FLITCROFT, PEARCE, SOL CAMPBELL REACTION
Manager hails ‘resilience’ and ‘commitment’ after victory
mansfieldtown.net, Saturday 02 February 2019
Stags’ boss David Flitcroft says he is ‘proud’ of the ‘resilience’ and ‘commitment’ shown by his charges during the season so far, following today’s 3-1 victory over Macclesfield Town.
The sides went into half-time of today’s match with a goal-apiece, after Jorge Grant’s early effort was cancelled out by Callum Evans.
Mansfield emerged as the better side in the second period, and goals from Tyler Walker and Krystian Pearce wrapped up the points.
The manager was pleased by the improved second-half showing.
“For 20 minutes [in the first-half] we played our brand of football and moved the ball quite well,” he said. “We scored an early goal, but then took our foot off the gas.
“We over-indulged. I keep saying to them, make sure that you hurt teams - and for 20 minutes, they did.
“We hurt them second-half. They started to tire and we asked more questions of them. We passed it forward with more urgency and we ran more.
“The turning point in the game is the [Jordan Smith] save at 1-1. It was a fantastic save. Jordan’s raced off his line and made a brilliant save.
“We’ve lost two games at home and one game away. There’s a reason for that - the team has a lot of quality in it.
“But what we have shown all season is resilience and a commitment to each other and the supporters. That’s something that I’m very proud of.
“There was a willingness to go and take the game. It’s so important and it means so much to them.”
Walker’s late strike against the Silkmen put him on 20 goals for the season, and the manager put the impressive feat down to the forward’s ‘ability and energy.’
“The challenge I’ve spoken to him [Walker] about is 30 goals, which is something that not many strikers reach.
“He certainly has the ability and the energy to do it. He’s been brilliant. As teams get tired, he comes alive and he anticipates.
“He’s hungry for goals. He’s got that anticipating factor that he’s scored again from.”
It was announced after full-time that the Stags have added to their ranks with the acquisition of experienced defender Ben Turner, a signing that David Flitcroft says will add ‘substance’ and ‘steel’ to the dressing room.
The manager also reflected on the January transfer window as a whole.
“We’ve assessed Mirf [David Mirfin] now over three or four reserve games, and he’s still short for what we’re trying to achieve - the games are getting bigger.
“The big one for me is losing Hayden White. With Sweens [Ryan Sweeney] on nine bookings, Matty Preston on eight bookings, it was important that we got cover for that position.
“Ben has promotion on his CV and he’s a good player to have in the dressing room. We’re a team full of energy - and we’re adding a bit of steel and substance to the dressing room.
“I’m delighted with the capture. It may be ten days until we can use him as we picked up on the medical that he came off against Man City [for Burton] - but we’ll nurse him through that slight calf injury that he’s got.
“I always look at a long-term plan and a long-term vision. I want players that are going to listen and want to learn.
“Youth brings hunger, but so does the right character. Getting Neal Bishop in with his hunger, his desire, is something that drives me as a manager.
“We’ve had to clean this up, but it took two windows. Calum Butcher has been brilliant for me this season, but I saw the last six weeks, when he wanted desperately to play. I wish him all the success he deserves.
“It was important that we got the players in first. We have good quality here, but more importantly, I have good people.
“I believe in people coming to Mansfield for the right reasons - for football reasons, for success reasons. People that want to come and fight for us.”
iFollow Stags subscribers can watch the manager’s interview in full by logging into mansfieldtown.net/ifollow later today.
Mansfield Town boss David Flitcroft identifies Nottingham Forest loanee’s contribution as turning point in win over Macclesfield
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Saturday 02 February 2019
Mansfield Town boss David Flitcroft cited Jordan Smith’s crucial save at 1-1 as the turning point in Stags’ 3-1 home win over gutsy strugglers Macclesfield Town today.
Smith stayed big to deny Scott Wilson in a one-on-one on 54 minutes before Krystian Pearce put Stags on the victory trail three minutes later.
“The turning point in the game is the save at 1-1,” said Flitcroft.
“It was a fantastic save. The kid had gone through and Jordan raced off his line.
“It was the catalyst to go forward and get a deserved win.
“We have good quality but again today we showed we have resilience and a commitment to each other and the supporters which I am proud of.
“They were scrappy goals but the important thing is that tomorrow newspapers say it was 3-1 to Mansfield.”
