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Archived News from October 2019

6th October 2019 18:03

Results must follow good performances - manager
mansfieldtown.net, Tuesday 01 October 2019

Manager John Dempster spoke openly and honestly in Tuesday morning’s news conference, adding that he wants to give the supporters of Mansfield Town a ‘team to be proud of.’

The boss says that there was a feeling of ‘disappointment’ following Saturday’s slender defeat to Plymouth Argyle at One Call Stadium, but the players have since returned to training in a ‘positive mood’ in a bid to turn Stags’ slow start to the campaign around.

The Mansfield chief added that he wants his players to perform with ‘freedom and courage’ on a matchday, while also further emphasising the need for ‘togetherness’ during a spell in which results have not gone Stags’ way.

“We were disappointed with the result on Saturday [against Plymouth] but the group have come back [to training] in a positive mood,” he began.

“They’re a group who care who care about the current situation and we know that results haven’t been good enough.

“Although performance levels have been better, we take full responsibility that results need to follow. It’s okay to talk about performance, but we’re in a results business and as of Saturday we need to start picking up results.


“At times this season I’ve over-complicated training when there’s no need to. We’ve got some good professionals within our ranks who know the game. You want to roll them out on a Saturday or a Tuesday in the right frame of mind where they can go and play with freedom and courage.

“As a coach or manager it’s important that you reflect and are honest with yourself, looking at where you can improve. So far this season I haven’t got the best out of the players, that goes without saying when you look at results.

“I believe and trust in the players that over a period of time we’ll climb the league table. Over the next batch of games, we need to get results.

“The good teams that I’ve watched and have played in get results when they play badly. There have been games during my period here where we’ve played well and not got the result.

“We’re not hiding away from anything - I’ll never hide away from anything or give in. Over a period of time, this group can be successful. It’s been a poor start, there’s no hiding away from that.

“But we need to be together as a group. When I saw them come back in on Monday, it was evident that they’ve never been more together and that the belief is still there. I’ll be working my socks off on a daily basis to make sure we turn this around.

“The weight of the town is on my shoulders and it’s a football club I care about. I want success and I want the players to achieve.

“I want to reward the owners and the board and I want the supporters to be happy. I want them to have a team to be proud of and, at the moment, we haven’t got that, because results are everything.”

The boss also looked ahead to this Saturday’s match against Grimsby Town, calling for ‘work rate and intensity’ in ‘abundance’ from his charges.

“We need to win games and we need to get three points on the board. Over a course of time, if we perform like we have, I believe we will win football matches.

“If we gain a bit of momentum, I think more wins will come. One goal on Saturday would have made a huge difference to how people reflected on the game.

“If you go back to the Port Vale game we were a minute away from a brilliant away victory. We’ll be looking for more of the same in terms of attitude and application.

“The players have had a difficult time but we have some good characters and very good players in the squad.

“If the work rate and the intensity to press are there in abundance again, we have the quality within the group to win football matches and that’s what we’ll be looking to do [against Grimsby] on Saturday.”

The Mariners sit in seventh position in Sky Bet League Two following a superb 3-1 victory away at league leaders Exeter City on Saturday.

“They have another young manager [Michael Jolley] who has had a season at it to get to know his players.

“It doesn’t surprise me that Grimsby have worked their way up the table because their manager has had time to get his ideas in.

“They’re a good team and have some experienced players with different attacking options. Their manager has done a good job there and like any game in League Two, it will be a real challenge.”

Following the news that Tuesday afternoon’s scheduled Central League Cup encounter against Scunthorpe United at One Call Stadium had been postponed due to a waterlogged pitch, the manager added: “We were going to play a strong team [against Scunthorpe United] so those players will now join us at The RH Academy and do a session on the 3G pitch here.

“We had a plan looking at the forecast, because we knew that the reserve game could be in doubt. It’s a shame because Scunthorpe were bringing a strong team, so it would have been a worthwhile exercise.”

The boss also provided updates on goalkeeper Bobby Olejnik and wing-back Hayden White, with both players expected to return to full training within the next seven days.

“There’s good news on Bobby [Olejnik]. There is slight damage to the finger that he dislocated but the specialist has said that if he has a week off handling, he can come back into full training as of Monday.

