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Archived News from January 2020

20th January 2020 21:24

We need to adopt ‘winning mentality’ - manager
Tue 14 Jan 2010

Manager Graham Coughlan has challenged his players to change Stags’ ‘fortunes’ away at Plymouth Argyle this weekend, as he looks to instil a ‘winning mentality’ into his side.

Mansfield, who will make the long journey to Home Park on Saturday for their next Sky Bet League Two fixture, are yet to win a game against a side currently in the top seven this season.

The boss says there is ‘no better time’ to turn Stags’ run of results around than against a Plymouth side that have won four of their last five league matches.

“It [Plymouth game] is a massive challenge,” he said, speaking in Tuesday morning’s news conference at The RH Academy. “It’s a big ground, big club, brilliant fanbase. It’ll be a massive challenge and we know that.

“It’s going to be difficult as Plymouth are probably the best team in the division, truth be told. It’s a mountain to climb but I’ve come here to climb a mountain and change the fortunes of this football club.


“We need to change our mindset. There’s no bigger or better challenge than going down to Plymouth, against a team that are in form.

“There’s no better time to change our fortunes against top seven teams than Saturday. It’s a very difficult place to go and a lot of clubs get beat up by the long journey and the size of the arena.

“It’s a great place to play football and we should be looking forward to going down and playing against them.

“It’s about us digging deep against a really good outfit and trying to change our fortunes. I like winning - I don’t like losing. We have to start adopting a winning mentality. We have to become stronger, mentally and physically, and start delivering.

“It’s a big few weeks for us, personally, individually and collectively.”

The manager also delivered an update on the January transfer window, with the Stags ‘actively working and seeking’ for new recruits.

“At this moment in time, we have what we have,” he added. “We are actively working and seeking. The January transfer window is a slow one and most things happen in the last couple of days.

“At this moment, it’s slow. Some of the things we’re being asked for is absolutely ridiculous. I’m not going down those roads where we’re being held to ransom.

“We are actively speaking and fingers crossed we can get a couple in. It’s about building a team for the future, not just the short term.”

There was also an update on skipper Krystian Pearce and midfielder Jacob Mellis, with the boss adding that he has not ‘closed the door’ on any player in the squad.

“We haven’t had enquiries [for Pearce or Mellis]. I’ve told Krystian or Jacob that they can move on if that was their desire, but that does not mean that I have ripped up the page of either of them.

“The ball is in their court. Should they wish to impress in training, not a problem. The opportunity is there for them to get back into the team, that’s fine. I haven’t closed the door on anybody.

“There might be players in the squad that move on that we didn’t expect to. It’s a strange window, but there are opportunities for a few players to either get back into the team or move on.

“I might have been a little harsh on Krystian when I came through the door. I was expecting better levels from my captain and looking for that leadership.

“I had a conversation with Krystian and I do think the club was lacking a little bit of leadership. I’ve probably come in all-guns-blazing towards my skipper, when it all probably wasn’t his fault.

“But I’ll always come to my skipper if the changing room is not functioning right. I’ve had a good chat with him and we’re on the same page - I’m looking for a reaction, not just from Krystian but from everybody really, to be honest.”

Reflecting on the weekend’s defeat against Forest Green and the reaction he desires from the players, Graham Coughlan added: “I keep asking for a clean sheet so I suppose that would be a start. I got a really positive reaction on the training ground yesterday, but as I keep saying to the lads, there’s no point in being a good trainer from Monday to Friday and not producing on a Saturday.

“On review, I thought that was the best 45 minutes they’ve played [against Forest Green in the first-half].

“We played against one of the best footballing sides in the league in Forest Green, and they couldn’t make a pass [in the first-half]. We should have been at least 3-0 up.

“The first-half belonged to us, but realistically, that should be a game that’s dead and buried. There is a mindset that needs to be changed.”

There was also an injury update from the Mansfield boss, including the latest on Willem Tomlinson, Kellan Gordon and Craig Davies: “He [Tomlinson] aggravated his groin. He had a problem with that with a previous injury and it flares up now and again.

“He’ll need a few weeks of TLC to really get the injury right, so he doesn’t get into a stop-start cycle. He’s about two or three weeks off.

