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FLITCROFT, TURNER AND GABRIELE CIOFFI REACTION
15th March 2019 21:42


Crawley clash an ‘improvement,’ says boss
mansfieldtown.net, Tuesday 12 March 2019

Stags’ boss David Flitcroft says that Tuesday night’s showing against Crawley Town was an ‘improvement’ on recent away displays, but called on his charges to be more ‘ruthless’ in the final third.

Mansfield were held to a goalless draw at the People’s Pension Stadium after creating a number of chances throughout the encounter.

The manager hailed some of the ‘excellent’ quality on show from his players.

“It was an improvement,” he said. “We got the players in on Sunday and I told them that the [recent] away performances have been unacceptable for a Mansfield Town team.

https://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/2019/march/gaffer-post-crawley/

“Tonight the lads have come out and took action on those words. We had to switch to a back four, and the clean sheet was always going to be vital.

“Crawley are a threat in that last third and we nullified them to few chances. But we have to be more ruthless.

“Some of the quality and how we carved them up was excellent. Some of the work was really good in that last third.

“Credit to Crawley, though. They were resolute and put their bodies on the line. The game had a bit of everything.

“We came down here wanting to win. I’ve not set the team up to take a point. We wanted those three points, desperately, but it’s a point we’ll respect.”

The Stags’ chief says that there were ‘fight and spirit’ on display from his men, before praising defender Ben Turner, who started and performed excellently in the game.

“They [players] worked for each other. More personality came in the team tonight and you need that.

“The spine certainly had that with Conrad [Logan], Macca [Alex MacDonald] and Bish [Neal Bishop].

“There was more of a freshness to what we did, and certainly the fight and spirit was there, which is what you want to see as a supporter.

“I felt really low with what I’ve offered them as a manager in the last two games away from home.

“To come down here and be represent and be back to normal, we’ll take this point. It’s definitely a step in the right direction.

“In that back-five, which has been the bedrock of what we’ve done all season, it was impenetrable at times, but we’ve not had a lot of those players to go to [tonight].

“Ben [Turner] has come in today, and it’s been a difficult start to his Mansfield career. But tonight he started the game and he’s committed to every single moment.”

There were 219 Stags’ supporters situated in the away end for Tuesday evening’s clash, a number that the manager says epitomises the ‘commitment and passion’ the Mansfield faithful have for their club.

“We’ve been in the hotel and I thought the game could be off. The wind and rain was coming in this afternoon.

“For fans to still travel in those conditions, four-and-a-half hours, it just shows the commitment and passion they have for their club.

“At one point, we even made a call to see if the game might be called off because it’s been that bad.

“But we got down here and it’s one of the best pitches we’ve played on. All credit to Crawley for whatever they’ve done.

“You can see their plan and how they want to play football, and it’s all down to a quality pitch.”

The Mansfield boss also provided injury updates on defenders Matt Preston and Ryan Sweeney, who both missed the match against Crawley.

“Matt Preston is having round-the-clock treatment. We’re trying to shift the pain he has on the front of his knee.

“We’ve left him back at home under the supervision of the medical staff, and we’re just trying to get that injury site clear.

“Ryan Sweeney came off [against Port Vale] with concussion, and it’s an FA protocol which we have to go through.

“He saw the doctor last night and we now have to find out whether he’s been given the all-clear to start back in light training. We have a duty of care to protect players.”

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

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Clear-the-air meeting sparks big improvement for Mansfield Town at Crawley
chad.co.uk, Tuesday 12 March 2019

Mansfield Town boss David Flitcroft said a clear-the-air meeting on Sunday after three poor away defeats had the desired effect in tonight’s much-improved 0-0 draw at Crawley Town.

“It was a marked improvement,” he said. “The commitment was there. The fight was there. They worked for each other.

Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/clear-the-air-meeting-sparks-big-improvement-for-mansfield-town-at-crawley-1-9646256

“We had all the players in on Sunday for a real heart to heart- all the injured players - the whole squad.

“We told them the away performances at Notts and Port Vale were unacceptable for a Mansfield Town team. We had to stop the rot.

“A lot of words were said and tonight the lads have come out and ‘actioned’ those words.”

Flitcroft was forced to 4-3-3 tonight with centre halves Matt Preston and Ryan Sweeney ruled out. “We had to go to a back four as that was the only personnel we had,” he said.

“We were missing players who have been the bedrock of our defence this season. “But Ben Turner came in tonight after a difficult start to his Mansfield career and committed to every single action and every single moment. I think that inspired some of the players.

