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Archived News from January 2019

31st January 2019 19:26

Manager hails ‘elite’ Grant
mansfieldtown.net, Saturday 26 January 2019

Stags’ boss David Flitcroft says he could watch Jorge Grant ‘all afternoon,’ following the attacking midfielder’s man-of-the-match display in the 3-0 victory over Tranmere.

The 24-year-old scored in either half of today’s win, first with a pinpoint free-kick, before rolling home the rebound of Tyler Walker’s saved effort.

The manager says that Grant and Walker - who also scored in today’s win - caused ‘chaos’ to the opposition.

“They [Walker and Grant] cause chaos,” he explained. “They’ve played together before and they’re telepathic in their approach.


“They know where each other are instinctively. That was a really important bit, to try and bring Granty in.

“Since I’ve been here, we do get a few free-kicks around the edge of the box. Granty specialises in them, it’s what he does.

“It’s a mindset. He has the quality, but I want my players to be bold and keep getting on the ball. You’re going to make mistakes, you’re human. But don’t stop getting on the ball.

“He [Grant] wants the ball at every opportunity. He looks like he loves playing football and I could watch him all afternoon.

“His figures are elite figures. The work that he does, he’s getting elite numbers in terms of his physical stats.

“I hope that we can help him get to the very top, I really do. Him, Tyler and Jordan [Smith], I really do want them to keep progressing.

“I see potential in a player, and my job as a manager is to get that out of them. This group, they epitomise that.

“Whatever I ask them [players] to commit to, they commit to. They’re a brilliant bunch to work with, they really are.”

The Stags’ boss says he will not ‘underestimate’ today’s convincing victory, as he says it came against a side that are ‘full of passion.’

“I’m certainly not going to underestimate this victory. The team that Micky [Mellon] has built epitomises him. It’s full of passion.

“Tranmere are so committed to the manager so we didn’t take this game lightly. When they went down to ten men, it wasn’t an easy task.

“Tranmere fight for the manager, and we took that away from them slowly. It was almost a death by a thousand cuts.

“It shows you the quality that we have on the pitch. We’ve been chasing Nicky [Ajose] for quite a while and you can see with his movement, he brings players in.

“Some of the one-touch play we’ve got, it’s fantastic. There were a lot of fouls in the game, but it’s because we move the ball really quickly.

“I’m delighted for the players and the supporters today because the Yeovil game still disappoints me.

“I know what quality a Micky Mellon Tranmere team brings. One thing they’ll never do is lie down.

“Because of the foul count first-half, it was difficult to get into any fluidity. The sending off is a sending off, they were two rash tackles in close proximity.

“We’re a difficult team to go up against with ten men because of our fluidity. We move the ball and it was a really professional performance from the players. It was ruthless.”


David Flitcroft on injuries and training ground:

"Bish has been struggling with a back injury.
We've been on astroturf for 10 weeks now. When we moved into the new training ground I did feel that in this period now we'd be on the grass. The lads keep looking over at the grass and wanting to be on it, but we can't, it's not right.
I'm going to have to rethink. Tyler was the same, he jarred it the other day, and it's gone into his neck, he's had a neck spasm. It was touch and go whether Tyler played to day to be honest.
I've got to rethink the strategy now down at the training ground. Maybe even come back up to the club. I don't want to dismantle what we've been doing there but we've been collecting a few injuries now and it does worry me.
I'll have a good meeting with the chairman this week and speak to him about that, and see if we can progress things. But certainly I've loved my time at the training ground but what we can't do now is derail it by getting a glut of injuries, it would be criminal."


David Flitcroft delighted by comprehensive Mansfield Town win at home to Tranmere
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Saturday 26 January 2019

David Flitcroft was a happy man after seeing his side overcome ten-man Tranmere Rovers at the One Call Stadium on Saturday. Jorge Grant scored twice and Tyler Walker once as Mansfield maintained their top three spot. READ THE REPORT HERE And Flitcroft paid tribute to his players.

He said: “I am delighted for the players and supporters today. It was quite a ruthless performance.

Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/david-flitcroft-delighted-by-comprehensive-mansfield-town-win-at-home-to-tranmere-1-9559533

“I won't underestimate this victory. I watched Tranmere's famous win with ten men at the end of last season and what Micky Mellon has built is a team that epitomises him - full of passion and really committed players.

“We didn't take this game lightly and, when they went down to ten men, it wasn't an easy task as the expectation is for you to then go on and dominate them. “But Tranmere dig in and fight for Micky and their fans. They will never lie down. I have seen them galvanised by going down to ten men.

“We took that away from them slowly - it was like death from a thousand cuts really. It just show the quality we now have on the pitch as we are trying to progress.

“There were a lot of fouls in the game, but that's because we move the ball really quick. It made fluidity difficult. “It was two rash, stupid tackles in close proximity."

Flitcroft hailed new signing Jorge Grant, who scored his first from a free-kick before adding a more straightforward second later on. He said: “We do get a few free kicks around the box and Granty specialises in them. He was out there yesterday practising them, which I love about players.

“He has the quality but I want my players to be bold and keep getting on the ball.

“He wants the ball at every opportunity and he looks like he loves playing football. I could watch him all afternoon. He's got elegance and style.

“His figures are elite figures and I really hope we can help him get to the top. “He is trying to help us get promotion but I want to see him, Tyler Walker and Jordan Smith to keep progressing in their careers to the highest level they can. “Tyler had a back injury that turned into a neck spasm so he was touch and go if he played today."


Race against time for Mansfield Town to secure a replacement for Hayden White
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS

Mansfield Town face a race against time to find a replacement for broken leg victim Hayden White with the January transfer window closing at 11pm on Thursday. The versatile White is out for the rest of the season, leaving Mansfield short at both right back and centre half.

“We are looking into it,” said manager David Flitcroft. “We have got a few options. Greg (Abbott, head of football operations) has been working on it. He was ultra-busy at the weekend, trying to make something happen.

Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/race-against-time-for-mansfield-town-to-secure-a-replacement-for-hayden-white-1-9561023

“Hayden’s injury leaves us short and CJ (Hamilton) has had to come in there as a bit of a stop-gap like he did at the start of the season, but he’s done fantastically well. “I don’t want to come out of the window and feel like we are short down that side.

“We have not got a natural right back now and I have also lost my centre half cover as Hayden was excellent coming in on the right hand side of the three.”


Mansfield Town will try again at promotion rivals Forest Green Rovers tomorrow night (7.45) after the game was abandoned at half-time due to a waterlogged pitch last month.
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS

Stags boss David Flitcroft believes the referee made the right decision as he did not want to see such a big game settled by an error caused by the standing water on the pitch, the scores locked at 0-0 when it was called off. The playing surface became saturated, with 6,000 litres of water being taken off the pitch in the first 45 minutes - the equivalent of the entire month of May last year.

“I personally think it was the right decision to call the game off at half-time. I don’t think they did,” said Flitcroft.

Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/mansfield-town-try-again-at-rivals-forest-green-after-abandonment-1-9561019

“But at least now we can go down there on a Tuesday and get a fair reflection. “I think a mistake would have swung the game either way, which would have been a shame as you have two good teams trying to get out of this league. I felt like that during the first half.

“We go down there now and stay in a really good hotel during the day and we are doing things right. We are looking forward to it.”

Rovers have won three and drawn one of their five games so far this month and Flitcroft added: “They have done so much good work at Forest Green this season.

“I have so much respect for the way they do things, for their manager and for the way they play.”


Grant praises teammates after latest victory
mansfieldtown.net, Saturday 26 January 2019

Attacking midfielder Jorge Grant was full of praise for both defence and attack as Mansfield Town secured a 3-0 victory over Tranmere Rovers on Saturday afternoon.

Grant, on-loan from Nottingham Forest, notched his first goal in a Stags shirt with a brilliant set-piece before doubling his tally with quick reactions in the second period.

The brace capped off a silky display on not only a personal note, but collectively, as Mansfield kept the Rovers at bay to chalk up their 14th clean sheet of the season.