“Kellan Gordon should be a couple of weeks away as well. There aren’t too many fresh injuries or a lot to report on that front.

“Craig Davies is making really good progress and is working his socks off. All-in-all, it’s not been the worst run in terms of injuries.”

Looking ahead to Thursday evening’s FA Youth Cup Fourth Round match against Burnley at One Call Stadium (7pm), the manager says that it is a ‘tremendous achievement’ for Stags’ young guns to reach this stage of the competition.

“We’re really looking forward to the game on Thursday evening. We hope they can perform the way they did previously against QPR.

“To be still in the FA Youth Cup not far off February is a tremendous achievement for all involved. It’s a special occasion at that age.

“It’s a great occasion that we’re all looking forward to. It’s a special evening for the young lads and I hope they just go out there and enjoy it.”

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


We won’t be held to ransom over transfers warns Mansfield Town boss Graham Coughlan
chad.co.uk, By John Lomas, Tuesday, 14th January 2020

Midway through the January window, Mansfield Town boss Graham Coughlan has today warned transfer targets he won't be held to ransom financially and would be happy to stick with what he has already at the club.

After telling skipper and centre half Krystian Pearce and midfielder Jacob Mellis they can leave, he said those positions are most important for recruitment.

“I am actively seeking to bring in another defender as well as another midfielder. They would be my priority positions,” said Coughlan as he prepared his struggling side for the long haul to his in-form former club Plymouth Argyle on Saturday.

“But let's be straight I will take in any player that will improve us and is better than the players we've got. They don't grow on trees though.

“I am looking for two or three players. But a lot of clubs are saying they won't let players out at this time.


“A lot of players and agents are jostling and some of the things we are hearing and being asked for are absolutely ridiculous.

“Players naturally want to go into a higher division. Others are looking to jump on a gravy train. Then you have the agents who are looking for their percentages.

“I am a tight Irishmen, so those clubs and players are barking up the wrong tree with me. We will get the best players in that are available to us and won't be held to ransom. We certainly won't have a gun to our heads.

“If we get someone in then brilliant. If we don't get anything in then we will carry on and work with what we've got until the next window as there is a lot to work with here.”

He continued: “The January transfer window is a slow and frustrating one and most things happen in the last couple of days. It's a bit of a nightmare.

“Fingers crossed we can get a couple in, if not this week then possibly next week.

“But if it's a case that we have to run along with what we have then so be it.

“It's about building and putting things together for the future and not just short term.”


Mansfield Town skipper Krystian Pearce ‘unlucky’ to bear the brunt of new boss Graham Coughlan's anger
chad.co.uk, By John Lomas, Tuesday, 14th January 2020

Graham Coughlan admitted that his skipper Krystian Pearce had probably been a bit unlucky to bear the brunt of his anger as the new Mansfield Town boss tries to turn the struggling club's fortunes around.

Coughlan has already told defender Pearce and midfielder Mellis they can leave if they want to, though has also challenged them to prove they want to stay.

“We have not had any enquiries for them as yet,” he said.

“But the ball is in their court if they want to stay. Should they wish to impress in training or wish to impose themselves and get themselves up to the standards that we need then it's not a problem. I have not closed the door on anybody.

“I am being honest, open and fair with them to get fixed up and if they don't leave then they're still a part of the group.


“I think Krystian has been a tad unlucky, but the best way into a dressing room is through the skipper.

“Coming in, I had to ruffle a few feathers at the club as, let's be honest, the results have not been good enough, the direction they've been going in has not been good enough, the fitness levels and standards have not been good enough. That's why the club is where they are.

“Me being me and being a previous captain, I know how to lead a group of men and I don't think these have been led.

“Maybe Krystian has fallen into a comfort zone? All I have done is rattle a few cages, and I got stuck into the majority of players.”

He added: “I think I might have been a little bit harsh on Krystian when I came through the front door as, having been a captain myself, I was expecting better standards and a better level from my captain.

“I was looking for the leadership. I told him I thought the club was lacking a bit of leadership and direction on the park.

“I probably came in all guns blazing, going after my skipper when it all probably wasn't his fault. But, as I said to him man to man, face to face, I will always come to the skipper.

