FLITCROFT, STERLING-JAMES, LAMPARD,MORRIS REACTION
Work ethic impresses Stags' boss in pre-season victory
mansfieldtown.net, Wednesday 18 July 2018
Despite putting three goals past Championship outfit Derby County this evening, it was the work that the Stags did out of possession that impressed boss David Flitcroft.
Stags' substitutes Jordan Graham, Lee Angol and CJ Hamilton all added their names to the scoresheet in what was a superb second-half showing by Mansfield.
Manager Flitcroft was quick to point out that alongside his players emerging as victors from the contest, he was 'delighted' with the aggressive nature of their work without the ball.
"The general coming together of the off-season work and the pre-season work we've done, I'm really proud," he said.
"We've been allowed to go away together [to Portugal], galvanise, and watch the experienced players embrace a group of young players.
"Tonight, Jordan [Graham] getting his goal, Gibbo [Lewis Gibbens] slotting in there at left centre-half and young Blakey [Nyle Blake] coming on and adding an effect.
"[I'm] absolutely delighted with how the players have represented the football club.
"It was a night for being good out of possession. We've dominated teams with the ball in the first few games, but the test wasn't really at the level that it possibly could be.
"Tonight it was about being out of possession and on the turnover, in transition.
"There was a real aggression to our running and the third goal epitomises CJ [Hamilton]. [It's] a goal where he's ran 80 yards to go and connect with that.
"Jordan's aggressiveness to close the 'keeper down, I think he was surprised by that. There's a good depth to this squad."
The Stags' boss also spoke of Omari Sterling-James' contributions to the match, commending his improved work-rate over the course of the pre-season programme.
"I put Sterling on and wanted him to sprint. Omari is effective when he sprints. When he jogs around it doesn't epitomise what I'm about and what the group's about," he added.
"When he runs he can be devastating. It was great work, he's locked it in, showed great feet, and the pass [to Angol for the third goal] was sublime.
"He can do that, he's got that ability. Ability is only realised when it works hard. And that's what I keep trying to imprint on him, day-in, day-out.
"There was a running power on the team tonight which I thought we didn't have last season."
The manager also expressed his disappointment in the one goal that Stags conceded, which went in whilst Mansfield were playing with 10, as defender Nathan Cameron was sidelined with injury.
"That [conceding] was the only blemish on the night. Nathan Cameron showed why he's here and why I'm looking at him so closely. He'll put his body on the line and throw himself in front of anything to not concede a goal.
"He values his team and team-mates as much as I've met in football. Instead of the goal going in, he's put his body on the line. I'm not sure on the weight of the injury.
"We were just a little unorganised in that two or three minute spell [when Cameron was injured]. I'm disappointed to lose a goal in that spell."
Stags' boss Flitcroft then previewed Saturday's pre-season friendly against Chris Wilder's Sheffield United outfit.
"These Premiership is improving all the time and the Championship is trying to catch that up. These teams and players are outstanding.
"The Championship, as a robust and powerful league, is one of the best in the world.
"The job Chris [Wilder] has done there is outstanding. To galvanise a set of supporters and bring almost half a city together, it's been a powerful movement what Sheffield United have done.
"They'll come here and show Chris Wilder's appetite for the game. It's another tough test. It will probably be a little different with the way they might play.
"We're going to encounter different styles, different ways teams are going to play this season. That's what you try to build a pre-season programme for.
"Certainly tonight was seeing how the team coped with not being in possession as much as the opposition team were. The discipline was phenomenal."
iFollow Stags subscribers will soon be able to watch David Flitcroft's answers in full by logging into mansfieldtown.net/ifollow.
Flitcroft delight as Derby are shot down
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Wednesday 18 July 2018
Mansfield Town manager David Flitcroft was delighted to see his side show defensive discipline against top class opposition tonight before they pulled off a shock 3-1 home friendly win over Championship neighbours Derby County. The Rams dominated for long spells to give the Stags their first real defensive test, which they passed with flying colours.
