 minutes in the 2-2 draw, as Stags raced into a two-goal lead through a Jonny Howson own goal and a sublime Lee Angol finish. The visitors then pulled two goals back before half-time through Mikael Soisola and Dael Fry to bring Boro level.
And Anderson believes Stags did 'really well' against a team who were plying their trade in the Premier League last season.
"They (Middlesbrough) played some good stuff, [but] defensively we were brilliant. It was really tough work and to concede a goal straight after we scored was really disappointing," Anderson said.
"I know it's only a friendly but we want to wipe out these mistakes that we make and hopefully we won't get punished as much when we play teams in our league.
"But I think we've done really well tonight and gave a great account of ourselves."
Middlesbrough were the second Championship side Stags have faced in their pre-season campaign so far after Sheffield Wednesday visited One Call Stadium on Saturday and Anderson feels the games have helped the squad become more acquainted with each other.
"It's great to get to know the tactics and to understand each other [and] it helps everyone talk and to get into position.
"We've scored some good goals against some good teams and we have to take a lot of credit, [but] hopefully over the next couple of games we can get some more ball time."
Following tonight's game, Stags travel to Stamford on Friday before facing local rivals Nottingham Forest on Saturday, a club Anderson is very familiar with.
"I had some great years [at Forest], I've got fond memories and I still know a couple of the lads and a lot of the staff behind the scenes, and keep in touch with them all.
"It will be nice to see some friendly faces but again it's another game we have to focus on our fitness. We're not sure what the manager will do in terms of teams with the game on Friday against Stamford and then Forest on Saturday, [but] hopefully I'll get some minutes against them, it will be nice.
'It's a local derby, I'm sure we will have a nice crowd and hopefully we can put on a performance, similar to tonight.
The midfielder, who began his career at Liverpool, joined Stags at the start of summer and believes the current squad is one of the most competitive he's been involved in.
"I've been fortunate to play at Championship level and the last couple of seasons I've been in and around League One squads.
"Even in the Championship squads I wouldn't have been able to turn around and say anyone out of the 23 lads could get a start.
"Looking at the [Mansfield] squad, I'm not sure there is a single name that I could put on that team sheet, the manager has a very difficult choice to make.
"Everyone in the squad has given a great account of themselves and anyone could be picked in that starting eleven [against Crewe]."
To view Paul Anderson's full post-match interview, head to iFollow Stags.
Paul Anderson hoping to play for Mansfield Town against former club Nottingham Forest
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS
Former Nottingham Forest winger Paul Anderson is hoping to play some part in Mansfield Town’s attractive pre-season friendly derby against his old club at the One Call Stadium tomorrow (3pm). “I had some great years there and I have fond memories,” he smiled. I still know a couple of the lads there and I still know a lot of the staff behind the scenes. I keep in touch with them all. “So it will be nice to see some friendly faces, but again it’s another game we have to focus on our fitness. “We don’t know what the manager is going to do with teams with the game on Friday as well (at Stamford tonight, 7.30). “Hopefully I will get some minutes against Forest, it would be nice, but again it’s up to the manager and as a total squad we’ve all got to get the right minutes at the right time.” Forest quickly sold out of their 1,541 ticket allocation and won’t be offered any more. “It’s a local derby, there’s local rivalry and I’m sure we’ll have a nice crowd,” said Anderson. “Hopefully we can put on a performance similar to Wednesday (against Forest’s Championship rivals Middlesbrough). “I know we didn’t have loads and loads of the ball, but I think the fans have got to be looking at it being a team that has come down from the Premier League and we have done really well against them. We have shown we can score goals and create things. “It will be another test against Forest, but it’s all in the bank and it’s good to play against teams of this level. “Middlesbrough played some good stuff but defensively I thought we were brilliant. It was real tough work. “When we conceded a goal straight after we’d scored it was really disappointing. I know it’s only a friendly but we want to wipe out these little mistakes we’re making. “Hopefully we won’t get punished as much when we play against teams in our league. “I think we did really well against Middlesbrough and gave a great account of ourselves. “The two games I’ve played in against Sheffield Wednesday and Middlesbrough I’d like to think you’re not going to come up against any teams in our league of that quality. There might be a couple that try and play. “But it’s great to start to get to know the tactics and understand each other as a team. It helps everyone to talk and get into position.” Anderson continued: “Hopefully over the next couple of games we can get a bit more ball time for us and do things going forward rather than going back. “But we have scored some good goals against good teams and I think we’ve got to take a lot of credit out of those games. “Results don’t really matter but none of us wants to lose no matter what game it is, even if it’s a friendly. But it’s about getting the fitness.” The night before Middlesbrough, the rest of the Stags squad won 4-0 away at non-League Stocksbridge Park Steels. “The boys at Stocksbridge did unbelievable as it’s never easy going to lower league opposition on a difficult pitch,” said Anderson. “Now everyone has pretty much got 90 minutes under their belt and we’ll go into this weekend with two more games, then a couple more and then the big games start with Crewe away.” The winger admitted pre-season doesn’t get any easier, but believes players get wiser how to deal with it. “They get harder the older you get,” he said. “But I think the more experienced you get, you start to learn when to run in the right areas - not that it becomes easier - you just become a bit more aware of what’s going on around you and you know your limits. “At the end of the day the most important thing is being 100 per cent fit for the first game of the season. “I have learned that over the last couple of seasons where I have missed the first game trying to push myself too hard too early. “It’s the same for everyone. It’s all about creeping up and being fit and available for selection for that first game.”
Read more at: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/paul-anderson-hoping-to-play-for-mansfield-town-against-former-club-nottingham-forest-1-8661811
Boro boss Monk wishes Stags best of luck for season ahead
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS
Middlesbrough boss Garry Monk was delighted with the quality of opposition Mansfield Town provided his Premier League-chasing side in last night’s friendly and wished Steve Evans’ side all the best for the campaign ahead.
Boro, just relegated to the Championship, had to dig deep after going 2-0 behind early on in a fantastic first half before levelling before the break.
“Mansfield were very good,” said Monk. “As you’d expect they were very competitive.
“We have played a number of sides from the lower leagues already this pre-season and each one has given us a good test.
Read more at: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/boro-boss-monk-wishes-stags-best-of-luck-for-season-ahead-1-8660748
“That was our first full 90 minutes this pre-season and Mansfield have some good players - players I am fully aware of as well.
“Credit to them. I am sure they will be looking to have a good season this season and build on the squad they have. We wish them luck in the season ahead.”
On the game overall, he added: “That was important as it was the first 90 minutes for a lot of those players.
“As I expected at this stage we saw some really good passages of play which I’m looking for from the players and other parts where we need to improve.
“It’s very early days with a new manager, new ideas, a new way of working and we have had some new players with others going out. So it feels like a new group.”
Monk felt the way his side battled back from 2-0 down bodes well. “That mentality and character is going to be needed for sure in this league,” he said.
“It is the most difficult league in the world. It’s so competitive with 12 or 13 teams in with a chance of a good season or a promotion season.
“There is an expectation of teams coming down that they should bounce straight back, but in the last 10 years 30 teams have come down and only nine have bounced straight back which shows you how competitive this league is.”
George Friend had to limp off at the break as he felt the effects of a firm tackle by Stags defender Hayden White, but Monk said: “He is okay. At this stage there is no point in taking any risks. He just took that knock and could have carried on.”
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