“He’ll still do some physical work [this week] but we just have to be careful that we don’t damage that finger that he dislocated. He’ll be in contention for the Crewe [Leasing.com Trophy] game.

“Hayden White is back in the building. He’s still not feeling brilliant, as he’s not long been released from hospital. But, we expect him to train later on in the week.”

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


Under-pressure Mansfield Town manager John Dempster admits ‘weight of town is on my shoulders’
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Tuesday 01 October 2019

Under-fire Mansfield Town boss John Dempster admitted he currently had the ‘weight of the town on his shoulders’ as he tried to find a winning formula ahead of Saturday’s tough trip to Grimsby Town.

A 1-0 home defeat by Plymouth last weekend left him with two wins in his first 13 games as a manager and booed of the field by irate fans at the end for a second successive home game.

“It is tough,” he admitted in a painfully honest interview today.

“It’s very, very challenging. But I am fortunate to have very good support both at the club and away from the club with friends and family.


“The weight of the town is on my shoulders, but it’s a club I care about.

“I have been here for a number of years and I want success. I want the supporters to have a team to be proud of and at this moment in time we haven’t got that as results are everything.

“It’s what supporters feed off. It what makes their week. They work hard throughout the week in their different occupations to earn money, spend that watching us, and it’s only right we reward them.

“The buck stops with the manager without a doubt and I am fully responsible, but we do ask the group to take responsibility on the pitch as well.”

Dempster said the squad were still in good heart, despite the start.

“The players are in a positive mood. They are a group that really care about the current situation. They know that results have not been good enough and so do I.

“Although performance levels have been better we take full responsibility that results need to follow.

“It’s okay talking about performance and process and this, that and the other. But we’re in a results business and, as of this Saturday, we need to pick up some results.

“I sound like a broken record. I don’t want to be that person that sits here and tells you about performances and the results will follow. The proof is in the pudding. Over the next batch of games we need to get result.

“Good teams I have played in a good teams I have watched over a period get results when they play badly.

“There have been some bad habits over the course of my period where we have played well and not got results. We should have won and have drawn. There have been games we should have drawn and we’ve lost them. That is unacceptable.”

He added: “We will be working hard this week and going forward to put that right. We are not hiding away from anything.

“I will never hide away from anything or give in and over a period of time this group could be successful.

“It’s been a poor start - we’re not going to hide away from that.

“One thing is for sure. We need to be together as a group. The way they came back in on Monday it was evident they have never been more together and the belief is still there.

“It’s up to us to get the supporters with us and reward the owners and the board for the financial backing they have given.”


John Dempster rings the changes in training to boost senior players as Mansfield Town search for winning formula
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS

Desperate to get a run of form going, boss John Dempster is trying to make Mansfield Town training sessions less complicated and give his senior players more freedom on the park.

With only two wins from 13 outings, Dempster is trying to evolve a winning formula in his first season as a Football League manager and is willing to admit mistakes and learn along the way.

Ahead of Saturday’s tough trip to Grimsby Town, he said he has now changed some of his training methods to simplify things.

“Training has improved over a period,” he said. “You live and learn with senior players about what gets them going - what motivates them on a daily basis.


“At times this season I have over-complicated training and there is no need to. We have some good professionals in our ranks who know the game.

“You want to roll them out on a Saturday or a Tuesday in the right frame of mind where they can go and play with freedom, express themselves, and play with courage.

“That’s been the big steer over the last two weeks really as opposed to over-complicating things - overloading them and giving them too much information.

“It’s about giving them a bit more responsibility to go out and perform to their individual best.”

Dempster said he was happy to change things that were not working and try other things if needed as he learned his trade.

“As a coach or manager it is important you reflect and are honest with yourself and look at where you can improve individually,” he said.

“Also when you are leading a group it’s important you look at your staff and the players as well and you have got to get the best out of them. So far this season I have not got the best out of the players.

“That goes without saying when you look at the results.


Stags boost as goalkeeper Bobby Olejnik could make his Mansfield Town return against Crewe on Tuesday
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Tuesday 01 October 2019

Mansfield Town keeper Bobby Olejnik could finally make his long-awaited return to action in Tuesday night’s home Leasing.com Trophy group clash with Crewe Alexandra.

Defender Hayden White is also on the mend after illness.