“I think we're on the same page now. I am looking for a reaction, not only from Krystian but from everybody to be honest.”

Coughlan is now hoping the players rise up to the new challenge.

He said: “They are turning a corner and buying into what we want. But it's a slow process.

“I think they'd be the first to admit that as a group they have gone a little bit slack, and they have gone a little bit idle and a little bit lazy over the last six months and they possibly just needed that size nine up their backsides as they are good lads.

“They have just lost their way a little bit. I am confident this will turn and we can put a bit of a run together. I will get this right. I will fix this.”

Coughlan said there have been enquiries over a couple of his other players.

“We have had a couple of enquiries for our players, but that's not a surprise,” he said.

“They are a good set of players and it's just that mental side of things we seem to be struggling with.”


Will Tomlinson facing Mansfield Town lay-off
chad.co.uk, By John Lomas

Mansfield Town midfielder Will Tomlinson is set to be out for another three weeks after limping off in last weekend's home defeat by Forest Green Rovers.

“He has aggravated his groin and it's a reaction to an old injury,” said boss Graham Coughlan.

“With his previous injury he had a hernia op not too long ago. It just flares up every now and again.

“We thought we had him right and he completed a couple of days training last week, but it's obviously caught up with him.

“He will now need a few weeks off with TLC and really getting the injury right so he doesn't keep getting into that cycle of stop-start.


“He is about two or three weeks off.

“Otherwise there are a lot of egos bruised and hurt and a lot of pain around in the building which goes with where we are and the form we've inherited. Otherwise we've not too many fresh injuries.

On the injured Kellan Gordon and Craig Davies, not yet fit enough to start a game, he added: “Kellan should be a couple of weeks.

“Craig is making really good progress and working his socks off. He played in a game last week and there is another game next week he might feature in.”

With Tomlinson injured and Jacob Mellis told he can leave, Coughlan has already said he is in the market for a new midfielder in the current transfer window.


Big chance for Mansfield Town youngsters to impress new boss Graham Coughlan on huge stage
chad.co.uk, By John Lomas

Mansfield Town's youngsters have the perfect platform to impress new first team boss Graham Coughlan when they take on Premier League Burnley at home in the FA Youth Cup fourth round tomorrow night (Thursday, 7pm).

“It's a great opportunity for them to impress,” said Coughlan.

“To still be in the Youth Cup going into January is a tremendous achievement for all involved.

“It is a special occasion when you are that age and playing under the lights at the stadium against Premier League Burnley.

“I am sure the public will come out in their numbers and back them with plenty of noise. There will be plenty of family and friends of the kids there too so it will be a special evening.


“I just hope they go out and enjoy it.

“I think my track record proves I enjoy working with young lads and my past record shows I have no fear of chucking them into the first team.

“I dare say there will be one or two of them may get some game time between now and the end of the season.”


Forward discusses ‘tough’ training programme
mansfieldtown.net, 16 January 2020

Striker Danny Rose says that the Stags can feel themselves getting ‘fitter and stronger’ under the stewardship of new boss Graham Coughlan.

The frontman was back amongst the goals at the weekend as he headed in Mansfield’s second in the 4-3 defeat to Forest Green Rovers at One Call Stadium.

The 26-year-old spoke extensively of Graham Coughlan’s training regime, explaining that there are ‘no hiding places’ for the players.

“The gaffer [Graham Coughlan] has come in and he wants to play with a high press, so we’re doing a lot of running in training,” he began. “We’re getting fitter, we’re getting stronger, and it’s an honest group that we’ve got. We’re determined to put things right.

“The first thing he said when he came in was that we don’t look as fit as we should be.

“We have an honest group - the lads worked hard before [earlier in the season], but I feel like the training is a lot more intense now.


“We’ve only had two full training weeks. We had a tough Christmas period, but it was a lot of recovery sessions and then back into games.

“As weeks go on, we’ll get a lot stronger and fitter and hopefully we’ll see that on Saturday. There are no hiding places [in training under Graham Coughlan].

“I’m not saying the training wasn’t tough before, but it’s tougher now. We always knew it was going to be tough because we’re playing catch-up with the other teams.”

