DEMPSTER, LOGAN, DARRELL CLARKE REACTION
Manager lauds ‘excellent’ display
mansfieldtown.net, 26 October 2019
Stags’ boss John Dempster says that his side’s ‘excellent’ performance against Walsall was ‘matched’ by the superb backing of 877 travelling supporters this afternoon.
Mansfield recorded their third victory of the month with strikes from frontman Andy Cook and midfielder Alex MacDonald in either half.
The boss says that if performances continue in this manner, the Stags will begin to climb into the higher positions of Sky Bet League Two.
“I would like to start by talking about the support we had today,” he began. “It’s a joy to be a part of. We went to Carlisle and won, we went to Grimsby and won, and we’ve come to Walsall - who were in League One last season - and won.
“I’m probably annoyed at myself that I’ve only got the team to this point now - I wanted to get them to this point sooner.
“There is a definite change in energy, probably since the Cambridge game. We hit rock bottom and we’re bouncing slowly up the table.
“There are things that go for you in a game - Conrad [Logan] makes an excellent save and we go up the other end and make it 2-1.
“Certainly in the first-half, we controlled the game. It was another sucker punch to concede so late on [in the first-half].
“But I thought the players were excellent today and that was matched by the supporters.
“It’s a win away from home and we want to back these wins up at home. We performed well and I think over a period of time, the teams above us will start looking over their shoulders.
“I’m getting a little more used to the job - I’m trying to not be on such a high when we win and as low when we lose. That comes with experience, and although we’ll enjoy tonight, our focus will be on Colchester next week.”
The boss also discussed both of his side’s goals, praising the trio of Cook, MacDonald and attacking midfielder Otis Khan.
“I thought Otis was unplayable today, running down the left wing and cutting inside. It was a magnificent ball [for his assist] and it was bread and butter for Cooky [Andy Cook, below].
“I was pleased with Cooky today too as when you return to your former club, it can be difficult. I thought he handled himself well and I’m sure he enjoyed it when he scored.
“He got a little bit of stick but the best way to answer critics is by scoring goals and winning football matches. That’s what the team has done today.
“I think that’s the first goal Macca has scored! He doesn’t score many but what he does bring is energy and enthusiasm.
“For him to pop up with the winner today was fully deserved, not just for his performance today but for his performances throughout the season.”
Another standout performer for the Stags was goalkeeper Conrad Logan, who made a number of vital saves at Banks’s Stadium.
The boss added: “I thought his [Logan’s] distribution was excellent today - it has been for the last few games. He’s another big character in the dressing room and another winner.
“To see him pull off the saves he made was magnificent.”
Captain Krystian Pearce was substituted early in the second period, with what the manager has confirmed as a groin problem.
“There was a slight pop in his [Pearce’s] groin and you could see he was holding it when he was running. We took him off and we’ll assess him over the weekend.
“Hopefully it’s not too serious, but I haven’t yet had an update from the medical team since the game has finished.”
iFollow Stags subscribers can watch the gaffer’s interview in full by logging into mansfieldtown.net/ifollow later today.
Mansfield Town slowly climbing the table at long last says happy boss John Dempster
chad.co.uk, Saturday 26 October 2019
Mansfield Town manager John Dempster was not getting carried away, but believes his side are slowly but surely clicking into gear after today’s 2-1 win at Walsall.
He also had high praise for the 877 away fans who helped see them over the line.
“What an outstanding support we had today,” he smiled.
“At the end the noise was echoing around the stadium and it was a joy to be a part of.
“We’ve been to Carlisle and won, we’ve been to Grimsby and won, now we’ve come to Walsall - who were in League One last season - and won.
“I am probably annoyed with myself that I have only got the team to this point now. I wanted to get them to this point sooner.
“I am not saying we are going to go on and win every game because we’ve won this afternoon. But there’s definitely been a change in energy - probably since the Cambridge game.
“We hit rock bottom but we are now slowly bouncing up the table.
“But I won’t get carried away. We have to back these away wins up at home as our home form has not been good enough.”
He added: “There are little things that go for you - the rub of the green - in the game. Conrad Logan makes an excellent save and we go straight up the other end and make it 2-1.
“We were disappointed with the goal we conceded late in the first half as, at times in that half, we had controlled the game. So it was another sucker punch to concede. But I thought the players were excellent today - and that was matched by the supporters.”
Dempster had some nice words for his opposite number, Darrell Clarke, the ex-Stags player.
“Darrell is another young manager who I think has got a bright future. He is more experienced than myself and he’s had a lot of success already,” he said.
“He is somebody I really respect in the game.
“Walsall are probably in a transition at the minute. I read his press in the week and he was quite critical of his players.
“He is trying to change things that obviously weren’t right with Walsall going down last season.
“We wish him well. He is a Mansfield lad - a good lad - and I am sure they will pick up over the coming weeks.”
Otis Khan provided the first goal with his cross and was Stags’ man of the match.
“I thought Otis was unplayable today, the way he was running down the left wing and coming inside. It was a magnificent ball in for the first goal - they are bread and butter for Cooky (Andy Cook),” said Dempster.
“I was pleased with Cooky today too. When you return to your old club it can be difficult and you can be too motivated. But I thought he handled himself well today and I am sure he enjoyed his goal celebration.
“He got a bit of stick today but the best answer to that is always winning football matches.”