Stags failed to build on an early lead and were lucky to go in all square as Macclesfield levelled and hit the post.
“That was probably the most disappointed I’ve been at home, but there were certain factors, though I never make excuses,” he said.
“For 20 minutes we moved the ball quite well and played our brand of football, taking an early lead.
“Then we took our foot off the gas, stopped doing what we are good at and asking questions of defenders and back fours.
“We over-indulged and for 25 minutes didn’t resemble us. I told them at half-time if you come off plan you won’t play.
“We hurt them second half. They started to tire second half and we started to pass forward with more urgency, ran more and gave them more problems.”
Forest loanee Tyler Walker netted his 20th goal of the season at the death and Flitcroft said: “As a striker you probably do things in fives.
“The challenge I have given him is 30 goals. Not many strikers achieve that in a season and he certainly has the ability, energy and quality to do it. He has been brilliant.
“He is hungry for goals.”
Mansfield Town skipper Krystian Pearce targets League Two trophy
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Saturday 02 February 2019
Mansfield Town skipper Krsytian Pearce said the League Two title is very much their goal after a 3-1 home win over Macclesfield moved them within two points of the summit.
Leaders Lincoln were held at Notts County and Pearce, who bagged his first goal of the season today, said: “That has been the target from day one and hopefully by the end of the season I can be holding that trophy.
“After the draw against Forest Green we wanted to back it up with a win and that point at Forest Green now becomes a good point. “We are closing the gap on other teams and hopefully we can keep closing in on Lincoln.”
Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/mansfield-town-skipper-krystian-pearce-targets-league-two-trophy-1-9572729
It was hard work for Stags today as they saw an early lead wiped out before winning it with two scrappy second half goals amid scrambles.
“They were two very different halves. We got to grips with it more second half and obviously we took our chances and they didn’t,” he said.
“I think we tried to over-play first half but second half we made better decisions and got a better outcome. “They set up to hit us on the break but we dealt with it well.”
Pearce’s finish took a deflection but he said it was definitely his goal. He smiled: “I have been told to stay back for most corners so I have not been able to get in the box as much as previous seasons, but I am glad to get off the mark. It was definitely my goal.
“I spun round the back, lost my marker, then found myself free in the box. The rest is history.”
Stags were cheered home by a bumper 5,642 crowd and he added: “The fans have been right behind us since the start of the season and confidence is growing around the ground with every win.”
Skipper salutes decisive edge
mansfieldtown.net, Saturday 02 February 2019
Stags’ skipper Krystian Pearce has hailed his side’s ‘decision making’ as the main component behind the 3-1 victory against Macclesfield Town.
The first half ended all square as Jorge Grant’s opener was cancelled out by Callum Evans at One Call Stadium.
But Mansfield turned up the heat in the second period with Pearce and Tyler Walker securing three points with a goal apiece.
The commanding centre-half subsequently praised the Stags’ second-half showing as they restricted Sol Campbell’s men to few chances.
“Decision making [was the difference] because we tried to overplay it at times and got caught out,” Pearce began. “But in the second half we made better decisions and got a better outcome, too.
“They were set up to try and counter attack and hit us on the break but I think we dealt with it well and got the three points.
“They were two very different halves. We got to grips more in the second half and we took our chances - which they didn’t.
“After the draw against Forest Green we wanted to back it up with a win. That becomes a good point now against them and we’re closing the gap on the other team [Lincoln].
“Hopefully we can keep on closing it to Lincoln as well.”
There were 5,642 fans on-hand to witness the Stags’ 15th win in Sky Bet League Two as a result of their under-18s go free offer.
The 29-year-old subsequently praised the bumper crowd that was in attendance as he netted his first goal of the season.
“They [the fans] have been right behind us since the start of the season and obviously with every win the confidence is only growing around the ground. We hope it continues.
“I hope it [Pearce’s goal] isn’t a collector’s item. I’ve been told to stay back for most corners so I’ve not been able to get in the box like in previous seasons but I’m glad to get off the mark.
“It was definitely my goal. 100 percent. I’ve spun around and lost my marker so being free in the box and the rest is history - I’ve put it in,” he joked.
“Nobody has tried to take it away from me, definitely not.”
Mansfield’s victory takes them to within two points of table-toppers Lincoln City, whose visit to the One Call Stadium has now been moved for televised coverage.
