DEMPSTER, BENNING, DAVE ARTELL POST MATCH REACTION
John Dempster told iFollow Stags after the draw at Crewe:
"Usually a point away at Crewe would be a very good one, but in our current predicament we're after all three obviously because we need to climb the table quickly, and we've fallen short.
"We had some very good opportunities to win, and score more goals. I thought the one that dropped to Omari at the end was going to be the one that won us all three points, but he failed to hit the target.
"So I'm disappointed. But one thing that can't be thrown at the players is effort. I think everybody saw today that both teams went right at it.
"People have said that there's been a lack of effort from the players and I've relayed that to the players before the game, which I think motivated them.
"One of the biggest insults in football to label at a professional is that he's not trying and I think you saw today that the players were together, they all put a shift in."
"That would definitely have been one of the better fixtures in League Two without a shadow of a doubt. It was a very good game.
"Mal Benning cleared one off the line, it was a brilliant block. Our two centre halves were very good today, their covering positions very intelligent defending. And of course we had a very young right back on show against one of the best left wingers (Kirk) in the league and I thought he was a credit and did very well against him.
"Today we had opportunities that we expect from the 5 opportunites we expect to score 4 or 5 of them, that's how good they were.
"Nicky (Maynard)'s very disappointed with himself in the dressing room, but we back him because he's one of our players.
"If opportunites like that fell to anyone in our squad, I'd like them to fall to Nicky Maynard, but unfortunately he hasn't put the ball away today. Nicky trained very well all week and normally when balls like that fall to him, 9 times out of 10 they are in the back of the net. He could have had a hat-trick today.
"Conor Shaughnessy is being assessed now, but it didn't look great. I think it's a hamstring strain, what level we'll find out from the medical team over the next 24-48 hours.
(transcribed by Martin)
We need to turn draws into wins - defender
mansfieldtown.net, Saturday 14 December 2019
Mansfield Town must begin to pick up wins heading into the festive period, left-back Mal Benning stated after a deserved point at Crewe Alexandra this afternoon.
Forward Chuma Anene had thrusted the hosts in the driving seat, flicking home in the eighth minute, before striker Andy Cook levelled proceedings just shy of the half-hour mark.
A clever lob beat opposing goalkeeper Will Jaaskelainen but the Stags were unable to find a winner following several gilt-edged chances in Cheshire.
And Benning, who made his 200th appearance for the amber and blue at Gresty Road, subsequently felt the draw could act as a platform for wins in the coming weeks.
“Draws give us a foundation to build off but other than that we need wins - especially if we want to compete,” the defender told iFollow Stags.
“You never know what could happen in this league, a couple wins on the bounce and we might not be far off.
“[We’re] still disappointed. It’s not good enough picking up draws because we want to be at the right end of the table, so we need wins.
“As long as we carry on from this we should get a couple more wins, and hopefully climb up the table.”
The 26-year-old then praised the defensive showing of his side, which included another start for youngster James Clarke in the absence of fellow full-back Kellan Gordon.
“I think it was very good [the defensive performance]. Crewe are not a bad side and they’re up there for a reason, but we didn’t have too much to do.
“I thought the two centre-halves and young Clarkey were excellent.
“I think first half we weren’t quite at it, obviously we scored and woke up a bit, but in the first 25 minutes we were getting ourselves into the game.
“The second half we dominated, I thought. They had a couple where I cleared one off the line, then they hit the post, but other than that I thought we were the ones causing problems. Out wide, in the middle and linking up, it’s what we need to do.”
Mansfield were only able to convert a single chance against the Alex but the former Walsall man believes it must not affect them heading forward.
“As everyone saw, we created some clear-cut chances,” Benning reflected. “It was better than previous weeks where we’ve struggled to create chances but, to be fair, we created some very good ones and we didn’t put them away.
“It’s not as easy as it sounds to put the ball in the back of the net, so long as we’re creating them and the performance was better, as everyone saw, we can kick on from this.
“I know it’s been used before but we can’t take steps backwards after this. We have to push on, put those chances away and win games.”
iFollow Stags subscribers can watch Mal's interview in full by logging into mansfieldtown.net/ifollow later today.
Artell: "We Weren't Good Enough In Both Boxes Today"
Crewe Alexandra boss David Artell ended up content with a point this evening after Mansfield Town shaded the better of the better chances on the day. Nicky Maynard could well have been leaving his former club with the matchball tucked under his arm. He had three really good chances to have scored against his former club.
Crewe had chances to win it as well though with Oli Finney firing over from a great position and having one cleared from the line. Charlie Kirk also struck the post after cutting in from the flank.
The boss was fuming over the ‘Sunday League goal' we conceded for the equaliser after Chuma Anene had netted his third goal of the week from close range.
After the 1-1 draw at Gresty Road, Artell said: “We had an opportunity to have put the game in bed in the first half an hour. We had the chance to have won the game. We got the early goal and then went into cruise control a bit which isn’t lie us. Every League Two game is difficult and especially at 1-0. That’s not it, we have to go and score another and then another then you can perhaps relax a bit when we are out of sight.
“Then they score a Sunday League goal and that gives them a shot in the arm and it became difficult for us with the low block. We didn’t make enough of that first half an hour and they could have scored one or two more, so in the end we are here with a point. They hit us on the counter attack but we were lethargic in that final third in the first half an hour and their poor goal was cost us the game. Not just that but it was a major part of the game.
“We are also disappointed and that goes how far we have come because we are disappointed with a point against Mansfield who finished in the play-offs last season.
“We played some really good stuff and could have been brighter in the final third. We didn’t do enough to win the game though and I didn’t think they did either, so in the end a point was fair.
“We need to be better than that and take them to the sword when we are on top and it could have backfired on us because Will has had to make two great saves to deny Nicky Maynard and he hit the post.
He added: “We also hit the post through Charlie, who I thought was the best player on the pitch.”
Latest | December 2019