FLITCROFT, ELSNIK, DAVE ARTELL REACTION
Dominant display had 'everything,' says manager
mansfieldtown.net, Tuesday 30 October 2018
Stags’ boss David Flitcroft has said that Mansfield’s performance at the Alexandra Stadium had ‘everything,’ as his side cruised to a 3-0 victory.
Midfielder Timi Elsnik netted twice in the first half to give the Stags a two-goal lead heading into the break, before forward Tyler Walker added a third in the second period.
The manager was delighted with his side’s ‘ruthless’ nature in the match.
“The lads are spending time on the training ground improving their work,” he said. “It was a resounding victory and one that had everything you want to see.
“Every time we attacked in the first half, we were looking like we were going to score. It was brilliant.
“In the second half we changed shape a little to a 4-3-3. It really settled us. They’re one of the form teams at home and they like having it their own way, and they didn’t get that tonight.
“Timi Elsnik came back into the team, and I think that rest has done him good. He didn’t have the pre-season that the other lads had. His quality is there for everyone to see.
“I’m also chuffed for Tyler [Walker]. In the first half he could’ve had a couple, but he stuck with it and scored a really important goal for the team.
“Crewe move the ball fantastically well. But we were ruthless tonight, and that’s what we were crying out for.
“The clean sheet is about detail. Bobby’s positioning was on a different level tonight. It was a masterful display from him.
“We’ve been really clinical [tonight]. The quality of the finishes were excellent. The lads know how I want to play and they are doing that.”
The win stretched Mansfield’s unbeaten away streak in Sky Bet League Two to 11 matches, something that the gaffer says is due to the hard work of the players over the course of the season.
“I think it’s a mindset. We have another away game that we have concluded [with a win], and we have another trip down to Cheltenham.
“The boys have a willingness to not get beat. I told them today to defend that [away] record.
“The lads have worked hard for each other and we have to respect that work. We can’t go anywhere and not respect that work.
“They [Mansfield fans] outsung the rest of the stadium tonight and I’m buzzing for them. They have travelled a long way and the support they gave was phenomenal.”
The manager also gave an update on Otis Khan’s injury, after the midfielder missed out on tonight’s match due to an Achilles problem, and also stressed the importance of back-to-back wins as we head towards Saturday’s match away at Cheltenham.
“It [Khan’s injury] started to settle down Monday, but it was miles too soon for him to play tonight. We just have to see how it settles down tomorrow.
“It’s not something that we are concerned about. He played with it for around 30 minutes on Saturday. It’s one that we have to assess tomorrow.
“We are desperate for that [back-to-back wins]. We’ll go down the motorway buoyant, but certainly not arrogant. We will make sure that our work is consistent.
“There are a lot of good signs and we are steadily improving on our work. That’s important to me.”
iFollow Stags subscribers can watch the manager’s interview in full by logging into mansfieldtown.net/ifollow later today.
Flitcroft praises ‘ruthless’ Mansfield Town after record-breaking away win
chad.co.uk, Tuesday 30 October 2018
Mansfield Town manager David Flitcroft praised his record-breaking side for being ruthless in tonight’s excellent 3-0 away win at Crewe Alexandra. Two first half goals by Timi Elsnik and a strike by Tyler Walker made it a club record 11 away games without defeat.
“We were ruthless tonight, which is what I have been crying out for,” he smiled.
“I am delighted with the boys. They really looked energised. “It was a resounding victory and a victory that had everything you want to see.
Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/flitcroft-praises-ruthless-mansfield-town-after-record-breaking-away-win-1-9421021
“We were aggressive, we were front foot and we caused them problems every time we attacked first half. We were almost like a runaway train in that first half. It was brilliant.”
He added: “Second half we altered the shape as I felt a couple of times they got in and we were too split “We went 4-3-3 and it really settled us. The structure of the team was phenomenal.
“Crewe are one of the form teams at home and have only conceded four or five goals at home all season before tonight. “They like having the ball. They like having it their own way and they didn’t get that tonight. We just completely dominated the game.”
Elsnik marked his recall to the side with a brace and Flitcroft said: “The rest looks to have done him good. “He didn’t have that pre-season the other lads had and he was flagging a little bit the last game and a half he played.
“But his quality was there for everyone to see tonight.” Forest’s League Cup dream over for another year. Walker finally netted after seven games without a goal and Flitcroft said: “I am chuffed for Tyler. He’s been back on it the last two or three games. “I said to him after the game. There is no secret to scoring goals. You keep working hard and making runs. It’s not luck. You design it through your work.