Rose then reflected on Saturday’s 4-3 defeat to promotion-chasing Forest Green Rovers, saying that the Stags should have ‘respected the point’ when fellow striker Nicky Maynard equalised in the 90th minute of the game.

“There was a lot of disappointment after the game and a few words said in the changing room,” he added. “We felt like our first-half performance deserved a point from the game but ultimately, we’ve not seen out the game.

“We should have respected the point, in hindsight, and seen out the game, but we’ve ended the game with no points.

“We got the press right in the first-half and they got a goal right before half-time which killed our momentum a little bit.

“In the second-half we’ve not really laid a glove on them and they’ve got the [equalising] goal.

“We should have respected the point at 3-3, but we were perhaps a little naïve in thinking we could have gone on and won the game.

“We knew they were a technical side and we wanted to play with a press, we got that right [in the first-half] but not in the second-half.

“It’s always nice to get on the scoresheet. I’ve been struggling lately with not taking my chances, so it’s always nice.

“But we’re playing catch-up now, we need to start getting some points on the board, starting with Plymouth on Saturday.”

Despite the recent run of indifferent results, the former Bury striker says that there is still a positive mood amongst the Stags’ camp as the players look to turn their season around.

“The mood is good [within the squad]. There was a lot of disappointment on Saturday and there were words said - I think the main thing was that we’ve reached rock bottom.

“But we have to take the positives - things will get better. We’re hoping to put a good performance in on Saturday [against Plymouth].

“The first-half performance against Forest Green was good - I think it was the best by far we’ve done this season.

“We scored two goals against a very good side and hopefully we can do that against Plymouth and shut up shop.

“We’re hoping to frustrate them a little bit. Hopefully we can go in front and see what happens.”

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


Rose believes correct game management is key for Mansfield Town
Danny Rose said Mansfield Town should learn when to shut up shop or be content with what they have got after naively losing 4-3 last weekend soon after seemingly stealing a late draw against Forest Green Rovers.
chad.co.uk, By John Lomas

Stags paid a price for pushing for a stoppage time winner against a very good side and striker Rose said: “It was a mad game and the lads were disappointed not to have picked up something from it. We thought our first half performance deserved at least a point.

“We had a game plan. We were always going to press high against a team that were quite technical. We thought we could get in their faces and force them into mistakes and that's what happened when we went 2-0 up and were unlucky not to get a third.

“But I think the goal just before half-time killed us a little bit. The free kick I gave away was sloppy on my behalf. They came back out with a bit of momentum and we didn't get in their faces as much as we did first half. We didn't really lay a glove on them.

“We've not seen out the game. We should have respected a point at 3-3 in hindsight, but we've come away with nothing.


“We were a little bit naïve to think we could have gone on and won the game.”

Rose netted Stags' second goal and said: “It's always nice to get back on the scoresheet. I have been struggling recently with not taking my chances.

“I started the season well but injuries have killed me a little bit. I am enjoying myself now and I want to put a shift in for the lads.”

Stags face in-form Plymouth away on Saturday and Rose said: “We'll go again now. We've got another tough game against Plymouth and we're hoping to put things right.

“Like Forest Green, I think Plymouth are quite a technical team.

“I have a friend down there and I know the mood is good in their camp. They are flying at the moment. We will hope to get in their face and force mistakes. We want to frustrate them.

“We're playing catch-up now and we need to get some points on the board.

“We will take it game by game. But we're not looking over our shoulder at all. We are looking up. Things can only get better and we feel like we're not a million miles away performance-wise.”


Striker Danny Rose believes fitness will be key to Mansfield Town finding form
chad.co.uk, By John Lomas

Despite a magnificent first 45 minutes against Forest Green last weekend, Mansfield could not sustain the pace after the break and lost 4-3.

But Rose said everyone is upping the ante in training to improve those fitness levels ahead of Saturday's difficult trip to Plymouth.

“We have had another tough training week under the new manager,” he said.

“It's the intensity of training that has changed. We are working on our fitness.


“We have a number of runs we need to do and have to complete them in specific times. Then we have gym sessions after.

“There are no hiding places. The lads are working hard and determined to put things right.

“We are not as fit as we should be if we want to play a high pressing game we need to be a lot fitter.

