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SCUNTHORPE PREVIEWS, INJURY NEWS
8th September 2019 22:33


I’ll give everything to bring success to club - manager
mansfieldtown.net, Tuesday 03 September 2019

Stags’ boss John Dempster says he is ‘determined’ to bring success to Mansfield Town and add to his achievements as a player and academy chief at One Call Stadium.

As a player, Dempster was a mainstay in the famous class of 2013 - as Stags won the Conference National League crown - before he launched the club’s youth academy, which saw him win three out of four league titles.

His first team charges face Scunthorpe United at One Call Stadium this weekend as Stags look to ignite their 2019-20 campaign.

The Mansfield chief says that his side must show ‘courage, character and fight’ in order to secure maximum points against Paul Hurst’s side.

https://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/2019/september/gaffer-pre-scunthorpe/

“I’ve never been more determined to bring success to this football club,” said the boss. “It’s a club I’m passionate about and one I have a strong allegiance with.

“I’ve given seven years’ service to the club. Believe me when I say that I’ll be giving everything to this football club like I always have done.

“I’ve learned that we set high standards and when we fall short of that, we have to be honest with ourselves.

“We went away to Exeter and were beaten by a disappointing goal - one goal. I think we were coming back into the game before the [Ryan Sweeney] red card happened, but I don’t want to paper over the cracks.

“I’m determined to make this a successful campaign. This will be a successful campaign and the players will produce the goods.

“We’re going to have to show courage, character and fight [on Saturday against Scunthorpe]. We’ll be concentrating on ourselves.

“I have no doubt that Scunthorpe will, over a period of time, will climb League Two. But we have to make sure it’s not Saturday.

“If we show the courage, fight and passion which is within our squad, I’m sure we can get all three points.

“It’s a game that we have to give everything in to get the three points. Saturday is a massive game and we need the supporters behind us.”

Following the club’s recent injury woes, the manager delivered positive news on the quartet of goalkeeper Bobby Olejnik, midfielder Neal Bishop and forwards Andy Cook and Craig Davies.

“We’re hoping that Bish [Neal Bishop] will train on Thursday or Friday. Whether he will be able to feature on Saturday will remain to be seen.

“Andy Cook will be back training next week as well, which is a boost because he brings something different to the table.

“Bobby [Olejnik] is doing brilliantly. He’s training full-time now and is involved in the practise games. We just need to be careful as he’s been out for a number of months now.

“He needs that time to get up to speed. But he’ll be well in contention over the next couple of weeks, which is a massive positive.

“Craig [Davies] has had another injection in his ankle which we’re waiting to settle down, but he’ll be back training and running from Monday.”

The Stags announced on Monday that Leeds United defender Conor Shaughnessy (below) had joined the club on a season-long loan, the last deal completed by the amber and blue before the transfer deadline.

The manager spoke of what Shaughnessy will bring to the Mansfield ranks, along with a reflection on the summer transfer window.

“He [Shaughnessy] is someone we’ve been chasing for a while. He’s a physical specimen and someone who can play in midfield and defence.

“He’s good on the ball and can use both feet. But he can also play in the middle of our back-four or any one of the three positions in a back-three. He brings strength and depth and he’s got a brilliant reference from Leeds United.

“The fact that he can play in a number of positions will benefit us massively. He’s got experience playing in midfield and defence.

“We were talking to a large pool of players. Some of the loan fees that other clubs were demanding were ridiculous. We’re happy with the business that we’ve done - we’re not going to have people trying to fleece the football club.

“It’s been really good business and we’re pleased that the window is closed because we know that we need to work with this group of players and drive forward from here.”

One piece of team news that could be confirmed as early as Tuesday afternoon is the availability of defender Ryan Sweeney, who was harshly sent off in Saturday’s defeat to Exeter.

The manager spoke of the club’s decision to appeal the red card.

“We’ll get the result of the [Ryan Sweeney red card] appeal today at some point. The officials on Saturday will feel conned looking back at the footage.

“The player involved [Ryan Bowman] will look back at that footage and feel embarrassed. It’s something that you don’t want young players looking at or copying.

“It’s not for me really. Faking injury like that and rolling around on the floor, for me is embarrassing.

“You look at Sweeney’s reaction and he couldn’t believe to see the player rolling around on the floor.”

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

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Mansfield Town boss John Dempster accuses Exeter City’s Ryan Bowman of conning the referee and play-acting for Ryan Sweeney red card
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Tuesday 03 September 2019

Mansfield Town boss John Dempster said he was confident of getting Ryan Sweeney’s red card overturned on appeal.

He accused Exeter’s Ryan Bowman of faking injury in the clash, which happened off the ball late in Saturday’s 1-0 defeat at Exeter and said the player should embarrassed by his rolling around.

