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Stags' boss pleased with character in hard-fought draw

11 August 2018

Stags’ boss David Flitcroft has said that his side showed great ‘character’ to come back from behind twice to earn a hard-earned point away to Yeovil Town this afternoon.

Goals from Craig Davies and Matt Preston saw the Stags recover from losing positions twice in a game that saw all of its scoring occur before the 30-minute mark.

The manager was quick to praise his players for the ‘spirit’ they showed during the match.

“At times it was a basketball game. It was very open,” he said. “It was a game of many chances. Certainly in that second-half the clear-cut chances, we didn’t really take full advantage of.

“On another day Davo [Davies] finishes the game with three goals. He had a chance which was well saved and then he’s hit the bar. We created some really good chances in the second-half to go and win the game. We’re probably disappointed in that aspect.

“The two goals we conceded we looked a bit nervy. But we certainly attacked Yeovil enough to go and win the game.

“We’ve not really gone behind in pre-season or this season, so to go down twice and show the character to come back was something that was important.

“[We have to] make sure that the spirit is galvanised and the character in the team is there is a DNA that you want in any successful team. The team showed good characteristics today that will serve us well this season and beyond.”

The Stags’ boss also highlighted the importance of having players that can add to the scoresheet from all over the pitch, after striker Davies and centre-back Preston both found the back of the net.

“I feel that with crosses that’s where our best opportunities come from,” he added. “We worked a lot in the week on getting the ball wide and getting good quality crosses in.

"We’ve not really gone behind in pre-season or this season, so to go down twice and show the character to come back was something that was important."

David Flitcroft, manager

“We put in three or four crosses in the first-half and got two goals from it. Davo has come across him [the defender] and it was an accomplished finish.

“Matt Preston’s [goal] was just about heart, desire and a great connection. He’ll score goals this season, he’s a player that is good in both boxes.

“A lot of the aspects were good today but just that nervy opening, and not allowing a team to take the advantage on us is certainly something we will take back to Mansfield.

“You can’t rely on a successful or consistent campaign if you only have one person scoring. On the training ground we’re getting players in the box, we’re getting depth in the box.

“There are different ways to score and I do want to score from set pieces. We have Otis in there to get his delivery right.

“It’s important in a team that all of your team are scoring and you’re not reliant on certain players at times.

“I felt we were definitely overloaded by one striker. We did our business early and got three really good attacking options in for the football club. We were very proactive in that bringing Craig Davies, Tyler Walker and Otis Khan to the club.”

Following the close of the transfer window on Thursday, the manager spoke of striker Lee Angol who was a late deadline day deal to Shrewsbury Town, and also explained that potential loan moves still may happen.

“The bid [for Angol] came in and as we’ve maintained right through, it is a business,” said the gaffer. “We’ve protected ourselves on the contract so that if Lee lights up Shrewsbury we’re protected with the back-end of the contract with the sell-on.

“We have a couple of weeks now to keep watching if any of our players move out. If you can improve or better the squad, that’s something I’ll always put to the chairman and Carolyn.

“Improving the players is a given. That’s something that we do daily. But improving the squad, from an external point of view, again that is something we work continuously hard on.

“Until it is definitive and the [loan] window has shut, then we’re open for business.”

iFollow Stags subscribers can watch David Flitcroft’s post-match interview in full by logging into later today.

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