Olejnik has spent nine months fighting to recover from a serious knee injury but, just as he looked set to return to the squad last weekend, he suffered a dislocated finger in training.

Olejnik went to see the specialist yesterday to see if there was any ligament damage and boss John Dempster said: “We have good news on Bobby.

“There is slight damage to the finger he dislocated. But the specialist has said if he has a week off handling then he can come back into full training as of Monday.


“So he will have a week off, though he’ll still do some physical work.

“We just have to be careful we don’t further damage that finger he dislocated, and he will be in contention for the Crewe game on Tuesday.”

Stags also lost defender White at the last minute last weekend when he was admitted to hospital with severe stomach pains.

Dempster said: “Hayden White is back in the building, but he is not feeling brilliant as he’s not long been released from hospital. He is not feeling 100 per cent as yet.

“But we expect him to return to full training later in the week, possibly Thursday or Friday.

“The test results showed he had some problems with his pancreas.

“But he is now on the mend which is the most important thing.”


Blow for Mansfield Town as reserve game is rained off
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Tuesday 01 October 2019

Mansfield Town suffered a blow in their preparation for Saturday’s trip to Grimsby Town when this afternoon’s Central League reserves game with Scunthorpe United was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch at the One Call Stadium.

Boss John Dempster was planning to give some key fringe players much-needed match minutes as well as a chance to force their way into his thoughts for Saturday as Stags look to end a poor start to the campaign.

However, incessant rain ended those hopes.

“We were going to play a strong team,” said Dempster.


“Those players will now have to join us at the RH Academy today and do a training session on the 3G.

“The grass pitches have a few puddles on them. But we’ve got a very good facility here, and we will now have a bigger group than planned on the 3G surface.

“We had a contingency plan. Looking at the weather forecast for the whole week we knew the reserve game could be in doubt.

“It’s a shame as, speaking to Scunthorpe, they were bringing a very strong team, so it would have been a worthwhile exercise. But we can’t control the weather.”


Mansfield Town boss John Dempster ready to face friend and Stags legend Matt Green on Saturday as promotion winners reunite
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS

Mansfield Town boss John Dempster knows his struggling side could face the immense threat of good friend, former team mate and Stags legend Matt Green at Grimsby Town this weekend.

Green was in the same Stags side as Dempster that won the Conference title in 2012/13 and is now with the Mariners.


Although he was on the bench for last weekend’s 3-1 win at leaders Exeter City he has three goals already this season, including one against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

“Matt can be a great threat,” said Dempster.

“He is a great friend of mine though I probably don’t speak to him as much as I did when we were team mates. But we have stayed in touch.

“He is still a fit lad and can still run in behind.

“I have a lot of respect for him. He was a great servant at Mansfield and somebody involved in some of the best memories I had as a player.

“You look back at the Hereford game in the promotion season when Matty stepped up and slotted that ball in the box of the net, the place erupted.

“They are great memories, but we will be looking to keep him quiet on Saturday if he plays. We are aware of his strengths but we know we also have some great attacking players in our ranks as well.

“Greeny didn’t play at Exeter and Grimsby do have other threats. They have array of centre forwards that bring different strengths to their team.”


Our hard work will pay off, says loanee
mansfieldtown.net, Tuesday 01 October 2019

Versatile Mansfield Town loanee Conor Shaughnessy believes the Stags’ ‘hard work will pay off’ very soon, as they look to get back to winning ways.

The 23-year-old has made five appearances for the amber and blue since signing from Championship promotion chasers Leeds United on loan last month.

Despite now being four without a win, Shaughnessy believes ‘it’s only a matter of time’ before the Stags taste victory again.

“I think the performances have been pretty good,” he began.

“The results obviously haven’t gone our way for the majority but starting to see improvement in the performances all round. Like the manager’s saying and we’re [the players] saying in the dressing room, we need to turn them into results now.


“We’re creating the chances and putting in the hard work but we’re just not scoring the goals at the minute. Putting the ball in the net is a whole team effort and that’s what’s going to win us games,” he said.

Since making the move from Yorkshire a month ago, Shaughnessy has played in the heart of both defence and midfield, stating: “I’m happy to slot in anywhere the manager wants me to.

“I really enjoy both positions [centre-back and centre-midfield], I don’t like nailing myself down in one position. I really enjoyed playing in midfield for the first four games here and I enjoyed playing at the back at the weekend as well.”

