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13th March 2019 12:57


Stags’ boss salutes ‘amazing’ support
mansfieldtown.net, Thursday 07 March 2019

Manager David Flitcroft has paid respect to the ‘absolutely brilliant’ Mansfield faithful, with over 1,000 Stags’ supporters expected to attend Saturday’s game away to Port Vale.

We announced yesterday that Stags’ fans have sold out our allocation of adult tickets for the clash at Vale Park, with tickets still available to purchase on the day of the game.

The manager says that it is now up to the Stags to ‘represent’ the ‘amazing’ supporters.

“We’ve had the offers on at the One Call and a lot of people in Mansfield took advantage of that. We have to make sure that we represent those supporters,” he said, speaking in this morning’s news conference.

“We have to make sure that the fans see the best of us [this Saturday], and see what being a Mansfield Town player represents.

https://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/2019/march/gaffer-pre-port-vale/

“I love working here. The supporters I’ve met are very honest, and I don’t mind that. There’s a generation of support here who do come up to me quite a lot and speak about the football we’re playing, and that pleases me.

“They [supporters] have been brilliant - they’ve been absolutely brilliant. From a difficult period last season, they now come to games optimistic.

“I love working here and training these players. On a Saturday, there’s a backing. And you can feel it behind you - it’s strong. The fans do represent us as a football team.

“The support we’ve had this season has been amazing. In our last [away] outing, we let those supporters down. It’s now a case of making sure we right those wrongs.

“We’ll make sure we commit to every action in the game and commit to everything we do - the players have certainly done that this week.

“We’ll really focus on ourselves. We’ve had a reserve game and two really good training sessions. It always helps when you bounce in from a win.”

Ahead of Saturday’s clash, the Stags’ chief is expecting a difficult encounter against a Port Vale side that has recently undergone a change in management.

“There are no bankers in this league,” he added. “It’s so tight - there are a lot of teams trying to get in the play-offs, and there’s a dogfight down at the bottom of the league.

“They [Port Vale] have had a management change and John Askey has come in, who did a phenomenal job at Macclesfield.

“There’s been sort of a wrestle period where he’s worked out the squad. They were dominant against Notts County and have energy in the team.

“They’ve now found a formula that they believe works for them. I’ve been reiterating [to the players] what we’re good at and the quality that we have in our team. We have to make sure that we commit to every moment.

“Not many teams ever go and dominate for 95 minutes. It just doesn’t happen. There are periods in games where we might have to change the system. The players are aware of that, and know where they have to be and what they have to do.

“The players take the message on board. We did it really successfully [against Cheltenham] and scored four really good goals.”

The manager also provided an injury update on his charges, giving the latest on Danny Rose’s recovery in particular.

Meanwhile, defender Matt Preston, who has a knee injury, will be assessed on Friday afternoon.

“We’re long-term with most of them [injuries]. We’re under a process with Danny Rose. That process is that the medical team have certain guidelines that they have to meet.

“He’s getting more work into his legs. We’ve not added opposition into that [training] yet, as all it takes is one trip.

“Hopefully, the start of next week, he’ll be in and around what we’re doing on the training ground. Danny is the one where hopefully next week he’ll be in and around what we’re doing.

“After Saturday’s game, Tyler [Walker] is also back in contention, so that ups the numbers.

“Being injured, you do feel isolated at times, and that Saturday afternoon is taken away from you.

“It’s important that we get round the injured players and keep telling them that they are a big part of that [squad].”

It was announced earlier this week that Rochdale Football Club had terminated the contract of manager Keith Hill with immediate effect.

As a close friend of Keith Hill, having worked alongside him at the Dale for a number of years, the Mansfield boss gave his opinion on the matter.

“What Keith Hill has done there [Rochdale] is probably one of the best jobs in football that I’ve witnessed.

“I spent six years with him, and he was my mentor. The detail he puts in and the passion that he has for the game, he’s relentless with it.

“I think it will be a heavy loss to Rochdale. People say that it’s a results business - which it is - but nearly six-million quid [in player sales], that’s results as well.

“They have a model that’s gone from strength to strength, and we started it probably around 11 years ago now.