On Alex MacDonald’s winner, he added: “He doesn’t score a lot of goals but what he does bring is energy and enthusiasm.
“He is a real livewire so for him to pop up today with the winner was fully deserved, not just for today but for his performances all season.”
Mansfield will assess skipper Krystian Pearce over the weekend after he came off with a groin problem.
Goalkeeper praises 'big team performance'
mansfieldtown.net, 26 October 2019
Goalkeeper Conrad Logan hailed an all-round ‘group performance’ that saw Mansfield Town earn a victory 2-1 over Walsall at Banks’s Stadium.
Striker Andy Cook marked his return to the West Midlands with a headed goal half an hour in, before substitute Elijah Adebayo levelled proceedings on the stroke of half time.
However, the Stags returned for the second period in determined fashion as midfielder Alex MacDonald’s first goal since early March gave his side the win.
And the Irishman believes the second-half performance showed evidence of mental resilience following the Saddlers’ equaliser.
“It was a sucker punch to concede just before half time but I think the big thing is some teams can crumble,” he told iFollow Stags.
“We came out and put on a good performance again, got the goal, defended well and it was a big team performance.
“It was a full-on group performance that, when you concede in the 44th minute, can go the other way. We did well throughout the game.”
MacDonald’s winner rounded off a superb counter-attack, which spawned from a fine save by Logan - one he highlights as his most important from Saturday’s encounter.
“They [saves] are all important if you can get in the way but they dispossessed us, had a one-on-one and less than a minute later we scored.
“As a goalkeeper, it was the sort of thing you hope can be a turning point and my teammates go up the other end and score.”
The 33-year-old then gave an overview of the amber and blue’s season, thus far, that sees them in 14th position in Sky Bet League Two.
“The first five or six games we were huffing and puffing but since the Cambridge defeat, even the other night [against Salford], it was a travesty that we lost that game,” he continued.
“The amount of chances we created, the football we played, I’m sure if people were watching the game it’s how they’d have wanted us to play.
“Unfortunately, we didn’t take our chances but even in those games we are playing well.
“And on the flip side there have been some away games where you’ve had to come and do the gritty side - we’ve done that as well.
“At Grimsby with 10 men, backs against the wall we still played good stuff. It’s the sign of a good team that we’re doing both sides at the minute.”
iFollow Stags can watch Conrad's interview in full by logging into mansfieldtown.net/ifollow later today.
Mansfield Town keeper Conrad Logan believes the signs are good as Stags march on upwards with win at Walsall
chad.co.uk, Saturday 26 October 2019
Mansfield Town goalkeeper Conrad Logan pulled off a string of important saves in today’s 2-1 win at Walsall and believes the Stags are now hitting top form.
“At the minute we’re playing well and away from home we’re doing the nitty, gritty side too. It’s a sign of a good team we’re doing both sides of the game,” he said.
“An away win is always extra special, the more you can get the better your season is going to be.
“We did well throughout the game.
“It was a sucker punch conceding on half-time. Some teams could then crumble but we came back out and put on a good performance, got the goal and defended well.”
Logan’s best moment came after one save saw Stags go up the other end and net the winner.
“I think my most important save was the one just before the goal, though they are all important if you can get in the way,” he smiled.
“As a goalkeeper you hope it is a turning point in the game and you go up the other end and score.
“I now want to try to stay No.1 all season and help push this cub on to better things.”
Otis Khan @OtisKhan63
Love an away win!!! Great performance by the lads, buzzing to get another assist for @andy9cook
the fans were something else today safe trip home
big W today love it team @mansfieldtownfc
Darrell Clarke: Walsall defeat feels like 'Groundhog Day'
expressandstar.com, By Liam Keen
In what was an improved performance his side created several opportunities in both halves and could have walked away with the win over Mansfield but poor finishing again let them down as they fell to a 2-1 defeat.
Rory Gaffney in particular had two one-on-one chances and failed to score - with the second one leading to a Mansfield counter-attack from which they scored the winning goal.
And after the game Clarke was left frustrated at his side not finishing off their visitors.
“I think it’s Groundhog Day for a lot of our games this season,” he said.
“That’s why it’s going to be a long season.
“Let’s make no bones about it, we are where we are.
“Where we deserve to be, because of both boxes.
“We’re missing very good chances, the other team is taking their chances, it’s as simple as that.
“Some players need a bit of a break but it’s very difficult when you’ve got the injury list that we’ve got at the minute.
“Picked up another one today.
“Three centre-halves missing today, two from injury, one from suspension.
“Centre forwards I think are feeling the weight on their shoulders because they’re not taking the opportunities.
“I’ve got to keep working with them, in body and mind.
“Try and give them that confidence, that result, that win, that goal.
“Something that can kick us on.
“I keep saying this, and I’m a frustrated man saying it, but I don’t think there’s a lot in the league.
“Games are won on fine margins and at the minute, at the top end of the pitch, we’ve missed really good opportunities.
“What happens then is players lack that confidence.
“We have a great chance, one-on-one, miss it, they go down and in the next 30 seconds the ball is in the back of our net.
“That deflates the team, they have to rise above that.
“I was disappointed in the last 20 minutes, I thought we ran out of ideas and feeling a little bit sorry for ourselves.
“That can happen on the run we are.
“It’s going to be a long old season but I think my fans already know that.
“I thought we could have quite easily won the game today but you don’t win games if you don’t finish chances.”