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Stags' boss cites unity as reason for resounding victory

4 August 2018


Stags' boss cites unity as reason for resounding victory

4 August 2018

Stags' boss David Flitcroft has praised his side's unity following their emphatic 3-0 victory over Newport County AFC this afternoon.

Tyler Walker opened the scoring for the Stags in the 12th minute, before a second-half brace from midfielder Otis Khan capped off a superb performance by the amber and blue.

The manager was quick to point out defender Hayden White's miraculous goal-line clearance, saying it 'epitomised' the physical condition that his players are in and the desire they have to come to the aid of their team-mates.

"I think Hayden White epitomises the spirit and that togetherness and unity that we're trying to grow.

"At the time people may think they are small things but when you've done the work through the summer and in the pre-season, physically, he can get to that ball [to clear it off the line]. 

"He's backed up Logan because it's an open goal. Hayden has drove into that area because he physically can. 

"I think it was an outstanding performance. The lads we've brought in have felt really comfortable and settled in. We did our business early and that's allowed us to welcome those boys and let them play in pre-season games and feel the crowd.

"I said when I signed Otis, that he's exciting. He gets you off your feet. He's got the ability to score goals. I just didn't expect a headed goal from him!

"I'm really chuffed with how the new boys have settled. There was a real togetherness in that performance.

"I think it gives them [the players] belief. I think they're trusting what we are doing. That's been evident in pre-season. There's a lot to gain from a good pre-season campaign. I think we've shown today, without getting carried away, that the preparation has been good.

"I'm really chuffed with how the new boys have settled. There was a real togetherness in that performance."

David Flitcroft, manager

"The lads are feeling good about themselves. They've worked very hard [in pre-season]. It's important that they feel good about themselves today because that was an excellent performance from the squad."

The Stags' boss was also pleased to see the work that he has done on the training ground in pre-season replicated in a matchday situation.

"When we did come under threat, Conrad Logan was outstanding. He made some fantastic saves. He's epitomised everything I've believed in, in terms of preparation. He's had a really good pre-season.

"I saw some of the work we did on the training ground [during the match]. Some of the phases, some of the passing moves.

"I was surprised at times how much space they gave to Mal Benning. For me, Mal can hurt you, he can unlock you. He's got three or four different passes. He had a lot of space today and he utilised it superbly.

"The pleasing aspect is seeing what we've been working on for six weeks now. I've talked a lot about the physicality, but some of the passing work we've done and the way we moved them round the pitch and hurt them [was pleasing to see].

"A lot of work that we've done was evident today. We kept going and going. The three subs that came on ran anything down. They came on to give us impact and energy. I'm delighted."

The manager added that he is keen to develop his younger players this season, and has complete trust in striker Jordan Graham and defender Lewis Gibbens, who were both included in today's squad.

"Developing players is key. I look at my career and I had five or six years with Keith Hill as an assistant manager who was highly passionate about developing young players.

"Young players give you a sincerity and an honesty. I didn't want to put a player on that didn't deserve to come on, to just tick a box. 

"If you look at the England team and the way that they performed. A lot of that team have come from the EFL. I think there's too much emphasis on the Premier League. Our EFL is really strong. Probably 90% of that England squad who performed so well at the World Cup have spent time in there or come from there.

"I'm delighted that Jordan [Graham] has had some game time. Would I be worried about putting Lewis Gibbens on? No chance. I'd put him on at the drop of a hat."

It was also revealed that the club have accepted a bid from Grimsby Town for striker Lee Angol.

"On Lee Angol, we've accepted a bid from Grimsby. They spoke to Lee yesterday and his representatives, and they're currently working on that.

"Lee's had the weekend off to think about the potential move. We'll know more probably on Monday. That's something that we might progress on Monday, but we might not."

The manager also took the time to set the record straight on striker Danny Rose.

"With Danny Rose, I thought that through the back end of the week it was turning into a circus with the media. I thought that our professionalism was outstanding. We've received a bid that's not good enough. The chairman has made that quite clear.

"If he wants to move, it'll be at the chairman's valuation. That's really important.

"I think some of stuff that has come out from the club that's bid for him, certainly from a personal point of view, I try and remain professional. It was sort of a personal attack on me and my relationship with Danny Rose. 

"Just to set the record straight with Danny. I put him in the team and gave him his debut when I was at Barnsley. He helped me secure the job, so I have nothing but admiration for Danny.

"When I went to Bury, I signed him. I convinced the chairman to spend good money on Danny. I got promoted with him. I spent time with him in Spain. In League One then, I had to stay in the league. I brought Leon Clarke and Tom Pope in, two League One top-hitters.

"I explained that to Danny that when I got those in, it's important that he goes and plays games and sets his career alight.

"He then moved to Mansfield, yes I was the manager that sold him then. I didn't see him as a third-choice centre-forward. He came to Mansfield and the rest is history, he was outstanding. 

"I've had a fantastic relationship with Danny Rose. Every game he was available last season, I played him. I'd like to say that if Rose goes on and does fantastically well, I've played a part in that.

"When someone comes at you in a personal attack, with a slur, I think it's important that the truth is told."

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