“We should get the result of the appeal today at some point,” said Dempster.

https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town-boss-john-dempster-accuses-exeter-city-s-ryan-bowman-of-conning-the-referee-and-play-acting-for-ryan-sweeney-red-card-1-9972495

“I am confident. We would not have appeal it unless we were confident it would be overturned.

“Looking back at the footage, the officials on Saturday will feel disappointed and conned and the player involved - I don’t know him personally - will look back at that and feel embarrassed.

“Exeter are a club that are run efficiently, but I think the manager will be hoping there were not many academy players watching the game because that’s something you don’t want to see young players looking at and copying.

“It’s not for me - faking injury like that and rolling around on the floor. For me it’s embarrassing.”

He added: “In my opinion it should be overturned looking at the footage and Sween’s reaction after the game.

“He is an honest lad and he couldn’t believe seeing the player rolling around on the floor.

“Other people may look at it and say it was clever - play-acting - and we got a man sent off. But that’s not for me.”

Sweeney faces a three game ban if the appeal is unsuccessful which the FA could even extend to four games if they felt the appeal was frivolous.

It was Mansfield’s third red card in the opening month of the season.

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Manager John Dempster confident he now has the Mansfield Town squad for success after a poor August
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Tuesday 03 September 2019

Manager John Dempster declared himself satisfied with his summer transfer business and confident of a successful season as Mansfield Town aim to put a tough opening month behind them ahead of Saturday’s visit of bottom club Scunthorpe United.

Stags only won one game in August and had up to 10 players injured or suspended.

But Dempster strengthened his midfield and defensive options with the loan signing of Leeds United’s Conor Shaughnessy before the window closed on Monday and said he had every faith in himself and the squad he has compiled to bring Stags success.

“I am confident,” he said. “You look at the history I’ve got with this football club as a player. We were very successful and we got this club back into the Football League where it belongs.

https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/manager-john-dempster-confident-he-now-has-the-mansfield-town-squad-for-success-after-a-poor-august-1-9973940

“You look at my tenure as academy manager and I brought success to the club, leading the U18s to three titles in four years while getting a few players through for their debuts.

“I have never been more determined to bring success to this football club’s first team.

“It’s a club I am passionate about and I have a strong allegiance to the club. I have given seven years service.

“Believe me when I say I will be giving everything to this football club - as I always have - to bring success and be a winning force in the future.

“It has been a challenging first month. But if there are challenges and obstacles in front of you it’s important you smash them down. That’s what I will asking the players to do on Saturday when Scunthorpe come to town.

“I don’t want to paper over cracks. We have things we need to solve and the challenge is there for all to be seen.

“But I am determined to make it a successful campaign - as in my previous years here - and the players will produce the goods.”

Dempster brought in eight players during the summer window and said: “We were talking to a large pool of players and some of the loan fees other clubs were demanding were ridiculous and some of the stupid agents fees certain people wanted were out of this world.

“So we are happy with the business we’ve done. We are not going to have people fleece this football club as they have in the past. “Those days are gone. We have done our business very efficiently.

“We want to be a successful club but we also want to be a sustainable one and we won’t be taken advantage of.

“We are pleased the window is closed as we know we need to work with the group of players we’ve got and we drive forward from here.”

After a poor August, some fans are already talking about Saturday’s match with winless Scunthorpe as a must-win game.

But Dempster said: “It is certainly a game we have got to give everything in to get the three points.

“But a must-win game only seven games in? That’s a big statement.

“But I wouldn’t shy away from anything. I have never shied away from a fight or challenge in my life - and neither will my players.

“Saturday is a massive game but it’s a game you want to be part of.”

He added: “We need the supporters behind us and we need the players to lift the supporters to get behind us.

“You can guarantee Scunthorpe’s game plan will be to come and stifle us and either score an early goal or go in at half-time 0-0 with a clean sheet.

“They want our supporters to turn on us and we have to be aware of that and our supporters have to be aware of it.

“If this is going to be a successful campaign - which I firmly believe it will - we need to be together through thick and thin - and it starts on Saturday.”

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Could new boy Conor Shaughnessy be Mansfield Town’s new secret midfield weapon?
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Tuesday 03 September 2019

New Mansfield Town signing Conor Shaughnessy could turn out to be Stags’ new secret midfield weapon.

Although many fans believed the powerhouse 6ft 4ins Irishman was being signed as cover for central defence, Mansfield boss John Dempster hinted he may have other plans for using him.

https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/could-new-boy-conor-shaughnessy-be-mansfield-town-s-new-secret-midfield-weapon-1-9974016

“I don’t want to give too much away with Saturday in mind, but the fact he can play in a number of positions will benefit us massively,” said Dempster.

“For the majority of his career Conor has played in midfield while most recently at Hearts he played in a back three. He has experience doing both.

“He is good on the ball and can comfortably use both feet, but he can also play in the middle of our back four or any one of the positions in a back three.

