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Stags' boss 'excited' to see benefits of pre-season training

24 July 2018

Stags' boss David Flitcroft says he is 'so excited' to see his players emulate the work they have done on the training ground on the pitch against Sheffield Wednesday tonight.

Mansfield Town take on the Owls at 7.30pm at One Call Stadium for their third of four pre-season home matches against Championship opposition.

Manager Flitcroft spoke of how he has tested his players with and without the ball during training, and is looking forward to seeing the energy that the Stags bring to tonight's game.

"I think game time is important," he said. "We'll be looking at the partnerships between the players. It's also another opportunity to work with the back three who nearly got the 90 minutes in [against Sheffield United].

"It's about developing our aspects and how we're going to play. The good thing about pre-season is, you concentrate on yourself. You concentrate on what we want out of the game in possession and out of possession.

"Because you don't know the team they're going to send, you can't do much planning around that.

"We're absolutely focused on Mansfield Town in and out of possession. We did a session yesterday on possession phases, and I'm so excited for the game to see if that learning and that work has hit home with the players.

"The work that we did in the six-week programme, that's what you want to see coming together as we near the start of the campaign.

"You look at other football clubs and at times they choose quite an easy pre-season. We couldn't, in the area that we've got, choose tougher games [than we've got]. That tests the boys. Our running stats are very high in the games.

"We're absolutely focused on Mansfield Town in and out of possession. We did a session yesterday on possession phases, and I'm so excited for the game to see if that learning and that work has hit home with the players."

David Flitcroft, manager

"That's what you want to get out of these games. They're not just about showcasing the football. You have to get the minutes in and you have to get the numbers right.

"The games have been tough but I think they've really stimulated the players. They have certainly stimulated the management team and staff. That's what you want to get out of a tough pre-season, to see if all of your systems are working. And that's what we'll try and get out of the game tonight."

The manager also added that the Stags are still in the process of adding to their defensive ranks, but is remaining patient and assessing different options.

"Certainly from my point of view we're looking to bring that defender in. The process is still ongoing. 

"I'm not going to panic because we've got until 4 August to get a permanent one in but then we also have until the end of August to bring a loan one in.

"It's about bringing the right one in. But again, it might mean we have to get [a player] out before we get that defender in.

"They [scan results for Nathan Cameron] have come back. We've sent them to a specialist who's read through them. Like you do with most scans, we wanted a second opinion.

"As we speak at the minute we've not got any results [from the specialist]. But that's something that we're working on."

Stags' boss Flitcroft also emphasised the need to create a balanced squad for the upcoming season, which could mean outgoing players as well as incomings.

"Over the last sort of four weeks everyone has been building their squads. Now they're trying to finalise the squads with that one or two players. We have got players who are available.

"Those players can only move on if a club wants them. We're still working on the outs, which will able to help us get one in.

"Our squad is currently balanced well. It's just about finalising that as we near the start of the season."

"We're still in that process. I have to make sure that I balance the squad out. But building a squad is making sure you balance the books as well.

"It might be important that some of the players we have transfer listed, we're still looking to work with them. If any club want them, we might have to get those boys out."

Tickets for tonight's pre-season friendly against Sheffield Wednesday can be purchased from £10Concessions: £5.

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