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17th April 2018 10:46


Manager speaks of passion for Stags role ahead of big derby
mansfieldtown.net, Thursday 12 April 2018

Stags' boss David Flitcroft has said that he has never felt so passionate about a job in 30 years of football than he does about his position as manager of Mansfield Town.

Speaking ahead of this weekend's massive derby game against Chesterfield at the Proact Stadium, he explained how eager he is to get his first win as Stags' boss, and added his belief that when it comes, his side will go on a successful run.

“After the Easter period I was desperate to come back to our place and get the win for the supporters against Crewe. How it unfolded probably disappointed me more in football more than I have been in football for a long time,” he said.

“Now we have to go there [on Saturday] with a bounce and go there committed to getting three points. We have to get back on track and start winning games for them [the Stags’ supporters].

https://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/2018/april/flitcroft-news-conference-12april2018/

“I’m bitterly disappointed for the supporters that I’ve not been able to give them that win, but I do feel when it does come we’ll go on a march.

“We’ll certainly design success at this football club and when it happens it’ll be consistent and sustainable.

“I’ve never been so passionate about a job in the 30 years I’ve been involved in football.”

Aside from bragging rights, both sides have plenty to play for, with Stags hoping to reignite their push for a playoff spot, and Chesterfield sitting rock bottom of the table in a relegation fight.

The Stags' manager said that the game will come down to the level of desire from both sides to win three points, but called for composure ahead of the big match.

“I think it’s massive for both clubs, massive for both managers. They’re fighting for their lives to stay in the league and they’ve been heavily involved in a relegation fight for most of the season, and it’s draining,” he said.

“But we have to concentrate on our objectives for this season and us getting into the playoff places.

“We got the point down at Stevenage and the fight-back and the spirit from going down 1-0. I saw a group of players prepared to fight down at a tough place.

“We have to get the work done on the training ground and make sure we’re absolutely prepared and ready for what is a fantastic fixture on Saturday.

“It can’t be underestimated how big a win would be to both football clubs.

“Chesterfield have to go for it, and they need three points. But we need three points - we’re running out of games and we are desperate for the three points.

“Really it will be who wants the three points more and emotion will kick in, but it has to be controlled. It’s got to be considered and controlled. You don’t want players sent off or on that knife-edge on ridiculous yellows.

“We’ll be in control of what we do and there’ll be a controlled aggression in our performance. It’s important that the players don’t let the occasion get to them.

“You build these games up and rightly so, and when you walk out you have to feel the adrenaline from the supporters. But then when you go out there has to be a calmness, there has to be the ambition to go and win a game but in key moments there has to be composure.

“These big games are won and lost in big moments. We have to make sure we come out on top of those.

“We have four opportunities now to go and cement our playoff place. I believe it is in our destiny even though we’re still chasing that spot, as you’ll find those unpredictable results up and down the table and that’s something that League Two has always done.”

The Stags' boss also commented on his eagerness to get in front of the sellout away crowd at the Proact Stadium, and recalled the passion he saw from the fans who travelled down for the dramatic 1-1 draw at Notts County last month.

“I’ve seen the vigour and enthusiasm from our supporters when they came to Notts County. The support and passion that I saw down there, the players responded to that. I’m expecting us to really respond to it on Saturday.

“Just seeing us take 4,000 strong to Notts County and seeing the celebrations after and what it means to the supporters to compete in those games, I understand that.

“But this one is different, this rivalry is incredible. I’m really looking forward to getting over there and competing against them [Chesterfield].”

The Mansfield Town manager also provided an injury update for Ricky Miller, who picked up a hamstring problem in last week's clash against Crewe Alexandra.

“Ricky Miller’s injury is one that the adrenaline took him through. It’s hit us because he deserved to start against Stevenage,” he added.

“He was desperate to play and I felt for him. There isn’t a timeline on it but a hamstring injury usually lasts four to six weeks. We might get him back sooner.

