FLITCROFT, HAMILTON, WALKER, MATT TAYLOR REACTION
Stags’ boss ‘proud’ after dominant victory
mansfieldtown.net, Saturday 30 March 2019
Stags’ boss David Flitcroft has said that today’s resounding 4-1 victory away to Exeter left him with a feeling of sheer pride towards his players.
Forwards CJ Hamilton and Tyler Walker scored two goals apiece to secure maximum points in Mansfield’s longest away trip of the season - a 224-mile journey to Devon.
The manager says his charges displayed ‘drive, energy and urgency’ in what was a scintillating performance from the amber and blue.
“We’ve worked on it all week on how proud we can make each other feel. Today’s performance epitomised that,” he said.
“There was no selfishness to that performance. There was an absolute squad togetherness and I just thought we ran all over them.
“They [players] know what it means to me, and I know what it means to them. We have a collage up in the dressing room - which we’ll take to the next six games - that has all the players’ families on.
“There have been a lot of words spoken this week, so I told them it was now about action and good players making good decisions.
“We just got about them from minute one. Every player had that drive, energy and urgency.
“Our supporters deserved that today. They’ve come a long way down here and we’ve let them down in the last few games away from home. I’m buzzing that they’ve witnessed that today.”
After making four changes to the Mansfield lineup for today’s match, the manager explained why he made such alterations.
“I said to the boys on Monday that I was going to pick the squad to travel down here on training alone,” he added.
“We had a really top-tempo training session [yesterday] and I was blown away by some of it. I’ve felt it building all week.
“We’ve had some young energy with Zayn Hakeem and Jimmy Knowles in the squad. I thought CJ and Tyler were so good up front - they gave us so many good options and terrorised them [Exeter].
“I told them [players] they’ve all got a fair and equal chance of making the team. One of the changes was made by Ryan Sweeney going down with a bug.
“We put him in isolation and got him a room on his own because I didn’t want anyone else getting it.
“Will Tomlinson came and saw me this morning and told me he might have something, but luckily he came through it.
“I’ve had to pull Bish [Neal Bishop] off because of a slight hamstring [strain]. That’s one we have to watch.
“It’s not about making big calls, it’s about making the right calls. You never lose your gut feeling.
“When this group get it wrong, they get it wrong. But fair play to them, as when they get it right, they’re a real credit to the football club.”
The Stags’ boss added that his players ‘badly’ want to gain promotion to Sky Bet League One, and that Mansfield will be ‘giving everything’ to achieve it.
“This Exeter team has some unbelievable quality. They have real top performers and have had a real surge lately.
“I love what the manager is trying to do down here. He’s really slotted in brilliantly and he knows Exeter.
“It was always going to be a tough game as they’re good at home, but we focused this week on what we can do and what it meant.
“I was disappointed with how they scored their goal. But apart from that Loges [Conrad Logan] has not had to make one save, and that’s a credit to the team.
“The three boys in midfield, I thought they got everywhere. It’s been a good afternoon’s work.
“It’s not decisive [result]. There will be turns and trials. It’ll be like that until the end of the season. What I know is that the team is fighting for us and wants to get over the line - badly.
“They’ll be giving it everything. We’ve had to reset them and refocus them, and that’s what we’ve done.”
iFollow Stags subscribers can watch the manager’s interview in full by logging into mansfieldtown.net/ifollow later today.
Mansfield Town boss David Flitcroft praises unselfish squad performance as Stags destroy Exeter City
chad.co.uk, Saturday 30 March 2019
Mansfield Town manager David Flitcroft praised an unselfish squad effort that saw Stags soar to a superb 4-1 win at promotion rivals Exeter City today. The Stags had failed to win any of their last four games and dropped out the top three, so Flitcroft spent the week refocusing his squad and was delighted with the results.
“We’ve worked on it all week, speaking about how proud we could make each other,” he said. “You are not an individual, you’re doing it for someone else. Today’s performance epitomised that.
Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/mansfield-town-boss-david-flitcroft-praises-unselfish-squad-performance-as-stags-destroy-exeter-city-1-9682316
“We had people running for someone else’s family, people running for other people - there was no selfishness about that performance. “It was an absolute squad togetherness and I thought we absolutely ran all over them. “I thought the boys were outstanding.
“It’s not a decisive win and there are still going to be turns. But no one gave us a hope of getting anything after Saturday’s performance. “It’s going to be like this until the end of the season now - they are important fixtures. “But I know this team is fighting for us and one thing I can guarantee fans is this team wants to get over the line badly - as badly as a group I’ve ever met. “They want to see this job through and they will be giving it everything.”
He added: “I got a text from my mum this morning saying go and make you dad proud. They know what it means to me and I know what it means to them. “We have a collage up in the dressing room that we will take to the next six games and that’s got all the players’ families on - who they represent.
“I said to them - a lot of words have been spoken this week - now it’s all about action. Good players making good decisions.”
Despite conceding soon after going ahead, Stags took an excellent Exeter side to pieces in the end. “We just got about them from minute one, every single players had that drive, energy and urgency,” he said. “They just needed reminding we are the luckiest people alive to play football and how you can impact people’s lives. “We had a top tempo training session at Bristol City yesterday and I was just blown away by some of it. I have felt it building all week.”
Flitcroft made four changes and said: “After last weekend I said I would pick the squad for today on training alone and everyone had a good chance of starting. “One of the changes was made due to Ryan Sweeney going down with a bug. He was actually sick on the bus coming down. “We tried to get some food into him but couldn’t so we got him a room on his own and just isolated him as I didn’t want anyone else getting it. “Will Tomlinson said he wasn’t feeling right either and I had to pull Neal Bishop off with a slight hamstring.”
Flitcroft continued: “This Exeter team are a brilliant machine. They have got some unbelievable quality at the top end of the pitch and they’ve had a real surge lately. “It was always going to be a tough game. But Conrad Logan has not had a save to make which is testament to the whole team.”
The win ended a poor run of form and Flitcroft said: “The supporters deserved that today. They have come a long way down here. “We have really let them down over the last few games away from home so I am buzzing they could witness that today.”
Danny Rose’s early return is big boost for Mansfield Town promotion hopes
A timely and welcome sight for Stags fans saw Danny Rose return to the Mansfield Town squad ahead of schedule on Saturday. Rose had said he was unlikely to be considered until he had seen his specialist again early next week. So it was a surprise to see him on the bench in Saturday’s sparkling 4-1 win at Exeter City where Tyler Walker and CJ Hamilton both hit braces. Rose has stepped up his training as he recovers from a double break of his jaw and boss David Flitcroft is cautiously re-introducing him to the rough and tumble.
“I didn’t really want to put him on,” said Flitcroft. “I could have put him on for the last 10 minutes, but the two boys were potentially on a hat-trick and I just felt it would give him another week to get his confidence back.
Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/danny-rose-s-early-return-is-big-boost-for-mansfield-town-promotion-hopes-1-9686103?fbclid=IwAR0zB0DO8uWCf_kItErN0HgdrpU-50A2Ao3Ec9XDYQJhiILtZAeBGWH_e-8
“He has had a bit of contact this week, so we have him in and around it and that was good to see.”
He added: “We had the young boy Jimmy Knowles in and around the training the last two days before Exeter too.
“It’s brilliant to see him, Zayn (Hakeem) and Alistair (Smith) having that young energy and no fear.”
Mansfield Town wait on trio’s fitness for Cambridge United visit
Mansfield Town will check on the fitness of key trio Jorge Grant, Neal Bishop and Ryan Sweeney ahead of Saturday’s crucial visit of Cambridge United. Sweeney (illness) and Grant (injured) missed out last weekend while Bishop came off with a slight hamstring injury.
“Ryan was sick as a dog on the team bus, but Ben Turner came in and I thought he gave a warriors’ performance,” said boss David Flitcroft.
Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/mansfield-town-wait-on-trio-s-fitness-for-cambridge-united-visit-1-9686100
“For the last two weeks Jorge has had an ankle niggle so we wanted to try to get it right. “He has been training on it and trying to play on it but he’s not got that power in his ankle. “So we left him back in Mansfield to get some extensive treatment. “Sometimes you think you can manage those injuries, but when you look at the figures for his last two games his high intensity running has been down, and we have now got to the bottom of it.”
On Bishop’s strain, he added: “That’s one we have to watch.”
Striker hails team performance
mansfieldtown.net, Saturday 30 March 2019
Striker Tyler Walker labelled Mansfield Town’s scintillating victory against Exeter City at St James Park as a ‘great’ all-round team performance.
Much like his fellow frontman, CJ Hamilton, Walker produced a classy brace that contributed heavily to the Stags bagging three points in Sky Bet League Two.
A jaw-dropping effort from distance coupled with a spot-kick ultimately placed the result beyond any reasonable doubt.
And the man on loan from Nottingham Forest was quick to praise the team ethic in response to the 4-1 victory.
“I thought we were fantastic,” he affirmed. “To a man it was one of our best games this season.
“Everyone ran for each other, it was a hot day, and I just thought it was a great team performance.
“I think CJ played a big part with his pace in-behind, it had them running scared, and it really helped.
“Towards the later stages of the second half it opened up because they were dropping and that helped the team.”
The 22-year-old then revealed his thoughts behind both goals - as well as his secret to a perfect penalty.
“I got it [the ball] on the edge of the box and luckily enough it went in. I thought it was going to hit the post, to be fair, but it had enough curl on it to creep in.
“You have to wait until it hits the back of the net, though. Like I say, I thought it would hit the post all the way but I’m just happy we got the three points.
“And it’s one of those things as a striker - it’s 12 yards out and you have to back yourself. I enjoy it and I want to score, so I enjoy having that responsibility on my shoulders.
“You choose what you’re going to do and don’t change your mind.”
Walker subsequently took his goal tally to 23 for the season, and with six league games remaining the on-loan frontman has his sights firmly set on adding to it.
“I came here to help the lads score goals and luckily enough I’ve done that,” he said.
“There’s six games left and hopefully with the opportunities we’re creating we can get some more.
“I just want to get as many [goals] as I can from now and hopefully achieve promotion.”
iFollow Stags subscribers can watch Tyler's interview in full by logging into mansfieldtown.net/ifollow later today.
Striker Tyler Walker praises Mansfield Town work ethic after big win at Exeter City
chad.co.uk, Saturday 30 March 2019
Tyler Walker said he hopes his goals can help fire Mansfield Town to promotion. Walker scored twice as the Stags maintained their promotion hopes with a terrific 4-1 victory at top-seven rivals Exeter City. Walker took his tally to 23 goals for the season - after CJ Hamilton had struck twice - to keep the Stags in fourth place. First he struck a fine long-range effort and then converted a penalty.
“I came here to help the lads score goals and luckily enough I have done that,” he said. “There are six games left and hopefully with the opportunities we are creating I can get some more. “I just want to get as many as I can and hopefully achieve promotion.”
Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/local/striker-tyler-walker-praises-mansfield-town-work-ethic-after-big-win-at-exeter-city-1-9682436
Walker, on loan from Nottingham Forest, praised the work and team ethic of the Stags as they claimed a vital away win. “I thought we were fantastic. To a man it was one of our best games this season,” he continued. “Everyone ran for each other. It was a hot day, and I just thought it was a great team performance.
“CJ played a big part with his pace in-behind. It had them running scared, and it really helped. “Towards the later stages of the second half it opened up because they were dropping and that helped the team.”
Talking about his first, the frontman added: “I got it on the edge of the box and luckily enough it went in. I thought it was going to hit the post, to be fair, but it had enough curl on it to creep in.
“You have to wait until it hits the back of the net, though. Like I say, I thought it would hit the post all the way but I’m just happy we got the three points.”
