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JOHN RADFORD PROGRAMME NOTES PRE PLYMOUTH
6th October 2019 18:01


John Radford, posted on facebook, Sat 28 Sep 2019

My programme notes for today's game at home to Plymouth:

I must note, firstly, that I was encouraged by our performance last Saturday at Port Vale and equally so by the first half display in our last home game against Cambridge United.

The fixture against Cambridge saw us play some promising attacking football, perhaps the best of the season to date. What was to follow in the second half was as disappointing as it was extraordinary. The red card shown to Matt Preston, just after half-time, completely turned the game upside down and even though our numbers were reduced, I expect us to perform much better.

Whilst few things can be taken from a heavy defeat, the hurt we experienced was channeled properly and used to fuel a much-improved performance at Port Vale.

Performances are becoming better and I am confident that results will follow.

After ten matches played, we are below where I expected us to be in the league table and I expect to see a sequence of results which will propel us towards the top end of Sky Bet League Two.

We cannot allow further daylight between us and the early pacesetters. Expectations have not and will not alter.

We targeted promotion before the season’s start, we have the infrastructure to achieve promotion, now we must deliver results worthy of promotion.

In an era where we are drowning in comment and opinion and starved of any real balance and rationale, it was refreshing to see an articulate, unbiased and wholly reasonable column from the Chad’s sports editor, John Lomas, earlier this week, who very fairly summed up our start to the season.

To add comment to John Lomas’s musings, it is fair to state that John Dempster, our manager, is beginning to find his feet in the role. Following the recent restructuring of the backroom staff - which we felt was necessary - Drewe Broughton has been appointed to the role of performance coach to enhance and strengthen players’ preparation heading into first team fixtures.

To you, our supporters, I ask you to give John, his staff and players your full support. They are good people who genuinely want success for Mansfield Town.

I ask you also to act as the team’s backbone throughout this afternoon’s encounter; aid them with your encouraging and loud vocal backing.

In my long-standing experience in business, I know that any organisation doesn’t need to be perfect, but it does need to be united.

Each of us has the power to encourage or depress, to lift others or to put them down. Let us all make the correct choice for our boys in amber and blue, and to the best of our efforts this afternoon.

Be loud, be proud and come on you Stags!!!

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LOMAS ON MANSFIELD TOWN: Natives are getting restless as Stags still search for consistency under new boss John Dempster
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Tuesday 24 September 2019

The natives are restless - and rightly so.

Two wins from the first 12 games for a club chasing some glory this season is clearly well below expectations.

Last week’s programme notes from chairman John Radford were not exactly the dreaded ‘vote of confidence’ for John Dempster but were a clear warning he expects things to improve - and soon.

So, despite two more gut-wrenching kicks in the teeth at the end of each half at Port Vale on Saturday, thankfully the side otherwise impressed and did show signs of that much-needed improvement.

With players returning from injury and some signs of the team starting to gel at last, hopes are rising though the jury remains out as to how the season could yet pan out.

Read more at https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/lomas-on-mansfield-town-natives-are-getting-restless-as-stags-still-search-for-consistency-under-new-boss-john-dempster-1-10013447

It seemed quite telling that the people who were shown the door last week included the fitness coach.

Bad luck aside, Stags should not have had as many injuries as they did in the first month and fans were already asking questions about the fitness levels of the players.

Where the buck stops on that is an internal matter at the club but doubtless Dempster will now expect to see fitness levels rise and injuries reduced as he changes things round.

It was also an interesting move to see Drewe Broughton arrive as performance coach to try to tackle the mental side of the game with players who are clearly talented enough to be getting better results at this level as they did last season.

Broughton made 540 senior appearances for 21 different clubs at almost every level, scoring 116 goals, in a career spanning 17 years so is well qualified to speak from experience as well as relay modern up to date motivational methodology.

Keeping the players mentally switched on at the end of a half until the whistle blows would certainly prove useful after last weekend’s capitulations

It would definitely help Mansfield to keep 11 players on the field for 90 minutes and it is quite right Matt Preston was fined by the club for his silly lunge against Cambridge last midweek that proved so costly.

Stags were on top and creating chances before his departure saw United take full advantage and coast to an easy win.

Preston had already apologised to the manager and team mates for his three game ban for a red card last month and now he misses the next four for another rush of blood to the head.

He simply has to learn from this as games and points are slipping by and he has the talent to be a mainstay of that defence.

His departure was the catalyst for a disastrous end to a night that had been promising much and ended up with inevitable anger from the home fans directed at his boss, though some of it far over-stepped the mark of decency and should see those fans banned and consider anger management counselling or doing something else with their leisure time.

The buck does stop with Dempster and home 4-0 defeats will produce boos and abuse, but there remains a limit of human decency for all and a need to keeps things in perspective.

The defeat piled on the pressure for Saturday and Stags responded superbly, twice taking the lead at a Vale side unbeaten in the league at home.

But Vale twice levelled late in both halves to leave the manager, players and fans gutted whereas had Stags twice levelled late from being behind it would have felt much more like a point gained instead of two lost.

On balance it was a good point away from home at a ground where they lost last season.

But again it piles on the pressure to back it up with a win at home to Plymouth this Saturday.

New manager Ryan Lowe has not had the start he would have wanted with the relegated Pilgrims and they have one win and a draw from their five game on the road.

With a tough trip to Grimsby Town ahead the Saturday after Stags really do need three points on the board one way or another on Saturday.

Changing managers too quickly rarely proves a catalyst for immediate success and most fans will stay patient as Dempster strives to hit a consistent standard.

CEO Carolyn Radford has already publicly said she does not like chopping and changing managers and had wanted David Flitcroft to stay only to lose out to a board decision.

But John Radford’s words in last week’s programme hinted his patience would only last for so long and Dempster’s players have to start hitting the heights they are more than capable of for their new manager.

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