Stags’ boss David Flitcroft has said he is eager to be back in front of a home crowd at One Call Stadium this weekend following Mansfield’s three consecutive away fixtures.
The Stags have been backed by over 1,000 travelling fans in each of the previous two away fixtures against Macclesfield and West Brom.
Manager Flitcroft has described his excitement to return to One Call Stadium on Saturday, yet expects a challenging encounter from visitors Carlisle, who have won three on the bounce in Sky Bet League Two.
“They [Carlisle] have made a great start,” he said. “John Sheridan is a born winner and he’s taken that into his management. He had a tough job at Fleetwood and he’s gone to Carlisle and started working on what he’s doing there.
“It’ll be a tough game. Our performances and certainly what we’ve done this season [has been good]. I think back to the Colchester game where the week after they went and smashed Crewe 6-0. They hardly had a shot on target and scored from a long throw [against us].
“I’m really looking forward after a string of away games to play in front of our home supporters again. We just have to make sure we are better in the final third and more ruthless and clinical in that last third. That’s the bit that’s missing.
“When we get that right, we’re not just going to be a match for anyone, we’re [going to be] a very good football team.”
Ahead of tomorrow afternoon’s loan window closure, the Stags’ boss says the club could still add to the squad. He also spoke of the desire he has for striker Danny Rose to stay at Mansfield, and commended the fans for the support they have given him through a ‘tough time.’
“Hopefully [we will add to the squad before the loan deadline],” added the manager. “We’ve got two or three options that we’ve been looking at.
“You always look at the injury situation and form when you’re strengthening the squad. We’re in a position where we have a few things on the horizon.
“[We have] the international call-ups and Jacob Mellis could still potentially miss some games. We’re still waiting to hear back from the FA after the incident from [the] Sheffield Wednesday [game].
“These are the eventualities that you prepare for and plan for. October is a big month with seven games already and the international games may disrupt that schedule.
“We’re looking at the schedule up until January. We probably need one or two to come in and we’ll work on them. If it’s not right for the club, then I won’t do it.
“We’ve got a good balance to the squad and the performances have been good. I’m delighted with the squad that has been assembled and the way they are performing.
"I’m really looking forward after a string of away games to play in front of our home supporters again. We just have to make sure we are better in the final third and more ruthless and clinical in that last third."
“It’s a relentless league and when the games starting coming on top of you, you don’t know what injuries you’re going to pick up.
“We’re looking to do everything off the field in terms of recovery strategies and making sure the players are looked after. But the Matt Preston concussion and the difficulty in Hayden White’s situation, these are things round the corner that you just don’t know [will happen].
“Hopefully not [players leaving]. Obviously there has been a lot of interest over Danny [Rose]. We’re hoping he stays. If he does, our supporters will have played a massive part in that, the way they have received him and the way they have supported him through a tough time.
“If we get to the deadline on Friday and Danny is still here then we will owe our supporters a massive gratitude. The support he got the other night at West Brom was as affectionate and as positive as I’ve seen.
“Danny was really worried about that. We had two days where we spoke about coming in before the Accrington game and the mental fatigue that he would have from what happened and how it unfolded. We’ll see. Hopefully he stays. We will know more tomorrow.”
The manager also explained his delight for the trio of Krystian Pearce, Omari Sterling-James and Ryan Sweeney, who all received international call-ups this week, leading to the postponement of our fixture against Crewe Alexandra on Saturday 08 September.
“It [call-ups] is great for the players. Certainly Pearcey. At 28 to get a call-up and play for your country, he’s chuffed with it. As you get more experienced, you appreciate moments in football. Football time is the quickest time, you’re only in it for a short spell so get the most out of it. I tell the players that all of the time.
“Krystian is committed to football and he has an opportunity now for international experience.
“Omari [Sterling-James] hasn’t played a lot of football but he has the opportunity to have a great experience.
“Sweeney is a player who has huge potential. Could he become a full international? Absolutely. He has the potential, the work ethic, and the ability to do that.
“The experience is there for him to become a full international, which any player should thrive for. For the players I’m delighted.
“As a football club I’m looking at matchday because that is our main revenue. I look at the Grimsby game which is a 1pm kick-off and will create an atmosphere on a Saturday afternoon. That’s the next international after the Crewe game that gets called off [if players are called up].”
Lastly, the Stags’ boss provided the latest updates on the injuries of defensive duo Matt Preston and Hayden White.
“We’re assessing the players continually. With Matt Preston we’ll see how he comes through in training today. He’ll be out with us on the grass today which is good.
“Hayden White will possibly join up with the squad tomorrow. He’s done some field work with Tom, our physio. We’ll assess him more on Friday. They’re getting nearer, which is great for us.”
iFollow Stags subscribers can watch the manager’s interview in full by logging into mansfieldtown.net/ifollow later today.