And Grant drew attention to this following his side’s third successive victory in Sky Bet League Two.

“Defensively we were solid,” he affirmed. “I think Tranmere had one chance which was a header in the first half from a corner, and then from that going forward we’re a brilliant team that creates so many chances for each other.


“We kept it solid at the back - I thought they were a good counter-attacking side. We passed the ball around well and were able to split them open quite a few times and overall we played good football.

“We said at half time: ‘If we pass the ball right then spaces will open up’ and with one less man that’s exactly what we did.”

The 24-year-old conceded that he would have liked a hat-trick, but was pleased that his goals helped secured three more points nevertheless.

“Three [goals] would have been nice but I’m happy to score two and obviously get the win for the boys.

“I try my hardest always, try and give 100 percent for the team, and on the ball I try and show my ability as much as possible - that’s what I keep doing at the moment.

“I got awarded it [man of the match] last time I was home as well so I’m really happy about that, too.”

Grant’s delightful free-kick in the first period set the Stags well on their way to victory, and he revealed that it had come to fruition via work in training in the days previous.

“I was practising some [free-kicks] yesterday in training, they weren’t great and I managed to put a lot over the bar but I’m happy this one has gone underneath,” he said jokingly.

“It’s something I worked on from a young age when me and my dad used to go out and practice, so it’s starting to come out more often than not.

“I enjoyed that one the most especially as it was the first one for Mansfield.”

iFollow Stags subscribers can watch the interview in full by logging into mansfieldtown.net/ifollow.


'Practice makes perfect' for Grant as brace aids Mansfield Town win
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Saturday 26 January 2019

Two-goal Jorge Grant said practice makes perfect as his textbook free kick set Mansfield Town on the way to a 3-0 home win over 10-men Tranmere Rovers today. Grant won a second successive man of the match award at the One Call Stadium and said his perfect free kick was down to hours of practice.

“I was practising them yesterday,” he said. “They weren't great. I put a lot over the bar but was happy this one today went underneath it.

Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/practice-makes-perfect-for-grant-as-brace-aids-mansfield-town-win-1-9559604

“It's something I have practised from a young age. My dad and I used to go down to the field and practice, practice, practice.

“It's starting to come out more often than not now.” Grant netted a second in the second half and said: “Three goals would have been nice but I am happy to score two and get the win for the boys. “We kept it solid at the back as they are a good counter-attacking side. “We passed the ball really well and split them open loads of times. We played good football.” On his man of the match accolade, he said: “I was given it last time we were at home as well, so I am really happy. “I always give 100 per cent for the team and on the ball try to show my ability as often as possible. “This is a really good team. Defensively we are so solid - I think they had one chance with a first half header from a corner. “Going forward we are a great footballing team that creates so many chances for each other.” Grant netted 19 goals last season, and that feat has now been equalled by fellow Forest loanee Tyler Walker, who bagged the other goal.

“I got there last year and I said to him you need to beat me and he has matched me. So I am really happy for him,” said Grant. “He is a great lad, a great person and a great player who is doing really well.”


Brace for me and goal for my guy! Good day at the office


Micky's Mansfield reaction

Tranmere Rovers manager Micky Mellon was frustrated with the defeat at Mansfield Town but was proud of the work rate his players showed with ten men.

Rovers slipped to a 3-0 loss against the promotion-chasing Stags at Field Mill with Jorge Grant’s double either side of Tyler Walker’s goal, with TRFC playing much of the match with ten men after Ollie Banks’ red card.

Banks saw red after being booked twice in five minutes as he was sent-off after 37 minutes.
And the Scot feels that the sending off was always going to make it tough for his side.

Mellon said: “It goes without that we are gutted with the result, we obviously made it very difficult for ourselves with the sending off, but it was always going to be a tough afternoon there.

Read more at https://www.tranmererovers.co.uk/news/2019/january/mickys-mansfield-reaction/

“In terms of work rate, the boys kept fighting and there’s no way that you could fault them for that, it has been a tough afternoon and it was difficult for us.

