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Archived News from July 2018

30th July 2018 0:23

Stags' boss delighted with display in hot-tempered friendly
mansfieldtown.net, Tuesday 24 July 2018

Stags’ boss David Flitcroft credited his players' ‘solid’ and ‘threatening’ display in a friendly which ended at boiling point against Sheffield Wednesday this evening as Mansfield emerged as 2-1 victors.

Mansfield again performed encouragingly in front of their own supporters in a match which was marred by a mêlée after the full-time whistle.

Sets of players clashed at the end of the 90 minutes in which Stags’ midfielder Calum Butcher received a ‘punch in the face’, manager David Flitcroft said.

Prior to the post-match scenes and in the last few minutes of the game, the manager employed sensible management by removing Stags’ captain Krystian Pearce from the action following a dispute with Sheffield Wednesday forward Fernando Forestieri, who himself had to be escorted down the players’ tunnel by the match referee.

The manager said post-match: “With seven or eight minutes to go, Pearcey was visibly upset with something and I got him off the pitch.


“Pearcey’s got a calmness about him as everyone can see; the supporters and people around here have known him longer than me. There’s a calmness about him and an assurance to him when he’s playing football. Something has riled and rattled him. I was worried for Pearcey that if he did the wrong thing and he looked really wound up so I had to get him off the pitch with sensible management.

“In a pre-season game there are no points to play for [but] you could really feel it boiling over.

“Calum Butcher has a cut lip. He’s been punched in the face. You don’t want to see scenes like that at any football game but we’ll get to the bottom of it maybe tomorrow and go from there.”

On the Stags’ display which saw Mal Benning fire Mansfield into a 41st minute lead, CJ Hamilton’s cross inadvertently converted into his own goal by the Owls’ Adam Reach, before the same man pulled a goal back for the visitors, the manager said: “I was absolutely delighted with some of the football and the way we opened them up at times.

“They had some good possession in the first 15 minutes, but they never really hurt us and we looked solid. Once we got through that wrestle, we seemed to calm down, move the ball better and look more threatening.

“It doesn’t matter what level you play at, teams are scared of pace, people running beyond and running through you. That’s what we had for the first goal.

“Mells [Jacob Mellis] has made a run, CJ [Hamilton] has made a run through the defensive line and Mal Benning has the opportunity [to score] and Mal’s quality is phenomenal.

“You could say the second goal is fortunate, which it was, but to run the length of the pitch like CJ has done and the ball from Macca was phenomenal and probably deserved a bit of luck [with a deflection] for the sheer determination to get to the ball.”

Hayden White received treatment near the end of the game and had to be substituted, on which the manager said: “Hayden took a whack to the nose, an innocuous one, but it was more precautionary so we got him off the pitch.”

Defender Matt Preston came off earlier and will be assessed tomorrow while striker Craig Davies didn’t feature in the squad after picking up a training ground knock, which isn’t thought to be serious. It is believed the ex-Oldham man will resume training next week.

To view the manager’s full interview, log into http://www.mansfieldtown.net/ifollow


Flitcroft - Mass brawl was scene no one wants to see at any football match
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Tuesday 24 July 2018

David Flitcroft said the post-match mass brawl that followed tonight’s 2-1 home friendly win against Sheffield Wednesday were scenes that no one ever wanted to see at a football ground. The Stags boss had already intervened when his skipper Krystian Pearce became the latest home player to be upset by the challenges of Italian striker Fernando Forestieri and ran onto the field to lead him off away from the brewing trouble. But Forestieri again got involved with home players on the whistle and this time a huge brawl broke out involving the players on the field, benches and stewards.

“With seven or eight minutes to go Pearcey was visibly upset with something, so I got him off the pitch,” said Flitcroft.

“Pearcey has a character and a calmness about him as everyone can see. Supporters around here have known him longer than me. “He has a calmness and assurance when playing football. But something riled him. Something rattled him and I was worried that, with him looking so wound up, he might do the wrong thing.

“So I got him off the pitch - sensible management in a pre-season game when there are no points to play for. “You could really feel it boiling over. The events that happened afterwards are not scenes you want to see at any football game.

“Calum Butcher had a cut lip - he’s been punched in the face. “We will maybe get to the bottom of it tomorrow and see where we go from there.”

Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/flitcroft-mass-brawl-was-scene-no-one-wants-to-see-at-any-football-match-1-9268099

Away from the fighting, Flitcroft was delighted with his side as they made it two wins and a draw against three Championship clubs inside a week. “It was similar to the first 15 minutes of the Sheffield United game. Sometimes there is almost too much respect when you play a Championship team,” he said.

“I said to the boys at half-time ‘you are quality players in your own right and deserve to be out on that pitch’. “It’s felt like our players question if they deserve to be out on the pitch with these players.

“But we’ve shown again tonight over the last 75 minutes we do. We can go step to step with a Championship team in terms of quality and fitness levels. “We now need to believe we can go and win a game in the first 15 minutes and really make our mark on the opposition.

“I was absolutely delighted with some of our football and the way we opened them up at times. “It doesn’t matter what team you play any any level, they are scared of pace and people running beyond or through you which is what we did on the first goal.”

With central defender Matty Preston forced off injured, youngster Lewis Gibbens had to play almost half a game and did superbly well. “What a test for young Gibbo,” said Flitcroft. “Matty Preston has tweaked something in his back from that challenge in the first half, which we will look at tomorrow. It was an unbeliveable tackle - a fair tackle and he won the ball but came out the wrong side of it. It stiffened up at half-time.

“It was a real test for Gibbo against Forestieri - worth a lot of money. It was a chance to see if Gibbo could step up to the plate and I thought he did fantastically well.”

With Stags short on defenders, it was a worry to see Hayden White also go off. But the manager said: “Hayden has settled down now. I was worried to begin with. He’d taken a whack to the nose but it was more a precaution.”

Flitcroft added that striker Craig Davies had been rested for the night after feeling pains from working on the hard sun-baked pitches but would be fine for next week.


Khan eager for season to begin
mansfieldtown.net, Tuesday 24 July 2018

Dynamic midfielder Otis Khan says he 'can't wait' until the start of the 2018-19 Sky Bet League Two season, following Stags' 2-1 win over Sheffield Wednesday.

Khan recently signed for Mansfield from Yeovil Town, and has since excited fans with his pre-season performances.

The No.10 says he is eager for the new campaign to begin, and wants to take the momentum the team have built in pre-season into the first league game against Newport County on Saturday 04 August.

"Every pre-season game we've had here, we've had a really good turnout," he said. "The fans have done nothing but get behind the players. I can't wait until the season starts.

"I just want the first game of the season to start. I know when we eventually get to it we'll all be ready.


"We have a real feel that we can do well this season. We haven't been beaten in pre-season so far and we just want to keep that momentum going.

"We'll keep building that confidence each game so when that first game comes we're on it.

"We've shown we're a match for them [Championship sides]. It just shows that if we're on it in League Two we have a real chance this year."

The 22-year-old also spoke of his side's 2-1 win over Championship outfit Sheffield Wednesday, and claims that the Stags are improving more and more as each game comes.

"It was a great game to play in. When it turns fiery it turns into a proper game, it's not just a usual pre-season game. It felt like a real game out there.

"Every game we're progressing. The gaffer is showing us some plays on the training field and we're putting that on the pitch.

"We just have to keep at it now. I thought everyone was really on it today and worked hard for each other.

"Each game is coming and we're creating more chances and getting the goals. We'll keep working hard in training and it's only going to get better."

The midfielder also described his part in the Stags' opening goal, scored by the outside of defender Mal Benning's left-boot.

"I spotted a bit of space in behind and Mellis found me with a really good pass. I turned and had a shot, but luckily it came off to CJ who slotted Mal in. That's what we're about really - finding those spaces. We have the players who can play the ball into those areas.

"Everyone knows exactly what their job is on the pitch. We have some really quality players out there who can really affect games."

iFollow Stags subscribers will soon be able to watch Otis Khan's interview in full by logging into mansfieldtown.net/ifollow.


They deserved the win
swfc.co.uk, Tuesday 24 July 2018

Owls manager Jos Luhukay praised Mansfield Town’s performance following the Stags’ 2-1 victory over Wednesday at the One Call Stadium on Tuesday evening.

Wednesday fell behind in the first half through Mel Benning and an unfortunate Adam Reach own goal made it 2-0 to the home side.

