STEVENAGE PREVIEWS / DAVIES OP / KEAN
Togetherness growing 'even stronger' - manager
mansfieldtown.net, Thur 20 Dec 2018
Stags’ boss David Flitcroft has said the ‘togetherness’ in the Mansfield squad is growing ‘even stronger,’ as we head towards the busy festive period.
Next up for the Stags is a trip to Stevenage on Saturday, which will be followed by a quick run of clashes against Bury, Swindon, Grimsby and Carlisle.
The manager spoke of his players’ commitment on the training ground, and discussed the possibility of a winter break in English football.
“I’m a football fan and football is part of my life. I’ve got kids myself but at Christmas, Christmas Day is a day of work and Christmas Eve is a day of work.
“The players know that and they know how intensive I am with it. Boxing Day is always a brilliant day and a day that you can get out there after Christmas Day and watch your team.
“You can feel that togetherness [in the squad] growing even stronger. The lads are getting in [to training] even earlier and staying out longer.
“I’ve seen it at other clubs where as soon as training finishes, they just leave. But here, there’s a genuine want to stay on the training ground and it’s good to see.
“In the Premier League I can see it [winter break] coming in, maybe a January one. If we want to talk about being successful and getting to World Cup finals and Champions League finals, every English fan wants that.
“I think it will come in. The decision will have to be to benefit football. I look at someone like Harry Kane who’s probably got a couple of weeks off and has been right around the clock for the full year.
“It’s a busy period for the English clubs, but that’s what is special about our English leagues. We’ve benefited from playing Saturday-Tuesday and staying in that rhythm.”
Last week we announced with immeasurable disappointment that goalkeeper Bobby Olejnik had been ruled out for the season with an anterior cruciate ligament rupture. The Stags’ boss says the injury to the in-form shot-stopper left the squad ‘gutted.’
“With Bobby [Olejnik], he looks after himself so well,” he added. “He’s a leader by performance and preparation. When it’s a catastrophic injury, it leaves you wondering why and how, because someone who puts so much into the game should get so much back.
“It did leave them [players] gutted because of the form he was in. When you have a spirit and camaraderie like we’ve got, there’s going to be that devastation.
“He [Olejnik] had a meeting with a specialist on Monday night. That’s showed that because he is so fit and his preparation is so good, potentially nine to 10 months is what we’re looking at.
“He’s a goalkeeper but he’s also an athlete. We’re hoping that we can get him back in nine months. He’s an incredibly positive guy and that positivity will get him back to where he needs to be.”
The manager looked ahead to this weekend’s fixture against Stevenage, and says that his players have something to ‘protect’ with the unbeaten away record in Sky Bet League Two, which currently stretches back to last season.
“Dino Maamria is a manager who demands the best out of his players and demands high standards. They [Stevenage] have had a really good season so far.
“We’ve been really good at home and really consistent away from home. We’re going there with something to protect and something to honour with the [away] record.
“It’s something that the players want to protect. We’ve been difficult to beat and we have to make sure that remains consistent on Saturday.”
The manager also gave injury updates on striker Craig Davies and midfielder Alex MacDonald.
“Over a six-week period now Davo [Craig Davies] has felt this discomfort in his ankle and he’s been having injections. Some of the bone has flaked off and it’s getting trapped in different parts of his ankle joint.
“We’ve been trying to mask his discomfort with the injections to try and get through training and games.
“You can only have a certain amount of injections in your career, never mind in one season. Craig’s probably up to that level now.
“He’s probably been about 60 percent on his work. I don’t know a timescale on it [return].
“[MacDonald is] progressing okay now. He’s just doing the gym work. It’s probably not going to be as soon as I wanted him to be out on the grass.
“[Return is] possibly going to be another couple of weeks. It’s not something we can define. It depends how deep the bone bruising is. Hopefully we can get him out on the grass in the next couple of weeks.”
iFollow Stags subscribers can watch the manager’s interview in full by logging into mansfieldtown.net/ifollow later today.
