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Archived News from February 2020

6th February 2020 21:23

Boss offers honest verdict on draw
mansfieldtown.net, Saturday 1st February 2020

Mansfield boss Graham Coughlan believes his side let themselves down late on after what he described as ‘a professional performance’ against Carlisle.

A brace from Nicky Maynard saw the Stags hold a comfortable two-goal lead before the visitors struck twice late on to secure a point.

The manager says that despite ‘positives’ in the amber and blue’s spirited display, his side did not defend Carlisle’s late free-kick well enough.

“The conditions played a part when the cross goes over our goalkeeper’s head [for Carlisle’s first goal] but you don’t give away a foul in the 90th minute,” he told iFollow Stags.

“We let the ball bounce into the box and it shouldn’t be happening at this level. It’s not good enough and it needs to be better.

“I thought it was a professional performance and we were in control. We were manful in the first-half and defended against the wind.


“The conditions dictated each half - we were on the back foot in the first-half and they were on the back foot in the second.

“We were in control and never in any trouble [in the second-half]. I’m just asking us to see the free-kick out at the end of the game.

“Their first goal goes in with a bit of luck, but let’s just defend the front post better than that [at the end]. The ball cannot beat the first man and bounce into the box. It’s happening too many times.

“Neither team had that spark or freshness today, so it was a stale performance from both sides - that’s League Two when you have a third game in a week.

“Not only physically, you get mentally tired. And our lads get mentally tired. Their confidence has been low and they’ve been beaten up all season - those are the moments that kill us [last minute goal].

“If we can see those moments through, we will have long term success. Because overall, the performances, there are a lot of positives - and that’s hard for me to stand here and say that after what feels like a defeat.

“We have to roll our sleeves up and accept where we are, and it needs to be better.”

The boss says that his players need to improve their ‘mindset’ in the closing stages of matches.

“We’ll have to iron them [mistakes] out. It’s about mindset. You need the players to buy in. They have to roll their sleeves up and get through it.

“I thought we were making progress last Saturday [3-0 win vs Bradford] and I thought for the first 45 and second 35 minutes today we were making progress.

“We managed the conditions really well and we pinned them in. But they get into our half and a cross goes over the goalkeeper’s head and all of a sudden, chaos sets in.

“We have to clear our heads of that mindset. The majority of what has been going on at this club over the last six or seven weeks has been excellent. But results aren’t going our way and we’re making too many simple errors.

“It’s difficult for me to stand here and raise a smile but if we can get through these patches, we’ll be fine in the long term.”

There was also an injury update on midfielder Alex MacDonald, who was replaced by Willem Tomlinson in the first-half.

“We’re hoping he [MacDonald] has come off through fatigue. We’re hoping he’s caught it [injury] early and it’s not too severe - I don’t think it is.

“He’s been sensible as a pro’ and come off early doors before causing any lasting damage.

“That’s the effect of having three games in a week and the six or seven weeks training with me, because it has been intense and tough on the lads. We’re playing catch up and these things will occur. Hopefully it’s not long term.”

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


Mansfield Town boss Graham Coughlan slams 'car crash defending' after late Carlisle United fightback
chad.co.uk, By John Lomas, Saturday 1st February 2020

Mansfield Town manager Graham Coughlan slammed his side's 'car crash defending' as they allowed Carlisle United two late goals to steal a 2-2 draw in today's crucial six-pointer at the One Call Stadium.

Nicky Maynard's second half brace looked to have secured a crucial win for the Stags, until a moment of bad luck and a moment of bad defending cost them dearly.

With nine minutes to go Elliot Watt's cross caught on the wind and sailed over Bobby Olejnik before a stoppage time free kick saw Watt's ball in touched home by Joshua Kayode.

“It's car crash defending,” said an angry Coughlan.

“It should not be happening at this level. It's not good enough. It feels like a defeat.


“Okay, the conditions took the cross over our goalie's head into the net.

“But you don't give the foul away in the 94th minute, then fail to shut down the front post and let the ball bounce into your box. I am just asking us to see out the last free kick of the game.

“The first goal had gone in with a bit of luck, but just defend the free kick.”

He added: “Our lads' confidence is low and they have been beat up all season.