“The back four look solid and the work in front of them was relentless.”

He added: “Crawley are an unpredictable team, and have some really good players offensively. They are a threat in that last third, yet we nullified them to very few chances.

“But we have go to be more ruthless and cutting for three points. But tonight we have to respect a point - any point is good. “With some of our quality to get in and how we carved them up tonight was excellent. Maybe Tyler Walker was a bit rusty but he could have had two goals. We had gilt-edged chances.

“But credit to Crawley. They put their bodies on the line tonight and threw themselves in front of everything. “It was two good teams both wanting to win a football match.”

“I think we had characters down the spine of our team tonight - and you need that away at Crawley. I went for experience tonight.

“With the massive turn-outs of fans we had at Notts and Port Vale, our performances hurt me badly. But tonight we were back to normal and the point is a step in the right direction.”

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Mansfield Town boss David Flitcroft full of praises passion of Stags fans
chad.co.uk, Tuesday 12 March 2019

Mansfield Town boss David Flitcroft paid special tribute to the hardy 219 supporters who braved the 364-mile round journey to Crawley in appalling weather conditions last night. After Stags let huge away followings at Notts County and Port Vale down with sub-standard performances in recent away games, Flitcroft hoped last night’s point from a battling 0-0 draw had redeemed his players in the eyes of the away faithful.

“I want to give our supporters a special mention,” said Flitcroft. “I genuinely didn’t believe the game would be on during the afternoon.

Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/mansfield-town-boss-david-flitcroft-full-of-praises-passion-of-stags-fans-1-9647121

“We sat in a hotel 20 minute away and the weather was ridiculous. The wind, rain and sleet were coming in. “There were weather warnings up and down the country and games being called off. But 200 of our fans travelled down here four and a half hours through that. “It’s a testament to the town and really good people. It shows the commitment and passion they’ve got for the team and their club. “We thank you for that support as it means a lot.

“We have let the big numbers down at Notts and Port Vale. I am hoping the players have redeemed themselves tonight by working really hard for a point.”

Flitcroft was also delighted with the surface of the Crawley pitch in such conditions too. “All credit to whatever Crawley did to the pitch,” he said. “It’s one of the best we have played on in this period. You can see a real plan that they want to play football and it’s down to a top quality pitch.”

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Mansfield Town waiting on fitness of defender duo for big Lincoln City game
chad.co.uk, Tuesday 12 March 2019

Mansfield Town are hoping centre halves Ryan Sweeney and Matt Preston are fit enough for returns for Monday’s huge home clash with League Two table-toppers Lincoln City. Sweeney is under treatment for concussion from last weekend at Port Vale while Preston has dropped out of the side to try to sort out a niggling knee injury that had been hampering his performances as he tried to play on with it. Sweeney had tried to lay on with his concussion but went down out of the blue as Vale attacked and knifed straight down the centre for the opening goal.

“I was disappointed with how things unfolded at Port Vale,” said boss David Flitcroft.

Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/mansfield-town-waiting-on-fitness-of-defender-duo-for-big-lincoln-city-game-1-9651287

“Sweens didn’t tell us of his dizziness and sickness until he went out and it was a car crash after that. “Ben Turner came on in difficult circumstances instead of being ready and getting ready.”

Now Stags must face strict rules on when Sweeney can train and play again.

Flitcroft said: “It is concussion and with that you are in a position where you are under FA protocol - it’s their process. I think it’s come from the American football model - and rightly so.

“Any head injury that is deemed as concussion, you can’t be in training and they have a certain amount of days out. “He saw the doctor last night and we now need to need what that report says and how he is feeling. “Has he had any nausea or sickness? We will find that out and start the process. We are hoping he has been given the all-clear to start light training.

“But we have a duty of care to protect players and we are in the lap of the FA process.”

On Preston he added: “Matty Preston is working round the clock to try to shift and disperse this pain he has at the front of his knee pad.

“He is fighting to try to get himself right for Lincoln and we are hoping he can come through. “We are getting every moment into him that we can. “We left him back at home on Tuesday under the supervision of the medical staff and we are just trying to get that injury site clear so he can perform at his optimum levels.”

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Crawley point booster for Mansfield Town
chad.co.uk, Tuesday 12 March 2019

Mansfield Town boss David Flitcroft believes the 0-0 draw at Crawley on Tuesday will have lifted his side ahead of Monday’s big home clash with leaders Lincoln City. The camp were down after three away defeats and three poor displays in a row had dropped them out of the top three. But a much better showing at Crawley edged them back into those automatic promotion places ahead of two crucial home games in six days.

