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COUGHLAN, MACDONALD, GARY BOWYER REACTION
2nd January 2020 19:00


Stags need injection of confidence and belief - manager
mansfieldtown.net, Sunday 29 December 2019

Stags’ boss Graham Coughlan says that the Mansfield dressing room is one low on ‘confidence and belief,’ but that he has seen enough to suggest that there is ‘light at the end of the tunnel.’

The manager spoke after his side we defeated 2-0 by two James Vaughan penalties at Bradford’s Utilita Energy Stadium this afternoon.

Despite the defeat, Graham Coughlan says the Stags are not ‘a million miles away.’

“I’ve walked into a dressing room that is feeling sorry for itself and one that has had its confidence and belief shattered,” he told iFollow Stags.

“Naturally, when you perform like that, it’s going to be a dressing room low on confidence. It needs hard work, organisation and structure, and that’s what I’m here for.

https://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/2019/december/gaffer-post-bradford-a/

“Like I said to the troops in there - I’m certainly not walking round with my head down or sulking, and I’m certainly not going down the line of officials.

“I’m rolling my sleeves up, coming in tomorrow morning and going again. I want a winning team, and we haven’t won in three games, but I don’t believe we’re a million miles away.

“I will back this dressing room because they will get better over the weeks and months. There is plenty of hope and glimmers that I’ve seen to hang on to.

“There’s a bright light at the end of the tunnel but we need to work for the next couple of weeks and months.

“After a defeat I’m a bit annoyed that we let that tremendous support down again.”

The manager says that despite the disappointment after a defeat, he believes his side were ‘unlucky’ in West Yorkshire.

“We didn’t get anything out of the game, so naturally we’re going to be disappointed. I’m not comfortable tonight, with two draws and a defeat [from first three games],” he added.

“I’m very disappointed. Yet again, it’s a hard luck story, it’s unlucky. We’ve not won a game, so I’m not going down those lines.

“It’s unlucky, yes, but let’s not keep going on about that. I think they got in our half two or three times and got two penalties - I think they only had two shots at goal.

“That’s where we are at this moment in time, with decisions going against us, but it’s pointless going on about it.

“What we think about them [penalty decisions] after the game is irrelevant. That was the deciding factor in the game, but we haven’t scored.

“I wanted us to win - I felt like we could come here and do that. That’s three promotion-chasing sides we’ve played in three games, and we could have possibly won all three.”

The boss also spoke about the upcoming January transfer window, as he expects personnel changes to be made next month.

“Naturally when a new manager comes in, everyone will expect a lot of changes. We do need a little injection, so possibly one or two players.

“One or two will have to go - my squad is far too big as it is. Their will be ins and will be outs, but those lads have shown me enough in that dressing room to work with.

“Yes we need improvements in both boxes and quality, and a little bit more pace in our team, but there’s enough hope in there to work with.”

There was also an update on Ryan Sweeney (below), who went off injured in the first-half after twisting his ankle.

“We’ll let him [Sweeney] have the next 24 hours - we’ll have a look at him and assess him. The medical team will see him in the morning - to make a call on it now would be too early.

“Like all injuries, they need 24 hours to settle down. We’ll see where we are then and whether we can get him on the grass on Tuesday and in a jersey on Wednesday.”

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

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Graham Coughlan says signings are imminent after Bradford City defeat
chad.co.uk, by SPORTS REPORTER, Sunday 29 December 2019

Graham Coughlan says he expects new signings to be made by Mansfield Town as the transfer window opens this week.

Coughlan was speaking after seeing his side lose 2-0 at Bradford City on Sunday in what was the Stags’ final game of 2019, and before the New Year’s Day game at Cambridge United, played after the Chad went to press.

And with a first win still eluding him going into the Cambridge game, Coughlan feels new faces will be of benefit.

He said: “Naturally when a new manager comes in, everyone will expect a lot of changes. We do need a little injection, so possibly one or two players.

“One or two will have to go - my squad is far too big as it is. Their will be ins and will be outs, but those lads have shown me enough in that dressing room to work with.

https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/graham-coughlan-says-signings-are-imminent-after-bradford-city-defeat-1-10174699

“Yes we need improvements in both boxes and quality, and a little bit more pace in our team, but there’s enough hope in there to work with.”

Coughlan also gave an update on defender Ryan Sweeney, who went off injured in the first-half at Bradford after twisting his ankle.

He said on Sunday: “We’ll let him have the next 24 hours - we’ll have a look at him and assess him. The medical team will see him in the morning - to make a call on it now would be too early.

“Like all injuries, they need 24 hours to settle down. We’ll see where we are then and whether we can get him on the grass on Tuesday and in a jersey on Wednesday.”