“It was different to the other games due to the standard of players we came up against tonight - and that’s two teams of them,” said Flitcroft.
Read more at: https://www.hucknalldispatch.co.uk/sport/football/flitcroft-delight-as-derby-are-shot-down-1-9258133
“Derby have got outstanding Championship players and there was a lot of quality on show. We knew we wouldn’t have a lot of the ball and when we did we had to be economical with it, which I thought we were without hurting them in the first half. “It was about the discipline and the shape of the team, which we’d worked on for a couple of days. “For the last couple of games we’ve had a lot of the ball and dominated teams with it. Tonight was all about being out of possession and the fitness levels of the lads. “The first half team have had to runs some distances tonight to get anywhere near the Derby players, so I was really delighted with that. “Then we put the second half team on and we sat in shape really well. We were really disciplined but looked quick and aggressive on the counter-attack.” Stags twice took the lead after the break before a superb team goal on a counter-attack, tucked away by CJ Hamilton, put the icing on the cake. “I said last season I want a hungry and ambitious squad who want to run for each other and the supporters and they certainly did that tonight,” beamed Flitcroft, who also blooded a handful of young U21 prospects after the break. “Look at CJ running 80 yards to score his goal as it meant a lot to him - that’s what I want to build the future of Mansfield Town on. “I told the players they were up against a side tonight with players on fantastic money. “For our young players tonight to stand up and be counted was fantastic. Football evolves.” One of those youngsters, Jordan Graham, did well to intercept a poor pass out by the keeper and coolly lift it into the net for the opener. “Jordan was onto it quick and it was an accomplished finish,” said Flitcroft. He concluded: “There is still work to do. There were times when the gave the ball up too easily when in possession, so we will work on that. “But the work ethic and spirit was good. Three weeks into pre-season I am happy with where the squad is and the flexibility.” The one setback on the night was on-trial centre half Nathan Cameron coming off after only 11 minutes on the field with an ankle injury. “I don’t know how bad the injury is, but I do know that the block was exactly the aggression he showed for me at Bury - putting his body on the line to try to stop a goal,” said Flitcroft. “Nathan having to come off was the only disappointment of the night. It’s potentially an ankle injury and it was disappointing they scored in that moment we were down to 10 men. “We will see how it settles down over the next 24 hours.”
Mansfield Town boss expecting top encounter against Sheffield United
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS
Mansfield Town boss David Flitcroft expects another high quality test when Sheffield United visit One Call Stadium for the second of Stags’ four big home pre-season friendlies on Saturday (3pm). Stags were given a searching defensive examination by a classy Derby County on Tuesday before shocking the Rams with an unexpected 3-1 victory. Stags barely had a kick in a gruelling first half, but showed discipline and, ultimately, superb fitness in seeing off the visitors.
Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/mansfield-town-boss-expecting-top-encounter-against-sheffield-united-1-9260745
Now the manager expects more of the same from Derby’s Championship rivals on Saturday. “You saw it with Wolves last season. The Premier League is improving all the time and the Championship is trying to catch that up,” said Flitcroft “These teams and these players are outstanding. “The Championship is a powerful, robust league - one of the best in the world. “The job Chris Wilder and Alan Knill have done at Sheffield United is outstanding and has galvanised a set of supporters into bringing half a city together. I have watched it from close ranks.” He added: “They will come here and be very much Chris Wilder-like with his appetite for the game. So it will be another tough test and probably a little bit different to Derby in the way that they might play. “We are going to encounter different styles and different ways of playing from teams next season and that’s what you try to build a pre-season programme for. “Against Derby we saw how our team coped when out of possession. Their discipline was phenomenal.”
Pre-season programme aims to give real test to Mansfield Town
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS
Mansfield Town’s pre-season programme is no place for the faint-hearted. As Stags complete their fourth week back, boss David Flitcroft said: “I never design a programme for the weaker players. “I will always design it for the strongest players and then we all catch up to that. “With the World Cup, stats were going through the roof. With modern technology, diet and the different ways coaches are looking to do things stats are going north all the time.
Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/pre-season-programme-aims-to-give-real-test-to-mansfield-town-1-9260802
“The ability to run and being dynamic and powerful will serve us all season. “We see the Rotherham game a week on Saturday as the real test in terms of what we might encounter when the season starts.”
Danny Rose will not feature in Sheffield United friendly
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS
Mansfield Town striker Danny Rose could be back in action next week after recovering from a toe injury late last season but will not face Sheffield United in the latest pre-season friendly on Saturday. “Saturday is too soon for him, we are probably looking at the week after,” said manager David Flitcroft after Rose missed Tuesday night’s friendly win over Derby County. “It is really important he gets a full week pre-season with us. “His last injection has done him the world of good and he’s had the time this summer to recover.
Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/danny-rose-will-not-feature-in-sheffield-united-friendly-1-9260838
“As the lads have been doing double sessions every day, Danny has been doing pool and bike sessions and you can never catch up. So we have to make sure Danny gets all the work in the lads have done. “If need to cover that ground. We can’t take any short cuts with his rehabilitation as he is such an important player. “Danny is now on his next phase and everything is field-based. He has crossed over to our fitness coach, working with him every morning on his fitness and catch-up.”
Transfer-listed Paul Anderson is also behind after injury. DFlitcroft said: “Ando picked up a groin injury for two or three days in Portugal - so he’s probably behind where he needs to be. But he got 60 minutes against Retford.”
Is the door open at Mansfield Town for Calum Butcher
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS
Transfer-listed Calum Butcher could yet get a second chance to shine at Mansfield Town. The 27-year-old joined Stags last summer from Millwall and sparkled with a goal on his debut. However, he failed to win a regular place after 12 starts and two goals, was farmed out to Billericay Town on loan in January and transfer-listed on his return. But, while admitting he was still up for sale, new Stags boss David Flitcroft said: “Butch is a player that came here under unusual circumstances and went back out. So he’s not had the feel or vibe of what a Dave Flitcroft environment looks like.
Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/is-the-door-open-at-mansfield-town-for-calum-butcher-1-9260813
“Now he’s feeling that, he has been part of that and has enjoyed that. “He is robust, he’s dynamic, he’s got quality so he fits in with what we are doing. “He is technically good and has had a real willingness to work hard. “He struggled by his own admission. I don’t know if the 4-4-2 system probably didn’t suit him and they tried to fit him into a position that didn’t suit him.“But he fits into what we are trying to do. “Certainly as an attacking midfielder he is getting through the work and I’ve seen a really positive side to him in Portugal on and off the field. “Last season was a write-off for him, but this season up to now we have had a fantastic relationship.”
David Flitcroft aiming to look after transfer-listed quartet
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS
Stags boss David Flitcroft vowed to continue to give his best to transfer-listed quartet Paul Anderson, Calum Butcher, Zander Diamond and Paul Digby however their season unfolds. “All the players are available - if someone comes in and wants our players and we can negotiate the right deal then we will do,” he said. “That goes for most players at most football clubs. “But while these are Mansfield Town players I will always have a responsibility to make sure they are fit as humanly possible and max out on their potential, whether they are 37 or an 18-year-old. I take that really seriously.
Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/david-flitcroft-aiming-to-look-after-transfer-listed-quartet-1-9260866
“As a coach and manager you are inspiring and motivating players to hit their peaks in all four corners - tactically, mentally, technically and physically.”
Winger aiming to make an impact for Stags in upcoming season
mansfieldtown.net, Wednesday 18 July 2018
Stags' winger Omari Sterling-James says he is out to 'prove a point to himself,' as he sets out to make more appearances for Mansfield Town next season.
The 24-year-old spent time on loan at Solihull Moors last season while also making a total of 20 appearances for Mansfield, but looks to show much more of his capabilities in the upcoming campaign.
“It’s a big difference from last season when I wasn’t as fit,” Sterling-James said. “I’m feeling 10 times better than I was last season.
“I’m proving a point to myself, because I know I can do better than I was doing last season. That’s who I’m proving a point to.”
