DEMPSTER, KNOWLES, DAVE ARTELL REACTION
Assistant boss delighted for young forward
mansfieldtown.net, Tuesday 08 October 2019
Despite feeling ‘disappointed’ that the Stags could not find a winning goal in tonight’s Leasing.com Trophy match against Crewe, assistant manager Lee Glover was delighted with the performance of young striker Jimmy Knowles, who scored his maiden goal in Mansfield colours in the first-half.
The 17-year-old striker fired home a powerful effort to open the scoring in the opening period of the game, which was eventually lost by the Stags via a penalty shootout.
Mansfield’s assistant boss says that there was a ‘lot of good play’ from the amber and blue this evening, but quality lacked in the final third.
“After the first 20 minutes I thought we were in the ascendancy. We had a lot of good play, but there were areas - particularly in the final third - where we could’ve shown a bit more quality.
“The fans that turned up tonight will have appreciated the effort and the intensity in our game. But we’re disappointed that we didn’t get the winning goal.
“Jimmy [Knowles] got a great goal to start with for a young lad starting his career. It was a great finish and we were then looking for the second.
“There was then a freak goal [for Crewe] which we didn’t have a great view of. We spoke then at half-time of going back out on the front foot and putting a marker down on them.
“It’s great [for Knowles, pictured below, to score first goal]. He’ll be absolutely delighted tonight and rightly so - I thought his performance was great for a young lad.
“We know there are areas he needs to work on, but the lad wants to learn. He wants to listen and work and it was a great strike he got. He’s really happy at the moment with his goal.”
Speaking more about the match overall, he added: “At Grimsby, when it became backs to the wall, we still played our football. Tonight, we were saying to them, as good as Crewe are, why don’t we go out and play a bit against them.
“When we did that, we were really happy. We were happy with the performance level that was there.
“[We needed] an extra bit of quality in the final third at times, but we did have some good openings.
“We created chances, but we just didn’t get that last little bit. We lost on penalties again which is the frustrating thing as, we practise penalties all of the time.
“That aside, we thought the performance was quite good. Dapo [Afolayan], CJ [Hamilton], Jimmy [Knowles] and Cooky [Andy Cook] looked a threat. There were a lot of positives during the actual game.”
For the first time since December 2018 - due to an ACL injury, and more recently, a dislocated finger - goalkeeper Bobby Olejnik (below) appeared between the posts for the Stags this evening.
Speaking of the shot-stopper’s return, Lee Glover said: “Everyone in the building is happy for Bobby [Olejnik] to be back. When you’ve had a long term injury, you want to get back on the pitch.
“He’s come back and has been great around the place, so it’s nice to see him in the shirt and out on the pitch.”
Centre-back Matt Preston also returned to the side, as despite currently being suspended for league matters due to a recent red card against Cambridge, the defender is eligible to feature in Leasing.com Trophy clashes.
Stags’ assistant manager says that the former Walsall defender performed ‘really well’ in the match.
“He [Preston] came back in and we thought he did really well tonight. He got the armband and was given the leadership there.
“He came back in and did well. We’ve made sure that while he’s been out [suspended], he’s been training.
“We’ve kept him involved in everything and hopefully he’ll be back fighting for his place soon.”
Lee Glover also gave an update on midfielder Jacob Mellis, who came on as a substitute in the second-half before going on to be replaced by wing-back Mal Benning.
“His [Mellis’] hamstring tightened up and you have to be careful with that, because when it tightens up it gives you a reminder that there’s something not right.
“If that goes, it’s obviously a month out. But when he came on, he played some lovely passes and got us playing in the final third.
“So it had to be a precaution. We didn’t want to bring him off and he didn’t want to come off. But the physio told us that he’d felt it a couple of times and we’re in danger of losing him for a period of time, which we don’t want.”
iFollow Stags subscribers can watch Lee Glover’s interview in full by logging into mansfieldtown.net/ifollow later tonight.
Delight for teen striker Jimmy Knowles after stunning first senior Mansfield Town goal
CHAD.CO.UK, JOHN LOMAS, Tuesday 08 October 2019
Mansfield Town assistant boss Lee Glover said the whole club was delighted to see 17-year-old Jimmy Knowles net his first senior professional goal in tonight’s penalties defeat by visiting Crewe after a 1-1 draw in the Leasing.com Trophy group game.