Mansfield Town striker Craig Davies facing ankle operation
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Thursday 20 December 2018
Mansfield Town striker Craig Davies is to have an ankle operation to cure a problem that has hampered a season in which he has been in constant pain. The 32-year-old summer signing from Oldham has tried hard to get by but has now admitted defeat and doctors found in an exploratory operation that Davies has bits of flaked-off bone getting trapped in his joints. It has left Davies and fans frustrated and playing only to about 60 per cent of capacity.
“Over a six-week period now Davo has felt this discomfort in his ankle and he’s been having injections to try to cope with the pain,” said manager David Flitcroft.
Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/mansfield-town-striker-craig-davies-facing-ankle-operation-1-9503121
“We had an exploratory operation done on it and found that some of the bone has flaked off and it’s getting trapped in different parts of his ankle joint. “We’ve been trying to mask his discomfort with the injections to try and get through training and games.
“But it’s got to the point now where when it gets lodged and gives him a ‘nipping sensation’, and it takes him over a pain threshold he can’t go over.”
The club realise they can no longer keep ‘patching him up’. “You can only have a certain amount of injections in your career, never mind in one season. Craig’s probably up to that level now,” said Flitcroft. “He’s had four or five now since just after our last pre-season game.”
“We have tried to patch him up and get him out there but he’s probably been about 60 percent on his work. He’s not had that power in that ankle to give him a lift-off.
“It has hampered his explosive moment and drive. Once you get that on your joint it is difficult to drive off to get your take off.
“I don’t know a timescale on it. We are looking to get it done before everyone breaks up for Christmas at the hospitals. But once we get it cleaned up, hopefully it will settle down and we can start his rehabilitation programme.”
Better news for Mansfield Town over Bobby Olejnik injury
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Thursday 20 December 2018
Mansfield Town have had better news on the serious knee injury suffered by goalkeeper Bobby Olejnik last week. It seemed the in-form Austrian stopper could be out for a year, but doctors have now said he is so fit otherwise he may be back as quickly as nine months. However, he still faces a long, tough road back to fitness from the ruptured anterior cruciate ligament and manager David Flitcroft said the club will support him all the way.
“Bobby had a meeting with a specialist on Monday night,” said Flitcroft.
“It showed that because he is so fit and his preparation is so good, potentially nine to 10 months is what we’re looking at now after we initially thought 12.
Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/better-news-for-mansfield-town-over-bobby-olejnik-injury-1-9503434
“He’s going to settle before they do the operation after Christmas. It will give him some reflection time with his family. “Once he’s had his operation he will go back home while he’s in the very early stages of recovery.
“What we want to do then is break the nine to 10 months down into chunks as that’s a long period of time in a footballer’s life. “Mentally, if we can help him with the first two months, then the slog doesn’t seem as long and hard. “The last four months will seem a long time but he will actually enjoy them as he loves it in the gym. He needs to see the light at the end of the tunnel.”
Flitcroft said the injury was even harder to take with Olejnik being such a model professional. “Bobby looks after himself so well,” he said. “He’s a leader by performance and preparation. When it’s a catastrophic injury, it leaves you wondering why and how, because someone who puts so much into the game should get so much back from the game.
“It did leave the players gutted because of the form he was in. “Even Conrad Logan, who now has an opportunity, was absolutely floored by the injury. “Bobby does everything by the book and you only want good things to happen to people like that. It’s all about his preparation and how he lives his life.” He added: “Bobby didn’t sulk when he was out the team last season. He just committed to himself and his performance and when he got his chance this season, he took it.
“I think the fight he’s had on his hands to get the number one spot here and how’s he’s done since he came in, that was the galling thing. “He’s a goalkeeper but he’s also an athlete. We’re hoping that we can get him back within nine months. “Knowing Bobby as I do and speaking to him after the event, he’s an incredibly positive guy and that positivity will get him back to where he needs to be. “He will be back. There is no doubt. His mental strength is phenomenal.”
