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Archived News from January 2020

14th January 2020 15:23

We’ll up the intensity - assistant
mansfieldtown.net, Tuesday 07 January 2020

Assistant manager Joe Dunne says that he and manager Graham Coughlan will increase the intensity levels in the first ‘full’ week of training with the squad.

The former Colchester United and Cambridge manager, who was appointed as the amber and blue’s new assistant boss last month, spoke to iFollow Stags and the local media at a news conference on Tuesday morning, following a hectic festive schedule.

The 46-year-old says that the management team have a chance to ‘implement some ideas’ in their first full week of training with the Mansfield squad, ahead of Saturday’s home match against Forest Green.

“It [time so far at Mansfield] has been pretty intense,” he began. “The amount of games we’ve had in such a short space of time, it’s been all-guns-blazing.

“The games have come thick and fast and there have been a mixed bag of results. This week gives us a clear week to allow us to implement some ideas.


“We just feel that the intensity can improve. We do believe that in recent games we’ve done well in long periods of those matches.

“There are a lot of positives that we think we can work on. This week will give the players a chance to feel what it’s like to work under Graham [Coughlan].

“It requires a healthy lifestyle and total dedication to the way we train and the way we want to play. We want to make it a way of life for these players.

“They’ll know by the end of the week what it’s like to work full-time under Graham. We believe in improving standards and fitness.

“We feel the players can allow themselves to be pushed, because we feel that there’s growth available to the squad, so we’ll push them as much as we can.

“We feel that with the intensity that Graham wants to play at, we can improve. In the games we’ve played, there have been a lot of positives to show the steps we can take moving forward - we just want to continue that.”

The Stags’ assistant boss also revealed that on-loan midfielder Conor Shaughnessy has been recalled by his parent club, Leeds United, while providing an injury update on a trio of Mansfield players.

“Conor [Shaughnessy] has unfortunately been recalled by Leeds,” he added. “It’s a shame for us, having not really had a chance to work with him.

“Ryan Sweeney has progressed well, having missed the Grimsby game. We’re hoping by the end of the week he should have more training sessions under his belt. We expect anyone that trains this week to be in contention [for Saturday].

“Willem Tomlinson is making great progress and will hopefully be another player who we can add to the squad by the end of the week.

“The latest we heard on Kellan Gordon was that he’s had a little bit of a setback so unfortunately, it looks like it’ll be another few weeks before we can get his presence onto the training ground.”

In the second week of the January transfer window, the assistant manager says that ‘ins and outs’ are the ‘nature’ of any window.

“The nature of any [transfer] window is ins and outs. We’re active, we’re talking and we’re looking to do things.

“We’ll work with what we’ve got until those changes happen and we’ll keep trying to improve the players.

“But the nature of the window is ins and outs and we will probably be no different.

“We feel that the players have put a good shift in and we’re trying to give everyone the best opportunity to show what they’ve got.

“Anything can happen - things can happen in one hour, or things can happen in one week, two weeks, three weeks. When things can happen, they will happen.”

Joe also looked ahead to Saturday’s match against Forest Green at One Call Stadium, adding: “Forest Green are a club that has been playing very well at this level for a few seasons now. They have an astute manager [Mark Cooper] with astute players.

“It’s important that, in another home game, we can put in a performance and limit the one or two areas that are costing us goals at the moment.

“Overall, we’re confident in the amount of chances we’re creating and we feel that there are more goals in our team.

“Forest Green will be a tough opponent, but they’re all tough opponents when we’re in the position that we’re in.

“We have to worry about ourselves. We need to take care of our house and make sure we’re ready.”

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


Careful Mansfield Town taking time in transfer window
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Tuesday 07 January 2020

Mansfield Town will delve into the transfer market this month, but the Stags' new management team won't be rushing into anything as they assess the squad they have inherited.

The first week of the current window has already passed, and as Stags prepare to try to halt their appalling home record when high-flying Forest Green Rovers visit on Saturday, assistant manager Joe Dunne said: “In any window anything can happen in one hour or in one week, two weeks, or three weeks. When things happen, they'll happen and everyone will know.

“You can promise and hope for. But until they are signed and in the building you never know.

“We have to be really astute who we bring in. We have to think of the dynamics of the group as well.