Crewe after a 1-1 draw in the Leasing.com Trophy group game.
Knowles scored a thunderbolt of a goal in only his second start to put Stags ahead only to see a deflected Oli Finney cross somehow sneak in from the tightest of angles at the near post to square it.
“Jimmy got a great goal to start with, a young lad starting his career - it was a great finish. He will be absolutely delighted tonight,” smiled Glover.
“His performance was great for a young lad. We know there are areas he needs to work on, but the lad wants to learn, listen and work.
“All his team mates were shaking his hand afterwards and were buzzing for him.
“We had a couple of opportunities to score a second but didn’t get it, then there was a freak goal that sort of went in at the near post. We didn’t have a good view of it.”
He added: “We said at half-time that Crewe want to pass all the time so let’s get round them and try to put a marker down on them and see how good they are defensively.
“We did that and were happy with the performance level, but we couldn’t get the winning goal. We just needed that bit of quality in the final third.
“Jimmy showed honesty to stay on his feet when he went round the keeper and the keeper hit him and he didn’t go down, thinking he’s going to put it in.
“After the first 20 minutes I think we were in the ascendancy. I think we had a lot of good play.
“But there were areas - particularly in the final third - where we could have shown more quality and pick the right pass at times.
“The boys were on the front foot after the first 20 minutes and I think our fans who turned up tonight would have appreciated the effort and, at times, the intensity of our game.
“We are just disappointed we didn’t get the winning goal.”
Jacob Mellis lasted just 19 minutes as a substitute before limping off and Glover said: “His hamstring tightened up and if that goes it’s a month out, so we took him off as a precaution even though he probably didn’t want to come off.
“When he came on he played some lovely passes straight away and got us playing in the final third.”
The game also saw keeper Bobby Olenik back after 10 months out injured.
Glover said: “It was fantastic. Everyone in the building is happy for Bobby to be back. It’s nice to see him back in a shirt and out on the pitch.
“There were quite a few positives overall, despite losing on penalties again.
“We thought the performance was quite good.
“I though CJ Hamilton and Jimmy Knowles did well, Dapo Afolayan did well, particularly early on the game, and Andy Cook looked a major threat today.”
Scoring 'a dream come true' - young striker
mansfieldtown.net, Tuesday 08 October 2019
Striker Jimmy Knowles described his first senior goal for Mansfield Town as a ‘dream come true’ after finding the net in tonight’s Leasing.com Trophy clash against Crewe Alexandra.
In only his third Stags appearance, the youngster took just 18 minutes to break the deadlock with an expertly-taken strike from the edge of the area.
This, coupled with positive all-round play, meant the Kirkby-born frontman endured a fruitful night at One Call Stadium.
And while his side were unable to take all three points, he reflected upon the goal with evident pride.
“Ever since you start playing you think about scoring your first professional goal,” Knowles told iFollow Stags.
“When I’ve been close to the first team I’ve been thinking about it all the time, really. For it to happen tonight is a dream come true.
“My family were here to watch so it was a great feeling getting a goal in front of them. Most importantly, though, it was about the team and how it helped us.
“I got it on the edge of the box, then put it in top corner but it’s come from the pressing from the team, which is what got me the ball.”
In addition, the 17-year-old spoke highly of manager John Dempster - who initially brought him into the Mansfield academy before entering his current role this summer.
“It’s encouraging to know he’s brought me into the academy and also gave me my first-team debut.
“He’s shown faith in me as I’ve started against Everton and now tonight - I think I’ve done well and I’m happy.
“He demands high standards on the training pitch, he wants to work hard and he’s a winner.
“He wants to win. I think in the dressing room we can tell that when he loses he’s not happy, and when he wins he’s satisfied but he knows he needs to keep winning.”
Knowles said that he will have to remain patient as he searches for more game time amongst the first-team squad.
“I’d like to be with the first team and just to make as many first-team appearances as possible,” he affirmed. “I want to play as much as I can and I want to score.
“We’ve just won [at Grimsby] and people are playing well. Rosey’s playing well, scoring goals but if I keep training hard with my head down then maybe the gaffer will put faith in me.
