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Archived News from September 2019

24th September 2019 21:03

Stand up and be counted, says boss
mansfieldtown.net, Thursday 19 September 2019

Manager John Dempster has said that the players who feature on Saturday will be those who ‘want to stand up and be counted,’ ahead of the Stags’ trip to Port Vale.

Mansfield will look to climb up the table with a victory at Vale Park, knowing that a victory will take them above Saturday’s opponents in the league standings.

The boss says that he wants to see a reaction from his players following Tuesday night’s disappointing defeat at home to Cambridge United, a game in which centre-back Matt Preston received a straight red card with the score at 0-0 in the second-half.

“At times, we didn’t defend well with ten men or do the basics on Tuesday [against Cambridge],” he began. “You have to also be ruthless in front of goal, as you’re not going to get as many opportunities with a man down.

“Individually and collectively, we need to be accountable and responsible. There will be financial repercussions for Matt [Preston], it’s as simple as that. He apologised at full-time, which you’d expect, but he also came in again yesterday and apologised in front of the group.

“He’s devastated about the decision he made and he knows it cost us. In my opinion, it probably cost us three points.


“We’re now a solider down, which is disappointing when you’re going into war. We understand there is restlessness around and we understand that we need to pick things up.

“We’re going to play on the front foot [at Port Vale] like we did at Crawley and we’re going to Port Vale to score goals and win a football match.

“The players that want to be stand up and counted will feature on Saturday. It’s going to be interesting to see how people react when there’s adversity, who is going to fight, produce the goods and perform.

“A win [on Saturday] would be brilliant. It sounds obvious, but winning breeds confidence. One of the big differences this year when we’ve underperformed is the players not playing with confidence.

“As a footballer, if you don’t want to fight for three points on a Saturday, there’s something wrong with you.

“You saw on Tuesday night, the boys were playing with freedom and intensity. There have been times this season where that hasn’t been the case and I’ll be emphasising that throughout the week in the build-up to the Port Vale game.

“If we play to the levels that we did in the first-half on Tuesday, it’s not up for debate, we’ll pick up points and win football matches.”

Speaking about yesterday’s training session, ahead of Saturday’s big match at Port Vale, the manager said: “I felt it was important to get the group together yesterday [Wednesday] to discuss the plan going forward and remind them of what’s expected,” he added.

“But we also wanted to get some work into the players that didn’t feature on Tuesday night. The boys that played did a session, but we were mindful that they covered a lot of ground on Tuesday.

“It was an opportunity to come in together and speak openly and honestly while getting some work in.

“We wanted to take the positives from Tuesday, because anyone with any football experience knows that it felt good on Tuesday - we were playing well.

“We want that level on Saturday, but results have got to improve. I’ve been football for a long time and have been promoted out of this league twice, so I know what it takes.

“We’re not a million miles away. We’ll start climbing this league table, mark my words. We’re closer than people think.

“If we go to Port Vale and play like we can and we play with confidence, we’ll not just pick points up on Saturday, we’ll pick up points home and away and start climbing that league table.

“We’ll be playing with a high intensity from the off. But there are two sides to football, as I expect us to be strong when the momentum changes and you have to ride the waves of attack if we’re under the cosh.

“Port Vale are a decent side and unfortunate to lose in midweek against Exeter. They’re effective and get the ball forward whenever they can. They have some experienced players which is critical and they’re a team that need to be respected.

“But we fear no-one. If we go into the game with confidence and without fear, we’re confident of picking up points.”

John Dempster gave updates on the trio of defender Hayden White, midfielder Willem Tomlinson and striker Nicky Maynard.

He also added that with injured players now returning, the ‘competition for places’ will drive the Stags in training.

“Hayden White (below) has trained all week and is going to be in contention for Saturday. There’s a little bit of pain there but not enough to stop him training.

“It’s great to have Hayden back in and around it. He’s somebody who is younger than people think - he’s been around for years.

“It’s great to have him back. He’ll certainly be someone who is fighting for a place on Saturday.

“Nicky [Maynard] has been working hard with the medical team. It’s not a really serious one with Nicky and he’ll hopefully be back training with us next week.

“Willem [Tomlinson] is training as normal. With the injuries we’ve got coming back and the quality in depth we’ve got, Willem is competing for a place like everybody else.

“It was interesting to see some of the performances in training yesterday - the intensity was very high and very impressive.

“For a number of weeks now we’ve wanted that competition for places, people in every day to try and get in the team. That’s the situation we find ourselves in now.”

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


John Dempster keen to end 'restlessness' at Mansfield Town by beating Port Vale
chad.co.uk, Thursday 19 September 2019

John Dempster wants to end the 'restlessness' surrounding Mansfield Town by picking up three points at Port Vale.

The Stags boss - who was subjected to abuse from fans during Tuesday's 4-0 defeat to Cambridge United - believes that win number three of the season will be the best way to calm the storm.