Describing his penalty, which made it 4-1, Walker said: “It’s one of those things as a striker. It’s 12 yards out and you have to back yourself. “I enjoy it (the pressure of taking penalties) and I want to score, so I enjoy having that responsibility on my shoulders. “You (have to) choose what you’re going to do and don’t change your mind.”
Mansfield Town star Tyler Walker calls on fans to help them over the promotion line
Mansfield Town top scorer Tyler Walker has called on the town to help the side over the promotion line. Walker made it 23 goals for the season as he netted twice in Saturday’s sparkling 4-1 win at rivals Exeter to keep Stags in touch with the top three automatic promotion places with just six games to go.
Walker said the growing club support had been ‘brilliant’ all season, but, with just three homes game left and so much at stake, he hoped even more would turn out and get behind the Stags.
“You only have to look back on the match at Exeter to witness the type of fan base we have,” said the Nottingham Forest loanee. “To see so many fans make the long journey to Devon was really encouraging for us as players, and any neutral would have thought we were at home, judging by the support which the Stags fans gave us. “We’d all love to see even more people coming through the turnstiles at One Call Stadium as we approach the final push, starting with Cambridge on Saturday.
Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/mansfield-town-star-tyler-walker-calls-on-fans-to-help-them-over-the-promotion-line-with-just-six-games-left-1-9687726
“We’ve played some really good, attractive football this season, which has come from a lot of hard work by the gaffer (David Flitcroft) and Futch (Ben Futcher) on the training ground. “We know exactly what is expected of us and every single player in this dressing room is desperate to succeed for Mansfield Town.”
Walker has been delighted with how the fans have been with him on his loan. “I’m loving my time at time at Mansfield,” he smiled. “I’ve not been here too long, but you can clearly sense that it’s a hard working Town and we’ve reflected that hard work in our performances in the overwhelming majority of games this season.
“From the players’ point of view, our fans have been brilliant for us. “They’ve been welcoming to me since I first put my foot in the door and on matchdays they’re loud and encouraging in their support.
“There’s a great feeling of togetherness at this club, from top to bottom.”
Fans were 'outstanding' - Hamilton
mansfieldtown.net, Saturday 30 March 2019
Forward CJ Hamilton paid homage to the travelling Mansfield Town support following the Stags’ sublime 4-1 victory over Exeter City.
Backed by 356 Stags' fans at St James Park, who were in fine voice all afternoon, Hamilton netted twice in 13 first-half minutes to give his side a deserved lead heading into the break.
Mansfield’s number 22 also engineered the chance for his teammate, Tyler Walker, to wrap up three points from the spot as he caused problems for the Grecians’ back-line all afternoon.
However, the ex-Sheffield United man deflected any praise towards the amber and blue faithful who had made the four hour trip to Devon.
“Every game I put the shirt on and try to give my best,” he stated. “And today I felt very good out there.
“The fans travel everywhere and I can’t thank them enough for their support because even if we do play bad they’re always there for us. To get this result for them is special.
“They were outstanding from minute one to 90, all through the game. They were chanting throughout and they gave us that extra lift to keep going.”
The rapid frontman - who takes his tally to 12 goals for the season - detailed aspects of a psychological meeting held by Stags’ boss David Flitcroft midweek.
Flitcroft had wanted to understand exactly what inspires his charges, and the forward believes it was a positive experience for the group.
“It was a great experience for the boys. I don’t think they’ve done anything like that before so it’s good to get into the minds of people and actually see what they’re like, rather than just what’s on the pitch.
“It brought us all together and it was a really good boost for the team this week.
“For me, it’s my family and everyone at home. My sister travels to most games and my mum’s always listening so everyone at home is who I try to do it for.
“To come down here to Exeter, who are a good side at home and a good team in the league, and dominate like that all over the pitch was very good for us.”
The 24-year-old proved to be a thorn in Exeter’s side all afternoon, and he admitted that he enjoyed himself throughout the 90 minutes.
“The tactics that the gaffer set out today worked to get me running in-behind and almost every time we did it we were successful,” he continued. “I’m happy to get the two goals.
