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Stags showed character to stave fightback - manager

6 November 2018

Stags’ boss David Flitcroft says that the ‘character’ his players displayed was the reason for their comeback 2-1 win over Grimsby Town at One Call Stadium this evening.

Mansfield went into the half-time break a goal down, but a second half resurgence, spearheaded by a Tyler Walker brace, ensured the three points that pushed the amber and blue back into the play-off places.

The manager says that after a sluggish first half, his charges were ‘brilliant’ in the second period to turn the game on its head.

“We were probably 20 per cent down on our work first half,” he said. “We didn’t move the ball quickly enough. They sat deep and we didn’t really break them down.

“I’ll go back to it, because Ty’s [Tyler Walker] chance early doors was a fantastic chance. And Danny’s [Rose] chance one versus one. You just expect them to make the right decision.

“I’m really disappointed with the concentration levels for their goal. [Wes] Thomas just slipped us and it was too easy.

“[In the] second half, only one team wanted to win it and only one team were going to win it. Grimsby couldn’t live with us.

“The character that they [players] showed not just to get back into the game, but to go on and win the game, it was brilliant.

“The energy from the supporters was fantastic. I’m delighted with the win and delighted with the environment that has been created here.

“Tyler Walker’s goals were phenomenal and I’m delighted for CJ [Hamilton]. We work with CJ and at times he gets it wrong. He’s the most honest player I’ve worked with.

"The character that they [players] showed not just to get back into the game, but to go on and win the game, it was brilliant."

David Flitcroft, manager

“He’s the most honest player in terms of wanting to learn and get better. There were a few moans and groans but he keeps putting himself into those situations, and the ball in for the goal is fantastic.

“He [James McKeown] is a top ‘keeper and he’s had to be tonight to stave off our attacking threat.”

At half-time, the Stags’ boss made a double switch along with changing formation, something he thinks was a key aspect of Mansfield’s improved second half showing.

“It [double change] gives them something different to think about,” he added. “It was really important that the players can flip to that [different formation].

“When we brought Tyler in, we knew he was flexible and could play out wide. He’s got goals from there and he’s very difficult to pick up when he arrives in that position.

“We held it up better second half and that allowed us to get more support. We gave the ball up too frequently first half.”

The manager was also pleased to have now played both games in hand in Sky Bet League Two, earning maximum points from both outings.

“With the loss of players for the international games, I always felt like we were in a false position.

“The work we have put in and the support that I’ve had from everyone at the club, it’s really important that we had to get them three points and start climbing the table.

“It’s nearly half a season of work, and we’ve only been beaten once. It’s an okay tally for where we want to be, and it does give us a platform to refocus and regenerate, and get us ready for a couple of big games.”

iFollow Stags subscribers can watch the manager’s interview in full by logging into later today.

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