"We understand there's restlessness around and we understand we need to pick things up without a doubt, and that's an understatement," he said.

"But we're going to go into Saturday the same as we went into Tuesday night, with a positive mindset.


"The players that want to be a part of that will feature. The players that want to stand up and be counted as men will feature, and it's going to be interesting to see how people react when there's adversity - who's going to stand up and be counted."

Looking to the positives, Dempster believes Mansfield Town are close to ditching their underachievers tag and becoming a League Two force.

"I've been in football a long time. People may see me as inexperienced but I've been in professional football for over 20 years," he continued.

"I've been promoted out of this league twice so I know what it takes.

"We're not a million miles away. People will look at the league table and think we are. Externally, people will be looking and thinking 'they're underachieving' - and they're spot on.

"But I'm telling you know, we're not far off."

The 2-0 victory over struggling Scunthorpe United is the Stags' only victory from their past six league fixtures.

Dempster, however, believes he has seen enough potential in his side during the defeat to Cambridge and Saturday's 1-0 reverse at Crawley to give him hope.

He said: "If we play to the levels we did in the first half on Tuesday, it's not up for debate; we'll win league matches and climb up the table.

"We're closer than peope think. If we go to Port Vale and play like we can, with confidence - and we're aggressive with our press and we're brave and we've got courage and we get on the ball - it's not in doubt.

"We won't just pick points up on Saturday, we'll pick points up home, away and we'll start climbing that league table."

Striker Danny Rose has echoed his manager's sentiments, claiming Mansfield played some of their best football of the season in midweek.

Matt Preston's sending off early in the second half, with the game goal-less, swung momentum in Cambridge's favour.

Dempster confirmed the defender - who will be suspended for Saturday's match at Vale Park - will be fined for collecting his second red card of the campaign.

The manager will, however, have Hayden White and Willem Tomlinson available for selection as both trained this week.

Three places and three points separate 15th-place Port Vale and the Stags, but victory would see Town leapfrog their opponents, giving a healthier look to the league table.

"We had people watch Port Vale on Tuesday night, they lost to Exeter by two goals late on and there was nothing in the game," Dempster added.

"They're a decent side. They were unfortunate to lose in midweek. Exeter managed to be really effective in the moments that matter, that's why they're currently top of the league.

"They're quite effective, they get the ball forward whenever they can. They've got some experience in there, League Two experience, which is critical.

"They're a team that need to be respected, without a doubt. But we fear no-one."


Rose credits manager for goal tally
mansfieldtown.net, Thursday 19 September 2019

Striker Danny Rose has attributed his fine start to the campaign to the freedom with which he is allowed to play under the stewardship of manager John Dempster.

The forward is currently the second highest scorer in Sky Bet League Two with six goals in just nine games.

Rose says that despite the Stags’ ‘tough’ start to the season, he is personally ‘full of confidence.’

“It’s been tough - I think inconsistent is the word. We’ve had a couple of good performances, but we need to keep that up for 90 minutes.


“I feel good and feel like I had a good pre-season. I think the most important thing now is to get points on the board for Mansfield Town.

“We’re in a position now where we need to get points on the board, so we’ll hopefully start with Saturday.

“If you get back-to-back wins in this league, you can always fire yourself up the table.

“I put it [personal good start to season] down to the gaffer [John Dempster]. He’s given me freedom to play and I feel fit and fresh.

“I’m just looking for more of the same to be honest. I was disappointed not to score with the chance at Crawley but I’m just hoping to be a bit more clinical when the next chance comes.

“I’m just hoping to kick on now and get into double figures and see where I can go from there. I feel like I’ve been a bit more clinical this season.

“Goals breed confidence and I think I am full of confidence at the moment. When the next chance comes, I’m hoping to stick it away.

Rose then reflected on Tuesday evening’s disappointing home defeat to Cambridge United, adding: “It’s a difficult one to take [Cambridge result] especially after the first-half performance. I felt there was only one team going to go on and win it.

“We went into the changing room after and Pressie [Matt Preston] apologised, it [red card] was a massive factor that changed the game. We sat back after the red card as teams do and tried stealing a goal, but unfortunately that didn’t happen.

“I had a chance at Crawley that was pretty much the exact same [as Andy Cook’s opportunity against Cambridge]. I think he did the right thing taking a touch, I think if he takes a little bit of a better touch and gets his shot off it probably goes in.

“It’s a tough one to take - we gave ourselves a mountain to climb. We just have to train hard now and go into Saturday.

“We came in and did a bit of running [on Wednesday]. We didn’t have the day off because we didn’t deserve it.

“We have to go into Port Vale now, hoping to pick up three points in what is a massive game for us.

“I think we need to be a bit more ruthless in both boxes. I think we need to be more clinical in the opposition box and defend for our lives in our box.”

When asked to deliver a message to the supporters ahead of the weekend’s match at Vale Park, Rose said: “I’m hoping that the fans can fetch themselves to the game and really get behind us.

