FLITCROFT, PEARCE, DANNY COWLEY REACTION
‘We ran for the people of Mansfield’ - manager
mansfieldtown.net, 18 March 2019
Stags’ boss David Flitcroft says that despite Mansfield not finding that elusive second goal against table-toppers Lincoln this evening, he was left pleased by the ‘abundance’ of endeavour on show from his players.
Captain Krystian Pearce headed the Stags into the lead inside five minutes, before striker John Akinde rolled home a penalty deep into the second-half.
The manager says that his side required a second goal to ‘take the fight away’ from the Imps.
“We got that early goal and we’d been working on that set piece,” he said. “It gave us a fantastic start and it set the stadium off. I thought we played well, and we influenced the game really well.
“They were always going to get a rocket at half-time, which they did, and they came out and gave us a tougher time second-half.
“All I ever ask from the team is that we run for the people of Mansfield and we run for each other, and we’ve had that tonight in abundance.
“I tried getting Macca [Alex MacDonald] on to give us a bit more calmness and to try and influence.
“They [Lincoln] keep coming at you, and that’s why they’re where they are in the league. That’s why they win so many games.
“I think you have to go 2-0 up against Lincoln to take that fight away [from them]. At 1-0, they always have the opportunity to win a football match. They got the better of us second-half.”
The manager added that restricting the league leaders to few chances and a penalty emphasises the positive performance from his players this evening.
“I’ll have to look at the penalty again. I don’t see how Conrad can change the course of his run. I think he tries sweeping up, the ball gets put between his legs and there’s a collision of two players.
“Lincoln coming here and only scoring a penalty just shows you how well we’ve done tonight.
“First-half, when we’re on top, that’s the opportunity missed for me in terms of us really dominating the game.
“The players were up for it and it was a real committed performance. What we’ve seen today is the honesty on show in League Two.
“There were 20 minutes where we just didn’t have that calm aura about us, and Lincoln do that to you.
“I’m absolutely gutted that we’ve not won tonight. I think our owners probably deserved the win tonight, seeing the stadium full.
“Our support was phenomenal, and I’m gutted for them [fans].”
David Flitcroft also expressed his delight at the return of defenders Matt Preston and Ryan Sweeney, while also praising the performance of wing-back Gethin Jones.
“I’ve not really gone on about the injuries too much this season. It’s a part of football and you have to get on with it, but we’ve got some big players [missing].
“When the [back] three are together, they’re brilliant. They look after each other. Hayden White has been a big miss, but I thought that was Gethin’s [Jones] best performance tonight.
“He wanted it and was on the front foot, and it was good to see.”
Following tonight’s draw, the Mansfield boss says his players are ‘ready’ for the final eight games of the season.
“There’s so much football [left] to play. There’s a closeness between the players and they love spending time with each other.
“That was a spirited performance tonight and it’s given us unbelievable hope for the next eight games.
“We’re up there by merit, and three points would have been phenomenal. We’re back in the top three and we’re now ready for that [final] charge.
“The whole town has come out to support us and our owners, who have been brilliant for this town and this football club.
“It was a proper night of football under the lights and I enjoyed it. Our players didn’t freeze on the night.
“I’ve probably said it too many times about the [players’] connection with the supporters, but it’s important.”
iFollow Stags subscribers can watch the manager’s interview in full by logging into mansfieldtown.net/ifollow later tonight.
Mansfield Town ready for the final push after Lincoln City draw moves them back into the top three
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Monday 18 March 2019
Mansfield Town manager David Flitcroft said his side are ready for the final charge for promotion after tonight’s stirring 1-1 home draw with Lincoln City, shown live on Sky TV. With eight games to go Stags are back into the top three, though would have taken all three points were it not for a second half John Akinde penalty, which Flitcroft said he was convinced should have been a spot kick.
“We are up there by merit. Three points would have been phenomenal,” he said.
Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/mansfield-town-ready-for-the-final-push-after-lincoln-city-draw-moves-them-back-into-the-top-three-1-9658467
“But they have been brave getting one point and it’s put us back in the top three and we are now ready for that charge.
“It was phenomenal. The whole town came out to support us and our owners. It was a proper night of football under the lights and I enjoyed it. It was probably a fair result.
“I will have to look at the penalty again. I am not too sure it was one,” said Flitcroft. “I have looked at it once and Conrad Logan can’t really change the course of where he is running.
“I think he tries to commit to sweeping it up, but the lad plays it through his legs and it’s a collision of two players. “But was there intent in it? Was it meant? The ball would have just rolled off the pitch, he didn’t really have control over the ball.
“Lincoln only scoring a penalty here tonight shows you how well we have done.
“First half when we were on top and playing how we were playing, we had good chances and for me that’s an opportunity missed. “We got it right. We had high energy and high octane. The players were up for it. It was a really committed performance.”
Flitcroft felt the intensity and passion of the game would have delighted the TV audience. “One thing I will say is that there is a lot of Premier League and Championship football on TV and the football at that level is technically brilliant,” he said.
“But what we’ve seen today is a really committed performance and an honesty in League Two. “There was only 20 minutes when we didn’t have that calm aura about us - and Lincoln do that to you when they get on top. But we limited them to a couple of shots that Logan has tucked in to him.
“But I am gutted we have not won tonight as I think our owners deserved a win with seeing the stadium full.”
He added: “We got the early goal from a new set piece we’ve been working on and it set the stadium off which was brilliant. “We were then calm and influenced the game.
“Lincoln were always going to get a rocket at half-time and they came out and gave us a tougher time. “They got the better of us, but we didn’t crack or crumble. We didn’t freeze on the night. The players embraced it. “We ran for each other and some of the tackles were tasty in a local derby.
“They keep coming at you, that’s why they have won so many games and are top of the league. “You have to go 2-0 up against Lincoln to take that fight away as at 1-0 they always have a chance being so deadly at set pieces.”
Mansfield Town delight as first choice back three are back for the final promotion push
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS
Mansfield Town boss David Flitcroft was delighted to see his first choice defensive trio back together against Lincoln City as Stags prepare for the final eight-game promotion push. With Matt Preston struggling with a knee problem and Ryan Sweeney out with concussion on top of losing Hayden White long term, Flitcroft said he had had to ‘fudge’ his defence which had seen some recent wobbles in results. However, the Krystian Preston/Pearce/Sweeney trio, who have largely been the three that have kept the division’s best goals against record all season, looked solid against Lincoln in Monday’s 1-1 draw after Preston and Sweeney passed late fitness tests.
“I have not really gone on about injuries too much this season. It’s a part of football and I am used to it now,” said Flitcroft.
Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/mansfield-town-delight-as-first-choice-back-three-are-back-for-the-final-promotion-push-1-9662058
“I have been in the game a long time now and you’ve just got to get on with it. “We’ve lost some big players this season and I am gutted about Danny Rose being out another four weeks because we do miss him.”
But the return of his favoured back three could be a massive factor as Stags go for automatic promotion. “It’s important,” he said. “We have one of the best defensive records and when those three play they are a rock - absolutely solid. They have been colossal.
“We have had to fudge it recently and it’s not felt right, especially in the away games. We have cobbled it and thrown it together. “But when those three are together they are brilliant.
“They are aggressors down the sides of Pearcey who is calm within that. “Hayden White has been a big miss as a right-sided centre half and a right full back.
“But I thought that was also Gethin Jones’ best performance on Monday. He wanted it and he was on the front foot which was good to see.”
Lincoln draw 'a point gained' - skipper
mansfieldtown.net, 18 March 2019
Mansfield Town’s skipper Krystian Pearce labelled his side’s 1-1 draw with Lincoln City as a ‘point gained’ rather than two dropped.
The Chief, as he has been anointed by the Stags’ faithful, took little time in opening the scoring as he met Mal Benning’s corner to notch his second goal of the campaign.