Recalling the injury on the training ground, Flitcroft said: “He just caught a ball and landed and his knee gave way on him. “The nearest person to him was about a metre and a half.
“I think it would have been a lot worse had he not been in such good nick and his legs so strong. He is solid - an absolute rock.”
Stags now intend to extend their unbeaten run at Stevenage on Saturday in tribute to Olejnik. “When you have a spirit and camaraderie like we’ve got, there’s going to be that devastation,” said Flitcroft. “So we said at Forest Green let’s start a new set of clean sheets for Logan in Bobby’s name.”
Mansfield Town goalkeeper Jake Kean challenged to win a contract
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS
Mansfield Town have thrown the gauntlet down to Jake Kean to clinch a contract for the rest of the season. With regular keeper Bobby Olejnik out for the rest of the season, free agent Kean was rushed into the squad last weekend for his second spell with the club. It is an unexpected chance for a player who trained with Stags in the summer after his release from Sheffield Wednesday but left again after seeing he had little chance of forcing his way in with Olejnik and Conrad Logan ahead of him. However, things have now changed dramatically and boss David Flitcroft said: “I said to him it’s really important that you’re fighting for your football life, so come in and give it absolutely everything you’ve got. Then we will see where that goes.
Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/mansfield-town-goalkeeper-jake-kean-challenged-to-win-a-contract-1-9503828
“He certainly has pedigree. I am massive on how someone settles into a group and settles into an environment. “You have to be careful when you get a good environment that you then only bring good characters in. I think Jake is that and I want to see that over that period. “Jake came in at the start of the season to train with us. But, because we have two fantastic goalies at the club, he knew he wasn’t going to feature.” He continued: “Other clubs have given him the opportunity to train with them and he was actually training at Barnsley when we made the call. “We asked him to get across here and we’d do something for the first month - it was the quickest contract we could get him on to line him up for the Forest Green game. “We didn’t want to go into that game without a reserve keeper. So we have covered ourselves for this period and it’s given us some real thinking time.”
Mansfield Town boss David Flitcroft would back a winter break
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS
Mansfield Town manager David Flitcroft loves the tradition of the Festive games but admits a winter break will eventually come in and players will benefit. As Stags prepared for the first of four games in 11 days, he said: “I think it’s our English tradition. Boxing Day is always a brilliant day and a day you can get out there after Christmas Day and go and watch your team. “I am a football fan and I have kids myself. But for me Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day are days of work. “You don’t categorise it as Christmas Day or whatever, it’s just the day it falls on. It’s a day of preparation and the players know how intense I am with that attitude.”
Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/mansfield-town-boss-david-flitcroft-would-back-a-winter-break-1-9503804?fbclid=IwAR34EJzY7dj7dgZlifwswUKIDF4xzvK_XagDlMqzYE_-aQpiuxfJd9c8bJ8
But Flitcroft believes the growing clamour for a winter break will see it eventually happen. “In the Premier League I can see a winter break coming in, maybe a January one,” he said. “The German clubs have a four to six week break “We need one if we want to talk about being successful and getting to World Cup finals and Champions League finals, every English fan wants that. “We are Mansfield Town but I want to see every English club do well. “I think it will come in and like VAR and goal line technology, they start in the Premier League, rightly so, and get cascaded down. It can only benefit football. “The decision will have to benefit football if they are going to do it at all.” Flitcroft said it would be a huge relief for top players who are almost playing the whole year. He said: “You can’t just keep going like Harry Kane who’s probably got a couple of weeks off and has been right around the clock for the full year.