“He could have had a couple in the first half. But he stuck at it and scored a really important goal for the team and for himself.”
There was also praise for keeper Bobby Olejnik, saying: “Bobby’s positioning was just on a different level. It was a masterful display.”
On the Stags’ growing unbeaten run on the road, Flitcroft said: “It’s a mindset and our preparation is good. “I am well supported by the chairman and Carolyn. We put a lot of thought into it and utilise other people’s training grounds.
“I said to the players today - it’s your record so defend it and respect the work you’ve done for it. “Those hard miles you’ve put in give you the substance to achieve a record like that.” He added: “Our fans were phenomenal - they out-sung the stadium and sounded like there were double the number there were. I am buzzing for them.”
Back-to-back wins target as Mansfield Town grow in confidence
Mansfield Town are hoping to chalk up back-to-back League Two wins for the first time this season when they travel to struggling Cheltenham Town on Saturday (3pm). Boss David Flitcroft said his side were visibly growing in confidence with every game after holding high-flying MK Dons 1-1 and then cruising to a 3-0 midweek victory at Crewe Alexandra.
“That dressing room is desperate for back-to-back wins now,” he said. “Against MK on Saturday, they have invested wisely and they’ve got League One players, so it was like taking a League One team on and we went toe to toe with them.
Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/back-to-back-wins-target-as-mansfield-town-grow-in-confidence-1-9423669?fbclid=IwAR0wFQjh_etwOwALSUo_jOcBRG4-m8k-RzUoEC6e2_fHHu85uMgtAHJivjI
“I think the belief the boys got out of that we took into Tuesday night’s game. “So, without doing a lot Thursday or Friday, mentally the boys went to Crewe - a place where it is difficult to get a result - and won and they will now be able to take that belief into Saturday’s game.
“We will go down the motorway buoyant, but certainly not arrogant. We will make sure our work is consistent and solidified.”
Fitcroft said he could see the improvement in individuals as well as the team as players responded to his coaching. He said: “I have supported Tyler (Walker) over a rough period over the last few weeks, but he’s not come out the other side and looks good again. And CJ (Hamilton) got his end product right tonight which we’ve been working desperately on.
“So there are a lot of good signs and good shoots. We are steadily improving on our work and that’s what is important to me.”
The manager believes the current good form goes back to the hard pre-season training camp in Portugal where he began to try to get his ideas across ahead of his first full season in charge. “I have reaffirmed to the players, it goes back to the work in possession and out of possession that we did in Portugal - you saw it on Saturday with two good footballing teams,” he said.
“We came up against another good footballing side at Crewe on Tuesday night and we’ve shown both sides of our game - the right times to pass and get it down and the right times to be positive and go and hurt teams.
“I think that’s key. It’s not about the short pass or the long pass, it’s about the right pass. “You have to make those decisions and we have done that. We have been really clinical and our finishing was excellent. “The lads know I want to play in the right areas and they are taking those decisions on board.”
Mansfield will welcome defender Ryan Sweeney back from a one-game ban but await news of an Achilles’ tendon injury for midfielder Otis Khan, which forced him to miss the trip to Crewe.
Goalscorer discusses Stags' strong away record
mansfieldtown.net, Tuesday 30 October 2018
Midfielder Timi Elsnik admitted there’s no secret to Mansfield Town’s away form as they secured an impressive 3-0 victory over Crewe.
The Stags’ latest result took their undefeated away record in Sky Bet League Two to 11 successive games - whereby Elsnik had a big hand in doing so.
Elsnik, on-loan from Derby County, netted an emphatic first-half brace to send David Flitcroft’s side well on their way to earning three points.
The Slovenian believes there are no unseen facts behind Flitcroft’s away record as he also had a similar record when in charge of Swindon Town.
“There’s no secret,” he said jokingly. “I think at one point we [Swindon] had the best away record in Europe.
“The support is good from the fans - they come anywhere we play - and we’re just hard to beat.
“It’s a very good feeling when you know you’re not conceding goals and on the other hand you can feel good by scoring to win games.
“I don’t know what his secret is, you’ll have to ask him, but we just focus on the same things we do at home.”
The 20-year-old then deflected praise to his teammates after they shut out the Alex to chalk up yet another clean sheet.
“The three lads at the back are massive - and Sweeney was missing today - so when he comes back the back three we play is so strong.
“They’re big, physical and fast so the opponents have a big problem there. Plus, Bobby [Olejnik] at the end between the sticks pulled off an incredible save to keep the clean sheet.