“As a friend, you’re seeing someone who has lost his job, but when he comes out the other side of it, there will be other jobs out there that will challenge him again.”

iFollow Stags subscribers can watch David Flitcroft’s interview in full by logging into mansfieldtown.net/ifollow later today.

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Cheltenham victory gives Flitcroft food for thought at Port Vale
chad.co.uk, by SPORTS REPORTER, Thursday 07 March 2019

Last weekend's 4-2 win over Cheltenham Town has given David Flitcroft plenty of decisions to make as he prepares his side for the trip to Port Vale on Saturday. Stags put in a fine display to overcome the Robins and maintain their promotion push. And Flitcroft was pleased with how his side adapted to the changes he made during the game.

He said: “It gave me food for thought on this weekend. As a manager you’re making decisions all the time - do we change the system, personnel and so on. You’re adding them up all the time and making sure you get the right balance.

Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/cheltenham-victory-gives-flitcroft-food-for-thought-at-port-vale-1-9637064

“Not many teams go and dominate 95 minutes of football - you might dominate one half of the game then an astute change by the opposition could give them an advantage, so you have to have to have periods in games where the players know what they have to go to if there is a change in system, but they know where they have to go and what to do if we choose to do that.

“We did that against Cheltenham and it worked really well and we scored four goals."

Flitcroft says that maintaining self belief and instilling confidence in his players remains a key factor. He added: “We have to focus on us. We had a good reserve game in the week where we got some good minutes into players and we’ve had two really good training sessions that were upbeat and with a good tempo, which always helps when you’re coming off a great win like against Cheltenham. We have to let the players know what a good result that was as Bury, who are flying at the moment, only got a point against them.

“To score four goals against them reiterated that we are a good team as we reproduced the football that got us to the top of the table.”

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David Flitcroft pays tribute to Mansfield Town fans ahead of Port Vale trip
chad.co.uk, by SPORTS REPORTER, Thursday 07 March 2019

Mansfield Town boss David Flitcroft says the club's supporters play a huge part in his enjoyment of life at the One Call Stadium.

The Stags will be backed by around 1,000 fans at Port Vale on Saturday as Flitcroft's men aim to maintain their promotion push.

And it's that kind of support, and the rapport he has with the club's fans, that leave the manager glowing in his praise.

He said: "To sell that many tickets is brilliant. We had the offers on at the One Call and a lot of people took advantage of that and we’ve repaid them with three good results at home.

https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/david-flitcroft-pays-tribute-to-mansfield-town-fans-ahead-of-port-vale-trip-1-9636519

“We’ve got to make sure we represent those fans and that the 900-1,000 fans that go to Port Vale see the best of us and that we commit to everything we do, as the players have been doing all week.

“The support all season at home and away has been amazing. At our last home game we let our fans down and we have to right those wrongs.

“I love working here. The fans I’ve met are very honest - they tell you when it’s bad which I don’t mind - but when you get it right and when fans realise it’s not just three points but good football they’re seeing, that pleases me.

“The leagues and players are getting better right down to League Two and the fans are coming to games optimistic. We score a lot of late goals and that keeps the optimism high.

“There’s a great backing here and you can feel it behind you.”

Flitcroft expects a tough encounter at Vale Park despite Saturday's opponents being just above the League Two relegation zone.

He said: "It will be tough. There are no bankers - there are a lot of teams going for promotion and the play-offs and the dogfight at the bottom of the league is evident. That’s what League Two represents in that every team in every game has a chance of getting three points.

“Vale have had a manager change and John Askey, who did a phenomenal job at Macclesfield on the resources he had, has come in and there has been a bit of a wrestle period where he’s worked out his squad, what his team should look like and they were dominant against Notts County last week.

“They’ve found a formula they believe works for them so we’ve looked at that and will try and combat it with what we’ve got and the quality of play we’ve got in our team, which we’ll focus on this week.”

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My best season so far, says Hamilton
mansfieldtown.net, Thursday 07 March 2019

Flying wingman CJ Hamilton says that the ‘big achievement’ of reaching ten goals for the first time in a single campaign follows ‘a lot of work’ with manager David Flitcroft and assistant manager Ben Futcher.