"Physically we are asking more demands on the pitch. A midfielder used to run 8km, now he’s probably doing 14km. “Every different stat for a striker, defender or midfielder sees more mobility, velocity and intensity in the game - and it’s only going north. “There had to be a trade-off somewhere to balance that.” However, for now Flitcroft is happy to keep playing twice a week as his Mansfield side have found their consistency amid a hectic recent schedule. He said: “It’s a busy period for the English clubs, but that’s what is special about our English leagues. “We’ve benefited from playing Saturday-Tuesday and keeping that rhythm. It’s been a bonus for us.”
Alex MacDonald likely to miss at least two more weeks for Mansfield Town
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS
Mansfield Town midfielder Alex MacDonald will miss the whole of the Festive period with his injury. Stags had hoped to have the battling midfielder available for the Christmas and New Year fixtures, but have now resigned themselves to trying to get him back early next year.
Manager David Flitcroft said: “Alex is progressing okay now. “He’s just doing the gym work. It’s probably not going to be as soon as I wanted him to be out on the grass.
Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/alex-macdonald-likely-to-miss-at-least-two-more-weeks-for-mansfield-town-1-9503885
"Return is possibly going to be another couple of weeks. It’s not something we can define. “It depends how deep the bone bruising is. He is getting through his work in the gym. Hopefully we can get him out on the grass in the next couple of weeks.”
Hunt for transfer window signings well underway at Mansfield Town
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS
Mansfield Town boss David Flitcroft is continuing to talk to potential January signings - but he is in no hurry to commit to anyone as yet.
“We have been looking for probably four weeks now. We have got a strategy on the players that we possibly want in,” he said. “But I won’t be rushed on it. I’ve never panicked in any window. “At Swindon I went in late and that was a colossal build with 17 players in.
Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/hunt-for-transfer-window-signings-well-underway-at-mansfield-town-1-9503890
“Here it’s a case of fine tuning and making sure we’ve got all bases covered. “Once this window shuts, that’s your last chance to know what you’re going forward with.” He added: “The balance has got to be right. The cohesion in the squad has got to be right. And the numbers in the squad have certainly got to be right. “I think we’ve done that really well so far this season. We’ve done well on injuries so far.
“There are probably six weeks until the window closes and we will be working right up to that day to get the balance of the squad right.”
Mansfield Town aim to exend club record run at Stevenage
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS
Mansfield Town aim to end their away games for 2018 by preserving their unbeaten away run and extending the new club record at Stevenage on Saturday. Stags have gone a club record 13 away games unbeaten and are also on a 13-game unbeaten League Two run.
Boss David Flitcroft said: “We’ve been really good at home and really consistent away from home. “We’re going down there with something to protect and something to honour with the away record.
Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/mansfield-town-aim-to-exend-club-record-run-at-stevenage-1-9503842
“It’s something that the players want to protect. We’ve been difficult to beat home or away and we have to make sure that remains consistent on Saturday.”
Flitcroft believes the pre-season week in Portugal was the cornerstone of this run of form. “When I look at the work they did in Portugal and how they committed to each other, that’s probably been the backbone,” he said. “It gave us a foundation and we have had consistent performances throughout. “By coming in last season you can assess the situation and find out who will take you forward and who wouldn’t.”
However, Stevenage are on the fringe of the play-off spots and will pose tough opposition. “It is difficult down there. It’s tight and they are on top of you,” said Flitcroft. “Dino Maamria is a manager who demands the best out of his players and demands high standards. “They have had a really good season so far. They have been consistent and it’s been a productive season for them already.”
Stags will want to get last weekend’s disappointment out of their system when a long trip and overnight stop at Forest Green saw the game abandoned at half-time due to a waterlogged pitch. “The lads felt the Forest Green game was going to be in the lap of the gods instead of controlling your own destiny,” he said. “The game could have hinged on a mistake. The players didn’t feel in full control and I certainly didn’t watching it as a manager. “It was a disappointment, but we got a good 45 minutes under our belt.
“Monday’s training session was brilliant as you could see the frustration from not having completed a full 90 minutes.”