But striker John Akinde levelled up proceedings for the visitors in the second period with a spot-kick to ensure that the Imps would take a point back to Lincolnshire.
Subsequently, Pearce wanted to extract as many positives from Monday evening’s encounter with Danny Cowley’s charges.
“In hindsight, it’s always easy to look back on a game and say we should have done this or that,” he began.
“But overall I think it was a good performance. We have to look at it as a point gained rather than two points dropped.
“Maybe not right now, but tomorrow when we look at the league and see us back in the top three, we’ll look at it as a positive then.
“That was the big thing for us - it’s in our hands now so all we can do is focus on what we’re doing.
The centre-half, who completed another solid shift at the heart of the Stags’ back three, was left evidently disappointed as Mansfield were denied a clean sheet.
“To concede the way we did it’s a bit disappointing but we have to take the positives. We’re back in the top three and I think it’s eight games to finish off the job.
“To get a goal early it has set the tempo for the game and we’ve tried to build from that.
“We worked on our set pieces and it worked for us today.
“They’re top of the league for a reason - they’re a strong team who are hard to play against but we matched them throughout the game. Unfortunately, though, we couldn’t get the three points.
“We take pride in our defensive record, so it’s always going to be disappointing to concede, but that’s football.
In conclusion, the 29-year-old remained in high spirits with the final furlong in Sky Bet League Two slowly moving into view.
“We feel good, we feel like we’re going to finish the season strong but we go again on Saturday.
“We felt comfortable throughout. Sweeney rightly so got man of the match and Preston was solid once again so it was a pleasure to play alongside them.
“I take each game as it comes and focus on the job at hand.
“I think with teams in the bottom half they try and nullify what we do, rather than attack us, whereas teams nearer the top tend to leave gaps for us to exploit.”
iFollow Stags subscribers can watch the defender's interview in full by logging into mansfieldtown.net/ifollow later tonight.
Lincoln City draw was a point gained and not two dropped says Mansfield Town skipper Krystian Pearce
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Monday 18 March 2019
Mansfield Town skipper Krystian Pearce said tonight’s 1-1 home draw with leaders Lincoln City was a point gained as it put Stags back into the top three and their promotion chances back in their own hands. Pearce put Stags ahead after only three minutes, but City levelled through a John Akinde penalty with 15 minutes to go.
“Overall I think it was a good performance and we have to look at it as a point gained and not two points dropped,” said Pearce.
Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/lincoln-city-draw-was-a-point-gained-and-not-two-dropped-says-mansfield-town-skipper-krystian-pearce-1-9658477
“The big thing for us tonight was to get back in the top three. It’s in our hands and all we can do is focus on what we do.
“We feel like we are going to finish the season strongly. “Obviously to concede the way we did is a bit disappointing, but we have to take the positives and we are back in the top three now. “We have eight games now to finish off the job.”
Pearce headed in from a third minute corner routine and said: “To get an early goal set the tempo for the game and we tried to build from that. “I was a little bit surprised I got that much space in the box. Obviously we worked on our set pieces for the game and it worked for us today.”
But City roared back for a deserved point and Pearce added: “They are top of the league for a reason. “They are a strong team and hard to play against but we matched them throughout the game. Unfortunately we couldn’t get the three points.
“We take pride in our defensive record so it was disappointing to concede. “With the magnitude of the game everyone was up for it and I think the boys showed great character and desire.”
Lincoln City boss Danny Cowley proud of his side’s fightback in thriller at at Mansfield Town
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Monday 18 March 2019
Lincoln City boss Danny Cowley said he was proud of his title-chasers after they came from behind to earn a 1-1 at promotion rivals Mansfield Town tonight. Rocked by a third minute Stags goal by Krystian Pearce, the Imps had to wait until a 75th minute penalty equaliser from the spot by John Akinde to extend their unbeaten run to 15 games before the live Sky TV cameras.