“He’s a crucial part of it too.
“Today I also think it came from the front. The strikers were pressing high so when they [Crewe] overplayed it we nicked it so I think that was a good press because that’s where it has to start.”
Elsnik also reflected on his own personal performance after he scored his second and third goals in the yellow and blue jersey of Mansfield Town.
“I’m happy with the brace today,” the midfielder stated. “Obviously I’m happy with the result too.
“We got the win and that’s what we came here to do. I scored two and as I’ve said before I came here to score goals so I’m glad I could help the lads get the win today.
“I think the perfect night would have been the hat-trick but it was definitely up there.”
iFollow Stags subscribers can watch Timi Elsnik's interview in full by logging into mansfieldtown.net/ifollow later today.
Almost a perfect night for Mansfield Town star Elsnik at Crewe
chad.co.uk, Tuesday 30 October 2018
Mansfield Town midfielder Timi Elsnik missed out on his ‘perfect night’ but was delighted with his crucial brace in the 3-0 victory at Crewe Alexandra tonight. The Derby County loanee struck twice in the first half, Tyler Walker adding a third, and Elsnik said: “The perfect night would have been a hat-trick for me, but it was up there.
“The keeper made a really good save in the second half and I had a few more shots in the first half as well so I was unlucky not to score three. But I’m sure there will be more of them in my future career and I’m happy with a brace today.
Read more at: https://www.hucknalldispatch.co.uk/sport/football/almost-a-perfect-night-for-mansfield-town-star-elsnik-at-crewe-1-9421035
“Obviously I was happy with the result as we came here for a win. “I came here to score goals and get wins and I was glad I helped the lads to get three points today.”
His second goal was crucial to ease the pressure on the visitors to hold on to the lead. “When you are 1-0 up the game is always in the air, no matter how you’re playing,” he said.
“Last 10 minutes they are always going to put bodies up front and it can go either way. It’s so much easier to relax and have a breather when you score a second.
“The opposition become frustrated and it changes the mentality. Once you score a third you are cruising and it could have been more.”
Artell: "Goals Change Games And We Missed Our Chances"
crewealex.net, Rob Wilson
David Artell believes that our 3-0 defeat to Mansfield Town didn’t tell the complete story of the game. Mansfield Town’s clinical finishing was certainly the difference on the night but Crewe did have some good opportunities of their own to stay in the contest. As the gaffer said afterwards ‘goals change games’.
Talking after only our second home defeat of the season, the Crewe boss told crewealex.net: “I actually thought that we were good in possession. We were good on the ball but we got bullied off the ball. I don’t mean physically. What I mean by that is that they got to those second balls; they won more 50/50s.
“We let that happen and that cannot happen because a team like Mansfield Town will punish you and they did.
“We had some good chances in the game and Shaun has missed our best chance of the first half with the score still at 1-0. He has put it wide when you would have backed him to score. Goals change games, but so does the referee missing the head-butt on Charlie Kirk at 1-0. The referee says he has missed it but that is a key moment in the game. It would be 1-0 and they would be down to ten men.
"I don’t want to bleat on about the ref but it changes the game.
“The most disappointing thing was that the midfielder has run past his man to score two. He has ghosted off his man and that cannot happen. It happened at Notts County and at Lincoln and now tonight. That is being aware of your job and making sure you do it, because if you don’t then it costs you dearly. It is not difficult, it’s just running with your man and we know Elsnik is a good player. He scored two goals against us last season when he was at Swindon
“We have been good at home this season and I didn’t see it coming if I am honest but we have got to do better.
The boss added: “I never thought we had cracked it because we had gone four games unbeaten. 40 maybe. Not 14 games and certainly not four. Bloody hell, no chance. “
"We Have To Learn From Mansfield's Clinical Edge"
David Artell says that Crewe Alexandra will look to bounce back quickly from our mid-week defeat at home to Mansfield Town with a positive result at Northampton. The Cobblers have improved considerably since appointing the experienced Keith Curle as manager. They won four of their five matches in all competitions.
Ahead of the trip to the Sixfields Stadium, Artell said: “We made some costly mistakes (on Tuesday night) and we need to iron them out. We were very much in the game in the first half and found ourselves 2-0 down at half-time because of our mistakes.
“We let a midfielder run off us twice and he punished us. We missed our own chances and we have got to be more clinical and effective in the final third. Those were the fine margins and our own mistakes cost us.