The 23-year-old fired home two strikes in quick succession in the Stags’ recent 4-2 victory over Cheltenham Town, taking his goal tally into double figures for the season.

Hamilton reflected on what he believes is his ‘best’ season so far in professional football.

“It’s the first time I’ve hit that many goals [ten] in a season. It’s a big achievement for me in my career,” he said.

https://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/2019/march/cj-pre-port-vale/

“Hopefully I can go on and make it 15, because that’s now my target.

“This season I’ve been working a lot with the gaffer [David Flitcroft] and Futch [assistant manager Ben Futcher] on my finishing and end product, and you can see that it’s paying off.

“It’s probably my best [season] in professional football.

“It [scoring] gives me a massive lift. Going a few games without scoring makes you wonder when your next goal is going to come. To get two [against Cheltenham] was very good for me.

“The second goal, I thought if I get across the defender and pull it back across goal, it has a good chance of going in.”

Hamilton, who has been utilised in a number of positions so far this season, says that the Stags are working a ‘lot harder’ in comparison to recent campaigns, and that Mansfield are preparing well for Saturday’s game away to Port Vale.

“It [preparation] has been good,” he added. “We’ve been training hard again and we’re obviously looking to get another three points.

“I think everyone has come into training [with a bounce]. We’ve had two victories and now we’re looking for a third [in a row].

“I think we’re working a lot harder [in comparison to recent seasons]. It all started in pre-season when we set a base and stuck with it, and we all followed what the manager thought was the best to do.

“We just need to keep working hard and putting our bodies on the line, and do everything we can to keep picking up those three points.

“Every weekend is different for me - I can be at wing-back, up front, on the wing, anywhere! But I’m happy to be in the team in any way possible.”

The No.22 believes that Saturday’s trip to Vale Park will be a challenge for the Stags, against a side who he believes will put ‘everything on the line.’

He also spoke of the ‘phenomenal’ Mansfield supporters, who are expected to turn up in big numbers for the weekend’s Sky Bet League Two encounter.

“We’ve always been strong against the teams at the top of the table. They [Port Vale] are obviously fighting for survival and will be putting everything on the line.

“They’re fighting [to stay in the league] as much as we are to get out of the league, so it will be a good test on Saturday.

“It’s about picking up the three points away and that’s the aim now, to see if we can go there and kick on.

“The fans since I’ve been here have been phenomenal. Every year, they’ve always backed us wherever we go, and I can’t thank them enough.

“We want to put it [Notts County result] right, because the fans that travelled down that day were left disappointed. The boys weren’t really at it on the day, but this weekend, I’m sure we will be.”

iFollow Stags subscribers can watch CJ Hamilton’s interview in full by logging into mansfieldtown.net/ifollow.

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Mansfield Town’s CJ Hamilton reveals next target
chad.co.uk, by SPORTS REPORTER, Thursday 07 March 2019

Having reached the 10-goal mark, Mansfield Town’s utility man CJ Hamilton has revealed his next target this season. The versatile 23-year-old reached doubled figures for the first time in his professional career with a brace in the 4-2 win over Cheltenham Town. He is now keen to kick-on and add more to his tally to help the Stags in their pursuit of promotion to League One over the coming weeks.

Hamilton said: “It’s the first time I’ve hit that number of goals in a season, so it’s a big achievement for me.

Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/mansfield-town-s-cj-hamilton-reveals-next-target-1-9635999

“Hopefully I can go on and get 15 - that’s my next target. “I’ve been working a lot more with the gaffer on my finishing and final product and it’s paying off.

“It’s probably my best season in professional football. “I think it’s my third or fourth career season and this is my best season overall.”

Mansfield head to Port Vale on Saturday on the back of consecutive home wins and third in the League Two table. Hamilton has backed himself and his Stags team-mates to make up for their last away outing at Notts County.

“We want to put that right,” he said. “We want to kick on away from home and get the three points.” And added: “We are working a lot harder this season. We set a base in pre-season and we’ve stuck with it. “We just need to keep working hard to get those three points, keep putting our bodies on the line.”

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