“We knew we needed to come down here and win, and today I was trying like I do every game, but I felt really on it and hopefully I can carry that on for the next six games.
“When the two goals went in I thought: ‘I’ve got the better of these’ so I just kept on doing it. I was able to get the two goals and help with the penalty, too.
“That’s my game 100 percent, running in-behind. No defender wants to be running back towards their own goal and that’s what I’m good at.”
iFollow Stags subscribers can watch CJ's interview in full by logging into mansfieldtown.net/ifollow later today.
Manager’s psychology worked wonders admits CJ Hamilton after Mansfield Town trounce rivals Exeter City
chad.co.uk, Saturday 30 March 2019
Two-goal hero CJ Hamilton said the squad had been massively boosted for today’s 4-1 win at Exeter City by manager David Flitcroft’s psychology during the week. The manager gathered players to speak about their motivation for success as he tried to halt a four-game run without a win. Players then made a dressing room wall collage of their families.
“It was a great experience for all the boys, none of us had done that before,” said Hamilton.
Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/manager-s-psychology-worked-wonders-admits-cj-hamilton-after-mansfield-town-trounce-rivals-exeter-city-1-9682370
“You get insights into different people and see exactly what is behind them rather than what you just see on the pitch. “It brought us all together and it was a really good boost for the team.
“Mine was my family at home - my sister travels to most games and my mum is always listening. I try to do it for them.”
He added: “The tactics that the gaffer set out today, running behind them, obviously worked. “Every time we did it we got success and I was happy to get the two goals. “Last week we weren’t the best so we needed we needed to come down here and win.
“I always try to win, but today I was really on it and I hope I can carry that on now for the last six games.
“Exeter are a good team, especially at home, so to come down here and dominate them like that was good for us. “I think straight away I knew I had the better of the defenders. I scored two goals and was involved in the penalty. It was my sort of game and everyone was outstanding today.”
Stags are now two points outside the top three with six games to go and Hamilton said: “We only focus on ourselves so if we keep doing what we were doing today then everything should take care of itself. “After last week we needed a boost like that today and hopefully we can now play like that for the last six games.
“The fans were outstanding again today and gave us that extra lift throughout the game.”
Matt Taylor: "We couldn’t handle their direct play and balls over the top."
The City boss discussed today's defeat to Mansfield Town.
Exeter City manager Matt Taylor accepted that his side were unable to handle the threat of Mansfield Town as they fell to a 4-1 defeat at St James Park.
Two goals each for CJ Hamilton and Tyler Walker did the damage for the away side with Matt Jay getting City’s only goal to make the score 1-1 earlier in the first half.
Following the loss, Matt explained: “(It was) Pretty brutal to be honest with you. We couldn’t quite handle their direct play and balls over the top and they got success time and time again, all afternoon.
“It made the rest of the game pretty much irrelevant because we couldn’t handle it to be brutally honest. It’s disappointing when you get beaten 4-1 at home but football is a funny game, as high as we were last week, we’re not going to get too low after that. We’ve lost the game; we’ve got to move on now and we’ve got seven more opportunities to win games of football and compete. It was a disappointing day.”
The Grecians went in at half-time 2-1 behind but managed to look brighter after the break, until Walker’s strike from distance made it 3-1 which took the game away from City.
Though the goal proved a killer blow, Matt was honest in stating that Town had continued to create plenty more chances at the City goal.
He continued: “They had more than those opportunities so that’s something for me to address and something for me to work on in terms of the way we set up the team, but we just couldn’t quite handle their direct play into our back line.
“We managed to get back into the game having gone 1-0 down and you think you’ve got a chance to settle everyone down, but we didn’t start well and the nerves, for some reason, were in our game certainly in some of the young boys who seemed to struggle with nerves.
