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Stags seek defender as priority after impressive United friendly

21 July 2018

Mansfield Town manager David Flitcroft says he is looking to recruit a defender ‘as a priority’ following today’s encouraging 0-0 draw at home to Sheffield United.

Stags looked strong against the Blades at One Call Stadium this afternoon with a performance which visiting boss Chris Wilder described as ‘outstanding’.

And Mansfield chief David Flitcroft is now targeting another defender to strengthen his back-line ahead of the big League Two kick-off a fortnight today.

Ex-Bury captain Nathan Cameron has been training with the first team, but picked up an injury in Wednesday’s 3-1 win at home to Derby County.

And with defenders Zander Diamond and David Mifin likely to be out for months, the manager has his sights set on defensive cover.

“The loan market is loosening off so it’s a priority to make sure we’ve got enough balance and cover,” said Flitcroft.

“We’ve been looking for four to six weeks now to bring the right centre-half in. Whilst we’ve had Nathan in we’ve been looking at other possibilities.”

“We’ve had to play Hayden White out of necessity at right-centre half. He’s been absolutely fantastic at it. He’s been consistent and gives teams problems going forward. It’s been a bonus when we’ve been short of defenders.

“As a squad today we have certainly operated at high levels and gone toe-to-toe with a fantastic Championship team.”

David Flitcroft, manager

“It’s an area which we’re continuously looking at. We have Zander and David with long-term injuries; we can’t use them for the foreseeable future.

“We’re meeting with a couple [of players] next week. I’ve looked into the loan market, and those who are out-of-contract, so there are options.

“We just have to bring the right one in now and get the right balance.

“The back three we played today looks good. Matty Preston has made a massive difference. He covers both angles and there’s pace in the back three and the back five. I’m delighted how they’re working.”

On Nathan Cameron’s injury, Flitcroft said: “He will go for a scan on Monday and we’ll see where we’re at with it. It’s a different injury to what he’s had previously.”

And reflecting on today’s scoreless draw, the manager said: “It was a very professional, organised performance and at times we went toe-to-toe.

“Let’s get it right. That Sheffield United team Chris Wilder has built and is building is from a solid foundation. They play the 3-5-2 system fantastically well, better than anyone in the Championship.

“When you look at them, they are a fit and dynamic team.

“In the first 15 minutes, we sort of struggled with their overloads, with the way their centre-half was coming out with the ball. But once we got a grip of that we had some really good spells ourselves and wrestled the game back in our favour.

“As a squad today we have certainly operated at high levels and gone toe-to-toe with a fantastic Championship team.”

Meanwhile, striker Danny Rose will play ‘some part’ in a behind-closed doors game on Wednesday morning at Hull’s training ground, the manager said. Next Tuesday’s first team friendly at home to Sheffield Wednesday will come too soon for last season’s leading goalscorer.

iFollow Stags subscribers can now login to view the manager’s interview in full.

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