Reach made amends by getting on the scoresheet for the Owls, but Mansfield held out for a victory.

Luhukay said: “I think the first 15-20 minutes we came good into the game, we had a good spirit but after we lost the control of a lot of balls and we were not winning much one against one.

“They pressed us well and caused problems, that is what they did well.


“Mansfield came good in the game, they make a good goal in the first half and we must try to come back.

“In the second half it was unlucky for Reach and Cameron Dawson, but we came back with a good goal.

“The positives are the beginning of each half, we must work and we have two weeks to find a good direction for the start of the season.”

The Owls face Villarreal at Hillsborough on Saturday in their last pre-season game, and Luhukay said he wants to finish his preparations with a good performance.

“It will be the first game of our season at home and it will be nice to be back in front of a home crowd.

“We must look forwards and we try tomorrow to prepare a good performance for Saturday.”


Fernando Forestieri under fire after final whistle scrap in Sheffield Wednesday's friendly clash with Mansfield Town
Sheffield Star, by DOM HOWSON, Tuesday 24 July 2018

Sheffield Wednesday’s Fernando Forestieri could be in hot water following an apparent punch up in the bad-tempered friendly with Mansfield Town. Tempers boiled over at the final whistle, with both sides squaring up to each other. A melee ensued and stewards had to to separate the players.

Forestieri, who had earlier been yellow-carded after tangling with Krystian Pearce, clashed with several of the Mansfield team. He appeared to punch an opponent in the face before being assaulted himself trying to escape the bust-up himself.

Owls boss, Jos Luhukay, whose side lost 2-1, said: “I’ve never seen anything like that before in a friendly. It was short but it was an explosion. I did not see what the reason was or why it came to that.”

He added he will speak to his players about the incident when the report back for training.

Read more at: https://www.thestar.co.uk/sport/football/sheffield-wednesday/fernando-forestieri-under-fire-after-final-whistle-scrap-in-sheffield-wednesday-s-friendly-clash-with-mansfield-town-1-9268169

As for his team’s performance against the League Two Stags, Luhukay said: “In the first 15 to 20 minutes we played well in the game. We had a good spirit.

"After 20 minutes, we lost the control. We lost a lot of balls. We weren’t winning much one-on-one. Mansfield came good in the game. They scored a good first goal. We tried to come back into the game and we had an unlucky moment with their second goal between Adam and Cammy.

“We tried to come back at the end to a draw but Mansfield had two or three good moments to score a third goal.”

Mansfield led 1-0 at the break after a fine strike by Mal Benning. They doubled their lead midway through the second half through an own goal from Adam Reach. Reach reduced their arrears.

“It was too easy for Mansfield to press us,” said Luhukay. “When you don’t have control of the ball, you lose dominance.”


Owls boss to let players calm down before mass brawl inquest tomorrow
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Tuesday 24 July 2018

Sheffield Wednesday manager Jos Luhukay will speak with his players tomorrow about the cause of the big post-match mass brawl that marred tonight’s friendly at the One Call Stadium. His Italian forward Fernando Forestieri was at the centre of things after a series of fouls on home players went unpunished in Wednesday’s 2-1 defeat.

Tempers flared before the final whistle with home manager David Flitcroft having to physically haul skipper Krystian Pearce off the field.

But the final whistle saw the pitch erupt into a mass of fists and boots with stewards having to get involved to try to separate players. “I did not see what the reason was or why it turned into an explosion,” he said.

“I will speak to my players about what happened tomorrow. It’s too emotional now tonight to speak about it. I will let them rest for now and speak tomorrow.

Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/owls-boss-to-let-players-calm-down-before-mass-brawl-inquest-tomorrow-1-9268131

“I cannot see why any of them would be in any trouble. But I have not spoken to the referee or players so I can’t explain what happened.”

On the game, he added: “I though we had a good spirit for 20 minutes but then lost control. “Mansfield came good, pressed us well, and scored a good goal. “Mansfield have a very strong defence and did not give a lot of chances away, which is a compliment for our opponents’ defending as a team.”


