FLITCROFT, TOMLINSON, CALDERWOOD REACTION
Manager delighted with squad effort
mansfieldtown.net, 6 April 2019
Stags’ boss David Flitcroft has said that ‘everyone played a part’ in this afternoon’s vital 1-0 win over Cambridge, which saw Mansfield rise to second in Sky Bet League Two.
Frontman Tyler Walker fired home his 24th goal of the season just past the hour mark to secure maximum points at One Call Stadium.
David Flitcroft says that all of the players that featured today made a difference, and paid homage to the raucous support inside the ground.
“It’s about getting results, and that’s what everyone in the football club is working towards at the minute,” he said.
“I watched them [Cambridge] on Tuesday night against Bury, and it could’ve been five or six. We gave them the ultimate respect.
“The atmosphere in here was bouncing - all credit to the support that came in today. The lads needed that.
“They [Cambridge] are fighting tooth and nail and they came with a plan to try and hurt us. The lads stood up to every single test that’s been put against them today.
“It meant so much to the players to keep the clean sheet. You just have to look at Tyler’s contribution, too. It was a red hot finish and there was a calmness and clarity to his work.
“The lads were thankful to him for that [winning goal]. We have a really honest group.
“Ben Turner at half-time, we had a chat, and he had a little bit of a calf injury. One thing he said to me is ‘gaffer I don’t want to let you down.’
“That’s what it means to the players. Sweens then came on, and I thought Ryan Sweeney was brilliant.
“[Jacob] Mellis came on and made an absolute difference by getting the ball down and getting us playing. He gave us a calmness.
“Everyone played a part. Danny [Rose] has come on and he gave us everything he had. The three substitutes made a difference.”
After coming under pressure in the closing moments, the manager was pleased with the way his side protected the clean sheet ‘with their lives.’
“In the first-half it was just a wrestle,” he added. “We didn’t get the ball wide enough and we weren’t brave down the sides of the pitch.
“I asked [at half-time] for some end quality in the last third, and certainly we got that. Mells’ pass was precision at its best, and Tyler’s finish is precision.
“We had some words at half-time and the lads took that on board. They’ve earned the three points today.
“We had to end our work with higher quality [in the first-half] than we did in the second-half. It was very easy for them to defend [in the first-half].
“We never felt threatened, as our structure looked good, but we didn’t make enough impact on them.
“The lads took the responsibility on in the second-half. In the last ten minutes, what you’re asking the group to do is nothing to do with tactics.
“It’s down to a group of men having resilience, committing to each other and committing to our supporters.
“We took care of our business and protected that clean sheet with our lives. It’s all credit to the squad.”
Following yet another match-winning goal by Walker, the manager explained that the clinical striker ‘deserves’ his goals based on his commitment this season.
“We have two songs for [CJ], so I might make a song up for Tyler and sing it! He feels part of this and loved by us.
“He’s really committed to it. Sometimes, loan signings get questioned, but I look at Ryan Sweeney, who came in and we turned the deal permanent because of his performances.
“I remember when we spoke to Tyler, sometimes the parent club wants to keep the player for pre-season, but he wanted to join us for the training in Portugal. He says it’s the best preparation he’s had.
“Where he built his momentum and form is probably during those six weeks [in pre-season] that he spent with us, in terms of socially, certainly physically, and mentally.
“Tyler is fully committed and he’s deserved those goals.”
Elsewhere, the manager will be in London tomorrow evening, along with Mal Benning, Krystian Pearce, Walker and CJ Hamilton - who were all recently named in the Sky Bet League Two Team of the Season - for the EFL Awards.
The Stags’ boss says it is important that the players have been ‘recognised.’
“Those players [Benning, Pearce, Walker, Hamilton] have deserved to be in Team of the Year. I’d have had some more in, if I’m being honest.
“It’s brilliant for the football club. We’re going down there [EFL Awards in London] to celebrate the family stand and what the club’s been doing.
“To have four players in one team [of the season], that’s a merit to the club and where it’s got to.
“They’ve deserved the recognition they get. It’s important when you get those awards and that recognition, because the players remember that.”
iFollow Stags subscribers can watch the manager’s interview in full by logging into mansfieldtown.net/ifollow later today.
David Flitcroft delighted as Mansfield Town 'take care of business' against Cambridge United in thrilling promotion race
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Saturday 06 April 2019
Mansfield Town boss David Flitcroft said the thrilling League Two promotion race was going exactly as he predicted as today's 1-0 home win over Cambridge edged Stags into second place. MY Dons stumbled at home to leaders Lincoln City, Bury lost at Carlisle and Tranmere were held at Newport.
“It's going to be tight. I said a few weeks ago when people were doubting our credentials it would go to the wire,” said Flitcroft.
Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/david-flitcroft-delighted-as-mansfield-town-take-care-of-business-against-cambridge-united-in-thrilling-promotion-race-1-9696378
“We had a really good night on Tuesday as, by not playing, our goal difference improved.