“Just stick with us. Come in your numbers like you have been doing and support us as much as you can.

“Port Vale isn’t too far so hopefully they can come in their numbers and support us.”

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


Danny Rose keen to see Mansfield Town put Cambridge defeat behind them ahead of Port Vale trip
chad.co.uk, Thursday 19 September 2019

Mansfield Town striker Danny Rose says Tuesday's 4-0 loss to Cambridge United was a tough one to take, but wants Stags to take the positives from the encounter.

An impressive first-half generated huge optimism that three points were on the cards at half-time, only for a red card for Matt Preston early in the second-half signal a collapse that ultimately saw Stags well beaten.

And Rose feels the result wasn't one the players or fans deserved.

He said: "It was a tough one to take and I don't think we really deserved that on Tuesday, especially after the first-half performance where we played some of the best stuff we've played all season.


"If we do that for 90 minutes we can beat anyone in this league. I thought there was only one team going to go on and win it and if you’d told anyone in the stadium that it would end up 4-0 to Cambridge, nobody would have believed you.

“The red card didn’t help and left us a mountain to climb and Matt [Preston] has come in and apologised to us after the game, but it was a massive factor as we sat back a bit after that as teams do and we’ve tried nicking a goal off a set piece or something like that but unfortunately it’s not happened, so we need to learn from our mistakes now and keep 11 players on the pitch as much as we can."

Stags now prepare to head to Port Vale on Saturday with Rose knowing that what happens in both boxes will be crucial to the outcome.

He said: "We need to be a bit more ruthless in both boxes, defending for our lives and then taking chances.

“It’s been tough and I think inconsistent would be the word from our first nine games. We’ve had a couple of good performances but we need to keep doing what we did against Cambridge but for 90 minutes, as if we do that we’ll win games."

On his own form, Rose feels happy with how things have gone so far, netting six goals and already passing his total from last season.

He said: "I feel good. I had a good pre-season and feel like I’m doing well but the most important thing is to get Mansfield Town points on the board. We’re in a position now where we are playing catch up but it’s a strange league because if you can pick yourself up back-to-back wins then you can climb up the table and suddenly be back in with a play-off shout.

“I put my own form down to the gaffer. He’s given me the freedom to play and I feel fit and fresh after a good pre-season and I’m just looking for more of the same.

“I’m disappointed with the chance at Crawley where I didn’t score but I’m hoping to be that bit more clinical now when the next chance comes.

“I’m just hoping to kick on now and get into double figures and see where that takes me. I feel I’ve been more clinical this season than last when I didn’t really get the goals that I should have, which was disappointing, but we just have to forget about that now and kick on towards this season.”

“I’m still playing with confidence as goals breed that for any striker."

Rose also wants to see the club's fans continue to back them in numbers, despite the inconsistent form, starting in Stoke this weekend.

He added: "We urge the fans to stick with us and come in their numbers like they have been doing. Support us as much as you can and stick together.

“I think it’s close to being right for us now. We owe Vale one after they beat us there last season but we beat them 4-0 there a couple of years ago in what was a very dominant performance and we’ll hope for more of the same this weekend.

“I think the lads have been playing with a bit more freedom away from home. We haven’t been good enough in front of our own fans, we know that, so we need to work on that ahead of the Plymouth game, but for now we look to Port Vale and hopefully the fans can get to the game in numbers and get behind us."


Tom Pope - Port Vale's home form will be crucial against quality Mansfield side
Port Vale captain Tom Pope has his say on the club

20 SEP 2019

That journey home from Exeter seemed even further after we got beaten so late.

We finally conceded twice in the final nine minutes, just as it looked like we might come away with something at the league leaders on Tuesday. But we have to say that Scott Brown had pulled off two or three great saves to keep us in it before they scored.

It wasn't quite enough against Exeter so we are still looking for our first win on the road, in complete contrast to at Vale Park where we've got three wins and a draw in our league games.

That's flipped from last season when we did ok away but really struggled at home. What's the reason? There could be so many but my own theory is once we got on a bad run at Vale Park last season we, perhaps subconsciously, went out looking not to lose another in front of our home fans rather than going all out for the win.

We look a different proposition on our own ground this season although we have to be wary of Mansfield this weekend.

They have some quality players so I wouldn't read too much into their start to the season or their 4-0 defeat at home to Cambridge on Tuesday.

They had a man sent off at 0-0 a few minutes into the second half so that no doubt had an effect. In fact that's the fourth red card Mansfield have had already this season so no wonder they have found it difficult.

There are always expectations there which of course leads to pressure. David Flitcroft lost his job at the end of last season after losing in the play-off semi finals on penalties.

That's just the way things are there - they spend a lot on good players and they expect promotion.

They are 18th but they have too many good players for us to take them lightly, not least Danny Rose who I know from our time at Bury.

He's a good bloke as well as a good player. A quality finisher who riles defenders, has a good spring for a short lad and also has a bit of aggression about his game.



Latest | September 2019