FLITCROFT, DAVE ARTELL REACTION
Stags’ boss seeks ‘big improvement’
Stags’ boss David Flitcroft says he is expecting a ‘big improvement’ from his players in next week’s match away to Exeter, following this afternoon’s inept display against Crewe.
Skipper Krystian Pearce’s late goal proved to be just a consolation against the Railwaymen at One Call Stadium, following two strikes from Callum Ainley in the second-half.
The manager says that he will work closely with his players this week on generating a response for our upcoming clash with the Grecians.
“We’ll reflect on it [game] and get back to work on Monday,” he said. “I’ve told them what the week is going to look like.
“That spirit and that galvanised strength that we’ve had this season, that was missing today. We’ll get them in training next week, backing each other up and making tackles.
“We’ll make sure that they’re fully supporting each other on the football pitch. We need that energy that we used against the league leaders [Lincoln].
“You have to make it a tough day for them [Crewe], but too many times they wriggled out of areas to impact us.
“We’ve had a week where they [players] knew what the game meant to the supporters, but they’ve let themselves down today.
“They’ve not ran for each other on and off the ball. The appetite that was there for large spells of the season was missing today.
“[I’m looking for] a big improvement. And we’ll get those gains as the week progresses. I want to see who wants to travel with that purpose down to Exeter.
“[I have] big decisions [to make] next week on the team and what it looks like. But one thing I will commit to is picking committed players who want to run and fight for Mansfield Town.
“That’s not been the case today. It’s not happened a lot, but certainly it’s [fight] not been evident today.”
David Flitcroft added that his side did not ‘cause enough problems’ to Crewe throughout the match.
“It was a flat start and there wasn’t enough energy on the pitch. You have to make your intent known in the first part of the game.
“Today there wasn’t that energy or willingness to run for each other. The back-three [in the] first-half looked really good and we didn’t look in trouble at all.
“But we didn’t cause enough problems or sustain the attacks. Against any team that has come here we’ve been able to sustain attacks.
“It was missing that verve and intent. That’s what I feel wasn’t there today.
“Bish [Neal Bishop] has given everything again and given a good account of himself. The back-three have been brilliant all season, but the two goals are disappointing to concede.
“I thought it came back too easy from the top end of the pitch. The two centre-halves have had an easy-ish day.
“It wasn’t a team performance today. That’s one thing that I pride myself on, if someone’s having an off game, back them up. We didn’t do that today.”
The Mansfield boss added that the Stags’ crossing lacked quality.
“I felt that Nicky [Ajose] might have had an influence. I knew that by getting Macca [Alex MacDonald] on the right-hand side, we’d start getting more crosses in.
“The one cross that Tyler has put in for Nicky, he’s in a good position to score. But the quality of work up top, there wasn’t really an intent.
“We didn’t miss the first man out often enough. We got in good crossing positions and wide positions, but we didn’t impact on the goalkeeper.
“It was tame up front, and there were two really poor goals [to concede] from the centre of the pitch, where we’ve been brilliant this season.”
iFollow Stags subscribers can watch the manager’s interview in full by logging into mansfieldtown.net/ifollow later today.
David Flitcroft told Jake Garner of BBC Radio Nottingham Sport: "We’ve let our supporters down. We’ve let our owners down. The players have let each other down".
"We were disjointed, we looked vulnerable - I’m trying to understand why a group of players with so much to gain started so flat”.
"The performance was flat - it almost felt like a testimonial game."
David Flitcroft told Michelle Owen of Sky Sports News: "The performamce was inept".
‘They have let themselves down today,’ says David Flitcroft of his players after Mansfield Town defeat to Crewe Alexandra
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Saturday 23 March 2019
Mansfield Town boss David Flitcroft said his side had let themselves down today after a poor home showing saw them beaten 2-1 by Crewe Alexandra. The setback saw the Stags drop out of the top three promotion spots after a second half brace by Callum Ainley with Krystian Pearce notching a stoppage time consolation in reply.
“They have let themselves down today as a group. They have not run for each other on and off the ball,” said a bitterly disappointed Flitcroft.
Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/they-have-let-themselves-down-today-says-david-flitcroft-of-his-players-after-mansfield-town-defeat-to-crewe-alexandra-1-9668514
“It wasn’t a team performance today. It was too many individuals playing like individuals and that’s not been us this season.