“Today, Hallam Hope who left from Bury to go to Carlisle scores an 89th minute against his old club - football will keep throwing up stories like that every week.
“Lincoln again showed their intent to win the league by going to MK Dons and beating them. “And Newport was always going to be a tough game for Tranmere.
“We took care of our business, protected that clean sheet with our lives, and it's all credit to the squad. “There is going to be another five games like that in which we have to be resilient and solid like they were today. They didn't give an inch.”
Cambridge certainly made Stags work hard for their win today, a few days after winning 3-0 at Bury.
“It's an impressive clean sheet against a team that are giving everything for their manager,” said Flitcroft. “They have quality players and they are fighting for their League survival. They could have had five or six at Bury on Tuesday.
“We tied them down first half but our attacking play needed to improve by 20 per cent, which the injection of the subs gave us.”
Tyler Walker was again the hero with his 24thgoal of the season. “That's what Tyler Walker does - second half goals,” smiled Flitcroft. “That angle usually favours the goalkeeper, but it was a brilliant pass and a brilliant finish. That was that calmness I was asking for at half-time.”
The tension could be felt all afternoon as Stags ground out the win. “It's a brilliant pressure,” said Flitcroft. “I think the whole stadium felt that pressure first half. I get that. Some of the shouts behind me at times I have to ignore as they are not warranted. “But the whole stadium - wow. That was support.
“I think the supporters got us through that last 10 minutes. How could you not want to get a block on or make a tackle when the stadium is being so supportive and loud. They were brilliant. “It's been a good couple of weeks since the Crewe game. To only lose seven games all season is a credit to those players.”
Stags lost defender Ben Turner at half-time and Flitcroft explained: “I had a chat with Ben at half-time and his calf was tightening after about 10 minutes. He is an honest professional. “He said he could maybe stay on but if it went at the wrong moment he might let us down and he didn't want to do that as it meant too much. He is a phenomenal guy.”
We showed 'togetherness' and 'commitment' - midfielder
mansfieldtown.net, 6 April 2019
Midfielder Will Tomlinson has hailed Mansfield Town’s ‘togetherness’ and ‘commitment’ as they overturned Cambridge United 1-0 at One Call Stadium.
Tomlinson, who was awarded man of the match for his tireless display, spoke highly of his teammates following victory against the U’s.
Tyler Walker struck with deadly precision in the 63rd minute to ensure the Stags took maximum points but the midfielder drew initial attention to his side’s collective work ethic.
“We’ve worked hard all week knowing what we had to do,” he began.
“We knew if we put 100 percent in that we’d get a result and we knew the goal would have come, too.
“Hard work and commitment to each other were crucial. It was a massive push and togetherness in the pitch and the dressing room.
“We came in at half time and knew we had to give an extra 20 percent.
“The gaffer said if we do that then we’ll win this game, and we came out and did just that with Tyler getting the goal. It was a great finish as well.”
The ex-Blackburn Rovers man then alluded to his own personal performance that, alongside the three points, yielded the Stags' 17th clean sheet of the season.
“I give it everything when I play. I don’t want to come into the dressing room and be disappointed from something that I can change in myself.
“I go out and give it 100 percent and that’s the minimum I do every week.
“I don’t think I did the best I could on the ball - but I worked hard, running and tackling, and that’s exactly what the gaffer wants me to do."
Saturday afternoon’s victory lifts Mansfield up to second in the Sky Bet League Two table, and the 21-year-old detailed the full-time mood in the Stags’ dressing room.
“It gives us another boost going into next week,” Tomlinson revealed. “We have a massive togetherness in the dressing room.
“No matter if you’re playing, on the bench or have a long-term injury, we’re all there to support each other.
“As soon as the final whistle goes you get an extra burst of energy and you just want to celebrate that win. It’s an absolutely massive win for us.
“Last year we [Blackburn] got promoted but I didn’t play as much as I wanted to, where as I’ve come here and started to play a good part in the season.
“I feel as though I’ve done my bit to help us get towards promotion.”
iFollow Stags subscribers can watch the midfielder's interview in full by logging into mansfieldtown.net/ifollow later today.
Will Tomlinson's delight at playing a full part in Mansfield Town promotion push
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Saturday 06 April 2019
Mansfield Town midfielder Will Tomlinson is delighted to now be playing a full part in the club's push for promotion. He again started in today's crucial 1-0 win over Cambridge, which moved unchanged Stags to second.
“It's an absolutely massive win for us,” said the 21-year-old, who signed from Blackburn Rovers mid-season but had found starts hard to come by.
Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/will-tomlinson-s-delight-at-playing-a-full-part-in-mansfield-town-promotion-push-1-9696388
“ It gives us another massive boost towards next week.