Defender previews festive period
mansfieldtown.net, Thur 20 Dec 2018
Stags’ defender Mal Benning says that the festive period brings an opportunity to generate more points and get back into playing consistently, following the recent postponement of the home match against Crawley, and the abandonment of the away clash against Forest Green.
The defender spoke of his performances this season, and the busy schedule of matches over Christmas and the New Year.
Speaking in a press conference this morning, he said: “I’d say over my four seasons here, I think that I’ve been consistent. Everyone goes through dips in form but it’s how you react to that.
“At the moment, it’s just about working hard and keeping going. Since the Crawley game was called off, we haven’t really had a consistent run of games.
“It’s about getting that run of games, and if the team’s doing well, it helps.
“This season they [Stevenage] are up there. They’ve had a decent start, so it’ll be a tough game.
“As I always say, if we’re on our game, I think we’ll win. With the amount of games, if you win those games, you can get right up there [league table]. If you win a couple on the bounce, you can fly up the league.”
Benning added that it was the ‘right decision’ to abandon last week’s match against Forest Green Rovers due to a waterlogged pitch.
“It was an experience [against Forest Green]. It was probably one of the first games I’ve been involved in where it’s been called off at half-time. It was the right decision [to abandon the match]. The pitch was in a state, to be honest, with the amount of puddles.
“It was just one of those that you just have to get through, and I think the right call was made.
“It was just a scrap. No-one could really get their foot on the ball. You’d play the ball over the top and the ball would just stop. It’s not really an even contest, it was just [depending on] luck whoever gets the ball.”
The defender also reflected on Stags’ last home fixture, the 2-0 victory over Notts County, in which he assisted the first goal.
“Every game against Notts has been good since I’ve been here, especially at home. It was a big game to keep us right up there, and it was a good win.
“[I played my part by] setting up CJ [Hamilton], but it was a good run by him and a good finish with his weaker foot.
“I’m delighted for him [CJ]. He’s worked hard throughout the season and with his pace, he’s just a problem. Now he’s adding goals, assists, and more thought to his game, and he’s unstoppable at the moment.”
iFollow Stags subscribers can watch the interview in full by logging into mansfieldtown.net/ifollow later today.
Mal Benning can’t wait for Mansfield Town’s busy Festive schedule to start
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Thursday 20 December 2018
Mansfield Town wing back Mal Benning can’t wait to get stuck into the busy Festive period ahead after Stags’ momentum was rocked by two games being called off. After losing the home game with Crawley at the end of last month and then seeing Saturday’s game at Forest Green abandoned at half-time, in-form Mansfield have been left playing catch-up again.
Ahead of Saturday’s game at Stevenage, Benning said: “We’ve now had a full week’s training. “With Crawley being called off and then last weekend we’ve not had a consistent run of games so we hope we can get that going again.
Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/mal-benning-can-t-wait-for-mansfield-town-s-busy-festive-schedule-to-start-1-9503395
“When we were playing Saturday/Tuesday every week we picked up some good results.”
On Stevenage, he said: “They are always robust opponents and this season they are up there as well. “They have had a decent start, so it will be a tough game. But, if we are on our game, as I always say, we’ll win. “It’s a good time of the season with so many games. If you win them you’re right up there. Win two on the bounce and you can fly up the league.”
Benning has been happy with his own form, saying: “I’d like to think over my four seasons here I’ve been consistent. “Everyone goes through dips in form and it’s how you react to that. I just want to keep this going now.”
Benning described last Saturday’s game at Forest Green as a farce and believes it should never have started. He said: “That is the first game I have been involved in that’s been called off at half-time. But I think it was the right decision. The pitch was waterlogged.
“The decision should have been done and dusted before kick-off. “When we were warming up you could see the puddles even then. The groundsmen were doing as much as they could but it didn’t really help. As the rain carried on it just got worse.
“Once we knew the game was going ahead you just had to focus. “The gaffer said to us there were no excuses as it was the same for both sides. We just had to get on with it. It was an experience! “But it was just a scrap. No one could get their foot on the ball. It was a farce to be honest.”
