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FLITCROFT, GIBBENS REACTION
2nd September 2018 0:39


Defender 'colossal' on debut - Stags' boss
mansfieldtown.net, Saturday 25 August 2018

Stags’ boss David Flitcroft has described the performance of defender Lewis Gibbens as ‘colossal,’ in what was his professional debut for Mansfield.

Gibbens, who won the Young Player of the Season award last term, came in for Hayden White, who was out with a minor issue with his right hamstring.

The manager explained that he was impressed by Gibbens’ performance, and says that the team are disappointed not to have won for the 18-year-old defender.

“He [Gibbens] has deserved that chance,” he said. “I’ve said previously that against Rotherham [in pre-season] I looked over to the bench. I could’ve put Digby [now at Forest Green Rovers] on at that point but I went for Gibbo because of how he was training.

“I got the sight of it really in Portugal when I watched him train with the first team and saw what he produced. He’s honest and sincere.

https://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/2018/august/flitcroft-post-macclesfield/

“It was a colossal performance. The two strikers here don’t give you a minute. He’s come into a game where he’s been tested and he’s stood up to that test.

“I was gutted for him because you always remember your debut. I wanted that win for him. I said to the players they’ve let Gibbo down not getting the win.

“He [Hayden White] has had a really mixed week. Hayden was up and down the motorway and in a hospital chair, didn’t have much sleep [due to partner’s pregnancy]. The factors have contributed to fatigue.

“He’s tightened his hamstring. I didn’t want to risk him. Because of his form it was important that we made a good decision this morning.

“There was no hesitation to use Gibbo. Just disappointed that he doesn’t have his clean sheet because he definitely deserved one.

Stags’ boss Flitcroft then went on to analyse this afternoon’s outing against Macclesfield, and emphasised the importance of adding a second goal when his side were on the front foot.

“[I’m] bitterly disappointed that we’ve not come here and gained all three points from a winning position,” added the manager. “We took our foot off the gas in the first-half a little bit.

“That’s the time to really step on the gas. We had a lot of good possession first-half. We worked the ball really well and it made them make three changes at half-time.

“But you have to score a second. The way that Macclesfield set up where they smash the ball up and go for set pieces, it’s really important that you score that second.

“We spoke to them at half-time about the importance of that. We’ve not turned the screw, and at 2-0 there would be no way back.

“We have to be ruthless. Players have been brought in to really make the moments count. We have to better in those moments. Nine shots on target and some really good chances and it’s the same story. It’s not good enough.

“That’s something we have to take on board. I never felt in fear of the game or as though we’d lose it, but we have to come to Macclesfield and make more of chances created.

“When you’re good, and I’m looking at Walker, Davies, Rose and Khan, these are quality players. They have to believe that in those moments that you’re good enough, not just to score and win the game, but go on and technically be supreme in that moment.

“We have to speak to the players and we’ll work on that Monday. But it’s a belief factor. I think with the attacking play we’re certainly getting enough opportunities, but we have to make maximum impact.

“I’m disappointed we’ve not made more of the dominance at times. It’s important that we do turn draws into wins.”

The manager also spoke of defender Matt Preston, who missed today’s game due to concussion, and gave an update on the club’s current stance in the transfer market.

“He [Preston] has to go for a scan earlier this week. Then there’s a protocol that we have to adhere to. I’m hoping by the back end of next week we’ll have him involved in what we’re doing.

“We’re still looking to recruit. We potentially have a couple of players that could get international call-ups. That’s something we’re mindful of.

“I want to make sure before the window closes that we’re locked in. We don’t have that situation where you’re grasping and clutching at straws. We’re looking at every eventuality.”

Looking ahead to Tuesday’s Carabao Cup clash against West Brom, the manager said that there could be changes to the side that featured against Macclesfield today.

“There’s a possibility [that we could make changes for West Brom game]. We’ll see what the lads read tomorrow and we’ll see where we’re at.

“I think that Calum Butcher and Will Atkinson have been unlucky not to get on the pitch today. We’ll have a good look at it.

“Straight away our thoughts are what we can do better here. That gives you the vision to see what the West Brom team could look like. Then we have to make a strategy to get a positive result.

“This football club want to win [every game]. We won’t take the game lightly. It’s a brilliant opportunity to represent ourselves in a top class facility at a fantastic football club. The supporters that travel will want us to be ultra-competitive.”

iFollow Stags subscribers can watch the manager’s interview in full by logging into mansfieldtown.net/ifollow later today.