Pearce stated his unwavering focus towards the game when the two sides meet next month.
“Whenever we play Lincoln it’s always the same for me - I just want to get three points and a clean sheet. That’s what we’ll be trying to get.”
“It’s [the title chase] been the aim since day one and hopefully come the end of the season I can be lifting that trophy.”
“We have the best defence by a good few goals now, the most clean sheets as well, so we’re just trying to keep as many as possible.”
iFollow Stags subscribers can watch the skipper's interview in full by logging into mansfieldtown.net/ifollow later today.
Tyler Walker @tylerjandrew1
What a win from the boys! Need to keep pushing to achieve our goals buzzing to have scored my 20th goal of the season time to finish the season strong
What a win! We all dug deep together as a team in the second half and got the win. Happy to score again 5 unbeaten now
Neal Bishop @NealBish
Get in the boys!!
Macclesfield Town boss Sol Campbell bemoans poor finishing in Mansfield Town defeat
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Saturday 02 February 2019
Macclesfield Town boss Sol Campbell believed that with better finishing today, his struggling side would have beaten Mansfield Town. The visitors had their chances and keeper Jordan Smith made a crucial save at 1-1 while the Silkmen also hit the post in the 3-1 defeat.
Stags moved closer to leaders Lincoln, and Campbell said: “Good luck to Mansfield in their title and promotion charge, but we have to look at ourselves and say we’ve played a top team away and we really should have come up away with something.
“We started very slowly. They scored from a rebound when we should have been tracking our runners.
Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/macclesfield-town-boss-sol-campbell-bemoans-poor-finishing-in-mansfield-town-defeat-1-9572669
“But we got back into the game and it was all about the two boxes. “We should be more switched on with their set plays and we really need to make the keeper work a bit more with our chances when it was 1-1.
“We responded really well to going behind and started playing a bit more.”
Campbell continued: “They are up there at the top looking for promotion and we gave them a really good game. “It just came down to chances. If we’d been sharper up front it would have been a different story.
“If they had had our chances we’d have lost 5-1. We created fantastic opportunities. “We hit the post and then had a lot of chances second half we should have stuck away to put the game out of sight. We need more cool in front of goal.”
Sol: "We Need To Be More Ruthless"
Sol Campbell stressed that his Macclesfield side need to start taking their chances if they’re going to pick up results after the Silkmen’s 3-1 defeat away to Mansfield Town yesterday.
Macclesfield were made to pay for their profligacy when second-half goals from Krystian Pearce and Tyler Walker sent Mansfield on their way to victory, despite the Silkmen looking the better side for much of the contest
Campbell was disappointed with how his side began proceedings and how they were unable to convert their dominance into a result.
“We started very slow. We weren’t tracking our runners, Kieran makes a good save but the rebound falls to the scorer. We should have really tracked our runners and helped the ball on.
“We got back into the game, but then it’s all bout the two boxes. We should really be a bit more switched on with our set plays and we really need to work the keeper a bit more with our chances when it’s 1-1.
“We responded really well. We started playing a bit more, but we can play more than that. They’re at the top, looking for promotion and we gave them a really good game, but it just came down to chances and if we had a bit more sharpness up front then it would have been a different score. We hit the post as well so.
“We had our chances in the second-half. We should have stuck them all away and put the game out of sight. We really need to be a lot cooler in front of goal, we should have been a bit sharper.
“Also the disappointing thing for me is that the players weren’t switched on for the set-plays, they weren’t amazing set-plays. We lost our men from time to time and it cost us a goal.
“All in all, we started really slowly in this game and I was a little bit disappointed in that. We got back into it but it’s just the boxes - the two boxes. Our set-plays we needed to be on it and in front of goal we needed to be cooler because we would have won the game.”
The Silkmen boss praised Saturday’s opponents but felt that his team held their own against a side that are battling it out for promotion.
“They all count, and we lost the game but that’s how it is. Good luck to Mansfield in their fight for the title and their promotion charge, but really we have to look at ourselves and say we’ve played a top team and we really should have come away with something.
“We’ve got to put this behind us, big time. The main thing is we’re creating chances, but we just have to stick them away.
“I want a little bit more, because we had the chances and they’re a top team - if they had our chances they would have won 5-1, and that’s it really. We’ve created some fantastic opportunities, but we just need to be cooler in front of goal.”