Logan can shine for Mansfield Town says devastated Sweeney after serious Olejnik injury
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Wednesday 19 December 2018
Mansfield Town defender Ryan Sweeney admitted he was devastated to see goalkeeper Bobby Olejnik ruled out for up to a year with a serious knee injury this week. But Sweeney, who has played a major part in helping Stags to the the division’s second best defensive record, has every faith in Conrad Logan to step back in help the club achieve glory this season. Austrian stopper Olejnik suffered a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament in training on Friday, Logan stepping in to play well in the 45 minutes of Saturday’s abandoned game at rain-hit Forest Green, while free agent Jake Kean was quickly signed as cover.
Ahead of Saturday’s trip to Stevenage, Sweeney said: “I am absolutely gutted for Bobby. When I saw the incident I didn’t really think too much of it to be honest. “He even said afterwards he didn’t think it was serious. So to hear the length of time he is going to be out is absolutely devastating.
“He has been absolutely brilliant since he’s come in. That boils down to what happens in training, not just what you see on a Saturday. “In training him and Conrad push each other really well. “When it comes down to a Saturday, whoever plays in that position is ready and able to put in a performance.
Read more at: https://www.hucknalldispatch.co.uk/sport/football/logan-can-shine-for-mansfield-town-says-devastated-sweeney-after-serious-olejnik-injury-1-9500144
“I’m devastated for Bob as he’s been one of the main reasons for us having a good first half of the season. “But he is a really upbeat lad and I am sure he is looking now to his recovery so he can get back as quickly as possible. I wish him all the best and hopefully he will be back sooner than later.”
Stags defend a club record 13 games unbeaten at Stevenage as well as 13 League Two games unbeaten. “One of the reasons we have gone 13 unbeaten in the league is maintaining standards we set Monday to Friday,” said Sweeney. “We always want to be on the front foot, aggressive in our play, and hopefully we can make that 14 on Saturday and just keep kicking on.
“We were frustrated earlier in the season by the amount of draws we were having. “We were getting into some good positions in games but, for whatever reason, we were not seeing them out. “Since then I think we have kicked on pretty well and we’ve got games in hand on the teams above us. “If we can carry on our form, then I think we’ll climb the table.
“We are in a good position at the moment and it’s now about sticking a good run of form together to keep us up at the right end.”
Stoke loanee Sweeney certainly feels he has come on as a player with Mansfield. “It’s helped me the way the gaffer sets the team up and the role he wants me to play,” he said. “I think I have improved this season in terms of adding different qualities to my game. “It helps a lot when you have got good players around you - they help you out, not just in the way they talk to you but in the way they play as well. “Playing week in, week out you are going to make mistakes. It’s all about learning from them and not just growing as a player but as a person as well.
“Whoever plays in the defence or in goal always prides themselves on protecting the goal with our lives pretty much. “It boils down to how much do you want to keep that ball out of that net? We all share that. Nothing is going to get past us.” He added: “The other lads need a lot of credit. The defence and the keeper get recognised for the clean sheets. But look at some of the work the midfield does, the wing backs and even the strikers as well.
“We want to achieve good things this year and best defensive record is one of our targets. “If you look at any successful team, they’ve always got a good solid base to work from. “That’s a huge thing for us. If we can have the best defensive record in the league, that will be brilliant and give us a massive chance of achieving something good. “That’s what we are focusing on as a team, not just the defence. If we can keep out the opposition we always believe in our attack. “We are expansive going forward and, with the quality we’ve got, we will always score goals.”
Dino Maamria: “Mansfield are a big club, big budget and big spenders. They are one of the clubs in League Two that came in to buy Matty Godden from us, so that is how powerful they are financially, they came in to buy our best player last season.