The wide-man continued his fine pre-season campaign on Wednesday night at One Call Stadium, providing a fantastic long pass to set up the Stags’ third goal in their 3-1 win over Derby County.
Sterling-James came on in the 58th-minute when the game was goalless, before he and the eight other Mansfield Town subs immediately generated a massive spark. His clever pass with the outside of his right boot led to a CJ Hamilton goal, helping seal the victory for the Stags.
“It was a good phase of play,” Sterling-James said. “We defended the first corner and it went out for a second corner, then I’ve seen it come out and thought I could get to the ball first, attack them, and go for their throat because they were a bit tired.”
The performance was impressive from both Sterling-James and the Stags as a unit, as they earned a win over a Derby County side that reached the Championship play-offs last season.
“It was tiring,” Sterling-James said. “They move the ball well inside pockets so you’ve got to think and you can’t switch off. If you switch off for a second they’re going to hurt you. So it’s literally just mental strength to make sure you stay on it for the whole course of however long you’re on the pitch for.”
Fitness the key to big season for hungry Sterling-James
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Wednesday 18 July 2018
Mansfield Town forward Omari Sterling-James believes his vastly improved fitness could see him make a real impact at the One Call Stadium this season. His flash of speed and razor-sharp final pass carved out Stags’ third and final goal in the 3-1 friendly win over Derby County’s shocked Championship stars last night.
Now, Sterling-James, who made 20 appearances for Mansfield last season but spent a chunk of time out on loan, believes David Flitcroft’s summer fitness programme has set him up for a successful campaign.
“It’s a big difference from last season when I wasn’t as fit,” he said. “I’ve come in most of the summer and that is now showing. I’m feeling 10 times fitter than I was last season.
Read more at: https://www.hucknalldispatch.co.uk/sport/football/fitness-the-key-to-big-season-for-hungry-sterling-james-1-9259882
“I’m proving a point to myself, because I know I can do better than I was doing last season. That’s who I’m proving a point to. “I now just want more fitness and more minutes and, hopefully, goals will come with it.” Sterling-James admitted it was hard work last night as Derby dominated possession. “It was tiring as they move the ball well. You can’t switch off for a second or they can hurt you,” he said. “It’s literally just about mental strength to make sure you stay on it for the whole course of however long you’re on the pitch for.” On the goal he set up, with a little help from Lee Angol, for CJ Hamilton, he smiled: “It was a good phase of play. “We defended the first corner and it went out for a second corner, then I’ve seen it come out and thought I could get to the ball first, attack them, and go for their throat because they were a bit tired by then.”
Flitcroft believes getting the lighting-quick Sterling-James to run at full pelt all the time is the key to getting the best out of the striker-Cum-winger. “I have to scream at him to sprint,” said Flitcroft. “Omari is only effective when he sprints. When he jogs around it doesn’t epitomise what I’m about and what the group’s about. But when he runs he can be devastating. “It was great work for the goal. He’s locked it in, shown great feet, and the pass was sublime. “He can do that. He’s got that ability. But that ability is only realised when he works hard. That’s what I keep trying to imprint on him day in, day out. “There was running power in the team against Derby that I thought we didn’t have last season.”
MORRIS: “THERE IS STILL A LOT TO WORK ON”
Jody Morris believes that Derby County can learn quickly from their performance after falling to a 3-1 defeat at Mansfield Town on Wednesday night.
The Rams fought back from a goal down after falling behind just after the hour-mark with Mason Bennett on the scoresheet for the second successive game, but two late strikes earned victory for the hosts.
Morris admitted that improvement was needed, but he explained how it is a process that can be sped up by a disappointing result.
He told RamsTV: “There is a lot to look at from tonight’s game, sometimes when you lose, you get an opportunity to address a few things, quicker than you do if you’re winning.
“We have been better in training, we looked a little bit flat, but it’s one of those where we’re certainly not happy, but it is early days.
“We are changing a few things here, and it isn’t going to happen overnight.”