Football Association to investigate Sheffield Wednesday's bad-tempered friendly with Mansfield Town
Sheffield Star, by DOM HOWSON, Wednesday 25 July 2018

The Football Association are looking into the mass brawl which marred Sheffield Wednesday's pre-season friendly with Mansfield Town. Things spilled over at the final whistle of last night's warm-up match at the One Call Stadium as players from both sides squared up to each other. A number of fists were seen flying, with Fernando Forestieri appearing to aim a punch at Calum Butcher before being assaulted himself trying to escape the bust-up. Forestieri had to be escorted down the players’ tunnel by the match referee.

Read more at: https://www.thestar.co.uk/sport/football/sheffield-wednesday/football-association-to-investigate-sheffield-wednesday-s-bad-tempered-friendly-with-mansfield-town-1-9268754

Owls defender Tom Lees was also allegedly kicked in the stomach by a Mansfield player in the giant ruck.

Mansfield boss David Flitcroft was quick to condemn the bust-up.

"In a pre-season game there are no points to play for [but] you could really feel it boiling over," he said. "Calum Butcher has a cut lip. He’s been punched in the face. You don’t want to see scenes like that at any football game but we’ll get to the bottom of it maybe tomorrow and go from there." The Stags edged a fiery, bad-tempered contest 2-1.


LOMAS ON STAGS: Spirit on show as mass brawl deflects away from another great Stags performance
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Wednesday 25 July 2018

It didn’t help the Owls that their talented Italian frontman Fernando Forestieri let his own frustrations with the way the game was going get the better of him and some of his challenges in the second half would have seen him get yellows, if not reds, had it been a League game.

Referee John Brooks was caught halfway between trying not to get his card out for a pre-season friendly while maintaining law and order. But it all went horribly wrong late on. Forestieri had just made two more bad tackles on home players, one after seemingly going down for a soft penalty appeal when it seemed he could have got a shot away.

What happened then between him and home skipper Krystian Pearce will doubtless come out in the future. There have been unconfirmed allegations of a racist comment by the Italian. I have never seen Pearce so angry, despite bruising clashes with centre forwards week in week out throughout the year. I have also never seen a Stags manager go onto the pitch to haul away a player who has completely lost his cool and point him to the tunnel before he gets sent-off, quickly sending on a substitute - that was absolutely top drawer management from a man already short on centre halves with the start of the season only 10 days away.

If the racist comment rumour proves true the Italian should face a lengthy ban from the game - but everyone is innocent until proved guilty and we await the aftermath once the dust settles. With Pearce down the tunnel and the referee blowing the final whistle, what happened then was simply surreal.

This was no ‘handbags’ ‘mass brawl’ of pushing and shoving. This was brutal. There is an allegation that Forestieri was hit from behind after the whistle. All we definitely know was that Stags’ Calum Butcher’s lip was bloodied by a punch and that Forestieri’s simmering temper was at the thick of things as het up players squared up and then suddenly let fly with a barrage of fists and boots.

Players leapt off the bench ‘ice hockey-style’ to help out their team mates and stewards also piled in to try to pull players apart. It was the worst football brawl I have ever seen live, though the pre-season match at Ilkeston seven years ago ranks higher in my disgust of what one human being did to another that night in another so-called ‘friendly’. It’s hard to know what the repercussions - if any - will be.

The Police were asking questions afterwards, Wednesday wanted video of the fight, and doubtless the FA bigwigs will sit down and analyse what happened too. While in no way condoning what happened, I have played in several games myself down the years where, when the officials have not controlled things well, players have sought to take the law in their own hands - and my old Sunday morning comrades would have definitely said that Forestieri was ‘cruising for a bruising’.

It also has to be said that the way the Stags players backed each other up on the pitch at the end won’t do team spirit any harm. What happened last night is unlikely to happen again this season or possibly in the rest of their careers. But the team spirit was definitely there on show over the 90 minutes and again after the whistle. It was a strange way of boss Flitcroft finding out his pre-season week in Portugal has been a huge success in more than one way. Now everyone must put the brawl behind them and focus on Rotherham on Saturday.

We all know pre-season results count for nothing. But any Stags fans not feeling optimistic and tiny bit excited now should quickly check for a pulse!

Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/lomas-on-stags-spirit-on-show-as-mass-brawl-deflects-away-from-another-great-stags-performance-1-9269184



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