Read more at https://www.stevenagefc.com/news/2018/december/dino-maamria-stevenage-v-mansfield-press-quotes-preview-sky-bet-league-two-efl-english-football-league-saturday-22nd-december-2018/
Fri 21 Dec 2018
The festive football period truly gets underway on Saturday as Stevenage host Mansfield Town at the Lamex Stadium...
It is the first of four games in eleven days for the squad and Maamria says they are excited about the challenge ahead.
“We are looking forward to it. This festive period has lots of football matches, lots of points up for grabs. We have got some good games coming up, home and away.
“In this league, anybody can beat anybody on any given day, so your focus is always on yourself. We have got to approach every game with the same mindset and do our bit to win the game.”
Maamria beleives that one of the most important aspects of the coming weeks is keeping his players fit and healthy.
“(Michael) Timlin is out for two or three weeks, he had a nasty injury at the end of last week’s game so he is a concern. We have got one or two others that are touch and go, and we will find out tomorrow (Friday).
“I think the key in this period is to have as many players fit as possible and that gives us a good chance to rotate the team a little bit because, ideally, we need to do that.”
This weekend’s fixture is another chance for townsfolk to redeem their Residents Letter, an initiative brought in to encourage the people of Stevenage to come and support their local team.
For Maamria, as much as he would like to see more new faces at the Lamex Stadium, the current set of supporters that get behind the team every week are highly appreciated.
“The home form has been good and we would like to see more of a crowd.
“I am going to embrace the two or three thousand every week, thank them for their backing. Yes, we will try and get a few more but we have got to empower the people that turn up every week.
“I am very grateful for their support week in week out.”
Saturday's opponenets, Mansfield Town are flying high, currently sat fifth in the table and on an unbeaten league record stretching all the way back to September 15th against Exeter City.
The boss is aware of their strengths, but is also confident in his own side’s ability.
“Mansfield are a big club, big budget and big spenders. They are one of the clubs in League Two that came in to buy Matty Godden from us, so that is how powerful they are financially, they came in to buy our best player last season.
“They have got some good players, a good front line. I think (David) Flitcroft inherited a very, very good squad from Steve Evans and they should have really got promoted last season.
"They didn't and i think they look to be up there this season but I think they have got their weakness' as well that we will try to attack on Saturday.”
Maamria addresses Hamilton controversy
Fri 21 Dec 2018
Stevenage boss Dino Maamria has responded to Lewis Hamilton’s controversial remarks at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year on Sunday, after the five-time Formula 1 World Champion referred to his hometown Stevenage as “the slums”...
Since the incident Hamilton has walked back the comment and Maamria was understanding towards the star.
“I think his intentions were better than that. He was trying to say he has reached the impossible from nothing, that he came from Stevenage and he has gone to the top.
“Using words like that (slums), I think he regretted that and he has apologised for it. I think we are far from that as a town, we are a proud town.
“This town has brought up not just Lewis Hamilton, but a lot of good people. There are artists, popstars and Premier League players from Stevenage.
“Let’s not be too harsh on Lewis Hamilton, we should be proud of him and what he has achieved.”
Hamilton has been quick to say sorry for his comments already, posting to his almost nine million followers on Instagram about how he was “super proud” of his roots. But Maamria would like to see him aplogise in a different way.
“If he can come to the Lamex for one of the games that would be fantastic. If he wants to really say sorry about it, he should come to support us at one of the games, I invite him personally.
“I think he does (have pride), it was just the wrong choice of words. I think he is actually proud of where he came from, proud of the journey. He came from a humble family and he has gone all the way to the top. He is on top of the world so we should be proud of him.”
This Saturday see's Boro host an in-form Mansfield side, who have only lost once in the league all season. Maamria hopes that Hamilton’s words will only enhance the supporters voice as Stevenage hunt for their tenth league win of the campaign.
“I expect fans to show even more passion than ever on Saturday. We are proud of what we are.
“Stevenage has great, loyal and very humble people. I am always out in the community and I love the people of Stevenage.”
Latest | December 2018