Macclesfield were without main striker Harry Smith and Koby Arthur, however Campbell was adamant that the absence of both players was no excuse for why his side didn’t convert their opportunities.
“They’re both injured. Koby’s thigh and Harry’s hamstring. Harry is a big part of us but again, we had the chances to win the game, it’s simple as that.
“We’re creating chances but we just need to stick them away. That’s the pleasing thing for us is that we are creating the chances, we just need that little bit more composure in front of goal.
“We’re working hard with the guys to make sure they’re a lot cooler in front of goal. We just need to calm the mind, be cool and collected and for me if both guys put it in the corner then the keeper has no chance. We’ve just got to keep working on the field, keep working hard, make sure we look at every single detail.
“Because we all get our chances in the game, just we as a team need to be more ruthless in front of goal. We need to make sure the keeper has no chance. Honestly, if they had our chances then we would be losing 5-1, the game should have been put out of reach.”
There were debuts for two of the Silkmen’s January transfer acquisitions with both Brice Ntambwe and Botti Biabi making their first appearance.
The duo came on as second-half substitutes and Campbell was pleased with what he seen from the pair.
“I think Brice played really well, he broke up the tackles and he gives us that physical presence and he is a good passer and I quite like that.
“Botti had just came on the Friday so he’s feeling his way into the side and we’ve got some more guys to come on as well.
“We’re building a team, we’re building a strong team and we’ve got a lot to learn. We have to learn from this type of result and we’ve just got to be more ruthless in front of goal. We need to be a bit more determined in our half, especially set-plays because we’ve let in sloppy goals.
Campbell was aggrieved in the manner of which his side conceded, with set-pieces being an aspect his Silkmen side focus on weekly.
Despite the result, and the hampered training preparations, the Macclesfield manager is ready to push on for the rest of the season and was grateful for the excellent following support at the One Call stadium yesterday.
“It’s not like they’ve fashioned an amazing free-kick, we’ve just not tracked our runners.
“It would help rather not training on the astro but on grass, because that hampered our training this week. But it is what it is and you’ve just got to make do and get on with it, try to get the best out of it and we’ll do that.
“It’s a long season, we need to learn from this type of result and when we get our chances just be cooler in front of goal.”
“Great support from all the fans to come here and support the team. We always need those guys supporting and travelling with us, it’s a shame we couldn’t get a result".
Nathan: "We Know We Are Better Than That"
Macclesfield Town captain Nathan Cameron insists the team will look to put things right against Crewe next weekend after a disappointing 3-1 defeat at Mansfield on Saturday.
The skipper admitted that he was not happy with the teams defending at times during Saturday’s defeat; but he also conceded that fine margins made a difference in a frustrating afternoon at the One Call Stadium.
“I think it was a lot tighter [than the score line suggested]. It was decided in both boxes, which of course most games are, but I didn’t think we defended as well as we should have, especially from set pieces and that’s what cost us today.
“The boys have had it out in there and we have talked about it and there have been a lot of things exchanged, but we have got to be better than that.
“We know we’re better than that, we haven’t conceded a lot since I’ve been here from set pieces so we are very disappointed and we have had some good chances, but we shouldn’t have to score 3 or 4 goals away from home to win a game.
“We should have taken a point from what happened outside of the two boxes, but like I said, the game is decided in both boxes.”
Scott Wilson came close to putting us ahead just before half time when his shot rebounded back off the post and some glorious second half chances went begging before Mansfield stamped their control on proceedings as the second half progressed.
“That’s the fine margins in football.
“If we go 2-1 up and maybe nick a chance in the second half and made it 3-1, I don’t know if they come back from that; but that’s what happens when you’re down there, things go against you and you have to keep working hard.”
“I thought we played some decent stuff at times and when we’ve been at home, we have been strong.”
Nathan was quick to point out that the defensive lapses were out of character for the Silkmen of late; and looked forward to Crewe at the Moss Rose next Saturday as the ideal opportunity to put things right.
“Since the gaffer has come in, he wants us to play, and [the next game] is the perfect chance to put it right.”
Despite the negatives from Saturday, Nathan wanted to thank the fans for your continued support and urged you all to continue to be behind the team as we enter the business end of the campaign.
“The fans were brilliant, they always are, they always give us support no matter what the score is or how we are playing but I just want to thank them for coming and hopefully they can keep supporting us because we need it.”