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Dempster praises players following comeback

9 October 2018

Academy manager John Dempster has said his players deserve 'credit' for coming from behind to record a 2-1 victory against Grimsby Town under-18s on Saturday afternoon.

Stags went into half-time 1-0 down, but a second half strike from this season's academy top-scorer Jimmy Knowles, and a late James Tague effort meant that Mansfield maintained their winning start in the Youth Alliance Cup. 

Grimsby were unbeaten in all competition this season coming into Saturday's fixture, so John Dempster seemed delighted that his players were able to fight back and take all three points in the weekend's game.

"Credit to the boys for coming back from 1-0 down", he stated. "There were some really good, solid performances out of possession and defensively today, so we're pleased with that.

"We were disappointed to concede in the first half, but there was plenty of effort throughout the game and the boys showed a little more quality in the second half which helped us get the two goals.

"It's vital [that the forward players link well together]. I think we are probably blessed with good attacking players in the under-18s; they're really creative, can make goals and score goals, but, to do that you need to work hard first.

"I think if you look at our goals today they weren't perhaps for the football purest - but through working hard, getting on second balls and being aggressive we ended up winning the ball back in good areas, and then once those forward players we mentioned get into those good areas, they have the ability to really hurt teams.

"In terms of points collected in the league cup, we couldn't have asked for much more. [However,] there are points that happened within the game that we aren't particularly pleased about and it gives us a chance to work on them Monday to Friday next week.

"Basic things [we can improve upon, such as] goal kicks need to be in the right area if you're playing through our target man Rhys Sarson - and then the players need to be landing on second balls to be able to get the ball and play - also, a bit more creativity in the opposition's half.

"I think we can do better, but a great response from last week, when we nowhere near it against Doncaster, so we wanted the players to react in the right way and i think they did that today."

Jamie Chisholm was exceptional at the back for Stags in the game and he spoke after the match: "I think we've played quite well throughout the whole game. We didn't give them many chances at the back and i think overall it was a good team effort.

"We were unlucky to go 1-0 down, it was one error i think, but i thought we dominated most of the first half. We've then showed a lot of character to come back with a reaction - which is what the manager wanted - and we've got ourselves back into the game and scored two goals."

"You cant ask for more [from the manager and coaching staff in the way they help us develop], they focus on even the smallest details that might be able to help you out and which may help you improve your game massively."

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