“Ins and outs are the nature of any window. The key thing is everyone else will be busy as much as ourselves. We are active. We're talking. We're looking to do things. That's wise. But we will work with what we've got until that change happens.


“We will keep trying to improve the players and make sure we can also improve the squad.

“We feel the players have put a good shift in in training and we want to give everybody the best opportunity to show what they have got.

“I would not want to give away the types of areas we are looking to improve. That's between us here as a staff and a club to to do our business wisely.”

New manager Graham Coughlan said after Saturday's 1-0 home defeat to lowly Grimsby: “At the end of the day I have inherited a squad of players that needs help and maybe needs shaking up.

“I can't hang around. One manager has lost his job with this group of players already and I don't want to be the second one.”

Dunne agreed, saying: “The squad here has been together for a period of time now. They deserve every chance but, realistically in football, a new manager will want to bring fresh ideas and that's something we're exploring in this window.

“How many that is we don't know yet. It would be wrong to say how many that is as we think, based on previous, there is enough here to be able to spark things again.

“We just have to make one or two tweaks to the group. But to do it overnight would be very difficult with the amount of games we've had.”

Dunne admitted they may have to be patient before they can achieve the required blend.

“The speed of how a new manager can get the squad how he wants is guided by what you've got and what you can get in. One window is one window and there's another one further down the line,” he said.

“We will so what be can to improve this team immediately if we can and then look to slowly progress and work in the next one.

“We have done our due diligence in what contacts we need to make after identifying the areas we want to improve.

“The next steps are always difficult as, not just us, there will be a whole host of other teams looking to bring in the same type of player in the same type of position.”


Mansfield Town blow as Leeds United recall Conor Shaughnessy from loan spell
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Tuesday 07 January 2020

Leeds United have recalled Conor Shaughnessy from his loan spell at Mansfield Town and he is now expected to spend the second half of the campaign at League One Burton Albion.

The 23-year-old Irishman arrived on a season-long loan and played both midfield and defensive roles.

He has recently been sidelined with injury, during which time Stags boss John Dempster was sacked.

New assistant boss Joe Dunne said: “Unfortunately, Conor has been recalled by Leeds which is disappointing.

“It's a shame for us not really having had a chance to work with him as a staff and management.


“He was injured when we came here, but we've lost him now so we move on.

“He was progressing well and, having watched a lot of footage of his games, there was a player in there that we felt was ideal for us to coach. But we now have to focus on what we have in the building.”


Injured duo could return for Mansfield Town on Saturday, but setback for Kellan Gordon
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Tuesday 07 January 2020

Mansfield Town hope to have defender Ryan Sweeney and midfielder Will Tomlinson back from injury for Saturday's visit of Forest Green Rovers.

“The medical department have been very good and worked extremely hard to get back players with short-term injuries,” said assistant boss Joe Dunne.

“Ryan has progressed well this week in training so we are hoping by the end of the week he will have more sessions under his belt. He's becoming healthier. We expect anyone who trains this week to be in contention.

“With the type of injuries we've had, with the rehab we're getting into the players and the type of training we're entering into this week, any player that comes through will be in contention.”

Before his injury Sweeney had been acting captain in the absence of Krystian Pearce.


On Tomlinson, Dunne added: “Will is making great progress. Hopefully he will be another healthy player we can add to the squad by the end of the week.

“Today is another day and he probably won't join in with the squad today, but hopefully he will be progressing well by the end of the week.”

However, the news was not as good on Kellan Gordon's back problem.

“Unfortunately the latest we've heard on Kellan is that he has had a bit of setback and it looks like it's going to be another few weeks before we can get him onto the training ground,” said Dunne.


No change for Mansfield Town reserves under new management
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Tuesday 07 January 2020

Mansfield Town's new management team will leave their reserve team in the hands of the coaches who have been in charge all season and make good use of it for fringe players and up-and-coming youngsters.

Different bosses at the Stags have used the reserves for very different things, some abandoning the side altogether, but new assistant manager Joe Dunne said the philosophy would stay the same under them as it has been for some time now.

“We will work closely with the first team and leave the reserves to the coaches who've been here for a period of time and know the players better than we do in terms of longevity,” he said.

