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Stags' boss pleased to add trio in time for Portugal trip

2 July 2018

Stags' boss David Flitcroft says getting the deals for the trio of Otis Khan, Tyler Walker and Craig Davies over the line before Mansfield Town jetted off to Portugal for their pre-season training camp was vital, as it allows him to work with his new additions over the course of this week.

Stags trained for the first time in Portugal this afternoon, after landing safely at 11am local time.

Manager Flitcroft added the trio of signings to his ranks last Friday, with Stags announcing the treble swoop all at the same time in what was a dramatic day at One Call Stadium.

The Stags' boss said he is 'delighted' with the signings, and paid tribute to the support of chairman John Radford and CEO Carolyn Radford in getting the deals over the line. 

Flitcroft highlighted the importance of getting the trio in before the first team jetted off to Portugal for their pre-season training camp, in order to allow the new forwards to gel with the rest of the squad.

"I'm absolutely delighted with everyone at the club and the chairman and Carolyn's support in this. They are three signings that we have been chasing long and chasing hard," said the manager.

"I've not gone off the vision in my head as to what the team is going to look like and what it's going to represent to the supporters.

"We've kept going for our key targets and to pull them all off has took some real hard work and graft behind the scenes. I'm absolutely delighted.

"I think getting them in before the Portugal trip [was important]. We really wanted them in for this week settling in with the group.

"Tyler Walker has come here for football reasons. He has an ambition, and that's what I do know. He wants to make it to the Premier League and that is something I spoke to him about in length - how can we get Tyler Walker to the Premier League."

"Otis Khan has been at Manchester United has a trainee. He has the United mind, the United habits, the United feet. He has gone down to Yeovil and done some real hard graft and miles. His work ethic is phenomenal. He's been training with a performance coach all summer which we have been keeping tabs on.

"They all have incredible quality. Craig Davies takes care in his work and in his training - he has real professionalism. These boys have vast amount of quality, pace and power. That's something we certainly needed in the squad.

"I think getting them in before the Portugal trip [was important]. We really wanted them in for this week settling in with the group."

David Flitcroft, manager

"These players are coming in to make maximum impact on a Saturday or a Tuesday night. They've come in with an ambition and hunger to score goals - all three of them. That's the word I want, I want ambitious players here. I want to move this club forward."

The Stags' boss spoke of the experience that striker Craig Davies adds to the ranks at One Call Stadium, following his acquisition from Oldham Athletic.

"I've always been able to work with a striker who wants to lead the line, who sees it as his ambition to lead the line. He [Davies] has got the calibre to do that and the personality to do that,” he said.

"He enjoys causing defenders real problems. He's a physical specimen. 

"What he has now done has linked the centre of the pitch up in terms of a leadership group. You have Conrad Logan or Bobby Olejnik, you have [Krystian] Pearce, [Neal] Bishop, [Alex] MacDonald who have the experience and the know-how. 

"We have young strikers at the club who are a little inexperienced at times, but Craig gives us that experience and he certainly gives opposition real problems."

Manager Flitcroft added that Otis Khan, who signed for the Stags on a two-year deal from Yeovil Town, is a player that will get the fans out of their seats.

"Otis [Khan] for six or seven months of the season last season blew the league away with his potency and his quality. I look at him as a fan as well, and he is the player who will get the fans excited and get the fans off their feet. When he gets the ball you're looking for him to do something.

"He has dynamic movement and is a player that certainly excites me when I watch him. He can create something from nothing and has that creative spark. That's the thing I have brought him to the club for - his creation and his spark.

"He's a player that I want to work with on the training ground. I do believe we are bringing an asset to the football club and he is in an environment where he can flourish."

Tyler Walker joined Mansfield on loan from Nottingham Forest, and is a player that the Stags' boss has admired for some time. Flitcroft added that it was the relationship that the chairman and CEO share with Nottingham Forest that made the deal possible.

"He [Walker] went to America with the team [Nottingham Forest] last year but he was right on the fringe. I enquired about him then but didn't get the chance to work with him. I kept tabs on him since then. I think what has got the deal over the line is the relationship that John and Carolyn have with Nottingham Forest,” he added.

"The big thing for me for Tyler was that he had good options, but he saw the football plan here and wanted to sign for us. With his dad's blessing, and that was important for me as he is a legend of the game, it was important for me that he made the right football decision.

"The deal wouldn't have got over the line without the backing of the chairman and Carolyn. It's full credit to them really."

Despite the Stags' boss flying out to Portugal with the squad this week, he maintained that the club may still be active in the transfer market.

"There are still things going on behind the scenes. We are still short defensively, we need defensive cover. We make no secret of that. 

"We have promoted three of the younger players up to train with the first team and they will be training with us for the morning and night sessions. 

"We'll still be fine-tuning and adjusting our playing squad and that will run up to the start of the season now. I can go to Portugal and really work with that front end of the pitch because we've added real quality to our squad."

 iFollow Stags subscribers can watch the manager's answers in full by logging into mansfieldtown.net/ifollow later today.


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