FLITCROFT, SWEENEY, DINO MAAMRIA REACTION
Stags played 'some of the best football' in dominant victory - manager
mansfieldtown.net, Saturday 22 December 2018
Stags’ boss David Flitcroft says that he saw ‘some of the best football’ that Mansfield have played this season during this afternoon’s 3-1 win over Stevenage at the Lamex Stadium.
Mansfield went into the break a goal down despite dominating the first period, yet second half goals from Tyler Walker and Ryan Sweeney secured the three points in our final away game of 2018.
The manager says his charges were on top throughout the contest.
“We’ll call it a comeback, but that first half is one of the best first halves we’ve had all season,” he said. “The way we moved the ball, it’s some of the best football we’ve played.
“There was a lack of ruthlessness first half. But they got into our half twice in the first half and scored a goal.
“You could see that the changing room wasn’t flat, but it was stunned. That was as dominant as we’ve been in a first half. It was like playing an away team.
“Watching us today, that’s the football I want. The fans dominated and our supporters kept singing. I said if we stay focused [in the second half] and kept going, we’ll pull this result round.
“Today represented a good group of people that didn’t want to get beat. They [Stevenage] threw it up the pitch second half and we coped with it fantastically well.
“There was more of a desire second half. Danny [Rose]’s header back across was good and allowed us to score.
“We worked the ball well [second half], but there was probably more quality in the first half. I couldn’t speak for two minutes [at half-time] I had a crazy headache at what had just happened.”
The win stretched Mansfield’s unbeaten streak in away games to 14 matches in Sky Bet League Two, a club record. The manager labelled preparation as the main reason for the impressive feat.
“Preparation is key [in maintaining away record],” he added. “I get unbelievable support at this football club. The lads commit to the right things when they are on away trips.
“I have a group of players that are honest, and I’ve always said that. To get a record like this is not a fluke.
“We stay in nice hotels, travel down on nice coaches. The club does everything to get these boys prepared and they commit to that.”
The boss also previewed the busy festive schedule, with a clash against Bury at One Call Stadium on Boxing Day being the next challenge for his side.
“I explained to the players the importance of Christmas Day, to the lads that have got families. We have quite a young team, and [it was about] if they wanted to run for those lads to get Christmas Day off.
“We’ll see where our recovery lines are at tomorrow. Today is another three points that the lads have absolutely earned.
“MK Dons and Forest Green play some fantastic football, and Bury have sort of set the bar really with the football they play as well.
“I want to create an identity here and the supporters are starting to recognise that. They’re recognising that difference in performance and style, and that’s been important for me from day one.
“I’m from a footballing family and football is what we do at Christmas. It’s what we’re used to. We know what Christmas is about.”
iFollow Stags subscribers can watch the manager’s interview in full by logging into mansfieldtown.net/ifollow later today.
David Flitcroft delighted with Mansfield Town response at Stevenage and reserves special praise for Nottingham Forest loanee Tyler Walker
chad.co.uk, Saturday 22 December 2018
Mansfield Town boss David Flitcroft was delighted with the response of his players as they fought back from going a goal down to win 3-1 at Stevenage. Tyler Walker was the Stags’ match-winner as he bagged a second half brace to add to Ryan Sweeney’s leveller to ensure Flitcroft’s men remain in the League Two play-offs at Christmas.
Flitcroft said: “Away from home we’ve been looking for the right performance because I knew that the right performance would bring the right result, I really did. “That’s not me trying to be clever after a game. I kept saying to the players to move the ball. It’s the best start we’ve had by a country mile.
Read more at: https://www.hucknalldispatch.co.uk/sport/football/david-flitcroft-delighted-with-mansfield-town-response-at-stevenage-and-reserves-special-praise-for-nottingham-forest-loanee-tyler-walker-1-9506581
“Some of the quality first half, from Mal Benning and Hayden White, Timi Elsnik’s ball in, it’s top drawer. We’ve not scored from it but they were under siege. It was like a home performance.
“First half was like a home performance - they were camped. Once their centre-halves understood the threat we had of going in behind they dropped off but I thought we moved the ball brilliantly.
“I was shocked at half time by their goal, almost stunned, because it was such a one-sided performance. We keep doing the right things, we keep moving the ball, we are more ruthless in the box then we will win the game and we won it quite comfortably in the end.”
And added: “I’m trying to build a team spirit here. “Hayden White was floored that he’s not dealt with the ball out wide earlier, if we deal with that moment then they don’t get a cross in and the time runs out. “What’s important to me is how the team responds to that moment - and they did do. Whitey would have been distraught if that goal would have been the killer goal.
“We’ve caused them problems all day so it was only a matter of time and once the first went in I think the momentum really swung. It was a really strong performance from the boys.”