“He’s had a scan and we’re being told four weeks. We had similar intel on Alfie Potter when he was injured and he made a quick return, so you have to hope he has healing capabilities.”

iFollow Stags subscribers can watch David Flitcroft's answers in ful by logging into http://www.mansfieldtown.net/ifollow later today.

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DERBY DAY: Stags boss believes play-offs are still the club’s destiny
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Thursday 12 April 2018

Mansfield Town head for Saturday’s huge local derby at Chesterfield still believing they can make the end of season play-offs. With just four games to go, the faltering Stags go into the derby without a win in nine against a struggling Chesterfield side rock bottom of the Football League.

But manager David Flitcroft insisted: “It’s a good run-in in terms of there is no one up there in the top seven. “There is always going to be unpredictability in this league to the end of the season. “We have four opportunities to go and cement our place and I believe it’s our destiny, even though we are still chasing.”

He knows how big this derby is and believes Chesterfield’s relegation fight may be leaving them mentally and physically drained. “Saturday is massive for both clubs, both managers and both teams,” he said. “They are fighting for their lives in the league and have been heavily entrenched in a relegation fight most of the season, which is draining.

Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/derby-day-stags-boss-believes-play-offs-are-still-the-club-s-destiny-1-9112256

“The magnitude of maybe going out of the League for a club like Chesterfield drains on you. It takes away your energy thinking about possibly what might happen.

“It is very difficult for the supporters to accept where they’ve been all season. “But we have to concentrate on our objective this season and getting into those play-offs now and securing a place in there. That’s what the focus has been.” He added: “We need to win our ‘mini league’ and re-frame the season. “We got a point at Stevenage on Tuesday and in our fightback from 1-0 down I saw a group of lads prepared to fight. “It’s a tough place to go and there will be a lot of teams who go to Stevenage and don’t secure a any points. I am encouraged by that. “Saturday is a fantastic fixture. Our fans will again be there in numbers and our fans responded to their passion at Notts County and I am expecting that again.” Flitcroft wants his players to respond to the adrenalin of the occasion but stay in control. “Chesterfield have got to go for it and out-score us,” he said. “But we need three points as well as we are running our of games and we’re desperate for three points. “It will be who wants the three points the most. Emotion will kick in - but it’s got to be controlled. It has to be considered. You don’t want players sent off or on a yellow and on a knife edge. “We’ve got a fantastic referee - Darren Drysdale. I’ve had him a couple of times this season and you just know when you’ve got a good referee. “We will have a controlled aggression about our performance. It’s just important the players don’t let the occasion get to them and understand what needs to happen on the football pitch.”?Flitcroft loves the derby day occasion and knows this one is even bigger than the Notts County rivalry. “Derby games are brilliant. You build them up - and rightly so,” he said. “When you walk out you have to feel the adrenalin from our supporters. You have to feel the hairs stand up on the back of your neck and some nerves in there too. “But when you are out there you have to have a calmness and an ambition and adrenalin to win the game. “In the match-defining moments there has to be a composure and a control on the execution. These games are won and lost on big moments and we must make sure we come out on top of those. “I understand it (the derby). I have tasted one. We saw what it meant to our supporters at Notts not to come out the wrong side of a derby. But this rivalry (with Chesterfield) is incredible.”

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DERBY DAY: Derby is perfect place for Flitcroft to break winning duck
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Thursday 12 April 2018

Without a win in his first eight games as Mansfield Town manager, David Flitcroft is hoping to break that duck in the best possible way - in a local derby away at Chesterfield on Saturday. Things have not gone to plan since he took over from Steve Evans with 12 games left and the top three in sight as Stags’ promotion hopes have faded, despite some good performances.

“I am bitterly disappointed for the supporters that I’ve not been able to give them that win,” he said.

“But I do feel once it does come then we’ll get on a march. “It would be incredible to get it on Saturday.

Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/derby-day-derby-is-perfect-place-for-flitcroft-to-break-winning-duck-1-9112351

“After the Easter programme I was desperate to come back to our place and get the win for the supporters against Crewe. “How it unfolded probably disappointed me more than I have been in football for a long time. “But we saw a spirited, honest performance down at Stevenage and a really galvanised fightback on Tuesday. “We need to go to Chesterfield with that bounce and come back with three points.” On his lack of a victory, he added: “People make what they want of it in terms of a personal thing. “But I look at the supporters here and we need to get back on track and winning games of football for them. That’s what I intend to do Saturday. “You don’t want to wait. The purpose of coming here from Swindon was to get the team over the line. “It’s been difficult, understanding players’ capabilities and where the squad is at. “But we are uncovering that now. I now know who wants to go forward and who wants to be a part of this promotion campaign.” He continued: “We will certainly design success at this football club so it happens. And when it does happen it will keep happening and it will be consistent and sustainable. “That’s what I’ve come here for and what I intend to do. “I have never been so passionate about a job in probably 30 years of being involved in football. “When you design it and build a great environment, which is what I pride myself on, then wins come and keep coming.”

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Mansfield Town hopeful on Ricky Miller injury
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS

Mansfield Town are hoping loanee striker Ricky Miller can still play a part in the promotion push after a scan revealed the extent of his hamstring injury this week. Miller got through the second half of last Saturday’s 4-3 home defeat by Crewe, picking up the man of the match award in the process with a dazzling display. But he could feel pain at the back of his leg within 15 minutes of coming on and now faces a fight to be fit before the season ends. The Peterborough loanee still hasn’t started a game and with just four games to go, knows time is against him. “It’s hit us as he deserved to start against Stevenage,” said manager David Flitcroft. “For personal reasons he was desperate to play for and I felt for the kid. “There isn’t a timeline on it. A hamstring injury is usually four to six weeks. It depends on his recovery capabilities. We might get him back sooner. “He had a scan and it’s the top of the hamstring. We have been told four weeks. “We had similar ‘intel’ on Alfie Potter, but he came back sooner. “So you live in hope he has healing capabilities and we can get him back a little bit quicker.”

Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/mansfield-town-hopeful-on-ricky-miller-injury-1-9113355

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Stags’ top scorer says big derby will come down to who wants it more
mansfieldtown.net, Thursday 12 April 2018

This weekend's huge derby game against Chesterfield will come down to 'who wants it more,' said top scorer Danny Rose today, as Stags look to reignite their play-off hopes and the Spireites attempt to save themselves from relegation.

The Stags’ top scorer - with 17 goals - recently returned from an ankle injury picked up in the 2-0 loss to Forest Green, starting in Tuesday night’s 1-1 away draw to Stevenage.

Rose says that the team feel confident heading into Saturday’s game, but that they also know that Chesterfield will be 'fighting for their lives.'

“Everyone is [looking forward to it], it’s massive for everyone involved in Mansfield and it’s massive for the fans who want us to go there and pick up maximum points,” he said,

“With the position we’re in the league table, we’re playing catch-up and we have to go there and pick up maximum points now.

https://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/2018/april/danny-rose-news-conference-chesterfield/

“We’ve been scoring goals, we just need to keep it tight at the back like we did against Stevenage. We need to put it all together now against Chesterfield who are struggling.

“The players know how big it is. This is the big one for the fans, we saw how big the Notts County one was but I think this one is a lot bigger.

“Chesterfield are fighting for their lives and we’re fighting for a play-off spot so it’s a massive game for both teams.

“I think the deciding factor will be just who wants it more to be honest with you. Like I said, there's a lot at stake.”

The striker added that it does not matter who the hero is on the big day, as long as the Stags pick up a positive result in what is the biggest game of the season so far.

Rose also spoke of the relationship he shares on the pitch with forward Kane Hemmings, who has netted twice in his last three appearances.

