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Archived News from March 2019

26th March 2019 0:27

Boss welcomes return of ‘phenomenal’ back three

Stags’ boss David Flitcroft has expressed his delight in having the trio of Krystian Pearce, Matt Preston and Ryan Sweeney available for selection, describing them as the ‘bedrock’ of what has so far been a fruitful campaign.

The defenders lined up alongside each other in Monday’s 1-1 draw with league leaders Lincoln for the first time since Mansfield’s trip to Newport in early February.

The Stags’ boss says that the trio have performed ‘phenomenally’ this campaign.

“When you have that back three [Pearce, Preston and Sweeney], you don’t feel as much threat [from the opposition],” he said.

“It [back-three] has been a bedrock of our season. I see KP [Krystian Pearce] and he knows he has his two young bucks [Preston and Sweeney] at the side of him, and he enjoys organising them. He knows that they have his back.


“They’ve done phenomenally this season. There is a lot of athleticism in Ryan and Matty Preston, and good organisational qualities in Pearcey.

“It is good to have them back. It’s a brilliant base to work from. Sweens came through the [Lincoln] game brilliantly.

“Matty Preston has had some management on his game, but also came through the game superbly after being a doubt.”

Reflecting on Monday evening’s encounter against the league leaders, the manager says he is ‘proud’ of how the club was represented in front of the Sky cameras.

“[Watching the game back] we had a general view of how good the stadium and the atmosphere looked,” he added. “I think it was crucial to show that.

“My responsibility is to get it right on the football pitch, but there’s so many people behind the scenes trying to get it right.

“I’m really proud of what the club did. In the first-half the players committed to the game [against Lincoln], and I genuinely felt in the first-half, in the way we attacked, we could have impacted the game more.

“We knew there would be a shift in their attitude, meaning what we had to be in the second-half is more calm and more brave on the ball.

“But from the sideline we never felt threatened. They had a couple of opportunities but I felt really comfortable in the game.

“Only getting one point has sunk in and I’m disappointed with it. But, I’m still proud of how the club were represented on Sky.”

The manager also previewed this weekend’s upcoming clash against Crewe Alexandra, a side he watched record a resounding 6-1 victory over Crawley Town last Saturday.

He says that Stags must focus on what they do well, alerting to the solid home record this season.

“Having the Sky game on Monday it gave us an opportunity to train on the Saturday morning and then get over to the Crewe game.

“Crewe went into overdrive [against Crawley]. Their movement was good and there was an energy about the team.

“The whole academy system is about getting players into the team playing the Crewe way.

“They could have settled at three or four but they went for the jugular [against Crawley] and got the six.

“We have completely different personnel [compared to the last time Crewe visited One Call Stadium]. It’s a different moment.

“We have the best home record in the league and they’re coming to our place. Over the next few days we’ll get a game plan that suits what we’re trying to do.

“We won’t come off what we usually do at home, and we’ll try and hurt Crewe with the quality that we have in our team.

“Crewe will always do it the Crewe way and have real belief in what they do as a football club. I don’t think they’ll change too much.

“What I have to do is make sure our players put a real emphasis on every detail. When we’ve done that, we’ve been excellent.”

Meanwhile, Mansfield have no fresh injury concerns ahead of this weekend’s home match against Crewe, yet Danny Rose, Bobby Olejnik, Craig Davies, Hayden White and Jordan Graham are all still sidelined.

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


Manager David Flitcroft proud of the town and the team as live TV outing proves good advert for Mansfield Town and League Two
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Thursday 21 March 2019

Mansfield Town boss David Flitcroft said he was proud of the way the club came across in Monday night’s live Sky TV game with Lincoln City. Two good sides battled out a blood and thunder draw in front of the biggest crowd of the season at the One Call Stadium and Flitcroft said today: “People who watched it on TV thought it was a good advert for League Two.