“He brings strength and depth. He is a good character and he’s got a brilliant reference from Leeds United.

“It’s not his first loan - he is not a puppy at 23 - so he comes in with a bit of experience from playing in the Scottish Premier League.

“He is somebody we have been chasing for a while. He is a physical specimen - a good size and a good athlete. He’s someone who can play in midfield and defence which is important.”

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Hopes high for a Mansfield Town return for injured star Neal Bishop
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS

Mansfield Town are hoping they might have influential midfield general Neal Bishop available again after injury for Saturday’s visit of bottom side Scunthorpe United.

Veteran Bishop has been nursing a swollen Achilles tendon, but manager John Dempster said: “We are hoping Bish will train on Thursday or Friday.

“Whether he will be able to feature on Saturday remains to be seen, depending on how he gets on.”

However, the weekend will come too soon for striker Andy Cook and his knee injury, though Dempster said: “Andy Cook will be back training next week, which is a boost. He brings something different to the table.”

Further back though hot on his heels, fellow striker Craig Davies is making progress from his ankle problems and Dempster said: “Craig has had another injection into his ankle and we are waiting for that to settle down.

“He will be back in training and running from Monday.”

Stags have had up to 10 players out with injury and suspension in August.

So Dempster was relieved to be able to bring two new faces in before Monday’s transfer deadline while not losing anyone to other clubs.

https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/hopes-high-for-a-mansfield-town-return-for-injured-star-neal-bishop-1-9976760

“We had no enquiries for our players,” he said. “I think from outside looking in, other clubs know we’ve been ravaged with injuries. We have quite a few of those players slowly coming back - we had two back last Saturday.

“I think clubs could see we were looking to add to our squad rather than have players leave to pastures new.”

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Bobby Olejnik two weeks away from Mansfield Town return?
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS

Mansfield Town goalkeeper Bobby Olejnik is expected back in first team contention this month, nine months after a serious knee injury threatened his career.

The 32-year-old suffered a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament in training and it has been a long, hard road back.

https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/bobby-olejnik-two-weeks-away-from-mansfield-town-return-1-9978418

But Stags are about to pitch him into a full training match and then reserve action over the next fortnight.

“Bobby is doing brilliantly,” smiled manager John Dempster.

“He is now training full time with us and is involved in practice games. We do need to be careful with him as he’s been out for a number of months now.

“He needs time to get up to speed. But he will be well in contention in the next couple of weeks which is a massive positive.”

Dempster added: “Our reserve games start in September so there will be a number of opportunities where he can play.

“It would be good to get him a practice 11 v11 first and foremost and then move forward from there.

“But it’s given the squad and the group a lift just to have him out there training because he is a big character around the place. He has a brilliant personality and it’s great to see him on board.

“Where we held him back a little bit on the physical contact, coming for crosses or one v ones with strikers, he’s in full game mode now.

“We just want to make sure he’s right before we place him in a real game.”

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The buck stops with the players - skipper
mansfieldtown.net, Tuesday 03 September 2019

Skipper Krystian Pearce says that the Stags need to ‘put in a performance’ that manager John Dempster ‘deserves,’ starting with Saturday’s encounter with Scunthorpe United at One Call Stadium.

The centre-back says that the Stags’ boss is doing ‘everything’ for his charges and that the players need to ‘back him’ with positive performances.

Pearce also reflected on Saturday’s disappointing defeat to Exeter, adding that he ‘holds himself responsible’ for the one goal conceded by the Stags in Devon.

“It [Exeter] was always going to be a tough away game, playing top of the league away from home,” he said. “But as players, we know we need to do better.

“I hold myself responsible for the goal, because I should be checking over my shoulders. I should know better and do better.

“Whenever I concede a goal, I’m always analysing how I could improve and what I could have done differently.

https://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/2019/september/pearce-pre-scunthorpe/

“It’s about getting the finer details right overall - I think those small details will make a massive difference.

“Everyone knows that the standards need to go up. The gaffer [John Dempster] does everything for us, so we need to back him and really put in a performance that he deserves.

“It’s been tough for him because of the red cards and injuries to key players. It’s been hard for him to name the same XI every week. It’s down to us to put that right and put in the performances.

“He [John Dempster] is doing everything he can - as players, we need to do more.”

The 29-year-old says that that improving on the ‘finer details’ will make a ‘big difference’ to Stags’ performances and results.

“It’s about doing the basics better and finding the finer details. They will ultimately make the big difference.

“Like on Saturday [against Exeter], if I checked my shoulder, I can adjust and deal with the situation.

“I don’t think any major things need changing, but we do need to improve. Ultimately, we lost the Exeter game 1-0. We had a couple of chances and didn’t take them.”

