DEMPSTER, ALISTAIR SMITH, RICHIE WELLENS REACTION
Stags lacked clinical edge in positive display - gaffer
mansfieldtown.net, Saturday 23 November 2019
Stags’ boss John Dempster believes his side did enough to earn ‘at least a point’ away at league leaders Swindon Town, following a game in which the amber and blue crafted several goalscoring opportunities.
The Robins took the lead in the first-half through Eoin Doyle - who leads the Sky Bet League Two scoring charts with 17 goals to his name - yet coughed up plenty of chances to Mansfield, especially in the second-half.
After a positive performance, the manager credited his players for ‘giving everything,’ but conceded that results need to coincide with good displays.
“I thought the players gave everything - we threw everything at Swindon. We had some good opportunities,” he told iFollow Stags.
“Richie [Wellens, Swindon manager] has put a good team together and I don’t feel we’re far off them. But it’s a results business and we’ve lost a football game, so we’re disappointed.
“[We deserved] at least a point - you can’t question the players’ efforts, but we just couldn’t get that goal.
“We certainly got into some very good areas at the end of the first-half and dominated the second-half.
“There were some really good opportunities for us and I’m disappointed that my more attacking players haven’t been more clinical in their box.
“We have some good players within our squad. We had some created players on the pitch and we probably weren’t brave enough in the first 20 minutes.
“We started to open them up and you could see our confidence lift. It’s another reason why we’re very disappointed not to score, but the effort from the players can’t be questioned.”
The boss spoke about his more attacking starting XI for today’s game, adding that his side travelled to the league leaders with the aim of taking all three points.
“We wanted to come here and win, regardless of them being league leaders,” he said “They’re in good form, but we felt we had the players in our squad to come and win a football match.
“When you look at the chances we created and the way we played, it’s just a shame that we couldn’t capitalise on the possession we had and the opportunities we created.
“We need to win football matches, so there’s no point sitting back. We’re well aware that we need to do that and this squad is very capable.
“So going forward, we’ll always be positive. But you have 11 players opposite you, trying to nullify you and win a match as well, so it doesn’t always turn out how you want.
“Everyone has an opinion about football, that’s why it’s the game we all know and love - but today we wanted to come here and win a football match, it’s as simple as that. It’s about how you react next week.
“If you play a certain player in a certain position, depending on their skills and attributes, it can make a team look more attacking. Today we wanted to be positive and we were.”
There was also a full league debut for 20-year-old midfielder Alistair Smith, someone who John Dempster is ‘proud’ of, having coached the youngster during his time as academy manager.
“I am proud of him [Smith]. He deserved an opportunity as he was outstanding at Burton and played very well for the reserves.
“He’s been training immaculately and I was proud to see him make his full league debut today.
“It’s just a shame that he can’t look back on that debut with a win - I did mention that to the players before the game.
“Alistair has been on a journey since being released from Hull at 16 and he’s come on leaps and bounds, so that was certainly one of the positives of this afternoon.”
iFollow Stags subscribers can watch the gaffer’s interview in full by logging into mansfieldtown.net/ifollow later today.
Players’ efforts can’t be questioned says Mansfield Town boss John Dempster after Swindon Town defeat
chad.co.uk, Saturday 23 November 2019
Mansfield Town boss John Dempster said he could not question his players’ efforts as they dominated for long spells in today’s 1-0 defeat at leaders Swindon Town.
But he acknowledged that it was results that mattered and felt they showed the Robins too much respect before falling behind.
“I thought the players gave everything, in particular in the second half. I thought we threw everything at Swindon and we had some good opportunities,” he said.
“I also thought the referee had a difficult afternoon - I thought he was poor today. So that didn’t go for us.
“That’s the standard - that’s the top of the league. Richie Wellens has put a good team together here, but I don’t feel we’re far off them.
“On reflection of that game we are not, but it’s a results business and we’ve lost a football match, so as you can imagine I am disappointed.
“I thought we deserved a point and you can’t question the players’ efforts - we just couldn’t get that goal.”
He added: “We got in some very good areas towards the end of the first half and we dominated the second half.
“Swindon will say they defended well, but we need to do better when we get in those areas. Our attacking players should have been more clinical in their box.
“We had some creative players on the pitch but I felt we weren’t brave enough in the first 20 minutes. We sat off Swindon a little bit and maybe showed them too much respect.
“Once we started to pass it and open them up you could see the confidence lift and players believing.”
Dempster named an attacking starting XI and said: “We wanted to come here and win, regardless of them being league leaders and in good form. We believe we have the players in the squad to win.