“It’s not high pressure, yet, it’s not, there are still seven more games. We’re talking about promotion and play-offs and so on and so forth and we’ve got to be careful because the players have just got to play, you could see today some of them were, not overthinking it, but just couldn’t quite handle the occasion to a certain extent. So that’s something I’ve got to be mindful of when I pick my players. There was just a bit more experience and know-how of how to deal with that situation from Mansfield.”
Mansfield’s fourth goal came from the penalty spot courtesy of Walker, who had been fouled by Craig Woodman, and though the decision seemed a little harsh, the City boss couldn’t hide his frustration at the fact that City had conceded too many chances on their goal.
He explained: “Possibly (that the decision was harsh), but the goals aren’t a fair reflection because it could have been more. I’ve got to stand here and be honest because it could have been more. They got in with ease, so like I say, it’s something that’s not happened too often off the back of such a good defensive performance last week with 10 men.
“We wanted to go after the game today and get pressure on the ball and we couldn’t quite do that because the ball was closer to our goal more often than not. It’s a game we’re disappointed with, we’ve got to move on from it, we moved on quickly from last week and we have to move on again and use it as motivation for next weekend.”
With a 4-1 defeat a rarity this season for the Grecians it could well prove a learning experience for some of the younger heads in the City dressing room, but Matt felt some of his players are a lot better than their performance suggested.
“They’re better players than they showed. We make a lot about young players and experience but they’re better players than what they showed today,” said Matt. “Sometimes you can have a day where the majority of the group were off it and then you need to be streetwise in the way you play, but we weren’t even that today.
“I’m an experienced enough person, who has been in the game long enough to know that you get days like that, but football’s a funny game, in terms of you’ll get opportunities. We’ve got seven more opportunities, and possibly, we’re aiming for a couple more after that. It’s taught us something and myself a little bit more about that group of players.
“I know where we are as a group, I know where we are, and I’m not going to hide the fact that we’re not quite where we need to be in terms of the top three picture, but days like today just reinforce the messages that we’re trying to get across.”
The Grecians also welcomed back Lee Martin, who came on as a second half substitute following his injury, and also introduced Troy Brown as he looked to sure things up in defence despite being behind.
Matt said: “It’s disappointing because when you’re behind in a game you want to put your attacking players on the pitch, but I think anyone who was here today will know that I needed to sure up the defence.
“It’s difficult to do because you want to chase the game and get your good players who are going to hurt the opposition on the pitch, but we could have had anyone up front today, it wouldn’t have mattered. We may have missed Ryan’s (Bowman) physicality in terms of stopping the ball going straight back into our backline but we just couldn’t handle those balls through our backline and beyond.”
"Too many of our players didn't show up" - Matt Taylor's verdict on Exeter City's 4-1 horror show
Manager targets the play-offs with top three hopes ended by Mansfield
By Stuart James
Exeter City manager Matt Taylor refused to be too critical of his players despite seeing them perform well below their best in a damaging 4-1 defeat to Mansfield Town.
The Grecians were very much victims of their own downfall as their errors were ruthlessly pounced upon by Mansfield, who won at a counter with braces from the outstanding front duo of CJ Hamilton and Tyler Walker.
“Obviously we are disappointed and you are always going to be with a scoreline like that at home,” Taylor said. “It’s an opportunity to reflect on what we have done in the last couple of months and the scoreline says a large part about the game.
“We couldn’t handle their threat, their physicality, their direct play and their pace at the top end of the pitch and it happened time and time again. Too many of our players didn’t show up and show what good players they are.
“I want to push that fact that they are good players, but today they didn’t show it. They showed it last week and as high as we were last week, we won’t get too low this week.
“It is so disappointing off the back of two clean sheets and such a good defensive display that they hurt us time and time again today.
“We planned, but sometimes players just don’t produce and too many of our players had an off day today. As well as they played, my players have got to show they are better than that.
“Privately we knew it was the play-offs. We had too much to do and would have had to win six or seven of the last eight and it is too much to do when we haven’t done it consistently for a long period of time.
“We know where we are as a group of staff and what our aims and objectives are, it is just so disappointing when you don’t do yourself justice and I don’t think the players did that today.”