FLITCROFT, TISDALE REACTION
Manager speaks post MK Dons
mansfieldtown.net, 4 May 2019
Stags’ boss David Flitcroft has delivered his post-match thoughts following this afternoon’s defeat to MK Dons.
Despite Mansfield being on top for large portions of the second-half, it was David Wheeler’s second-minute header that earned the Dons victory at Stadium MK.
The manager says he is ‘hurting’ for the supporters and his players.
“I’m hurting. I’m hurting for our supporters,” he said. “They turned up, not just in numbers, but in voice and volume.
“The stadium was almost set up to break our supporters apart with the segregation behind the goal. They were loud and proud for Mansfield, and I’m hurting for them.
“I’m hurting for my players. In the second-half, when we turned the screw, MK Dons stood firm but they were creaking.
“In the second-half, the players left everything out there and that’s what we’ll be taking out of this game going into the next challenge.
“Ten minutes after the game, it’s raw. Congratulations to MK, they’ve had a phenomenal season and have been up there all season.
“It’s a difficult one seeing the other group of supporters celebrate, but they’ve had a good season like we have.
“We have to regroup, refocus and prepare ourselves for another massive game on Thursday. It’s a quick turnaround.”
The Mansfield boss says that the squad will use today’s experience to galvanise them for Thursday evening’s play-off encounter against Newport County.
“This experience, I certainly never want to feel like this again, and that’s what I’ve told to the players.
“We need to soak it in, understand why we got beat, and understand how you’re feeling straight after the game.
“But we can’t let it haunt us. Let it be the thing that frees you into striving for a performance next week.
“I have good staff around me. We’ll be in tomorrow for our end of season do, and the players will be in.
“We’ll do it as a group. We have to regroup and we’ll start picking players up tonight. We won’t be haunted by what’s happened today.
“[The players are] hurt. It’s a tough one. We’ve had a cause all season that we’re doing it for our families, and we feel like we’ve let them down. That’s how raw it is.
“We failed at this hurdle. And now we have to make sure that what comes out of this is a galvanised spirit.”
David Flitcroft described the quick turnaround of the Sky Bet League Two play-offs as an opportunity to swiftly put Stags’ ‘disappointment’ behind them.
“There was a tension to us in the first-half, because in the second-half when we took the handbrake off and went for the jugular, we looked like a team with intent.
“We were calmer in possession and we were asking questions of MK. That’s what I’ve got to draw from the game and that’s what we have to pick out and take into Thursday’s performance.
“You don’t have ten days until the next game. You have a four-day turnaround to get ready for the next game.
“We’ll travel down on Wednesday, so it’s going to come thick and fast. In football, you get the chance to get over those disappointments, because it comes round pretty quick.”
iFollow Stags subscribers can watch the manager’s interview in full by logging into mansfieldtown.net/ifollow later today.
David Flitcroft: Pain of defeat must spur Mansfield Town on in play-offs
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Saturday 04 May 2019
Mansfield Town manager David Flitcroft has told his players to use the hurt of today's promotion showdown defeat at MK Dons to spur them on in their two-legged play-off semi-final against Newport County.
Stags just needed a point to secure automatic promotion today but were beaten 1-0 by a second minute David Wheeler header which saw Dons promoted instead.
And Flitcroft was left feeling the pain of the loss afterwards.
He said: “I am hurting and I never want to feel like this again.
“I have told the players to soak it in, understand why we got beat and how you are feeling straight after the whistle on the pitch, having 15,000 MK Dons fans celebrate around you, coming into your face - it's a tough one.
“But I've said don't let it haunt you. Let it be the thing that frees you into driving for a performance against Newport.
“There is regret and hurt in the dressing room.
“We have had a cause all season that we were doing this for our families and we feel like we've let them down.
“We have failed at this hurdle and must make sure what comes out of this is a galvanised spirit.
“We need to regroup and refocus and get ready for another massive game on Thursday - it's a quick turnaround.”
Stags were roared on by 5,300 away fans who found the home club had closed down an area behind the goal so they could not all sit together.
“I am hurting for our supporters who turned up in numbers and volume,” said Flitcroft.
“The fans were incredible. I can't tell you how much I wanted to win today and get out this league for them. They have been amazing.
“Please don't feel let down. Keep turning up and this group will work, fight and scrap for you. I saw a team out there today that want to get out of this league.
“MK Dons did their best to split up our supporters and break them apart with the segregating behind the goal.
“But they were loud, proud and Mansfield and I am hurting for them and for my players.”
Flitcroft was disappointed with his side's nervous first half display but delighted with the second half and said that was what he wanted to take into Thursday's first leg at Newport.
“Second half when we really turned up and turned the screw, MK Dons were creaking as we asked a lot of questions of them, but stood firm,” he said.
“We didn't ask the same questions first half and we almost gave them an easy ride.
“But second half the players left everything out there. That's what we will take out of this game to go into the next challenge.
“There was a tension and a nervousness to us first half.
“But once we took the handbrake off second half and went for the jugular we looked a team with intent and looked calmer in possession.”
He added: “I have a sick feeling in my stomach. It's raw.
“But congratulations to MK Dons, they have a phenomenal season and have been up there fighting all season.
“They have done it over a season - not just today. All credit them as getting out this league is not easy.
“It's a really unusual day as you are normally in different stadiums to your rivals in this situation, not playing each other.
“There was so much riding on the game and it's a difficult one seeing the opposition supporters celebrate.
“But they've had a good season, like us, and they have finished the job off today.”
On the goal, scored from a corner, he said: “We went through the markers and it's down to an individual responsibility.”
