{ the news }
An independent supporters' website dedicated to Mansfield Town FC
Archived News from May 2018

21st May 2018 20:44

Central defender tops Flitcroft’s shopping list as Stags boss starts summer rebuild
chad.co.uk, Friday 11 May 2018

David Flitcroft has stated a central defender is top of his summer shopping list as the Mansfield Town manager looks to put his own stamp on the Stags. News of the retained list this week saw six players released and six more available for transfer, while four loan players were sent back to their parent clubs. A total off 11 players were listed as under contract and retained and the Stags are continuing negotiations with Alex MacDonald over exercising his contract extension.

Flitcroft said there had been a lot of thought gone into his decisions following the conclusion of the season which saw the Stags narrowly miss out on the play-offs. He said: “We’ve got to make everything better. We’ve got to add to the quality. I think the quantity of the squad - 28-29 players - is too much.

“When I look at other successful teams they’ve looked at a different quality as apposed to quantity - that’s what I’ve been looking at. “Before making these decisions I’ve been meeting a lot of players, that I feel make us better and I feel improve us.

Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/central-defender-tops-flitcroft-s-shopping-list-as-stags-boss-starts-summer-rebuild-1-9160942

“I understand the market I’m shopping in. I understand who I can go and get to improve the football plan, the football product and winning games. “We haven’t kept enough clean sheets and we haven’t scored enough goals.

“When I look at the squad I inherited too many centre-midfield players with not enough product, not enough efficiency or product coming down the right hand side for the money invested.

“When you actually look at the players brought in to get us over the line and get us promoted, they haven’t turned up over the course of the season.

“I’ve identified that and now my response will be to do something about it - and make sure we get a real balance to the squad and to get the numbers right.

“It’s really important that when you’ve got a squad of nearly 30 players, on a Saturday, you’ve got 20 players who haven’t got a hope or a chance of playing.

“When I look back on the season in any promotion winning team, you’ve got lads who have played 40-plus games and you can almost name the team.

“You’ve got a strong periphery backing that up and supporting that. Our players? 20 games, 22 games; almost half a season. “That’s where I’ve come to the conclusion. I’ve thought deeply about the football plan and what’s it’s going to look like on the pitch. “How I want to play and the intensity I want to play at. The way I want to try and dominate teams and it’s all gone into the retention of players, the players we’ve listed and the players we’ve released.”

Among those released by the club this week were Joel Byrom, Alfie Potter and Rhys Bennett and Flitcroft said he tried to handle the process in the right way. “It’s always difficult,” he said. “It’s never easy. It’s a part of the job I respect. It’s a part of the job I try to do right. It’s a part of the job I understand. I’ve been let go myself. “I’ve had it done badly to me, I’ve had it done well. It’s never easy. It’s in my belief that I can find a different player to the fans favourites or to the ones being released.

“I always look at productivity. If it’s a centre-half, I look at how many clean sheets we need next season to be competing at the top of the league.”

Flitcroft remains confident those who have been released will find a new club while maintaining the belief of how he wants his Mansfield Town side to look like come August.

“Centre half (is a priority),” he said. “It’s quite clear Dave Mirfin is a long term injury set back. We’ve got money invested in that area of the pitch. That’s probably a top priority at the minute.”

He is also keen on strengthening at the other end of the pitch. And added: “I’ve tried to show especially second half against Crewe, Port Vale, Yeovil and Crawley, with that attacking intent and the way we carve and want to dominate and create goalscoring opportunities at the top end of the pitch.

“It’s vital we have someone in the building who can score and will score the goals and the chances we’re going to create. “That’s probably the hardest one and the most difficult one to get over the line. Everyone wants goalscorers, everyone needs them in the squad. “But you can’t rely on that one striker to get the goals in, goals have got to come from everywhere; it’s a shared responsibility.

“To try and achieve 100 goals in a season, your centre halves have to be chipping in, midfield players, wide players have to chip in.