“But those are the moments that hurt us and kill us.

“If we can see those moments through - and I say this when I am absolutely fuming - we will have long term success.

“As soon as that ball sailed in over the keeper's head chaos set in and confidence went. It was panic and 'here we go again' - that type of mindset. We have to clear that from our heads.”

Carlisle United boss Chris Beech said: “I was really pleased with the boys' character to come back. We didn't definitely deserve to lose it.

“The lads said 'we're not getting beat' and rolled their sleeves up.”

Mansfield now face another huge game away at more fellow strugglers, Morecambe, next weekend and will check on the fitness of midfielder Alex MacDonald, who limped off this afternoon.


Stags are 'hurting' after late leveller - striker
mansfieldtown.net, Saturday 1st February 2020

Striker Nicky Maynard says his Mansfield Town teammates are ‘hurting’ after letting a two-goal lead slip against Carlisle United.

Stags’ leading goalscorer seemingly set his side on course for all three points with a classy double midway through the second period.

However, in testing conditions at One Call Stadium, Elliot Watt and Joshua Kayode rescued a point for the Cumbrians in unlikely fashion.

And Mansfield’s no. 11 revealed the emotions inside the dressing room following the full-time whistle.

“We put ourselves in a great position to come away with the three points and we’ve thrown away a two-goal lead,” he told iFollow Stags.

“The lads are obviously hurting but we’ve got to dust ourselves off to put things right for Morecambe.


“We knew before the game whoever was going to be shooting down this end [the Quarry Lane stand] would have the majority of the ball, which was Carlisle, and I thought we did well to keep them out.

“Coming in at half time we knew the tables would turn and I think that’s what happened. We dominated, getting chances and we got ourselves into a two-nil lead.

“And then we’ve [conceded] a freak goal that didn’t look like coming. That’s got their backs up, given them a little bit of hope, and then we’ve given a silly foul away in the dying minutes.

“We say don’t give silly fouls away because you can be punished, and we’ve been punished again today.”

The second-half brace took the 33-year-old’s league tally to 14 for the season, yet Maynard believes there is still room for improvement.

“There have been a few chances where, for me, they’re dead certain to be a goal and I’ve not scored. I’m never pleased.

“My game-to-goal ratio is okay but I don’t think you should be ever pleased with your work, you should always strive to be better and I’m no different.

“I’m not resting on the amount of goals I have now - I want to score more and hopefully that will bring more points.”

In addition, the former West Ham frontman noted that the amber and blue must become savvy in order to see games out.

“We’ve got to know, in a game like today, what got us into a two-goal lead,” Maynard explained.

“Keep at that and don’t give silly fouls away, don’t be snatching at the ball.

“It’s football knowledge, really. We have to be clever and see the game out. We shouldn’t have threw that game away, we should have kept the ball in their corner, wasting time.

“I think Chief [Krystian Pearce] was outstanding today so he’ll be hurting more than most. He put his body on the line and I know it’s still a point.

“We need to move on, work on the training ground as we have been doing and hopefully things will change.”

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


Mansfield Town players hurting after late collapse against Carlisle United admits two-goal hero Nicky Maynard
chad.co.uk, By John Lomas, Saturday 1st February 2020

Two-goal Nicky Maynard admitted the players were hurting after Mansfield Town threw away a 2-0 lead to be held 2-2 at home by two late Carlisle United replies.

“We put ourselves in a great position to come away with the three points then threw away a two goal lead,” he said.

“The lads are obviously hurting but we have to dust ourselves off and go again to put things right at Morecambe. We've not lost so we need to take the positives away.”


The match was dominated by strong wind, which also helped United's first reply into the net against the run of play, and Maynard said: “We knew before the game whoever was shooting with the wind would have the majority of the ball, which was Carlisle first half.

“I thought we did well to keep clean sheet coming in at half-time. We knew the tables would turn and I think that's what happened.

“For the first half hour of the second half we dominated and created chances and got ourselves into a two-goal lead.”

Carlisle's first reply was a wind-assisted cross that flew in on 81 minutes and the second from a 93rd minute free kick.

“Their first goal was one of those freak goals that never looked lie coming. That gave them a bit of hope,” said Maynard.