Reflecting on Sunday’s defeat, which saw two James Vaughan penalties consign Stags to defeat.

He said: “I’ve walked into a dressing room that is feeling sorry for itself and one that has had its confidence and belief shattered.

“Naturally, when you perform like that, it’s going to be a dressing room low on confidence.

“It needs hard work, organisation and structure, and that’s what I’m here for.

“I will back this dressing room because they will get better over the weeks and months. There is plenty of hope and glimmers that I’ve seen to hang on to.

“There’s a bright light at the end of the tunnel but we need to work for the next couple of weeks and months.”

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Midfielder pays tribute to 'magnificent' support
mansfieldtown.net, Sunday 29 December 2019

Midfielder Alex MacDonald expressed his gratitude towards the Mansfield Town supporters following the conclusion of 2019 against Bradford City on Sunday afternoon.

The Stags were unable to conclude the decade on a high after James Vaughan’s double from the penalty spot proved to be the difference.

Goals in either half sandwiched a hard-working performance by the amber and blue, which was witnessed by 1,141 fans from Nottinghamshire.

And MacDonald shared his appreciation for those who had travelled to Valley Parade.

“I don’t know how many [supporters] there were but at times they out sung the Bradford fans,” he said post-match.

“When you come to a stadium like this, it’s impressive. They’ve got a lot of people behind the team but we certainly heard ours.

“The fans at this club have been magnificent. We did go through a bad spell at the start of the season but since the new manager has come in we’ve felt a galvanised spirit from the stands.

“It’ll certainly help us until the end of the season so from me and the boys we thank them for their support.”

https://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/2019/december/macca-post-bradford-a/

The former Burton Albion man also detailed aspects Graham Coughlan has attempted to implement since his arrival from Bristol Rovers 12 days ago.

“When the manager joined, it came during a tough spell where there’s not much time to get on the training pitch and put his ideas across, but what he has put across is a lot of hard work.

“We’ve certainly performed that in the few games that we’ve had under him. It’s not been through the lack of effort or desire but we just lack belief in both boxes.

“Having spoken to people who’ve worked under him he’s come across exactly how they’ve told me.

“He wants a hard-working group but it comes from a base, which is clean sheets. It’s something we’ve not been good at, so far, this year.

“We need to improve on that, he knows that and we as a group of professionals know that.

“We’re going to try and instil that first and foremost and anything that comes off the back of it will be a bonus.”

The 29-year-old then cited fine margins as the main reason behind his side’s defeat in west Yorkshire.

“It’s been that [fine margins] before and we’ve been on the wrong end of it too many times,” MacDonald continued.

“That’s why we’re in the position we’re in but we can’t sulk or go into our shells. We’ll come in tomorrow and be prepared for a big game on New Year’s Day.

“It’s another hard one to take. A gritty, hard-working away performance but we’ve made two errors - one by myself - which has ultimately cost us.

“I don’t believe we deserved to lose the game but I don’t want to sound like a broken record. We’re not good enough in both boxes at the minute."

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

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Alex MacDonald praises Mansfield Town fans after defeat
chad.co.uk, by SPORTS REPORTER, Sunday 29 December 2019

Alex MacDonald paid tribute to Mansfield Town’s supporters after Stags’ 2-0 defeat at Bradford City on Sunday.

The game was Mansfield’s last of 2019 and saw a huge band of Stags fans head north for the encounter.

And MacDonald was impressed.

He said: “I don’t know how many supporters there were but at times they out sung the Bradford fans.

“When you come to a stadium like this, it’s impressive. They’ve got a lot of people behind the team but we certainly heard ours.

https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/alex-macdonald-praises-mansfield-town-fans-after-defeat-1-10174728

“The fans at this club have been magnificent. We did go through a bad spell at the start of the season but since the new manager has come in we’ve felt a galvanised spirit from the stands.

“It’ll certainly help us until the end of the season so from me and the boys we thank them for their support.”

MacDonald also spoke about the impact of new boss Graham Coughlan since his arrival from Bristol Rovers.

He said: “When the manager joined, it came during a tough spell where there’s not much time to get on the training pitch and put his ideas across, but what he has put across is a lot of hard work.

“We’ve certainly performed that in the few games that we’ve had under him. It’s not been through the lack of effort or desire but we just lack belief in both boxes.

“Having spoken to people who’ve worked under him he’s come across exactly how they’ve told me.

“He wants a hard-working group but it comes from a base, which is clean sheets. It’s something we’ve not been good at, so far, this year.

“We need to improve on that, he knows that and we as a group of professionals know that.