“We will use the games wisely to make sure some of the pros who have not been playing get some game time as well as looking at some of the younger players coming through that we want to have a look at, having heard a lot about them.

“It will allow that mixture of good experienced players to help the young players and then by the end of the week bring us all back together.


“It's a good opportunity to see them in a match-related situation rather than just in training.”

Yesterday Mansfield Town reserves let a 2-0 lead slip to end up drawing 2-2 at home to Peterborough United at the RH Academy.

Jimmy Knowles gave them an early lead and Alistair Smith added a second soon after the break, but Posh hit back on 70 minutes and levelled from the spot in added time.


Gruelling first full week’s training under new boss Graham Coughlan for Mansfield Town's players
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS

This week's first full week's training under new boss Graham Coughlan will have come as a shock to the system for Mansfield Town's under-performing players.

Coughlan believes his new charges are not fit enough to play his style of football as he tries to haul them away from the wrong end of League Two and, with five games in 15 days over Christmas and New Year, he has had little chance to make inroads into fitness and tactics.

However, assistant boss Joe Dunne smiled: “They will know by the end of the week what it's like to be in full-time under Graham.

“It will be a shock to some of the players. But we demand high standards and a high work rate.

“It's been a pretty intensive first few weeks with so many games in such a short space of time. But we thrive on that.

“It's been all guns blazing. We've been getting as much training, preparation and recovery into them as we can.

“A lot is where we expect to be but there is a lot we can see we can improve.

“We feel the intensity can improve. We believe in the last few games that we've done well in long periods of matches. There is a lot to improve on but also a lot of positives we feel we can work on.”

Dunne said there would be no let-up on the increased workload on the players after the week ends.

“There will be extra sessions. That's just the way we work,” he said.

“Extra gym sessions, extra training sessions, more intense sessions - it will allow the players the chance to feel and breathe about what it's actually like to work under Graham.

“It requires a healthy lifestyle and a total dedication to the way we train and want to play. We want to make it a way of life with these players. We want to improve them.

“We won't tailor off. We believe in improving standards and fitness.


“Even at this stage in the season there is always improvement to be made. “Experience tells us when to back off and when to push.

“At the moment we feel we can push and the players can allow themselves to be pushed. We feel there is growth in there and room for improvement so we will push them as much as we can.”

Dunne said the hard training and improved fitness levels should be something the players already aspire to.

“It should be a given. Hard work, energy, and commitment to making sure Mansfield Town progress is their jobs and our jobs,” he said.

“We won't accept anyone - staff or players - coming off that. That's the way we're built and we feel we're seeing that in the games so far. We just need it more consistently.

“We feel we can really make something happen here. We are confident.

“We feel with the intensity that Graham wants to play at we can improve fitness levels and how we want to go about playing.

“I think we've seen that in good periods of matches and we want to get that on a more consistent basis.

“To be fair the team have tried to carry out everything we've needed in games.”

Dunne believes that there is enough talent already in the building to achieve success if harnessed properly.

“The group here has previously shown us there is success available to us if we can just grab it,” he said.

“It's been tough previously here and there's been a couple of managers who got close. But something needs sparking.

“We are trying to spark that energy and enthusiasm and an incredible work rate into them that the manager requires.”


Notts TV:
Watch: #Stags assistant manager Joe Dunne shares his work and family balance. He says he lives three hours away from his family and commits to the job, but enjoys it when he can 'go home, see everyone and getting the chainsaw out, cut the wood and make sure the stove is stocked'!



New manager is a ‘winner’ - goalkeeper
mansfieldtown.net, Tuesday 07 January 2020

Mansfield goalkeeper Conrad Logan says that the standout trait from new manager Graham Coughlan since his appointment in December is his ‘will to win.’

The former Leicester shot-stopper has appeared 25 times for the Stags this season and has been the number one choice between the posts for the new boss’ last three matches.

The 33-year-old says that Graham Coughlan ‘demands standards,’ and that he has enjoyed working with the former Bristol Rovers manager since he arrived at One Call Stadium.

“There have been a lot of positives [in the festive period] but the couple of poor results have been the negative,” he told iFollow Stags.

“Overall, we have to be relatively happy with some of the signs that we’re seeing. From a personal point of view and defensively, it’s not like the goalkeepers [Logan and Bobby Olejnik] have had to make six or seven saves in a game.