“It’s a big step up. You’ve got to be able to move the ball and be strong but I think I dealt with it quite well tonight.
“It’s very different to the under-18s. It’s very physical and they [Crewe] moved the ball well tonight, which caused us a few problems but I’m still enjoying it.”
iFollow Stags subscribers can watch Jimmy's interview in full by heading to mansfieldtown.net/ifollow later tonight.
First Mansfield Town goal ‘a dream come true’ for Kirkby teenager Jimmy Knowles
CHAD.CO.UK, JOHN LOMAS, Tuesday 08 October 2019
Teenage striker Jimmy Knowles, from Kirkby, described his first senior goal for Mansfield Town tonight as a ‘dream come true’.
Knowles, 17, scored a stunning effort to put Stags ahead against visiting Crewe in the Leasing.com trophy group game only for Crewe to level with a deflected cross and then take the extra point on penalties in the end.
But that could not spoil Knowles’ night.
“Ever since you start playing football you think about scoring your first professional goal. For it to happen tonight was just a dream come true,” he said.
“It was unreal. My family were here today so it was a great feeling getting a goal in front of them.
“It was a good finish. I got it on the edge of the box and put it in the top corner, but it came from the pressing from the team that got me the ball.
“I was happy with my display. I got a goal and I think I was good on the ball though I still think there are things I need to improve on.”
Knowles could certainly feel the difference at senior level.
“It’s a big step up. You have to be able to move the ball and be strong but I think I dealt quite well with it tonight,” he said.
Now the teenager is hoping he can force his way into the League Two starting XI this season.
“I have been patient waiting for my chance,” he said.
“But we won on Saturday and people are playing well, Rosey (Danny Rose) is scoring a lot of goals.
“I think if I just keep training hard and keep my head down, hopefully the gaffer will put faith in me.
“I just want to get as many first team appearances as I can and as many goals as I can. I love playing football.”
Artell: "I Knew It Was In, I Don't Know What The Fuss Was About"
David Artell was pleased with another good night’s work as his Crewe Alexandra side extended their recent unbeaten run to five matches and earned an extra bonus point after winning the penalty shoot-out. The 4-3 win earns us two points and keeps our hopes of qualifying from the Northern Section alive.
After the 1-1 draw after 90 minutes at the One Call Stadium, the boss said: “I thought there were some really good performances, some okay performances and no bad ones. The two young full-backs did well and they are only going to benefit from nights like this.
“We would like to introduce them to more men’s football but they are caught in the middle of first team football and Under-23s. The loan windows do not help them either in that respect with it being six months apart.
“The two lads showed that there is plenty to work with and there are areas to improve on but they can be pleased with their performances, Travis on his debut and Rio has played three games has he?
“We have to be bold and brave with our young players and give them these type of experiences. I don’t think we can be any bolder than giving Rio his debut against Aston Villa in the League Cup.
“The game was played below the normal standard and the unfamiliarity may come into that with the changes we made. They may have different players ahead of them or playing behind them and they may not be totally used to what they are going to do and all that.
“Saying that it was a pleasing night. There are no injuries and we haven’t lost the game. In fact we have won the penalty shoot-out which gives us an extra point, which is important because it still means we are in the competition and have a chance of qualifying.
“I said to the players before the game, that it is four unbeaten. Let’s make it five unbeaten and keep that momentum going and they did that. It’s a draw after 90 minutes again and we have won the penalty shoot-out, so it is again positives.
On Finney’s goal, the gaffer stated: “I knew straight away that it was goal and so did our players. The referee and his assistant didn’t and their players tried to hoodwink them into believing that it gone out or gone through the netting or whatever - but I knew it was a goal.
“It was a really good strike from Oli and he also scored his penalty, so he is up and running now. It is important for him because he is a goalscoring midfielder and he has to score goals to get into the team. He knows that and I thought he was one of our best players in that first half, he was getting in and around their box and getting shots off and that it what he has to do.
“The goal we conceded was a poor mistake but it is something Owen will learn from. If a mistake like that is going to happen then it is probably better that it happens on a night like this instead of a competitive league game. This is the night to do it but we don’t want mistakes like that to happen but in fairness he was trying to play.
“He will learn and we will not discourage him or any of the others from trying to play.”