“I think he should go for the challenge, if you go for a challenge you need to get the ball so on that one, the second tackle if you’re on a yellow, you don’t make a tackle like that, and then their players gave the referee a decision to make and he was only going to go one way.”

To listen to the manager's interview in full, please click here to be directed to our iFollow account.


Micky Mellon questions Ollie Banks’ decision-making as he rues red card that ‘completely changed’ Mansfield match
On an afternoon in which the 3-0 scoreline was not the greatest cause for concern, ill-discipline took centre stage for criticism


Tranmere’s trip to Mansfield Town was never going to be easy, but Rovers certainly made the occasion far more complex than it needed to be.

On an afternoon in which the 3-0 scoreline was not the greatest cause for concern, ill-discipline took centre stage for criticism.

With three players on yellow cards and one dismissed by half-time, this truly was a performance whereby Rovers, themselves, single-handedly dented any hopes of obtaining an unlikely triumph.

Two needless challenges - each meriting a yellow card - within the space of four minutes saw Ollie Banks walk the plank. Banks - a player who often is pulling the strings in midfield left his teammates to pick up the pieces of his careless error.

Given Mansfield’s undoubted quality, this contest was headed in only one direction after the interval.

Fully aware of how damaging losing a player of Banks’ calibre so early on in proceedings was, Micky Mellon could only hold his hands up and admit the adverse implications this ended up having on the side.

Indeed, Banks' decision to commit to a late challenge having only just been booked moments before puzzled the Whites’ manager.

“I think the sending off has changed the game. It has absolutely changed the way the game was going to get played”, said Mellon.

“We shot ourselves in the foot with the moment in the game when we go down to ten men, and it’s always going to be difficult against a side that’s riding high like Mansfield to get any kind of footway in the game after that.

“I think he shouldn’t go for the challenge. If you’re going to go for a challenge, you have to get the ball", he continued.

“The second tackle, if you’re already on a yellow, you don’t go for another tackle like that. Obviously, all their players give the referee a decision to make, and let’s be fair, it was only going to go one way, wasn’t it?

“It’s difficult because, was there really a bad tackle apart from the Banks one? I’ve put my hands up and said ‘you can’t go for that’. You look at the stats in that game and you’ll think Tranmere have come here and it’s been a kicking fest. Has it really been that? It just beggars belief, it really does. Were we just kicking Mansfield all over the place? No.”

Despite staring in the face of adversity, Mellon believes his players gave all they had, though came unstuck courtesy of conceding what he described as ‘cheap goals’.

And he had every reason to feel disappointed about the manner in which Rovers were breached. Mansfield were quickest to react in and around the Tranmere box, as they punished statuesque defending to score their second and third goals of the match.

“It goes without saying, we’re gutted with the result. We made it very difficult for ourselves with the sending off, and it was always going to be a tough afternoon. But in terms of work-rate, the boys kept fighting. There’s no way you could fault them for that. But, again, its been a tough afternoon with a lot of things decided by a referee, which decided the way the game was going to be played, he said.

“They absolutely ran themselves into the ground, they kept fighting, fighting, fighting. We know that we get that from them. We’re disappointed with the second goal, it has come off the keeper and none of us have followed it in, and the same with the third; you’ve got to follow that in, to try and keep yourself in the game. When that starts to happen, you know that the game is drifting away from you.

“We gave away two cheap goals that have come off the goalkeeper, we didn’t defend the area in front of the keeper and we didn’t react as good as Mansfield did. We would have to say that was disappointing."


Tranmere boss Mellon takes heart despite defeat to Mansfield Town
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Saturday 26 January 2019

Despite 'shooting themselves in the foot' with Ollie Banks' costly 36th minute red card, Tranmere Rovers boss Micky Mellon was impressed by his 10 men's battling qualities in today's 3-0 defeat at Mansfield Town. Stags were already 1-0 up when Banks went for a second poor tackle in four minutes for a second yellow. But Mellon was unhappy with his side seeing five yellow cards from referee Ben Toner and none going Mansfield's way.

“It goes without saying that we are gutted with the result,” he said.

Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/tranmere-boss-mellon-takes-heart-despite-defeat-to-mansfield-town-1-9559538

“We obviously made it very difficult for ourselves with the sending off. We shot ourselves in the foot. “It was always going to be a tough afternoon for us here against a team that's riding high like Mansfield.

“But in terms of work rate and the way the boys kept fighting you really couldn't fault them. They had a right good go at it.”

He continued: “It's been a tough afternoon with a lot of things decided by a referee who decided the way the game was going to be played which made it difficult for us.

“Apart from the Banks one was there a bad tackle? You look at the stats and you think Tranmere came here and it's been a kicking fest.

“It beggars belief. You ask was there that many tackles that merited yellow cards and why did we get them all if it was that type of game or were we just kicking Mansfield all over the place? No.”

But Mellon had no qualms over the red card decision. “To be fair I think he should go for that challenge,” he said. “If you are going to go for a challenge you've got to get the ball. If you are already on a yellow you don't go for another tackle like that.

“The sending-off completely changed the game.”

On the goals, he added “We gave away a foul in a dangerous area for the first goal.

“We were very disappointed with the second goal as it came off the keeper and none of us followed it in.

“The same with the third - you have got to follow that in to keep yourself in the game. They were two cheap goals.”


Scott Davies on why Tranmere still punch above weight and rallying cry after Mansfield defeat
Davies was keen to make clear that Rovers are still overachieving upon their return to the Football League


Scott Davies believes Tranmere remain capable of achieving the play-offs this season, despite falling five points adrift of the top seven following Saturday’s 3-0 defeat to Mansfield Town.

While this is something he views as achievable, Davies was keen to make clear that Rovers are still overachieving upon their return to the Football League.

"We weren’t expected to go out and do what we’ve done," he said.

This was only the second time this season that Micky Mellon’s men have lost back-to-back league games, as they were unable to bounce back from a 2-1 home loss to Swindon Town.

And despite spirits being somewhat dampened by Mansfield, Davies put the defeat into perspective.

“We’re in this league, we’re fighting in this league and we’re fighting for the play-offs”, said the Rovers shot-stopper.

“We’re a group, we fight hard every week, we go out there and put everything on the line- and we will continue to do so. I think if you look at the season as a whole, it’s a lot more positive than negative."

Davies added: “We’re new to the league, we weren’t expected to go and do what we’ve done. It is what it is, it’s football, it’s going to happen. It’s happened to better teams than us. We’ll go back to training, we’ll fight hard and hopefully get three points on Saturday.

“There’s 17 games to go. At the start of the season, you look at these games and maybe these are the games (Mansfield) you think you might not get points from; whatever you can get, you take.

“We’ve got a lot of home games to go, we know how many games we need to win, so bring it on. We’re a confident group, we’ve got good players and we’ll be fighting until the end.”

While the gulf in class between high-flying Mansfield and the Whites was on show at stages in the match, it could have ended all so differently had Mellon’s side not been so reckless.

Davies admitted that Ollie Banks’ first-half red card ‘killed’ Tranmere, which left chances of obtaining a result hanging in the balance.

“In the first-half, I thought it was an even contest. Ollie will hold his hands up, he obviously made a mistake. I thought that changed the game. It was then a case of trying to stay in the game for as long as we could.

“He’s human. We all make mistakes. We’re not going to crucify him for it, we need him-he’s a good player.

“I think we can compete with teams like this, but the sending off killed us, and there were other moments in the match as well. We will analyse it and we’ll move on quickly, because there are still 17 games to go.”

While Tranmere only had themselves to blame for ill-discipline, Davies also claims the side must ‘fight harder’ for rebounds. The Stags were quickest to react to saves from the Rovers keeper, which saw the hosts score their second and third goals in the match.

“I’m disappointed with the goals, from a personal point of view, you’ve got to fight harder for the rebounds. But it was always going to be difficult with eleven men, let alone ten," he added.

“Sometimes you’re just making a save and you have to hope that you’re backed up; especially with the second one.”



Latest | January 2019