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David Flitcroft tells Mansfield Town players to be more ruthless in final third
chad.co.uk, Saturday 25 August 2018

Mansfield Town manager David Flitcroft has called on his side to be more ruthless in the final third. The Stags were held to a 1-1 draw at Macclesfield Town on Saturday in a match they led in and had chances to extend their lead before the home side struck back.

And Flitcroft underlined the importance of getting that second goal while on top after the match. He said: “I’m bitterly disappointed that we’ve not come here and gained all three points from a winning position. We took our foot off the gas in the first-half a little bit.

Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/david-flitcroft-tells-mansfield-town-players-to-be-more-ruthless-in-final-third-1-9320149

“That’s the time to really step on the gas. We had a lot of good possession first-half. We worked the ball really well and it made them make three changes at half-time. “But you have to score a second. The way that Macclesfield set up where they smash the ball up and go for set pieces, it’s really important that you score that second.

“We spoke to them at half-time about the importance of that. We’ve not turned the screw, and at 2-0 there would be no way back.

“We have to be ruthless. Players have been brought in to really make the moments count. We have to better in those moments. Nine shots on target and some really good chances and it’s the same story. It’s not good enough. “That’s something we have to take on board. I never felt in fear of the game or as though we’d lose it, but we have to come to Macclesfield and make more of chances created.

“When you’re good, and I’m looking at Walker, Davies, Rose and Khan, these are quality players. They have to believe that in those moments that you’re good enough, not just to score and win the game, but go on and technically be supreme in that moment. And added: “We have to speak to the players and we’ll work on that Monday. But it’s a belief factor. I think with the attacking play we’re certainly getting enough opportunities, but we have to make maximum impact.

“I’m disappointed we’ve not made more of the dominance at times. It’s important that we do turn draws into wins.”

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Mansfield Town defender Preston facing head scan
chad.co.uk

Stags defender Matt Preston has still not recovered from the concussion he suffered at Yeovil on 11th August. “He has to go for a scan this week, then there is an FA protocol you have got to adhere to, which is right and proper,”said manager David Flitcroft. “We are hoping towards the back end of next week we are going to have involved in what we are doing again. But we can’t say until the scan is confirmed.”

Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/mansfield-town-defender-preston-facing-head-scan-1-9323566

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Flitcroft - after the West Brom game

mansfieldtown.net, Tuesday 28 August 2018

https://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/2018/august/flitcroft-post-west-brom/

“We didn’t make enough impact from the bench on Saturday. I got a couple of decisions wrong when I look back. Bringing Otis off was a poor decision from me. We’ve assessed our role in not getting three points at Macclesfield.

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David Flitcroft told BBC Radio Nottingham after the Carlisle game:
"Half an hour of the Macclesfield game, I wasn't happy with it."

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Teenage defender speaks modestly after debut
mansfieldtown.net, Saturday 25 August 2018

Teenage defender Lewis Gibbens has his feet planted firmly on the ground following his league debut in a 1-1 draw away to Macclesfield Town.

After boasting impressive form during pre-season, manager David Flitcroft placed trust in the youngster due to Hayden White being ruled out with a tight hamstring.

Gibbens, who looked assured in the Stags’ defence, wasn’t getting ahead of himself as he believes there is room for improvement.

“I thought I had a good game but there’s always areas for improvement,” said the 18-year-old.

https://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/2018/august/gibbens-post-macclesfield/

“Anything can happen in football so you’ve always got to be prepared. I’d like to have thought it was going to happen, working hard every day to try and get that chance, and today it came.”

Speaking about the match, he said: “It was a tough game. I thought we dominated the first-half and we probably should have seen them off but then second-half we were getting peppered at the back so when they got their chance they took it.

“He [Harry Smith] is a big lad and when you come up against big strikers and you are young you’ve just got to battle them and do what you can.”

In addition, he then cited members of Mansfield’s academy staff as the reason he has been able to improve all aspects of his game since joining the set-up.

“Scotty [Rickards, youth coach] has developed me with on-the-ball work and then John’s [Dempster, academy manager] helped me with the defending which I thought helped me a lot here today.”

“I was playing on the park with my mates when I was only 16. Then I ended up coming to Mansfield and joined up with John at the Academy so it’s all come from there, really.”

The youngster will hope to build upon this experience in Cheshire as the season progresses; perhaps maintaining his place in the starting line-up, as the Stags face West Bromwich Albion this forthcoming Tuesday.

“I’d like to try to keep my place but I understand that if you’re young in football you have to wait for your chance.”

iFollow Stags subscribers can watch Gibbens' interview in full by logging into mansfieldtown.net/ifollow later today.

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