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Stags' boss says his side had enough chances to beat Stevenage

10 April 2018

Manager David Flitcroft has said his side created enough chances to come out with a win in Stags’ 1-1 draw with Stevenage at Lamex Stadium on Tuesday night.

Danny Newton opened the scoring in the 15th minute of the game, before Stags’ midfielder Will Atkinson met Johnny Hunt’s cross well to fire home the equaliser in the 51st minute.

Despite coming from behind to draw the game, the Stags' boss believes his side had opportunities to take all three points, and added his view that Stags should have had a penalty when Hayden White was seemingly brought down in the Stevenage box.

“Absolutely [we had enough chances to win the game],” he said. “When we stayed calm we had some good combinations and created some opportunities that we should have done better with.

“Atkinson finished his chance off superbly, he arrived in the box and finished really well.

“We got in some really good positions in the first-half. White’s cross to Hemmings in the first-half was perfect and Hemmo had an opportunity with his header.

“When we got the ball down in the first-half and were calm with it, we created some half-decent opportunities. I was disappointed we didn’t finish them off.

“Hemmings had two or three chances that he worked the space for. His movement caused them problems, he just needed that last little bit of calmness and composure.

"When we stayed calm we had some good combinations and created some opportunities that we should have done better with."

David Flitcroft, manager

“I do believe it was a million per cent a penalty [on White], Whitey’s crossed his line and the defender is playing catch-up.  I think we were unfortunate not to get the penalty.”

The Stags’ boss also commented on the ‘honesty’ of his players’ performance, and singled out the display of defender Krystian Pearce, who was reintroduced to the starting XI for the game.

“I thought it was an honest performance from the group over the 90 minutes and that’s what I’ve been demanding,” he added. “There was a desire not to get beat tonight.

“Pearce’s display was absolutely outstanding tonight. You need to be when you face a big striker up front or else he causes you problems.

“There were a lot of strong performances and it was an honest performance from the players, which is all I ask. With that last little bit of end quality we would have undone them tonight.”

Flitcroft also gave an injury update on striker Ricky Miller, who was left out of the squad for the game due to a hamstring issue, adding that his performance against Crewe would have warranted him a start tonight if he were fit.

“He [Miller] came over about 15 minutes into the second-half [against Crewe] and told us about his hamstring. He told us he wanted to play on but he’s pulled it – we’re not sure to what extent.

“He was absolutely gutted, he came on the pitch and made a massive difference [against Crewe]. I was going to start Ricky tonight in a 4-3-3 if he was fit, and he knows that.”

The Stags’ manager also looked ahead to this week’s huge derby game against Chesterfield away from home.

“It’s a game that I’ve seen our supporters queuing for tickets for, we know the magnitude of it. Not winning tonight makes it even bigger,” he said.

“I’ve seen the support for this club at Notts County, and I saw it tonight, and only then can you understand the passion the supporters have in these derby games.

“The players will be under no illusion as to what they have to do on Saturday to rival that support and that passion.

“We have four games left and we know what we have to do. We have these four games left to go and drive for that playoff place.”

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