“We need to win football matches so there is no point in sitting back. We will stay on the front foot.
“The players are down. It’s fine margins. You look at their goal and it was ricocheting like a pinball all over in our box and unfortunately landed to their player and he slots it home.
“There were numerous occasions the ball was ricocheting around their box but it didn’t drop for us today.”
The one bright moment of the day was a full Football League debut for young midfielder Alistair Smith.
“I am proud of him,” said Dempster. “I think he deserved an opportunity. “He was outstanding at Burton. He played very well for the reserves and training immaculately.
“It’s just a shame he can’t look back on his debut as a win - and I did mention that to the players before the game.
“He has been on a journey since being released at Hull at 16. He’s come on leaps and bounds and that was certainly a positive this afternoon.”
Midfielder reflects on full league debut
mansfieldtown.net, Saturday 23 November 2019
Midfielder Alistair Smith labelled his first league start for Mansfield Town as a ‘big occasion’ after producing a solid individual display at the County Ground.
Swindon Town opened the scoring through Eoin Doyle’s 17th of the season midway through the opening period, leaving the Stags a one-goal deficit to overturn.
John Dempster’s side returned from the break in relentless fashion, carving out chances in abundance, yet were unable to register an equaliser in Wiltshire.
But aside from the result, Smith felt pleased with his own performance as he was handed the full 90 minutes by his manager.
“I enjoyed it. It was good to be out there playing the full 90 minutes and with the crowd it felt like a big occasion for me,” he detailed for iFollow Stags.
“I’m in my fifth year with Mansfield so I’m happy to have finally stepped out and made that league appearance.
“I put myself about and gave it everything I’ve got - that’s all I can do at the end of the day.
“At the start it felt like we gave them a little too much respect and they created chances but as soon as we started imposing ourselves we created chances too."
The 20-year-old also believes that his side’s luck will turn should they continue to perform in the same manner as they did on Saturday afternoon.
“At the end of the day it’s a results business so they aren’t in the changing rooms smiling just because the performance was improved in the second half.
“Nobody’s happy but we have to go again, we have no other choice. The luck will turn eventually.
“We went toe-to-toe [with Swindon]. They’ve set the standard and I don’t think we’re a million miles off them.
“I really do think it’s going to change and we’ll pick up wins if we keep playing like this."
The academy graduate believes his side exhibited their attacking intent throughout the contest, despite being unable to find the back of the net.
“We’ve carved out some great opportunities through slick football, which I know we’re all capable of, it’s just one of them days where it doesn’t go in,” Smith continued.
“I felt like we looked fluid in possession and comfortable on the ball - it wasn’t defensive at all. The gaffer gave us freedom to go out and play, which we showed with the opportunities created.
“I was told to go out and enjoy myself, but also to keep doing what I’m doing. Don’t overcomplicate things with the surroundings and I think I did that today.”
iFollow Stags subscribers can watch Alistair's interview in full by logging into mansfieldtown.net/ifollow later today.
Day to remember, despite defeat at Swindon Town, for Mansfield Town full EFL debutant Alistair Smith
chad.co.uk, Saturday 23 November 2019
Despite the 1-0 defeat at leaders Swindon Town, it was a day to remember for young Alistair Smith, who made his full league debut for Mansfield Town at last.
Stags were shot down by a lone goal by Eoin Doyle, but dominated for long spells and wasted several fine chances.
“I enjoyed it - it was good to be out there playing a full 90 minutes,” smiled Smith.
“With the crowd and everything it really felt like a big occasion for me.
“I am in my fifth year at the club now so I’m happy to finally step out and make a league appearance. I was told to go out there and play my game and enjoy it.
“I started to tire a bit near the end but that comes with all the adrenalin of the occasion. But I don’t think I looked out of place.
“I put myself about and gave everything I’d got and that’s all I can do at the end of the day.”
Smith believes Stags gave a very good account of themselves today and showed they are as good as, if not better than, the table-topping Robins.
“I felt we gave them too much respect at the start and they created a lot of chances, but as soon as we composed ourselves on the ball we started to create a lot of chances and I don’t know how we haven’t come away with a point at least,” he said.
“We carved out some great opportunities through some slick football but it was one of those days and it wouldn’t go in.
“We have got to go again and the luck will turn eventually.