And Flitcroft reserved special praise for Walker. “He’s had a fantastic season,” said Flitcroft. “He’s a player who listens, learns and wants to get better. “When you get a loan player from Championship clubs, sometimes they hang on to being tied to being a Championship player, but Ty doesn’t. He never misses training. There are times when I’ve said ‘come out of training so you’re fresh’ but he doesn’t want to, wants to stay out there. I’m delighted for Ty.
“It was a real team performance today. Everyone played a massive part in a convincing win.”
Flitcroft told iFollow Stags: "At half time I had this mad headache. I couldn't work out how we were behind. I couldn't speak for 2 minutes - we were stunned."
Excellent form born out of hard work, says defender
mansfieldtown.net, Saturday 22 December 2018
Commanding Mansfield Town defender Ryan Sweeney believes the Stags’ magnificent form is because of ‘extreme hard work’ on the training ground.
David Flitcroft’s men have been defeated only once this season in Sky Bet League Two and currently enjoy a 14 game unbeaten sequence following today’s resounding 3-1 victory at Stevenage.
Speaking after the game, the Stoke City loanee said: "It was a big win today. We were bitterly disappointed to go into half-time 1-0 down after how well we played [in the first half].
"It was about coming out in the second half and continuing that momentum. We managed to score the first one fairly early [in the second half] kick on from there and score two more good goals.
"Had the second half gone on for 20-25 minutes and we hadn't scored, they have something to hang on to, but our message was 'can we get a goal early?' We scored within 10 minutes of the second half and that gave us the momentum to go on and get another goal.
"The standards we set ourselves week-in week out [are high]. We work extremely hard in the week, with fitness and sprints and things like that earlier in the week and move on to match preparation later on. That work has to continue.
"We're still disappointed we didn't keep a clean sheet today because we pride ourselves on that.”
The defender was full of praise for Stags’ forwards after the win, including Tyler Walker, who scored twice in the second half.
"He's [Walker] been brilliant this season. You can see the quality he's got, not only in the box but his link up play is fantastic and his movement is brilliant. He seems to find that yard [of space].
"He had a few [chances] in the first half where we couldn't really connect with and thankfully gets on the end of two bits of play.
"Rosey [Danny Rose] has done brilliantly for Tyler's first one and CJ [Hamilton] does what he does down the wing with his pace and puts in a fantastic ball in for him [Tyler] to finish it off.”
Sweeney found the Stags’ equaliser ten minutes after the restart, and expressed his delight at netting his first goal in Mansfield colours.
“I’ve ran round the post [in celebration] and lost my footing - it’s like a sniper in the crowd has shot me down! But I was delighted.
“I’ve been a bit disappointed with my goal return as I try and get on the end of things. We have people with fantastic delivery here and I’m delighted to get off the mark.”
iFollow Stags subscribers can watch the defender’s interview in full by logging into mansfieldtown.net/ifollow later today.
Timi Max Elsnik @Timi_Elsnik
Great comeback win today. Proud of the team to get all 3 points. Hope everyone has a lovely Christmas now and see you on boxing day
Neal Bishop @NealBish
Massive performance from everyone, thanks to all that travelled, top notch support!! Time to kick on
Maamria: "It was a good contest"
by Dan Branowsky
Dino Maamria felt that a 3-1 scoreline in favor of Mansfield Town on Saturday didn't accurately reflect the performance his side put in...
Despite being outplayed for much of the first half, Newton's goal gave Stevenage the lead just before the break before Mansfield struck thrice without reply during a second half which Stevenage were much improved.
“I thought it was harsh. The score-line does not reflect our performance. I thought we were better second half, the goals were poor goals to concede, especially the first one from a corner.
“Scott (Cuthbert) says he lost his footing in the six-yard box when he should have cleared it. We controlled that period, we started the half well and on the front-foot. We spoke at half-time that we needed to get that second one to make sure we secure the win.
“I made the sub because I thought we needed a little bit more threat up front, because I thought their back four were there for the taking. I know we won the first half one-nil, but I thought we were largely second best. I was going to make the substitution anyway.
“I think it was a good contest overall, they are a good team, 14 unbeaten now. They have got good players, but overall, I thought we competed well throughout the game."
Newton's goal and overall game showed what the team had missed during his spell on the sidelines this season and Maamria praised the forward for his contribution throughout the game.
"We haven't created many chances upfront recently but i thought we created a lot today and Danny Newton is probably the reason for that. He is very dynamic and we are looking for players on the move when we are attacking teams. He ran a lot today, scored a great goal and showed why we missed him when he wasn't fit.
“I thought Arthur (Iontton), for a 17-year-old was outstanding and Luther James-Wildin was the best player on the pitch. Probably the biggest disappointment from today is that it looks like we are going to lose him (to injury)."
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