“We’re going to try and instil that first and foremost and anything that comes off the back of it will be a bonus.”

On the Bradford loss, MacDonald added: “It’s another hard one to take. A gritty, hard-working away performance but we’ve made two errors - one by myself - which has ultimately cost us.

“I don’t believe we deserved to lose the game but I don’t want to sound like a broken record.

“We’re not good enough in both boxes at the minute."

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BOWYER DELIGHTED TO END DECADE WITH VICTORY
bradfordcityfc.co.uk, Sunday 29 December 2019

Gary Bowyer was pleased to have ended the decade on a high, following a 2-0 victory over Mansfield Town.

City were victorious over their Nottinghamshire visitors in their final game of 2019 - thanks to a penalty in each half from skipper James Vaughan.

Bowyer expressed his delight in his side extending their strong home form and battling for the three points.

The Bantams boss said: “It was a great way to end the decade. Throughout the course of this decade and, in particular, this season, we have been magnificent at home.

“We now have 26 points from 12 games which is the best, at home, in the league.

https://www.bradfordcityfc.co.uk/news/2019/december/bowyer-delighted-to-end-decade-with-victory/

“It was a different challenge for us on a difficult pitch. We dealt with it brilliantly and showed a different side to our game.

“We fought and showed character on the back of everything we have been dealt, over the past 10 to 14 days.”

Despite the comfortable scoreline, Bowyer insisted Mansfield made the contest difficult for his side, throughout.

However, having recently undergone a change in manager, the City chief confessed this did not surprise him, and was happy with the way his men responded to the challenge.

He added: “There are no easy games in this division which I keep saying but will never stop saying. You saw that today.

“Mansfield came here and played a direct style which we had to compete and content with.

“They brought a good away following and have a new manager who is all about honesty, hard work and fight - which we had to match.

“The game itself was not the most pretty with the most opportunities, but we bettered their effort and our front two caused them the problems they needed to.

“The fact we did that, scored two goals, kept and clean sheet and got the three points made it all the more satisfying.”

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Gary Bowyer gears up for exciting times ahead for Bradford City
thetelegraphandargus.co.uk, By Simon Parker, Chief Sports Writer

GARY Bowyer believes City are nicely positioned after hitting the halfway stage of their League Two campaign in fourth.

Yesterday’s 2-0 win over Mansfield at Valley Parade saw them cut the gap on leaders Swindon, where they go on Saturday, to six points with a game in hand.

James Vaughan’s penalty double made it six games unbeaten for the Bantams - and boss Bowyer feels they have laid the foundations for a strong promotion push in the new year.

He said: “There has been progress made at the club since the end of last season with the new bodies we’ve brought in, trying to gel a team together and the challenges that have been put in front of us in terms of the injury list and the illnesses that have ripped through.

https://www.thetelegraphandargus.co.uk/sport/18127595.gary-bowyer-gears-exciting-times-ahead-bradford-city/

“The lads have been terrific from day one in terms of their honesty, hard work, effort and commitment to the club.

“It’s an exciting second half of the season that lies ahead.

“We’ve got 26 points now from our 12 home games, that’s massively impressive, and nine clean sheets.

“Could we play better? Of course, but it’s about picking up points as we’ve said all along.

“Sometimes it’s not necessarily how you actually do it but just about getting them.”

Bowyer praised his team’s battling qualities as City returned to winning ways against the Stags after back-to-back draws over Christmas.

“We knew what to expect and I thought we stood up to it ever so well,” he added.

“It was by no means a classic game of football but ironic in the sense that we played better against Salford.

“We had more chances and played a better way, although I think the pitch was heavier than it was. You saw a different side to us that really pleased me again.

“We had a meeting with the players the day before and they spoke honestly again. They wanted more clean sheets.

“It’s not just the goalkeeper and defenders, it comes from the front. It’s a collective effort.”

Vaughan took his goals tally to nine after coming back from the virus that he had been struggling with in the last week. He was sick on the side of the pitch following his sub’s outing at Carlisle.

“What he did on Boxing Day was above and beyond,” said Bowyer, who made four changes yesterday.

“They were two fantastic penalties and just what you need. The second one especially was a test of character.

“But that’s the experience Vaughany’s got and the know-how that he’s been through that situation before.

“I think there should have been a third penalty. I saw it back and when the referee blows his whistle, the defender puts his hands to his head as if to say, ‘sugar, I’ve given a penalty away’.

“Then he realises the ref has booked Dylan (Connolly) for a dive. But I don’t understand why Dylan would go down when he’s desperate to score a goal.

“I thought the front two were a handful, especially with Dylan’s pace in behind them.”

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