“Then we gave away a silly foul in the dying minutes which we say 'don't do that' but we do time and time again. We get punished for them and we got punished again today.

“We should take the ball into a corner and waste time to see the game out.”

Both Maynard's strikes on 58 and 72 minutes were from the edge of the box and he smiled: “I've not scored many from 16-18 yards out, most of them have been in the six yard box.

“They were nice goals and it was good to get into a two-goal lead. We are now punching ourselves that we threw that away.”

The brace took him to 15 for the season, but he believes he should have scored more.

“There have been a few chances which, for me, were a dead cert to be a goal and I have not scored,” he said.

“I am never pleased. My games to goals ratio is okay but I don't think you should ever be pleased with your work - you should strive to do better.

“I won't rest on this. I am hungry to score more which will hopefully get us more three points.”

Maynard and Krystian Pearce were Stags' two best players today and the striker said: “The 'Chief' was outstanding today and I think he will be hurting more than most. He was putting his body on the line.”

Today’s draw left Stags down in 21st place, nine points clear of bottom-placed Stevenage with another important game against fellow strugglers away at Morecambe next Saturday.


Chris Beech hails Carlisle United's spirit after late fightback at Mansfield
By Jon Colman

Chris Beech hailed Carlisle United’s never-say-die spirit after the Blues’ dramatic late fightback at Mansfield.

The new-look Cumbrians extended their unbeaten run to four league games after Joshua Kayode grabbed a 93rd-minute leveller.

Carlisle were trailing 2-0 with just nine minutes to go before Elliot Watt and Kayode salvaged a 2-2 draw.

The comeback capped a positive period for the Cumbrians after some improved results and significant additions in the transfer window.

Head coach Beech said their mentality to play to the end was a good sign.

He said: “It gives me heart when you see disadvantage in a game.

“If the lads can keep doing that, it will show that we’re never dead, we’re not lying down."

Watt scored his first Football League goal with a cross that deceived home keeper Bobby Olejnik.

The Wolves loanee then turned provider as Rotherham loan forward Kayode netted his second goal in successive starts.

Beech also said the way he tried to save the game, with substitutions and tactical changes, paid off.

He said: “You saw how many players were in the box, Aaron Hayden playing up front, me trying to make those [changes], as we did against Cardiff at home in the FA Cup, to try and win the game.

“I did exactly the same thing here. It won’t always work, I’m not naïve enough to think that, but while I’ve got the cojones - or whatever the right words are without swearing - I’m gonna try my best to do it.”

Beech admitted United conceded two poor goals as Nicky Maynard put the Stags into a seemingly dominant position.

Their fightback, though, took them 11 points clear of the relegation place ahead of next Saturday’s visit of leaders Swindon.

Beech said: “I was disappointed we weren’t winning in the first half, with the wind, utilising the conditions - they were horrendous.

“It was a difficult pitch, a difficult wind to play with, but we had lots of corners, a couple of shots, Nathan had a great freekick, we had a lot of wide free-kicks, a couple of shots from midfield, Jack Bridge came to life as the first half wore on, so we were really looking to wear Mansfield down.

“I said to the players at half-time that going against the wind will help you, being able to play a bit more football against it rather than the ball running away from us, but be wary of those conditions, and their goal came from the conditions.

“It’s a goal kick, bigger than normal, it shouldn’t catch us out because we’ve just played with it for 45 minutes. I’m disappointed with it, it looked very soft - both their goals were - but to come back, I’m really pleased with the boys’ character.”

On the goals that saved a point, Beech added: “Elliot says he meant to do it - I’m not sure he did - but, again, the conditions affected the match.

“They didn’t affect the last goal, though - we work the ball wide, it was good that Harry [McKirdy] came on, he manipulates the ball well, gets a free kick, and with Elliot on the pitch still, he has the quality to put it in a good area, and JJ [Kayode] is in the right place at the right time, the right man in the six-yard box, and gets his second goal in his second full start.

“We definitely didn’t deserve to lose and I’m really pleased with these characteristics of coming back.”

Beech also believed United’s recent additions to the squad have raised the standard at Brunton Park. He added: “If the squad wasn’t as strong as it was, I don’t think we get back in that game.”



Latest | February 2020