“We’ve leaked goals, given away silly penalties and scored an own goal - things that need tidying up. But I think that will come and it’s something that the manager will work on with us.


“Attacking-wise, game after game we’re creating chances and if we keep working hard, our luck will turn there.

“[Graham Coughlan has been] very good. He’s an infectious character, a winner. I think that’s the biggest thing that comes across, his will to win.

“Personally, I’ve enjoyed it. If you’re honest and give your all, you’ll be fine with him. He demands standards from the team and it’s probably been difficult for him in such a short space of time to get across everything that he wants to.

“Over the next couple of months, we’ll hopefully see the traits that he brings being portrayed on the pitch.

“We’ve been playing games, having a recovery session then playing the next day. In terms of tactical work, he hasn’t been able to get everything across [due to lack of time].

“It’s a difficult period for any new manager coming in. He wants to get us on the training pitch and work on us physically, mentally and tactically.

“He’s got a lot of things that he wants to tell us and show us, and the only way we’re going to do that is by training and by working on those things.

“I think we’re seeing bits of it [Graham Coughlan] impact already. He’s trying to make us a hard-working, honest team.

“Over the last few games, we’re starting to see that. The other side of it [tactically], I can’t put a timescale on it, but I think over the weeks and months, you will see his ideas and his philosophy coming over in his team.”

Logan also gave an honest review on his season so far, adding: “It [my season] has been okay. It’s not been a great season for us and I haven’t kept as many clean sheets as I would have liked.

“We’re [squad] critical of each other. It’s been okay - I’ve probably not had as many saves to make since the new manager has come in. It’s been okay but it can be a lot, lot better.

“I was hopeful [of returning to starting XI]. I thought it was okay what I was doing previously but the last manager decided to change things up, which he’s well within his rights to do.

“We needed wins, so things change. But when the new manager comes in, it’s a clean slate for everyone and you just want to work hard to try and impress him.”

The shot-stopper spoke of Stags’ disappointing home form so far this season, adding that manager Graham Coughlan will look to make One Call Stadium a ‘tough place for teams to come.’

“I can’t put my finger on why we’re not doing so well at home. We are a team that should be pushing towards being promoted, which means your home form should be fantastic and you pick up points away from home.

“It hasn’t been, and that’s something that the manager will look to change. He’ll want to make it a fortress and make it a tough place for teams to come.

“The fans have been good, especially in the last few weeks. I think they can see the effort and commitment that the players have put in.

“That place [One Call Stadium], when it’s in full flow, it’s a great stadium. They can really get us over the line when they get going.”

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


Time to halt dire home form says Mansfield Town keeper Conrad Logan
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS

Mansfield Town goalkeeper Conrad Logan said Stags must halt their poor home form if they are to start moving upwards, beginning on Saturday against Forest Green Rovers.

Stags have won only twice at home in League Two all season and Logan admitted: “It has not been good enough.

“If you are going to be a successful team you have to make your home ground a fortress, win your home games, and do what you can on the road.

“It seems to be the other way round with us. We have been okay on the road. It's polar opposites, but I can't put my finger exactly why. We have to stick together and go again.


“The fans have been brilliant. It's not like they've turned against us, especially in recent weeks. They have encouraged us.

“We have to keep chipping away at it. It's not like a new manager comes in and we are going to win every game until the end of the season. We are in the position we are for a reason.

“It's a great stadium with good fans who can really get us over the line once we get going. If they can see us trying they will get behind us and hopefully it will be a knock-on effect and we can turn results around and go from strength to strength.”

Forest Green have tailed off after a superb start, though remain just three points off the top three, and Logan said: “Forest Green are a very good technical team who had a decent season last year and were unlucky in the play-offs.

“They have a good manager who believes in that style of football, with a good squad.

“They are a footballing team, but again it's a home game in League Two and we should be looking to win the game.

“We will believe in each other and trust in each other, hopefully after a good week's training, and go into it in fine form.”

He added: “When we played them away we were 2-0 down, but we fought back for a draw.

“It's going to be a tough game, as they all are in League Two, but if you work harder than the opposition in this league and bring your best game to to the table, then this squad is good enough to beat anyone. If you don't you will get turned over.”



Latest | January 2020