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Stags' midfielder praises manager's attention to detail

26 April 2018

Stags’ midfielder Alex MacDonald has explained that manager David Flitcroft’s attention to detail is ‘second-to-none,’ as he looked ahead to the final two games of the Sky Bet League Two season.

The 28-year-old also added his belief that the Stags’ boss is one of the best managers he has worked for in his career.

“It [the mood in training] has been good,” he said. “We’ve trained really hard this week ready to be all guns blazing for this weekend with the long trip down to Yeovil.

“We’ve looked at videos and watched footage and gone through each game thoroughly. We’re trying as hard as we can, we’re on the training ground and looking at clips.

“If you look back on Saturday [and the other matches], if we take our chances, the league position would be completely different to what it is at the minute.

“The manager has been brilliant. I know the results haven’t gone the way we all hoped, but the thoroughness of his work and attention to detail that he puts into his training sessions, his analysis, is second-to-none.

“I’ve worked under some good and successful managers in my time and he’s certainly up there with them.

“It’s just been unfortunate that we as players haven’t put that together and come up with the positive results that we’ve all been striving for.

"The manager has been brilliant. I know the results haven’t gone the way we all hoped, but the thoroughness of his work and attention to detail that he puts into his training sessions, his analysis, is second-to-none."

Alex MacDonald, midfielder

“It’s going to be one of them, it’s how much we want it. It’s really just [down to] taking our chances, we’re creating some really good opportunities.”

MacDonald also reflected on the season so far, and says he is feeling better than ever heading into the two final games of Stags’ league season.

“Personally it’s been a good season, I think I’ve played well. I don’t think I’ve played as well over the past month and that’s disappointing.

“When a new manager comes in you want to make an impression, but I felt like I was back to my normal self again on Saturday and I hope that continues into the final two games.

“I’ve really looked after myself like I’ve never done in my career, I’ve really slimmed down. I know that when I come into work I’ll try hard and give 100% in games and training.

“When I’m away from it [football] that’s where I’ve probably let myself down a bit in previous years, but now diet and life is brilliant.”

The midfielder also looked ahead to this weekend’s huge game away to Yeovil Town, and added that the relieved pressure of escaping a relegation fight may make the Glovers even more dangerous on Saturday.

He also spoke of the fighting performance that the Stags’ fans deserve from the players over the final two games.

“I’ve been in a relegation battle before and when you come away and you’re safe, you’re still playing for contracts and your families,” he added.

“It’s not a case of it’s going to be a straight forward game which is probably what it looks on paper, but we know what we’re coming up against in Yeovil and we’ll look to dealing with that one before we move onto next week against Crawley.

“When you come away from that [a relegation battle], it’s a big weight off your shoulders and it can be dangerous at times against these types of teams. It’s going to be tough but we’re well aware of what their threats are.

“There’s only a few times [over the course of the season] where you can say it wasn’t a fighting performance or that the lads didn’t give 100% and that’s something that we pride ourselves on. The Stags’ fans deserve that, it’s a football club that we want to make the town proud [of].

“The bare characteristic of that is giving 100% every single game and that’s something that we pride ourselves on heading into the last two games.”

MacDonald also looked back on a season where he has played in a number of positions, but admitted that his favourite role is in the heart of midfield, where he can get heavily involved in the match.

“I’ve played all across the midfield, as a number ten, as a striker, but as long as I’m out there on the pitch then I’m a happy man.

“I do like playing in centre-midfield, since I’ve made the transition I’ve really enjoyed being in there and it’s always great being so involved.

“Sometimes when you go to League Two grounds, as a winger you don’t see that much action. But when you’re in the centre you’re always involved and I feel it brings the best out of me.”

iFollow Stags subscribers can watch MacDonald’s answers in full by logging into later today.

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