“That appetite that has been there for most of the season was missing today. “It was a flat start. There wasn’t enough energy on the pitch. We didn’t drive the game first half.
“There was no willingness to run for each other and get in positive positions. “The back three were really good first half but we didn’t cause Crewe enough problems with sustained attacks. “We were missing that verve and that intent.”
Flitcroft said too many players had been below par today though added: “Bish (Neal Bishop) has give everything again and a good account of himself. “The back three have been brilliant all season but they were two disappointing goals to concede today.
“When that happens you want someone else to bail you out at that point and I thought it came back too easy from the top of the pitch. We didn’t really lay a glove on them. Their two centre halves have had an easy day.
“They haven’t turned up against a team that can be a good team on their day.
“We didn’t impact on their keeper and our shots were tame. Up front was tame.”
Ex-Mansfield Town star Dave Artell hails his Crewe Alexandra side’s ‘best performance of the season’ at One Call Stadium
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Saturday 23 March 2019
Delighted former Mansfield Town star Dave Artell felt his Crewe Alexandra side’s 2-1 win at the One Call Stadium today was their best showing of the season.
Crewe, who also recently won at MK Dons, took all three points with a Callum Ainley brace in the last 19 minutes as manager Artell’s game plan of staying in the match until late on worked a treat.
“I thought that was our best performance of the season - not in terms of goals and the margin of victory - but I thought we were terrific,” he smiled.
Read more at https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/ex-mansfield-town-star-dave-artell-hails-his-crewe-alexandra-side-s-best-performance-of-the-season-at-one-call-stadium-1-9668532
“I thought we thoroughly deserved the victory and we were the better team throughout the game.
“I thought we had energy when we needed energy, I thought we had men when we needed men and skill when we needed skill.
“Our possession retention was good when we needed it.”
Artell explained how the game plan he devised while watching Stags draw with Lincoln on Monday came up trumps.
“Our game plan worked today. We said after 60 minutes Mansfield will blow up,” he said.
“We watched them Monday night against Lincoln when I thought Lincoln had the last half-hour and, if they’d had a bit more guile, they’d have won the game.
“We felt the longer we stayed in the game at 0-0 the more likely we were to win it and that is how it’s panned out.
“We could hear their manager absolutely bawling his head off at half-time and we said if we can weather another 15 minutes you can play your football and they won’t get near you then.”
He added: “We needed to weather their physicality with our young players.
“I thought we controlled the game for large parts. Mansfield have some livewires up front but I can’t really remember them getting in behind us and creating clear cut chances.
“I don’t think we deserved the one against. The 14 lads who played today were terrific and Callum took his goals well.”
Artell: "Our Best Performance Of The Season"
Crewe Alexandra boss David Artell hailed his side’s performance at the One Call Stadium this afternoon as the club’s ‘best this season.’ Crewe Alexandra won 2-1 thanks to a brace from substitute Callum Ainley and Artell says that his players deserve great credit for executing the game plan to almost perfection.
Following the 2-1 victory over promotion chasing Mansfield, Artell told crewealex.net: “I thought we were terrific and that is the best performance of the season for me. It wasn’t the best in terms of goals scored or the margin of victory but we controlled large part of the game.
“When we needed energy we had it. When we needed men, we had men and when we needed skill, we showed that to the win the game. We showed great ball retention to tire them out and we thought the longer we remained in the game, the more chance our quality would come through and we would have a chance to win the game.
“I can talk about game plans and all that but that is how it panned out this afternoon and the players deserve great credit for executing it.
“They stood up to their physicality and defended the set plays well. I didn’t think that we conceded the one goal that we did right at the death. The 14 players we had on the pitch were terrific for us. The three subs came on and gave us some extra energy.
And on match winner, Ainley, the gaffer said: “It is all about end product with Callum and that is the key. He did that today with his two goals. He is still 21 and needs a break from time to time. I think he played 11 games on the spin and we took him out because he looked a bit jaded and needed a rest.
“That is what happens when he has a bit of a rest and he comes back in revitalised. It is up to us manage our young players and know when they need a rest.
“The centre-halves were terrific. They know where to stand and read the game so well. “
Latest | March 2019