He went on to thank the club for the welcome he has received following his transfer four weeks ago.

“Everyone’s welcomed me with open arms and has been very enthusiastic. There’s a good mix of young and old pros here who have really good work ethic and come in with a smile on their face ready to work,” he said.

The loanee also feels that he and his teammates must ‘remain positive’ ahead of Saturday’s trip to Grimsby Town, saying: “We’ve seen in the games how close it is. It’s just the small, finer details which, at the minute, haven’t gone our way but we’re sure that once we start converting chances into goals we’ll put a run together.

“We know, as a group, that that’s going to happen. We’re just hoping that everyone can stick together and get behind the manager and we’ll pull through and get the results,” he continued.

“Everyone’s been in teams where once you get that momentum - one win, one good result or good performance, you go on a run and see yourselves move up the league table. I’m certain that is going to happen with the way we’re working at the minute.”

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


Mansfield Town just a win away from getting onto a run of success believes loanee Conor Shaughnessy
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS

Leeds loanee Conor Shaughnessy believes Mansfield Town are just a win away from going on a run of success.

Stags have only won twice all season, though are creating chances and Shaughnessy said: “It’s about building momentum.

“The games have been so close. It’s just fine details that maybe have not gone our way.

“Maybe it will take a bit of luck. But we are sure once we start converting those small details into goals, things will go our way and we’ll put a run together.


“We know that’s going to happen as a group so we are hoping everyone can stick together, the fans, and get behind us and the management and we’ll pull together to get the results.

“I think we all know as players we have been involved in teams that once you get that momentum it builds.

“One win, a result and a good performance and you see yourself move up the table.

“I think that is very likely to happen with the way we are working at the minute and performances we’re putting in.”

He added: “I think the performances have been pretty good though the results have obviously not gone our way for the majority.

“I think we are starting to see improvements in the performances all round and we need to turn them into results.

“We are putting in the hard work and creating the chances but we’re just not converting them chances at the minute.

“That is a whole team effort needed. But the performances have improved over the five games I have been here.”

The youngster has been delighted with how he has been received into the Stags fold since his arrival and is impressed by the quality of dressing room he is now a part of.

“It’s been really good - everyone has welcomed me with open arms and they are very enthusiastic,” he said.

“It’s a good mix of young and old pros with a really good work ethic who come in every day with a smile on their face ready to work.

“The five games have definitely warranted more points than we’ve got. We deserved more. But we can’t keep saying it. We have to turn it into results, starting this weekend at Grimsby.”

Shaughnessy started his first four games in midfield before being drafted into the defence last weekend and said: “I really enjoy both positions. I really don’t like nailing myself down in one position.

“I think it’s good to be able to do both. I really enjoyed playing in midfield for the first four games here and have enjoyed playing at the back at the weekend as well. I am happy to slot in anywhere the manager wants me.”

His first experience of life in League Two has been a good one so far.

“It’s been really interesting,” he said. “I have seen a lot of quality players in this league and there are a lot of quality players here.

“Obviously people mix it up as well with the physicality, which is expected. We are dealing with longer balls as well as technically good players so it’s a good mix.

“I am really enjoying the football so far. I want to play as many games as possible at this level and get the experience I need.

“The physicality of it is good for me. There is no comparison playing as many games as you can against men and playing for results every week. I can already feel myself learning and improving and I hope that continues.”

League Two is also offering him the adventure of many new grounds - including the usual hostility of Blundell Park this Saturday.

“I have heard a few whispers in the changing room but I don’t know a lot about Grimsby. I am really looking forward to the weekend,” he smiled.

“It doesn’t matter what ground you are paying at as long as you put the performances in and hopefully we can get a result there.

“Everyone is keeping positive. We can carry on putting in the hard work or go under. Everyone is willing to go again to get a result the following week.”

Unfortunately for Shaughnessy, two of his five games have seen him and the side booed off after defeats to Cambridge and Plymouth.

“It’s not a new experience,” he grinned. “I have been booed off before and I am sure I will be booed off again. It’s all part of the experience.

“We all know fans are not going to be satisfied when we are not winning games.

“They pay money to come and see us and it’s our responsibility to put in a performance and get the results for them.