“I spoke to one academy manager who was going to show the whole game to his players with the passion, commitment, passion, honesty and sincerity in two teams

“U21s football can be a bit sterile and he thought it was a good advert to show.

Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/manager-david-flitcroft-proud-of-the-town-and-the-team-as-live-tv-outing-proves-good-advert-for-mansfield-town-and-league-two-1-9664465

“I was delighted how the town got behind it and the supporters were shown in a brilliant light - Lincoln supporters as well. “I was delighted with how the stadium, the atmosphere and the football environment looked with the stadium nearly at capacity. It was crucial to show that as it has been growing.”

He also said he was delighted that fans all behaved and got behind their sides at full volume. “We have had other televised games recently where you’ve had unsavoury moments and fans coming on. But it was immaculate on Monday which was important,” he said.

“We’d just won the Best Family Club award, then to see that on Monday it was something we should be proud of.”

Flitcroft said, despite not wining, he was pleased to see his young side rise to the occasion on live TV and not freeze. “Only getting one point, as it’s sunk in over the last two days, is the only disappointment. But I was proud how we represented on Sky,” he said. “We were on TV and our players came through another experience they have not had a lot of. “There has not been much TV football at Mansfield and players can freeze. They can have anxiety and close up.

“But our players didn’t. They rose to it, drove and looked strong, fit and athletic. “It was a massive game and we had some really big performances. They answered a lot of questions after some disappointing away performances. “They were brave and courageous in what they did and just lacked that final knockout punch on the night.”


Warning as Mansfield Town seek revenge over calamitous Crewe Alexandra home defeat
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Thursday 21 March 2019

Mansfield Town will be hoping to avenge last season’s calamitous 4-3 home defeat by Crewe Alexandra when the ever-dangerous Railwaymen return to the One Call Stadium on Saturday. Almost 12 months ago, Crewe raced into a 4-1 lead inside 27 explosive minutes and, although Stags fought back to lose 4-3, it was a result that helped end play-off hopes.

However, a year on and sat in the top three, boss David Flitcroft said: “We have completely different personnel from last season now. “Our players were not fit - they were not up to the levels required for League Two football.

“It’s a different moment now. Crewe were good on the day and cut us open granted. “But we have the best home record in the league this season and they are coming to our place.

Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/warning-as-mansfield-town-seek-revenge-over-calamitous-crewe-alexandra-home-defeat-1-9664518

“We will have a game plan but we won’t come off what we have been doing at home too much. “We have to make sure we hurt Crewe when we get the opportunity with the quality we have in our team.”

Although Crewe are stuck in mid-table as the end of season looms, Flitcroft watched them destroy Crawley 6-1 first hand last weekend and he warned: “There are no gimmes in this league - we saw that a few weeks ago with Morecambe and MK Dons. “There are no games you just accept there is going to be three points. It just doesn’t happen in League Two.

“We need to be intensely focused, intensely aware of our opponents and aware of what we have been good at this season.”

On his trip to Crewe, he added: “For a League Two game it was a really good one to watch. “At three or four one, Crewe were ruthless and Crawley just gave up at that point. That’s how it looked - like one team had just thrown the towel in. “Crewe could have settled for three or four but went for the jugular and got the six.

“There was some fantastic football played on the day and it was good to witness it first hand. “I love getting out to live games as it gives you such a perspective. You absorb so much more information from the other scouting systems we use.”

He continued: “Having the game on Monday gave us the opportunity to train the lads on Saturday morning and get over to the Crewe game. “For the first 15 minutes Crawley were in dominant mood and got the first goal. You thought it could really be ‘game on’. “But then Crewe just went into overdrive with three lightning quick goals and took the fight out of Crawley. Their movement was good and they had a good energy about the team.

“They have good experience between the young players they have brought through from the academy with the experienced players brought in to guide them. “It was a real Crewe performance - cutting edge quality. You will always get that when you come up against Crewe as they start doing it from five, six, seven-year-old. “Their whole academy system is built from that - getting players into the team playing the Crewe way.”