“It’s going to be a good week,” said Flitcroft.

“They have shifted the Lincoln game to Monday night. They are flying and this is a game for the supporters. “We have to make sure we focus on what we are good at.

Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/crawley-point-booster-for-mansfield-town-1-9651274

“The point at Crawley has given us a lift. We went down there and spent a lot of time locked together in a hotel in meeting after meeting. “Talk is good. But I don’t do pontificating. It’s all about action and I was encouraged by the performance and a group of players running for each other and our town.

“I had been hurting like a Mansfield Town fan but at Crawley that fight was there.”

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PITCH PRAISED
https://www.crawleytownfc.com/news/2019/march/13.3-pitch-praise/

Everyone at Crawley Town knows how good our pitch has been this season.

And now it's been praised by an opposition manager in Mansfield Town's David Flitcroft.

Speaking after Tuesday's 0-0 draw at The People's Pension Stadium, Flitcroft admitted that he thought the game would be postponed after heavy rain and strong winds in the hours before kick off.

Speaking after the game he said: "We were in the hotel and I thought the game could be off. The wind and rain was coming in all afternoon.

“At one point, we even made a call to see if the game might be called off because it had been that bad.

“But we got down here and it’s one of the best pitches we’ve played on. All credit to Crawley for whatever they’ve done.

“You can see their plan and how they want to play football, and it’s all down to a quality pitch.”

Complete Turf Care have been in charge of the surface for the last two seasons and last night saw its 50th use, including Brighton & Hove Albion women's matches and occasional training sessions.

Groundsman Ben Harwood said: "The work that was done last summer, which was only possible because of the financial help from Brighton, has really paid off.

"We haven't lost a game this season touch wood. The drainage is superb. As soon as it stopped raining yesterday it was as dry as a bone.

"Gabriele Cioffi wants the team to try and play good football on the deck and that's what we try to give him for each game. The groundstaff - Dan, Tom, Joe and I - don't do the job to get praise but it is nice to hear an opposition manager compliment the surface. It definitely contributed to what was a very good game of football."

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We deserved to win - defender
mansfieldtown.net, Tuesday 12 March 2019

Defender Ben Turner says that the Stags were unfortunate not to win Tuesday evening's encounter away to Crawley Town with the chances they created.

The centre-back completed 90 minutes of the 0-0 draw and was a key performer in the Mansfield side.

Turner says the Stags got ‘back to basics’ after a ‘sticky spell’ away from home, and will take the positives as they currently sit third in the Sky Bet League Two standings.

“I think today we improved a lot,” he said. “We just lacked that goal that would’ve got us the three points. We’re emphasising the positives because we’ve had a sticky spell away.

https://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/2019/march/turner-post-crawley/

“We were fighting for each other throughout the 90 minutes. We got to basics in that respect, and the whole team earned the clean sheet.

“We created some chances which unfortunately didn’t go in - I don’t think the finishes were too bad at all. Tyler [Walker] deserved a goal for his run, but his shot hit the inside of the post and somehow bounced back out.

“It just didn’t quite go in for us, but it’s definitely something to build on. I thought we had the clear cut chances and were solid.

“We probably deserved it [win]. The gaffer is happy with us. We’ve come off the pitch and found out we’ve gained a point on MK [Dons], now it’s onto Lincoln.

“Gaining a promotion is not easy. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. It’s a point in the right direction.”

The 31-year-old reflected on his personal performance, and says he sees this evening’s display as ‘the night that got his Stags’ career going.’

“The Notts County game, I had only trained for a couple of days, so it was probably a bit early for me but I wanted to play,” he explained.

“Obviously I came on the other day [Port Vale] in an away performance that wasn’t good enough. It was very difficult coming on in that environment.

“It’s nice to start again with lots of training under my belt now and get a clean sheet. I feel like this is the night that’s got my Stags’ career going, as it were.”

Next Monday, the Stags welcome Lincoln City to One Call Stadium for a 7.45pm kick-off, a clash that will be shown live on Sky Sports.

Turner says that the Mansfield players are excited by the match.

“It’s exciting [Mansfield against Lincoln being shown live on Sky Sports]. The lads can look forward to that and I’m sure there’ll be a few fresh haircuts and whatnot from the younger lads!

“We’re looking forward to it. We know what they’re about and they’ll know what we’re about.

“Our home form has been strong, so we want to take that into the Lincoln game.

“Everyone wants to beat top of the league, and everyone wants to beat the teams that are up there. We’ve found that in our last few away games.