“That’s an effort and a responsibility the squad has got to have. Certainly it’s important we find a focal point of the team and making sure putting teams to the sword is at the forefront of our thinking.”

Flitcroft also confirmed the squad will report back for pre-season training on 25th June.


Stags’ player hunt well under way
chad.co.uk, by John Lomas, (interview from Friday 11 May 2018)

Mansfield Town manager David Flitcroft confirmed his summer recruitment process is well under way. Flitcroft released six players last week and made another six available on the transfer list as he looks to ring the changes after missing out on the play-offs.

“I have been meeting a lot of agents and a lot of players,” he said. “There are still a lot of players I want to meet that are in the play-offs.

“There are managers I have spoken to, but we’ve had to put stuff on hold as they are in the play-offs. “It’s a tricky time as promotion-winning teams have gone away and celebrated - I have spoken to a few of them while they’ve been away.

Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/stags-player-hunt-well-under-way-1-9165622

“It’s just non-stop now with the summer window shortening and lack of flexibility in the loan market. Your business has go to be aggressive.

“You have to make sure you’re in there with a fighting chance. You can’t recruit, rebuild and restructure if you’re not on it 24/7. That’s what we are at the minute.”


MacDonald talks going well at Mansfield
chad.co.uk, by John Lomas, (interview from Friday 11 May 2018)

Mansfield Town are pleased with the way talks are going with midfielder Alex MacDonald over a new extended contract. Stags have taken up their one-year option after an excellent first full season with the club and are keen to keep him even longer.

Manager David Flitcroft said: “Talks have been going for about three weeks now and I am delighted with the way they are going. I have had some great communication with Macca and his agent.

“We got the CJ Hamilton contract out the way and then started talking to Macca. It’s been very positive.

“We had an option on Alex and that’s been exercised. But we are trying to get it extended longer than what the original option was.”

Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/macdonald-talks-going-well-at-mansfield-1-9166727

There were big cash bids for MacDonald in the transfer window which were fended off and Flitcroft added: “Macca is settled up here. His daughter has really settled in the area which is good.

“I’ve told him what I want from him and the leadership role I think he could do. The last four games he was back to his usual self. You could see it had settled him down as a person and a player.

“He has a good agent, who is mediating it. He is a very sensible agent who has played the game and I always like dealing with agents who have played the game. They understand. They’ve got that knowledge.”


Summer fitness regimes set for Stags players
chad.co.uk, by John Lomas, (interview from Friday 11 May 2018)

Mansfield Town boss David Flitcroft plans to have all his players on the same fitness level when they return for pre-season training on Monday, 25th June. Flitcroft is devising different programmes for different players according to their needs during the close season and will also make sure the U21s and U18s are up to speed with the shape they need to come back in.

“It’s something that I’ve done wherever I’ve been and something I pride myself on,” he said. “The boys come back officially on 25th June - it’s six weeks away and a six weeks lead-in to the first game.

Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/summer-fitness-regimes-set-for-stags-players-1-9166723

“The boys have been in for the last two or three days doing their testing so we know where we are. If I’m being honest I was a little bit disappointed with the testing. “But that gives me great hope there are massive amounts of improvement to be done.” He explained: “I use a fitness consultant, who comes in through the summer and does 10 sessions. That is designed for the players to come in during the off season.

“Usually if you’ve played 40-odd games, in the summer you need rest time and recovery time, which they will get and lads like Krystian Pearce and Alex MacDonald need. “But for some of the lads who have only played 20-odd games, because our pre-season will be more intense, they will have that prep time. It’s a great time to do your physical work. “The U21s like Jordan Graham will come in and do 90 per cent of the sessions to build up their resilience for a really tough pre-season.

“We are just building the programme now and working very closely with John Dempster, Richard Cooper and Mike Whitlow to make sure we are fully co-ordinated, planning U21, U18 scholars and first team games. That’s going well.”



Latest | May 2018