“They were more clinical than us but I didn’t think 3-0 was a fair reflection, but we have to move on quickly from that. We have another away game coming up and we have to build on what we have done recently away at home at Stevenage and Yeovil.”
Crewe Alex 'bullied' out of possession in defeat to Mansfield Town, says David Artell
The Stags beat the Railwaymen 3-0 on Tuesday evening and the Alex boss lamented his side's inability to take the chances they created
By John McDougall, Crewe Chronicle
David Artell felt Crewe Alex were 'bullied' when out of possession in the defeat against Mansfield Town and that failure to take chances cost them dearly.
The Stags brought the Railwaymen's unbeaten run to an end with a 3-0 loss after two goals from Timi Elsnik in the first half were added to after the break by Tyler Walker.
But the Alex had several chances of their own especially in the opening period, when striker Shaun Miller missed from close range while Jordan Bowery also had an effort stopped by Stags goalkeeper Bobby Olejnik.
There were also opportunities even after Mansfield had grabbed their third, with Callum Ainley forcing Olejnik into action to parry his volley to safety.
But for all their positive play with the ball, Artell believes his side were bullied by David Flitcroft's team when without it.
"We were good on the ball especially in the first half, and got bullied off it. When they had the possession, they bullied us and we let it happen," said Artell.
"Tyler Walker had a chance when George made a little mistake, but the best two chances of the first half were for Shaun Miller, both inside the six yard box.
"One he’s level with the post and he puts it wide. The second one is a little bit harder before that, but they’re the best two chances of the whole first half.
"We were good in possession - out of possession we weren’t very good and Mansfield punished us.
"At 2-0 in the first half, I actually think we were the better team, but goals change games and that’s what it’s all about in this profession.
"I’m sure when I say that, some fans will say what a load of balony. I’ll stand corrected if I’m not right, but we created plenty of chances in that first half, they’ve had one from the mistake from us, but then we never took the chances that were presented to us.
"We’ve had three or four and goals change games and we should have had a few tonight. That was the difference."
Artell was particularly disappointed with the manner of the first two goals Crewe conceded.
Elsnik gave the Stags the lead after not being closed down on the edge of the box by the Alex players and fired a low sixth minute effort past Ben Garratt.
For his second of the evening, he rifled into the top corner after the ball fell to him in the box.
And it was a story that has been seen more than once already this season, Artell said, and insisted the solution to the problem is not a difficult thing to do.
"We went to Notts County and two midfielders scored, we went to Lincoln and a midfielder scored, and a midfielder scores the first two goals today. He just ghosts off people and that’s nothing to do with football - it’s just running. It can’t happen," he said.
"Out of the three mistakes we made, two things we didn’t do right and they’re not difficult things to do - they’re just running into an area and following a man and the lad scores two.
"He scored two against us last year when he was at Swindon, Elsnik, he’s a good player.
"We backed off for the first and he sticks it in the corner. The second one, it falls to him and he’s just in off the back of us because one lad hadn’t run.
"It’s disappointing, it’s not like us, especially at home. I didn’t see it coming and we’ve got to be better."
Crewe Alex boss David Artell unimpressed with referee after 'not seeing' headbutt on Charlie Kirk in Mansfield loss
The Railwaymen manager felt the officials missed a 'key match decision' during the defeat to the Stags and that it changed the game
By John McDougall, Crewe Chronicle
Crewe Alex boss David Artell felt the officials missed a key decision in the defeat against Mansfield Town when an alleged headbutt on one of his players was not seen by referee Christopher Sarginson.
The Railwaymen were beaten 3-0 by the Stags thanks to two goals by Timi Elsnik and a second half strike by Tyler Walker.
But Artell pointed to an incident in the first half when the score was still 1-0 between Mansfield defender Hayden White and Alex midfielder Charlie Kirk.
The Crewe boss felt Kirk was on the wrong end of a headbutt from the Mansfield player and is convinced retrospective action could follow, though he was not impressed with Sarginson missing the incident.
Artell said: "Goals change games and it looks worse than what it is because it’s 3-0 up and they sit back and they’re comfortable.
"The game should have changed at 1-0 when the lad headbutts Charlie Kirk, I watched it at half-time.
"How Chris Sarginson has missed it, he said ‘I haven’t seen it’. He’ll get a zero from me as a ref because he’s missed a key match decision and the lad will get three games, I’m certain of it.
"That changes the game. I don’t want to bleat on about the ref. I thought we were good in possession in the first half, but we got punished."
Latest | November 2018