“They [Lincoln] are above us, so our intensity and organisation needs to be right. Our home form is good, so let’s take confidence from that.”

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

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Ben Turner hopes his Mansfield Town career has finally got started
chad.co.uk, Tuesday 12 March 2019

Defender Ben Turner is hoping his display in Tuesday night’s 0-0 draw at Crawley Town has finally kickstarted his Mansfield Town career. The former Coventry centre half arrived with an injury and had struggled in his one start in his debut at Notts County plus three sub outings before last night.

But he had a fine game at Crawley and said: “It was definitely my best performance so far. “For the Notts County game I’d only trained a couple of days due to injury problems at the time.

“It was probably a bit early for me, but I wanted to play. Then I got booked early which didn’t help. “Then I came on the other day in an away performance which wasn’t good enough.

Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/ben-turner-hopes-his-mansfield-town-career-has-finally-got-started-1-9646953?fbclid=IwAR3PvqS3ev6thb1aaRKYsBBNWX8F-aR1pC71VBgjmxmNNCuqxw-FVoamtpE

“It was very difficult coming on into that kind of environment when you have just gone 1-0 down due to a bit of a freak goal as they scored while we had a concussion.

“So it was nice to start a game with plenty of training under my belt now and get a clean sheet.

“It feels kind of like the night I have hopefully got my Stags career going, as it were.

“It is a very tight dressing room with some nice individuals and a good balance of young and older players. Hopefully I can add to that.”

The Crawley draw ended a poor run of three away defeats on the bounce. Turner said: “I think today we improved a lot and the gaffer was happy with the improvements we made. We just lacked that goal that would have got us the three points. “But we have to emphasise on the positives as we have had a little sticky spell away and it’s important you stop the rot somewhere away from home.

“We’ve now given ourselves a platform to carry on and it’s nice to gain a point on MK Dons. “We fought and scrapped for each other for 90 minutes.

“It hasn’t quite happened away from home the last two games. So we got back to basics in that respect. “We earned a clean sheet - the whole team, not just the back four and the goalie - and we created some chances. Unfortunately they didn’t go in. “There was an element of bad luck as I don’t think the finishes were too bad at all.”

He added: “I think we deserved all three points. Maybe Crawley would disagree but I think we had the clear-cut chances and we were solid. “They didn’t really have any clear cut chances, just a few longer range efforts and a cross that nearly went in.”

Stags went back into the top three after rivals MK Dons were beaten at Morecambe leaving Mansfield thinking about what might have been.

“We were initially heartened that we’d gained a point, but then you think to yourself if one of those chances had gone in we’d have been back in the driving seat in the automatic spots,” said Turner. “But gaining promotion is not easy. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. So it’s a point in the right direction.”

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TV appearance can lift Mansfield Town for clash with table-topping Lincoln City says Ben Turner
chad.co.uk, Tuesday 12 March 2019

Ben Turner believes taking on League Two leaders Lincoln City at home in front of the live Sky TV cameras on Monday will lift and inspire Mansfield Town to raise their game.

“Everyone wants to beat top of the league or beat the lads who are up there,” said the big centre half. “You don’t have to be top. We have found that in the last few away games where the intensity of teams like Port Vale and Notts County was clearly up on the day as we are one of the best sides in the league, so they knew it had to be.

Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/tv-appearance-can-lift-mansfield-town-for-clash-with-table-topping-lincoln-city-says-ben-turner-1-9651256

“The same goes for us against Lincoln. They are above us. So our intensity needs to be right and our organisation needs to be right.

“We need to be absolutely spot on to get a result. But our home form is good so let’s take confidence from that.”

Turner said playing on live TV was always an extra pleasure. “It’s exciting. You don’t get on Sky much when you’re playing League Two football,” he said. “The lads can look forward to that and I am sure there will be a few fresh haircuts from the younger lads. “We are looking forward to it. We know what Lincoln are about and they will know what we are about.

“But we have won five on the spin at home and we have just put a marker down for our away performances. “Our home form has been strong so let’s take that into the Lincoln game.”

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Gabriele Cioffi reaction
video from https://www.crawleytownfc.com/news/2019/march/12.3-gaby-mansfield-reaction/

"I am satisfied with a point. It was a fair result.
I'm happy with the performance. We showed heart, solidity, mentality.
We played the game that we prepared.
We played one of the teams in the first five in the league. They have double our budget. I'm not saying they are better players, but just double our budget.
I'm proud of the performance."

transcribed by Martin

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