Ugly scenes at end of League Two promotion showdown between MK Dons and Mansfield Town
There were ugly scenes at the end of Mansfield Town’s heartbreaking 1-0 defeat at MK Dons in their winner-takes-all promotion showdown.
After the final whistle home supporters ran on to the pitch to celebrate promotion to League One, but some then went towards the Stags fans and scuffles broke out.
The Daily Mirror reported that Mansfield manager David Flicroft said: “I was asking some of their fans, ‘Please celebrate with your own players and don’t goad our supporters.’ “I don’t think that was very respectful. Go and celebrate with your own team. This was a difficult after-game experience.”
Carolyn Radford on social media:
Thank you to all of our amazing Stags family who travelled to today’s game. I know we are all absolutely gutted with today’s result but we still have a job to do. I will not allow negativity to enter my thoughts & I hope you wont either. We will be preparing for play offs with positivity & you can play a part in the process
We will be showing the team videos of support this week & we would love as many fans as possible to take part! If you would like to be featured in the footage please film your message of support and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org Your support will help us to finish #projectpromotion in the right way.
You are all a part of this team too
Let’s finish this together
#coys #mansfieldtownfc #mtfc #playoffs #projectpromotion #footballfamily #positivity #letsfinishthistogether
Paul Tisdale sympathises with Mansfield Town after beating them to promotion
chad.co.uk, by STEPHEN THIRKILL
MK Dons boss Paul Tisdale says Mansfield Town deserve to win the League Two play-off final.
Stags heart-breakingly missed out on automatic promotion following a 1-0 defeat at Stadium MK today and will now face Newport County in the play-offs.
David Wheeler fired the Dons ahead after just three minutes as Stags got off to the worst possible start.
And, despite sustained second half pressure, they were unable to find the goal they desperately needed
Tisdale, who has lost the last two play-off finals as manager of Exeter City, said: "I feel very sorry for Mansfield. We said before this game that is was a winner takes all match.
"It is very unusual that you get a chance in the last day of the season and then a second bite at the cherry two weeks later.
"It was a bit of a gift today, and we took it. Mansfield have had a very consistent and effective season.
"I do feel sorry for Mansfield, I do know what it feels like having lost the last two play-off finals.
"I know what it is like to lose a game like this and I wish Mansfield all the best. "They have been consistent in the top three right through the season, so if anyone deserves it they do.
"We knew we had to score and the early goal was a perfect tonic to settle the nerves.
"We were desperate for a second but i think by the time the second half started we knew we were in for a long 45 minutes.
"We had the best of the first half, but they gave it a really good go in the second half.
"They threw everything at us but we defended fantastically well. We got their in the end."
Only one side that has finished fourth in the previous ten seasons has won promotion from League Two.
MK Dons and Mansfield fans clash on pitch after nervy League 2 promotion battle
By Mike Walters, Sports Writer
MK Dons face an FA probe after their promotion party was scarred by post-match crowd trouble.
Rival fans exchanged punches, kicks and flying bottles on the pitch after the Dons' tense 1-0 win earned took them back to League One and condemned Mansfield to the play-offs.
Home supporters celebrating David Wheeler's winner ran towards the 5,400 visiting Stags fans, some of whom broke through a flimsy cordon of stewards.
Police appeared slow to react, and although the ugly scenes did not become a full-scale pitched battle, Mansfield boss David Flitcroft raged: “I was asking some of their fans, 'Please celebrate with your own players and don't goad our supporters.'
“I don't think that was very respectful. Go and celebrate with your own team. This was a difficult after-game experience.”
Wheeler's early header sent the Dons bouncing back into League One at the first attempt in a tense promotion shoot-out, manager Paul Tisdale gasped: “I need a holiday!”
Tisdale only took over at stadium:mk last summer, after 12 years of triumph and heartache at Exeter, and he's worked his magic at the first time of asking.
Tisdale said: “Those six minutes of injury felt like a lifetime and seemed to go on forever. There were a lot of people who were desperate for that whistle to blow, especially me, but we defended fantastically well.
“What am I going to do now? I'm desperate for a holiday- after losing two play-off finals with Exeter in the last two years, you don't get much of a break by the time your season's been extended by an extra three weeks.
“So forgive me for being selfish, but I won't miss the play-offs one bit- I'm going to enjoy a bit of a party and then a holiday, although knowing me I will probably start thinking about football again after a couple of days.
“I feel sorry for Mansfield because they have been extremely consistent and I wish them all the best. They threw everything at us and, crikey, we just about got there in the end.”
On a momentous afternoon for both AFC Wimbledon and its wicked franchise step-brother, the equation was simple: Winner takes all, loser faces the play-off tombola.
But by the time the Stags got the memo, they were already a goal down after two minutes.
Long-serving Dons skipper Dean Lewington- 793 games without changing clubs- swung in a corner and winger Wheeler, unmarked six yards out, couldn't believe his luck.
And keeper Conrad Logan made a crucial save to smother Kieran Agard's shot midway through the second half and keep the Stags in the hunt.
But the Dons survived a late siege, and their hearts only skipped a beat when veteran Russell Martin cleared Mansfield sub Danny Rose's header from under the bar.
Spare a thought for the Stags, whose boss David Flitcroft was a portrait of dejection afterwards.
He said: I'm sick to my stomach and I'm raw. I'm hurting for my players and our supporters, but we have to pick ourselves up quickly for the play-offs.
There is no time to wallow in self-pity.”
Flitcroft was unhappy with the crowd scenes afterwards, saying: “I was asking some of their fans, 'Please celebrate with your players and don't goad our supporters.'
“We tried to get some of their supporters away from ours. I don't think it was very respectful. Go and celebrate with your own team. It was a difficult after-match experience.”
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