Individual errors contributed to Mansfield’s first two goals on the night, but that is not something that Morris is particularly worried about.
He said: “There is still a lot to work on. Obviously, there is certainly things that we could have done better regarding the goals, but there was plenty that we need to improve.
“It’s only the second game and you don’t mind mistakes for goals in pre-season.
“The first thing that the manager said to Kelle [Roos] was not to worry because want to try and play the right way.”
Derby welcome Premier League side Southampton to Pride Park Stadium on Saturday for the third game of pre-season.
Morris believes that is a great opportunity for the team, and he expects Mason Mount and Harry Wilson to appear in a Derby shirt for the first time.
He said: “They [Southampton] will punish you if you’re not concentrating and trying to do the right things.
“It’s an opportunity to come up against some opposition that we all want to be playing against, so when you get the opportunity, you want to try and do the right things.”
On Mount and Wilson, Morris added: “They are doing well in terms of fitness because they have already had a good couple of weeks with their respective clubs.
“Tonight was a little bit early, but I’m sure we will see them both on Saturday.”
Morris: Lessons to be learned from Stags defeat
belpernews.co.uk, MARK DUFFY, Wednesday 18 July 2018
Derby County assistant manager Jody Morris says defeat to Mansfield Town on Wednesday night will give the Rams plenty to think about as pre-season progresses. Mansfield ran out 3-1 winners, all of the goals coming in the second-half with Mason Bennett netting the Rams' only strike. Match report HERE. And Morris and boss Frank Lampard were left with lots of food for thought. Morris said: "It could have been better and it's given us lots to work on. I thought we were OK in the first-half and there were a couple of decent individual performances from the lads, but in the second-half we didn't really get going and obviously when you're giving away the kinds of goals we were giving away, which were poor, the opposition's tails are up and they get a little boost. "We only created a couple of chances in the second-half and I think that'll be the most disappointing thing, in that we've been moving the ball quite well but didn't control the tempo of the game as much as we'd have liked. "But it's only the second game and there's a lot of work to be done." The Rams, who beat Notts County 4-1 in their opening pre-season game last weekend, will have learned a lot more from Wednesday's defeat, according to the Rams assistant. He added: "It does give us a bit more to talk about and maybe a bit more to address, as is usually the case when things don't go right. There are good coaching points to work on there such as the goals we conceded but there were other things too." Derby now prepare to face Premier League side Southampton at Pride Park on Saturday in what will be Frank Lampard's first home game as manager. Morris added: "It'll obviously be a very different test to those we've faced so far but a lot more players will get a lot more minutes from here on in. We could well see Mason Mount and Harry Wilson feature then too as they weren't quite ready tonight. "The fact it's the first home game will make it a good occasion but as tonight showed, if you're not organised and make mistakes then it's much harder to win games."
Read more at: https://www.belpernews.co.uk/sport/football/morris-lessons-to-be-learned-from-stags-defeat-1-9258126
Frank Lampard relishing 'special' moment as he prepares for Pride Park bow
First home game for Derby County boss as Rams take on Southampton in pre-season friendly
By Steve Nicholson, 21 JUL 2018
Frank Lampard is relishing his first match at Pride Park Stadium as Derby County manager.
The Rams face Southampton this afternoon (3pm) in their third friendly of pre-season, having beaten Notts County at Meadow Lane and lost to Mansfield Town at the One Call Stadium.
"Yes, it's very special for me, on a personal note, and the staff," said Lampard, when asked about today's game.
"When I took the job here I went to Pride Park and you could feel the magic of the stadium -and it was empty at the time!
"I am not too concerned with results, and I am not just talking about Mansfield, I am also talking about Notts County as well," he said.
"I am concerned with performance and hard work.
"Of course the performance against Mansfield wasn't as good, particularly the second half. That can happen in pre-season when you are working hard in training and trying to find solutions and combinations in the team.
"I am very happy with the work put in by the squad.
"Sometimes a negative result and performance can be a help because it can make you address the issues that become evident, and try and improve."
Latest | July 2018