“I think to myself it doesn’t matter who gets on the scoresheet as long as the ball goes in the back of the net and we pick up three points. That’s the most important thing.

“Kane [Hemmings] has been terrific in the past few weeks and all season really, he’s playing with a lot of confidence now. I think we complement each other very well and it’s been like that for most of the season.

“We have to take it one game at a time, we have a massive game on Saturday and we’ll prepare right for it.

“I set myself a target to get up there [as top scorer]. I will be disappointed if I don’t reach 20 goals but like I said, it doesn’t matter who gets on the scoresheet at the business end of the season.”

Rose also spoke of the outstanding support the team receives from the Stags’ fans, as he prepares to play in front of a sell-out away section at the Proact Stadium on Saturday.

“We want to win every game but we’ll go there this weekend full of confidence now. We’ll be fully prepared for this Saturday,” he added.

“They [the fans] have been brilliant all season and they’re a massive part of what we’ve been doing.

“Stevenage on a Tuesday night is not the best place to go but they came in their numbers and I’m sure they will do against Chesterfield.”

iFollow Stags subscribers can view Danny Rose’s answers in full by logging into mansfieldtown.net/ifollow later today.

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Danny Rose ready for his most important ever game
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS

Mansfield Town top scorer Danny Rose can’t wait for what he feel is the most important game he has ever been involved in this weekend. Stags, without a win in nine games and now a point outside the play-offs, desperately need to end that run in a bitter away local derby against a Chesterfield side who are bottom of League Two and in dire need of the win themselves. “Everyone involved with the club is looking forward to it,” smiled Rose. “It’s massive for us and massive for the fans that we go there and get the three points. “It’s probably the most important game I’ve ever played in. “With the position we’re in in the league table now and playing catch-up, we have to go there and pick up maximum points. “We go there with confidence. I think the performances have been good, apart from the first half against Crewe which was unacceptable. “It was good to pick up an away point from a tough place at Stevenage in midweek too.” So how can Mansfield get back to winning ways? “I think we just need a bit of luck now,” he said. “We’ve been scoring goals. We just need to keep it tight at the back like we did at Stevenage. “We need to put that all together now at Chesterfield, who are struggling and fighting for their lives. We are fighting for a play-off spot, so it’s a massive game for both clubs. “It will be all about who wants it more. There is a lot at stake. They are playing for their lives and we want a play-off spot.” Stags will take over 2,700 fans on Saturday and Rose said: “The players know this is the big one for the fans. The Notts one was big but this one is a lot bigger. “They have been brilliant all season and a massive part of what we’ve been doing.” Pre-season, ex-boss Steve Evans said he thought Rose would score 20 goals and, with 17 to his name and four games to go, he is still on course. “I have been a little disappointed to see it drop off recently,” said Rose. “But at this time of season it doesn’t matter who is on the scoresheet as long as the ball goes in the net and we pick up points. That’s more important. “I set myself a target to get up there around 20 and I will be disappointed if I don’t reach 20. But whoever scores the goals, it’s the three points that are important.” He is enjoying playing up front with Kane Hemmings, adding: “Kane has been terrific in the past weeks - and all season to be honest. “He’s playing with a lot of confidence. I think we complement each other very well and it’s been like that throughout the season.” Rose is just back in the side this week after recovering from turning an ankle on 24th March. “The injury wasn’t ideal I picked up against Forest Green, but I have been working hard and now it’s absolutely fine,” he said. “I knew straight away I’d rolled it. I knew if I carried on any longer that could be my season over. Luckily I came off straight away and that’s done the world of good.” Rose said it was inexplicable how new boss David Flitcroft still hadn’t had a win in eight games in charge but added: “It happens in football. “The gaffer’s come in and he’s been brilliant. The lads have bought into it very well. “The sessions have been great on the training pitch, but some of our performances have not been good enough.” Rose is hoping he could grab the matchwinner at Chesterfield to end that poor run, saying: “It would be nice. But it doesn’t matter who the hero is on Saturday. “Even if it’s a 1-0 ugly win, we want to go there and pick up the three points.”

Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/danny-rose-ready-for-his-most-important-ever-game-1-9113353

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Dennis out to score in front of the Stags fans and ‘shut them up’
Derbyshire Times, by GRAHAM SMYTH, Thursday 12 April 2018

Kristian Dennis is out to silence the Mansfield Town fans with a derby day goal on Saturday, with the memories of his first trip to Field Mill still fresh in his mind.

Going into that game Dennis had scored in each of his previous six League Two outings, but the Chesterfield striker didn’t manage to hit the net in the 2-2 draw with the Stags, instead having to settle for putting Andy Kellett’s headed goal on a plate. The lead up to that November clash was an education for the 28-year-old, who was unaware of how fierce the rivalry between the clubs was and how the miners’ strike has played a part in it.

“Now I do (understand the rivalry), I’ve heard about why. We learned about that the week before the previous game. “They went to work when people around here didn’t.

“I had no clue whatsoever and wondered why there was so much hatred and the manager told us.”

But even with the benefit of a heads up from boss Jack Lester, Dennis was still startled by the strength of feeling in the stands when he walked out at Field Mill.

Read more at: https://www.derbyshiretimes.co.uk/sport/football/chesterfield-fc/dennis-out-to-score-in-front-of-the-stags-fans-and-shut-them-up-1-9110550

And with that in mind, he’d love to score in front of the visiting supporters this weekend. “I didn’t realise how much hatred there was between the fans until we got there and they were giving us all sorts going on the pitch, coming off the pitch,” he said. “Scoring one in front of them wouldn’t be bad - shut them up.” Scoring in a Town victory over the Stags could be vital in helping Dennis avoid a return to non-league football, from where he was signed by the club. “No chance I want to go back there,” he said. “I’ve got to keep scoring and hopefully help us pick results up towards the end of the season and we’ll stay up.”

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Jack Lester Pre Mansfield Town
chesterfield-fc.co.uk

Spireites boss Jack Lester spoke to the media earlier today, ahead of tomorrow’s big local derby with Mansfield Town at the Proact, 1pm. Here’s a flavour of what he had to say this week…….

On the draw at Morecambe: “I thought the response in the second half was excellent, (there was) just a couple of mistakes otherwise we’d have controlled the first half.

https://www.chesterfield-fc.co.uk/news/2018/april/20180413-jack-lester-pre-mansfield-town/

“The response was top drawer really and we could’ve gone on and won the game.”

On the rivalry with Mansfield and preparation for the game: “It’s hatred, I think that’s a fair word (to describe it).

“It’s great to play in and win, I can tell you that, because you make so many people happy.

“It’s definitely not just another game, because derby games are not like that, because it means more to other people and to the fans, and understandably so, because of the history of it.

“So, it’s about getting the players in the right frame of mind and fired up. The tensions are higher in a stadium and it does give a lack of calmness in players. It’s about hitting that sweet spot of performance and not being over excited, where you’re liable to get a red card or anything like that, and certainly be focused enough to give a top performance.”

On Mansfield’s style of play under David Flitcroft: “Well we’ve played Swindon with a 3-5-2 and a 4-4-2, so getting their shape spot on, we’re not too sure what they’ll do.

“We’ve seen how they play and their strengths in recent games, but it’ll be about Mansfield having to adjust to us. We want to put on a real high-energy, athletic, attacking performance and let them worry about us.”

On potentially winning the day’s early game: “It’s good to get back at home and having Mansfield at home, we’ve got great fans here who’ll give us fantastic backing - and the players will respond to that.

“The fans have had a lot to deal with in terms of it not being good enough, but the players are working hard to turn that around.

“(If we were to win) tomorrow would be a fantastic result, we play at 1pm, before everybody kicks off, and it’d be a fantastic shot in the arm if we can put three points down before the others play.”

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