Speaking ahead of the visit of Scunthorpe United this Saturday, Pearce said: “Every game in this league is going to be tough. They’re down at the bottom at the minute fighting as well.

“It will be a tough game because they came down from a higher league, so there’s obviously going to be quality there. We just have to be focused and make sure we do what we know we can do.

“Saturday is a good opportunity to get three points on the board and really get our season going.”

After notching two goals so far this season, the commanding defender says he wants to ‘help out’ at the attacking end of the pitch as often as possible.

“That [scoring] is something I’ve always tried to add to my game. I pride myself on the clean sheets, but if I can help out at the other end, I’m going to try and do so.

“I was joking with Rosey [Danny Rose] last week about catching him up and overtaking him!

“But realistically, anything over five for a defender is good. That’s been my target for every season.”

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

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Time the players stopped letting the manager down and produced a performance for him says Mansfield Town skipper Krystian Pearce
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS

Mansfield Town skipper Krystian Pearce admitted the players have been letting John Dempster down and should produce the performance their new manager deserves against visiting Scunthorpe United on Saturday.

Dempster has seen his new charges win only once in eight games in an August hit by injury and suspension and Pearce said: “Everyone knows that the standards need to go up,

https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/time-the-players-stopped-letting-the-manager-down-and-produced-a-performance-for-him-says-mansfield-town-skipper-krystian-pearce-1-9975499

“The gaffer does everything for us, so we need to back him and really put in a performance that he deserves.

“We know we have been letting him down. It’s been tough for him as well because of the red cards and injuries to key players.

“It’s been hard for him to name the same XI every week. So it’s down to us to put that right and put in the performances.

“It’s hard to say he can do any more as he is literally doing everything he can - so I think as players, we need to do more.”

Pearce. 29, said it was still early days and there were plenty of points on offer to reach their promotion goal.

“The first month is always up and down,” he said. “Bury and Tranmere, who both got promoted last season, had worst starts than we had. They ended the campaign successfully. So we have got to do the same and pick up.

“Results often fluctuate for teams at the start of a season. But once the first month or so is out the way you can get into a rhythm, get your squad flowing and start playing proper football.

“Personally I think I can do more. I can do better. But as a group we need to improve all over the pitch.

“We need to do the basics better and attend to the finer details - that will make the big difference ultimately. We need to improve concentration levels.”

Pearce held his hands up as being responsible for the only goal in Exeter City’s 1-0 win last weekend when Stags were caught napping from a quick throw-in.

“Obviously it was always going to be a tough away game, playing top of the league away from home,” he said. “They are a good side and top for a reason.

“But as players, we know it was a sloppy goal to concede.

“I hold myself responsible for the goal, because I should be checking over my shoulders and seeing what’s around me. I should know better and do better.

“Whenever I concede a goal, I’m always analysing how I could improve and what I could have done differently.

“On that goal I could have checked my shoulder early and been in a better position. I can hold my hands up and say I should do better in that situation.

“It may seem like a small thing, checking over my shoulder, but if I had seen him there I could have adjusted and dealt with the situation.”

He added: “If we had not conceded that goal we would have got at least a 0-0 draw and come away with a good point away from home.

“It’s not major things that need changing. It’s about getting those finer details right overall - I think those small details will make a massive difference. That is something we are looking to put right.

“I am always my own biggest critic, so I will always be harder on myself than others will be. It’s something that I, as captain, am trying to put right. We have not kept as many clean sheets as I would have hoped.”

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First home win can send us on a run at last believes Mansfield Town skipper Krystian Pearce
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS

Krystian Pearce believes a first home win of the season over bottom club Scunthorpe United tomorrow can finally send Mansfield Town on a run of results.

The Stags skipper helped the Iron to promotion into the Championship 10 years ago, but United were relegated from League One last season and are already bottom with a single point after six games.

https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/first-home-win-can-send-us-on-a-run-at-last-believes-mansfield-town-skipper-krystian-pearce-1-9978422

“I played there many years ago - 2008/09,” said Pearce.

“I was 19 and on loan from Birmingham, playing alongside big Mirf (former Stag David Mirfin) and we got promoted from the league above this to the Championship.

“They’re down at the bottom at the minute, fighting. We know it will be a tough game because they came down from a higher league, so there’s obviously going to be quality there.

“They have got good players. We just have to be focused and make sure we do what we know we can do.

“Saturday is a perfect opportunity to get three points on the board and really get our season going.

“I think that first home win will send us on a little run. It will get the confidence flowing again among the boys and we will start picking up points.”

Pearce has already scored two goals this season and said: “That is something I’ve always tried to add to my game.

“Obviously I pride myself on the clean sheets, but if I can help out at the other end, I’m going to try and do so.

“I was joking with Rosey (Danny Rose) last week about catching him up and overtaking him!

“But realistically, anything over five for a defender is good. That’s always been my target every season.”

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