“We've been doing a lot of running in training and we're hoping to take that into games.”

Rose believes the signs are there that the hard work is starting to pay.

“The first half against Forest Green on Saturday was probably our best performance of the season by far,” he said.

“We scored two goals against a very good side and I think if we can do that again against Plymouth then we will shut up shop.

“If we can play like that for 90 minutes I don't think there will be many teams in the league that can live with us.

“That comes from fitness - and that's not built overnight. We're an honest group and we want to do that for 90 minutes not 45. As the weeks go on we will be a lot stronger and a lot fitter.”

Already Krystian Pearce and Jacob Mellis have been told they can leave if they wish. But Rose believes they will stay and fight for a place.

“That's football,” he said. “We've not been performing this season so we kind of expect a bit of change.

“Obviously the gaffer wants his own players in. It's the time of year when we've got to put a shift in. If we don't then ultimately we might not be playing for this club.

“The lads that were told have reacted well in training. They are training hard like they want to get back into the team on Saturday.”


Rose admits concerns over heading after Scots' U12s ban
chad.co.uk, By John Lomas

So Rose admitted he was concerned by increasing reports on older players developing dementia due to heading the ball and today's shock news that the Scottish FA are to ban heading in training for U12s.

“I read a study on it about a week ago and it does worry me a little bit thinking about that as I do pick up a lot of head injuries,” he said.

“So you do think about what happens when you retire from football.

“You can't really think like that, but you do see stuff in the news that people are picking up dementia and it does worry you.


“There are two sides to the story I suppose. You don't really want young kids getting dementia when they retire from football. That's a horrible thing.

“You have got to think of your life first over your job.

“Heading is a dying art for me and this is a tough one.”

A similar ban has been in place in the USA since 2015, but Scotland would become the first European country to impose any restriction on head contact.


Coughlan and Lowe to lock horns again before joining up for coaching badge
Mansfield Town boss Graham Coughlan will be seeing a lot of Plymouth Argyle manager Ryan Lowe over the next week.

The pair cross swords in League Two action at Home Park on Saturday before heading off to do UEFA Pro Licence coaching course together the next day.

The Pro Licence is the highest qualification in football and, in the case of Lowe and Coughlan, will see them attending England games at Euro 2020 this summer.

Lowe said: “Our first three days are Sunday, Monday, Tuesday next week. It’s a good course, it’s run properly.

“We will be taking in England games as well in June. We will be based in London.


“I suppose if you want to be the best you have got to have the best qualifications, and there are a lot of good managers and good coaches on it, so I’m looking forward to it.”

The clash between Argyle and Mansfield will be Lowe’s fourth managerial meeting with Coughlan since he was appointed as the Pilgrims’ boss last summer.

The previous three were all before Coughlan left League One outfit Bristol Rovers to take over at Mansfield just before Christmas.

The first two were at Home Park, with a 1-0 pre-season friendly defeat for Argyle in July followed by a 1-1 draw in the Leasing.com Trophy group stage at the start of September.

Argyle then drew 1-1 with Coughlan’s Rovers in the FA Cup second round at the Memorial Stadium on 1st December before he quit Rovers to join Mansfield.

Lowe said: “Graham is a good bloke. He’s a good manager and he has done an outstanding job for this football club when he was a player.

“We have got mutual respect for each other, but we are locking horns on Saturday.

“We take nothing for granted with Graham’s teams. He’s going to have them well organised, he’s looking to hopefully get a few signings in.

“We respect each other, but it’s not about me and Graham. It’s about the two teams.”

He added: “Mansfield have got some fantastic players in there and we know it’s going to be a tough encounter.

“Graham will go in there and put his stamp on it, which he already is. He will bring his own players in and keep players who he feels are right for him.

“Even though they have under-achieved, they have still got good players in there. We certainly won’t take anything for granted.”

Maynard is the Stags’ top scorer with 11 goals but Lowe said: “It’s not just Nicky Maynard is it? CJ Hamilton, Danny Rose, they have got some fantastic players.

“Maynard is obviously their leading goalscorer at the moment but they have got another 11, 12, 13 good players who can pose a threat to any team in this league.”



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