“You can understand it from their side. I just hope they stick with us and the performances and results will definitely come.”


Grimsby Town striker Matt Green backs John Dempster - despite Mansfield's tough start
grimsbytelegraph.co.uk, By James Findlater, 4 OCT 2019

Matt Green has backed John Dempster to turn things around at Mansfield - although he’ll be looking to prolong his former team-mate’s tough start as the Stags’ manager.

The two will be on opposite sides tomorrow afternoon as Green’s Grimsby Town host Dempster’s Mansfield at Blundell Park (3pm).

But while the Mariners will be aiming to continue their good start to the season and strengthen their position in the top-seven of League Two, the visitors will be hunting down a much-needed victory.

Having replaced David Flitcroft in the summer - with the current Bolton assistant sacked after falling in the Play-Offs - Dempster has endured a difficult start to life in the hot-seat at Field Mill.

Despite being made one of the favourites for promotion again this season, the Stags find themselves at the wrong end of the table, having picked up ten points from their opening 11 games, and are currently without a win from their last four league games.

But Green has backed his former team-mate - with whom he earned promotion from the Conference in 2013 - to eventually turn things around for Mansfield.

“He’s done so well as a Youth team coach, and that’s also a level that’s hard to get results in,” Green told Grimsby Live.


“They’re (Mansfield) in a bit of a transition at the moment, and I think they need to stick with John because he will come into his own.

“He works very hard, as a player he always did it right, and he had a lot of success as a footballer.

“There’s no doubt that sort of momentum will kick-on and help you in your career. It’s new to him, but he’s a top guy and I’ve no doubt that he’ll be a top manager.”

Green added: “He’s a winner, he was great for us in the season that we got promoted. He scored some vital goals and helped keep some very good clean sheets.

“Once he puts his stamp on that team, and gets them playing the way that he wants and has the club run in a way that suits his style, I’ve got no doubt that he’ll be a successful manager.

“He’s a very professional man, and once he gets through this tough period, I can see it working really well for him and Mansfield.”

For now, though, Green will be hoping to carry on making things difficult for his former team-mate, and the club where he feels he hit his stride as a player.

The 32-year-old scored 80 goals in 173 league appearances across two spells for Mansfield, including a superb haul of 25 goals to fire the Stags to promotion back into the Football League under Paul Cox.

“I’ve got some fantastic memories from my time at Mansfield. There are some fantastic people there, it’s a well-run club, and I wish them the very best of success.

“But my focus now is on Grimsby Town, and that’s what I’ll be looking at tomorrow afternoon, and hopefully we’ll be sat with three points.

“It was the first time I played as a central striker and had a manager that truly believed in me as a striker. He gave me that opportunity and put players around me to create chances for me, and I think my record there speaks for itself.

“I’ll be shaking his (Dempster) hand, we’re all professionals and I’ve had some great memories with John, so it’ll be good to see him and catch up with him.

“But at the same time, football is football, and he won’t be expecting anything less from me if I’m selected than trying to hit the back of the net.”


Michael Jolley on Grimsby Town's selection process and the clash against Mansfield
A full transcript from Michael Jolley's pre-match press conference ahead of the EFL League Two fixture against Mansfield
By Liam Wood, 3 OCT 2019

Michael Jolley has spoken to the media as Grimsby Town continue to prepare for their EFL League Two clash against Mansfield.

On the weekend opponents
Mansfield are a different side to Exeter, but they are a side that we have got great respect for. If you look at the squad they have put together there, it’s probably one of the strongest squads in the league.

I’m sure, at some point soon, they will put a run of results together that moves them quickly up the league table. We have got great respect for them. I’m sure they will be looking to get the three points on Saturday. It’s going to be a tough game.

On Mansfield’s start to the season
With any team in this league, the margins are so fine that anyone can find themselves on the wrong end of some results.

Mansfield last season, with a lot of the same players, were unlucky not to get automatic promotion. I’m sure they will be looking to go one better this time around.

It’s still such early days. They have got more than enough time in the season to achieve that.

On John Dempster
Every manager has got the same challenge. You have got to try and produce a game that is going to produce winning results. We are all facing the same challenge.

I don’t know about the context, or constraints, at Mansfield, but every manager I speak to understands the challenge well. We are all in the same position. We are all trying to get results for our club.



Latest | October 2019