Flitcroft said he had tried to use some of Crewe’s ideas at his own clubs in building raw youngsters up for first team action and selling on. “I have always admired the Crewe way and over the last 12 years I have taken a lot of what Crewe do,” he said. “Crewe will always do it the Crewe way. They have real belief in what they do as a football club. The manager has real belief in his players. “I have to make sure our players put as much emphasis and focus on this game as they did the other night. “When we have done that we have been excellent but when we have come off that three or four times this season we have been really poor. “We will have to be absolutely on our mettle to get the three points on Saturday as Crewe are different to to nay other League Two team. They have their own philosophy and they have done well against the top sides this season.”


Battle on for Mansfield Town goalkeeping shirt against Crewe Alexandra tomorrow
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Thursday 21 March 2019

Mansfield Town boss David Flitcroft is keeping his cards close to his chest over which keeper to pick for tomorrow’s visit of Crewe Alexandra. Having dropped Forest loanee Jordan Smith, Flitcroft saw Conrad Logan give away a crucial penalty in Monday’s 1-1 home draw with Lincoln City as well as fail to hold a couple of crosses. Some fans criticised Logan on social media and called for smith;s return, but Flitcroft said he would speak to both keepers before he making his decision public.

“After a game there are a lot of emotions flying round. I always feel it’s the wrong time to open those forums up,” he said.

Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/battle-on-for-mansfield-town-goalkeeping-shirt-against-crewe-alexandra-tomorrow-1-9664950

“But I will always speak to players before I do anything in the press. “I have a very honest relationship with them and it’s a very personal and private one.

“The players are in today and I will let them know what we got right and what we got wrong. “It’s a different set of players and a different team we are playing on Saturday and the team I pick will reflect that.”


Big summer ahead for fit-again Mansfield Town youngster Lewis Gibbens
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Thursday 21 March 2019

Promising young defender Lewis Gibbens is back from a dislocated shoulder to provide added back-up in Mansfield Town’s promotion run-in. But boss David Flitcroft said the 18-year-old’s biggest test would come this summer as he tried to bulk him up for the rough and tumble of regular EFL football. Gibbens came through 90 minutes of reserve team action this week after suffering the shoulder injury while out on loan at Boston United.

“Lewis went out on loan and did really well but has been plagued by injuries,” said Flitcroft.

Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/big-summer-ahead-for-fit-again-mansfield-town-youngster-lewis-gibbens-1-9664956

“But his rise from where he was in the summer in the development squad to the first team, it’s a massive difference and a massive divide.

“What I think has happened is you get stretched and tested every day and between the U21s and the first team you are probably looking at a 40 per cent difference in intensity and from the development squad to the first team about an 80 per cent difference.

“He has made those big strides but those big strides come at a cost sometimes as you are always stretching to get to that level as you have not been prepared from being a 14-year-old to reach that level of professionalism and physical, mental and technical work.

“Gibbo is catching up so much. I am hoping he’s over that. “He has a massive summer ahead of him. I have really got to make sure his mind set is my mindset that doing more improves you and makes you better. “We need to get his body like a piece of iron, so robust it can withstand anything.”


Reluctant Neal Bishop happy that extra time off has refreshed him for big Mansfield Town promotion run-in
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Thursday 21 March 2019

Mansfield Town boss David Flitcroft believes making Neal Bishop have some extra time off last week has revitalised his veteran midfield dynamo. Bishop was reluctant to take an extra day off that was offered to him as Flitcroft felt he looked tired. But Bishop admitted it had worked wonders and he turned in a fantastically energetic display in Monday’s 11- home draw with leaders Lincoln.

“Bish had a few days off last week,” said Flitcroft. “We had a chat. He doesn’t like missing training. “I was a really honest player myself and I loved training. But managers have taken me out of training at times. “I had to do that last week with Bish to give him some mental stimulation and get him away. “He came back and was refreshed. You could see it in his performance - he was brilliant. “He came back in bouncing and gave the performance of a 24/25-year-old in terms of the stats he got and his distance covered and running.

Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/reluctant-neal-bishop-happy-that-extra-time-off-has-refreshed-him-for-big-mansfield-town-promotion-run-in-1-9664866

“He is Mr Consistent and loves to drive it from the centre of the pitch, which is always important, and the fans love him for it.”

Bishop said: “We had a chat after the Port Vale game and the manager said take an extra day off. “I didn’t want to as I have always cracked on, but I will probably thank him for it come the end of the season. “The staff have a lot of physical data here to analyse and the gaffer can see you’re not quite at it on the training ground. “He told me to shut down and do nothing and I came back in and it had helped, probably mentally more than physically. I have played a lot of games and trained every day.

“Maybe you don’t notice it but other people do and I think the gaffer is really good at that.”

He added: “I came back feeling really refreshed and when you are not here you wish you were here. “It was important I reset myself as there are eight cup finals to come. It’s now eyes down for that final run-in.”


Mansfield Town not thinking of last day winner-takes-all scenario
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Thursday 21 March 2019

Mansfield Town midfield ace Neal Bishop said it was important the players concentrate on the next game and not the possibility of a dramatic winner-takes-all finale to the season at MK Dons. With eight games left and the sides level on points, Stags could face the biggest of games at Stadium MK on the last day of the season.

But Bishop said it was vital all focus was solely on Saturday’s home clash with Crewe Alexandra. “We are aware that is the last game but it is dangerous to look that far ahead,” he said.

“If we look that far ahead we will be disrespecting our next opponents, who are Crewe on Saturday. “I assume people have looked that far ahead but if it comes to that, so what? It is what it is. “These are the season you want to be involved in as a player. There is nothing to fear.

Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/mansfield-town-not-thinking-of-last-day-winner-takes-all-scenario-1-9664896

“It’s all there in front of us. Spirit in the dressing room is fantastic and it’s something we are embracing as a group. “What a great opportunity to achieve something really special. “It’s in our own hands. If we win enough games we will get promoted.”

He added: “It means everything. I think we are well aware of what it means to the club and our supporters who have backed us all season. “There are so many people we want to do this for, not least ourselves. “I said in January when we went out and got the reinforcements we did, there’s no excuses for us not to go out and deliver.”

Stags lost two home points when held by leaders Lincoln on Monday, but Bishop said a point against City has to be respected.

“We wanted all three, but you can never dismiss a point,” he said. “Lincoln haven’t lost a lot of games and are sat top of the league so they are the best in the division over the 30-odd games played.

“So we’ll take a point. It moves us back into third place. “We have eight games left and we are sat in the promotion places so I don’t see any reason to be negative. What a time.

“It’s fantastic for us as players to be involved in such a run-in and once we have to grasp with both hands and enjoy.”

Saturday’s opponents look set for a mid-table finish and appear to have little to play for, which Bishop said made them a potentially dangerous animal. “I think Crewe will probably come and have a go on Saturday,” he said. “They are not going to get relegated and they are not going to go up. It’s a free game for them and teams in that position can be dangerous.

“We respect them as a good footballing team as they are and showed last weekend, scoring six. They will be on a high and will fancy their chances coming here.

“It should be a good open game of football and hopefully we can capitalise on that. “There will be another good crowd here on Saturday and Crewe will want to showcase themselves. They have a lot of very good players. “You have seen this season they are more than capable of going to the better teams and taking them on. We will certainly be respectful of the threat they are going to cause on Saturday. “It’s going to be just as tough a game as Lincoln probably, in a different way, and we could get turned over. So we have to be fully at it.”

Bishop enjoyed every minute of Monday’s blood and thunder derby with Lincoln. “It was a proper game of football and a proper derby,” he said. “You could tell it mattered to both teams and, being on Sky, it was a good advert for the league. “It was 100mph from minute one and I thought we acquitted ourselves really well. “Everyone I know who watched it it at home said how good it was, better than they expected with their limited knowledge of League two football. “Fitness levels were ridiculously high, so credit to both sets of players.”