“We went toe to toe with the leaders and I don’t think we’re a million miles off them if not better than them.”
comments from John Radford on facebook:
It hurts coys we go again
Time to change
Let’s sleep on it
Thanks for reply..... But I would start making a list who’d like to bring in
David yes probably
Love you mr chairman
Cheers pal upsetting Result
Everyone keeps mentioning “SACK HIM” with that I disagree,
If there’s a chance to demote John back to the Academy I would do that... as a good honest servant to MTFC the guy deserves to stay and carry on the great work in the Academy. I do however feel it’s definitely the right time in the season for a change of manager and to give us a chance to turn this around. COYS
His contract does not allow that after six months
Swindon Town manager Richie Wellens gave his thoughts after watching his side battle to a 1-0 victory over Mansfield Town in League Two
By Jonathan Leighfield @JonnyLeighfield
SWINDON Town manager Richie Wellens praised his side for battling through a difficult 20 minutes after half-time unscathed in order to emerge 1-0 winners over Mansfield Town this afternoon.
Eoin Doyle’s close-range tap-in midway through the first half was the difference between the two sides, although it could have been a different story had Steven Benda not been at his best on a couple of occasions either side of half-time.
Jacob Mellis was denied one on one in the first half, but it was a save from CJ Hamilton while Mansfield were in the ascendancy after the break that really impressed Wellens.
Nicky Maynard slashed Mansfield’s best chance wide minutes later too, and the Swindon manager conceded it might have been down to a degree of luck that his team were able to maintain their lead in the early stages of the second half.
He said: “Mansfield made us work, but we also got that bit of luck we were lacking in midweek, especially during that period after half-time.
“They’re a big, strong, physical team - they have Nicky Maynard and Andy Cook up front who use their body well, there was a lot of long balls into them and we struggled during that period after half-time.
“But I can only remember Steven (Benda) making one save during that time though, and Maynard missed a chance.
“But we also had a lot of chances - in the first half, if we score that goal where Eoin (Doyle) hits the bar then we can have a more comfortable finish, but this league isn’t like that.
“I’m really pleased with the last 25 minutes where we dug in, but in the last 15 minutes, they didn’t really trouble us.”
With Swindon’s first-choice XI out during the first half, the hosts looked good value for their lead.
It was only after half-time that Wellens said his side really felt the loss of right-footed central midfielder, Jordan Lyden who went off with a hamstring problem.
Wellens said: “We had to take Jordan Lyden off because he felt his hamstring twinge, and that had a big impact.
“Our options to replace Jordan were quite limited.
“Not in terms of personnel but it means we have Grant, who I didn’t want to move from holding midfield, and two left footers.
“So our balance was a little bit off, and we went to a back five when Tom Broadbent came on.”
Swindon Town striker Jerry Yates hailed a 'gritty' performance from his team following their 1-0 win over Mansfield Town in League Two
By Jonathan Leighfield @JonnyLeighfield
SWINDON Town loanee Jerry Yates said his teammates showed they could do both sides of the game well after their 1-0 win over Mansfield Town at the County Ground on Saturday.
Richie Wellens’ men enjoyed the better of the chances for the first 35 minutes and deservedly went ahead through on Eoin Doyle’s 23rd minute strike before the tide turned in the opposition’s favour.
Jacob Mellis, CJ Hamilton and Nicky Maynard were all unable to force what was probably a deserved equaliser as the Swindon rearguard stood firm to help claim all three points.
Yates - who is on loan from League One side Rotherham United - said it was vitally important his current club win tight games like that if they are to achieve their goal of promotion.
“It was a tough second half because they changed formation and gave it everything,” said Yates.
“It was a gritty performance and we’re buzzing with the three points because we need to win games like that if we want to get promoted.
“We had to stay more compact and rely on the counter because they threw everything and everyone forward.
“It was more of a defensive performance in the second half, but the lads were excellent.
“They won all the tackles, second balls and headers, so it was a good, gritty performance from us.”
While the five-man defence of Paul Caddis, Zeki Fryers, Mathieu Baudry, Tom Broadbent and Rob Hunt performed admirably during the second half, Town could have made the game safe with more ruthless finishing, according to the 23-year-old striker.
Yates was especially critical of his own performance in front of goal after missing a presentable one-on-one chance late on but said not scoring is much easier to deal with when the team holds out for a win.
Yates said: “I thought we were on top for the first 30 or 40 minutes - maybe we could have got a few more goals.
“I could have scored in the second half, but we’ve dug in deep and got the win, so it’s all good.
“I still get opportunities to score playing on the left, but I’ve got to be a bit more clinical in future.
“Thankfully, we still won the game, so I’m still happy and it doesn’t bother me.
“Playing out wide is definitely different! My main position is striker, but I am there to do a job and hopefully I’m doing it well enough to stay in the team.
“When we’re winning, it’s all good so I don’t mind playing anywhere.”