“I was disappointed we started the game too passively,” he said. “When we play that style we have to earn the right by the style and intensity of our play. We didn’t do that and conceded a terrible goal from a corner.
Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/lincoln-city-boss-danny-cowley-proud-of-his-side-s-fightback-in-thriller-at-at-mansfield-town-1-9658473
“We were away from home against a team with an excellent home record and a vociferous crowd, so you give yourself a mountain to climb. “It knocked us and we didn’t play well for the first 25-30 minutes. We had to stick together in those moments to see that period through. Then I thought we did much better in the latter part of the first half.
“At half-time we reminded everyone of what has got us where we are and the qualities needed in the second half. So I was proud of the response shown.”
Cowley said he was disappointed his side did not play as well as they can in front of the live TV cameras. “We do get some criticism for our style which we think is unfair,” he said. “So I was disappointed we didn’t execute what I wanted technically and tactically, but we showed all of the mental qualities that have got us to this point.
“It was about their fight and willingness to never give up. If you refuse to lose, you will always stay in matches and give yourself an opportunity. “It’s really hard to beat someone who refuses to give up and that’s what happened tonight. “We could have folded in that first half hour as we’d come off script. That happens. They are human beings, not robots. It took us a lot to get everyone together tonight and I am really proud of the players.”
Danny: We will always stay in matches with our 'refuse to lose' attitude
Danny Cowley has praised the attitude of his players to extend their unbeaten league run to 15 games, despite falling behind at Mansfield Town on Monday night.
City went a goal down in front of the Sky Sports cameras after three minutes as Stags skipper Krystian Pearce nodded David Flitcroft's side into the lead.
The Imps grew into the game, but had to wait until 15 minutes before the end to level the scores, after Harry Anderson was brought down for a spot kick, and John Akinde slotted home for his 16th of the season.
Danny admitted his side were slow out of the blocks, but the endeavour of his side ensured City's unbeaten run would continue in 2019.
"If you refuse to lose, and something is that important to you, and you're willing to fight as much as our players do, then you will always stay in matches," he said.
"There's an ethos within the group that it's really hard to beat someone that never gives up.
"We did want to execute technically and tactically, but if you can't, then fight really hard and we did that tonight.
"You don't go unbeaten since Boxing Day without having a lot of fortitude within the group."
City weathered an early storm from Mansfield following Pearce's opener, but seemed to improve and create more chances as the game progressed.
"We were disappointed with ourselves first half. We started too passively," Danny added.
"We conceded a terrible goal from our point of view, so we definitely need to go back to that and learn from the mistakes.
"Then you're here, against a team with an excellent home record, and a vociferous crowd, then you give yourself a mountain to climb. It knocked us, and we didn't play well for the first 25-30 minutes.
"We had to stick together in those moments and see things through. I thought we did much better in the latter part of the first half. Then we had half-time to get everyone together and remind everyone of what got us to this point and what we would need in the second half."
The Imps have moved 10 points clear of MK Dons in fourth and Mansfield in third, while also holding a six point gap of second-placed Bury following the 1-1 draw at One Call Stadium.
Despite the gap in place before the fixture, Danny made it clear that there is only one result in his mind going into any fixture.
"No-one will ever want to win a football match more than me. I need to live, I need to breathe, and I need to win.
"In terms of league table they may have needed the win more than us, but we're relentless in our work ethic and application every day, and that's not something you can just turn on and off.
"We know what the cause is, we know this is life challenging. Now we're in a position where we can change all of our lives, and we're not going to stop now."
A sold-out away crowd of Imps made the Monday night trip to Nottinghamshire, and Danny was grateful for the supporters sticking with his side, despite the slow start.
"I think we have to credit our supporters as well, who helped generate a fantastic atmosphere for the League Two," he added.
"I'm pleased they saw the best in us tonight because they could've got frustrated, but they didn't and they stayed with us.
"The whole city, the whole county, the way it's come together, makes me feel really proud."
Latest | March 2019