“This is very exciting. Last year we got promotion but I didn't play as much as I wanted to. “Here I have started four or five games and four sub appearances, so I feel like I have played a good part in the second half of the season now and done my bit to help us towards promotion.
“I don't think I did as well as I could on the ball today, but I just kept running and tackling.”
“Today was a massive result,” said Tomlinson. “We have been working hard all week, knowing what we had to do and that if we put in 100 per cent we'd get a result. “It didn't matter when, we knew a goal was going to come. “It was all about hard work and our commitment to each other.
“At half-time the gaffer said if everyone gives an extra 20 per cent we can win this game - and we did.”
He added: “It was a great finish from Tyler. He always seems to be in the right place at the right time which is the sign of a good striker. “Cambridge had a massive result in the week when they battered Bury 3-0, so we knew we had to show them some respect and it wouldn't be easy.”
Gethin Jones @GethinJones8
Great win yesterday! Everyone dug deep to get the clean sheet and a massive 3 points! 5 to go
Conrad Logan @conradlogan
Big win Saturday. 5 to go #Stags
George William Taft @t99fty
Disappointing result today after defending so well for most of the game, we’ve got to get ready now for next week, all the best to Mansfield for the rest of the season I hope you get promotion
Colin Calderwood reacts to Cambridge United's defeat to Mansfield Town
Colin Calderwood admitted that he was “disappointed” with his side’s performance after their 1-0 defeat to Mansfield Town.
Tyler Walker’s goal was the difference on the day, with the forward finishing a chance from a tight angle after Gary Deegan was dispossessed outside the area.
And in a game of relatively few chances, Calderwood admitted that the nature of the goal - coming from Mansfield’s only shot on target after a mistake - was frustrating.
“If you’re going to lose against a team chasing promotion you obviously don’t want to lose in the manner [that we did]. We helped them so much with the goal,” he said.
“Disappointing is obviously one word, but it just agitates you because it becomes our fault and when it’s your fault you've got to take the consequence of it.
“The rest of it, we had moments of the game where we felt fairly comfortable. They never really had any bounce or momentum, so we’re disappointed that we’ve gifted them the chance, but I must admit he’s [Walker] taken it well.”
United controlled the first half, with Brad Halliday coming closest to opening the scoring for either side, while George Taft and Greg Taylor coped with the Stags’ threat going forward.
Yet, after chances early in the second half for Jake Doyle-Hayes and Alex Jones, Mansfield took the lead.
And despite a late flurry, which included Rushian Hepburn-Murphy being denied by a smart save from Conrad Logan, the U’s head coach said his side “faded” after the goal.
“They had a danger and I thought we defended fairly well for most of it,” Calderwood added.
“I’m a bit frustrated with our second half before the goal. I think there was moments where we should have shown more quality.
“We faded a bit after the goal and got flustered in the moment and didn’t produce what we had at the end, which was a bit more of a threat. They [Mansfield] got more and more nervous and they just had to see the game out which they did well.”
He added: “I must admit. I’m really disappointed with our level, our quality. I was expecting better from us in moments where we’ve absolutely got to chase a game and I think we were a little bit negative. We didn’t use the ball as well as we should have, use the areas or create a threat [and] that gave them too many chances to get a foot in.”
Former Mansfield Town star Colin Calderwood praises Stags for getting the job done against his Cambridge United side
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Saturday 06 April 2019
Mansfield Town star Colin Calderwood praised his old club for getting the job done in their crucial 1-0 win over his Cambridge United side. Tyler Walker's lone second half goal pushed Stags second in the table in a nervous game for the home side and Calderwood said: “I have to be satisfied with three points from two awkward away games this week.
“You sit back and pat yourself on the back as against Mansfield we have been able to contain a dangerous team. “It's a time of the season that brings nerves, frustration and anguish to everyone. But they got the job done so you have to congratulate them for that.
Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/former-mansfield-town-star-colin-calderwood-praises-stags-for-getting-the-job-done-against-his-cambridge-united-side-1-9696380
“You could feel the apprehension in the stadium. They were not particularly pleased with the way the game was going as we were able to not lose the first goal and not allow them momentum in the game, which suited us.
“Overall, not to be under the cosh and allow them a real period of us having to defend our box too much, I have to be pleased.
“But there was a period in the second half where I would ask more of everyone in terms of looking after the ball and winning it back.” He added:
“We faded a bit after the goal. We got flustered in the moment and didn't produce what we had at the end, which was a bit more of a threat as they, obviously, got more and more nervous.
“They just had to see the game out, which they did.”
The winning goal stemmed from an error by sub Gary Deegan, but Calderwood felt they could have done more going forward. “I was disappointed with our quality as I was expecting better of us in moments when have absolutely got to chase a game,” he said. “I think we were a little bit negative. We gave them too many chances to get a foot in.
“The first half was fine away from home - stay in the game, But in the end the game was defined by the moment we gave them their best opportunity and they have taken it well.”