Mansfield Town star Neal Bishop already a fan of ‘Mini Bish’ Will Tomlinson
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS

Veteran midfielder Neal Bishop is amused by the comparisons to himself being made of Willem Tomlinson, who has been nicknamed ‘Mini Bish’ since joining Mansfield Town in January. But Bishop said the former Blackburn Rovers youngster is growing into a very good player.

“Will is a great young lad and you can see why the gaffer has brought him in. He is full of energy, he’s got a pass on him and he likes to put a foot in,” said Bishop.

Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/mansfield-town-star-neal-bishop-already-a-fan-of-mini-bish-will-tomlinson-1-9664963

“I know he’s got the nickname Baby Bish or Mini Bish or whatever. He’s got more hair than me, that’s about it. “He wants to learn and do well. Coming in in January can be hard, but in the games he has played he has got up to speed really quickly and will have a massive part to play between now and the end of the season.”

He added: “People can obviously see similarities between us. “But he is really good on the ball and, for a young lad, he’s not scared of trying a forward pass to try to make stuff happen. “On the other side he puts the work in and his positional awareness is very good for his young age.

“It’s a grafter’s league in the majority of games and he doesn’t mind getting his hands dirty. “He has played some games for Blackburn and you can see why. “Once he has got a good pre-season under his belt this summer I think we will see we have a really good player on our hands.”


Crewe Alexandra boss Dave Artell would love to see his former club Mansfield Town promoted
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Wednesday 20 March 2019

Former Mansfield Town defender Dave Artell admits he would love to see his old club promoted this season. But, as manager of Saturday’s visitors Crewe Alexandra, he is hoping to make Stags wait until after the weekend for the crucial points they need.

Crewe thrashed Crawley 6-1 last weekend and of their last six away games, have won one - at MK Dons - drawn four and only lost once to sit 14th. Artell is looking forward to his return to the One Call Stadium, saying: “It’s be a good atmosphere, they get behind the team, they cheer every time it goes into the box and when it is close to the goal.

“I used to love shutting crowds up and proving people wrong. “There’s no better feeling than going to your own fans who have followed in their numbers and clapping them knowing you have done a terrific job, got three points and sent thousands of home fans home unhappy. “I want to go there and win. But would I be disappointed if they went up? No, I think it is a good club. “They have good people, the fans are passionate and it’s a big fan base.

Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/crewe-alexandra-boss-dave-artell-would-love-to-see-his-former-club-mansfield-town-promoted-1-9662616?fbclid=IwAR1IAxmWT6R4nob6qZjrAMj3t8g_SrMWJy8x3gjl_ayMBHNJTeUlzkPhJ9E

“The groundsman is the same, I was chatting to the assistant groundsman last night for 15 minutes, they have good people. “They are set up to get promoted, but hopefully any run they go on will start after Saturday.”

Artell has been delighted with Crewe’s form on the road, adding: “We haven’t lost many away from home recently, but we have to be more ruthless. “We have to go to Mansfield and be as ruthless as we were last Saturday.

“We are harder to beat. I watched Mansfield against Lincoln, it wasn’t a good game. But it was two sides who are hard to beat, that’s why they are up near the top.

“It’s not really flare or skill - every now and again you see something - but first and foremost they are hard to beat home or away. We’ve shown we can do that and it has to continue.

“Benning’s delivery, Jorge Grant’s delivery, McDonald when he came on, they work on it you can see that. We have to make sure we don’t give silly free kicks or corners away so they don’t have that opportunity. “They have got pace in the team with Tyler Walker and CJ Hamilton, they have skill in Jorge Grant, and they are competitive. “They are third in the league for a reason, but we have been to Mansfield in the last couple of years and scored plenty of goals and moved the ball well, and we have to do the same again.”



Latest | March 2019