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Focus at both ends vital, says boss

6 October 2018

Stags’ boss David Flitcroft has emphasised the importance of focus and concentration at both ends of the pitch after his side’s 2-2 draw with Bury at Gigg Lane this afternoon.

The Stags led twice thanks to goals from Danny Rose and Matt Preston, but Nicky Maynard’s 95th minute equaliser ensured the spoils were shared.

Speaking to after the game, he said: “Defending is about focus and concentration, but scoring goals is [as well]. It only ever matters what you do in those two boxes to win a football match.

“There was a lot of fight and spirit from the players. They desperately wanted to win this football match.

“It’s another point to the tally and another unbeaten game but we are disappointed not to take all three points from a winning position.

“We’ll keep instilling the values that we are doing. We need to kill their hope with a [another] goal, that’s the one that we are looking for.

“You’re only ever in possession or out of possession, and we have to make sure that we keep focusing in that. We’ve scored two goals today and could’ve had more. The second and third goals are the vital ones and they will come, I absolutely believe that.

“Danny [Rose] is always looking for an opportunity to score a goal. And that’s what he did. He used his initiative and realised that the ‘keeper hadn’t seen him.

“When the ‘keeper dropped it, he took full advantage. You have the fourth official, you have the linesman who is in line with it and the referee is in a good position.

"You need a cool head and excellent execution. Those are the two factors for me at both ends of the pitch. When we get them right, we’ll consistently keep clean sheets and score goals."

David Flitcroft, manager

“[We have to] show them [the players] the dominance they have in games and reiterate that. We have to keep looking at tidying up the work and the concentration. It’s the same at both ends of the pitch.

“When you have those opportunities or are defending a lead, you have to keep a calm head. You have to make sure that in those key moments there is a calmness to your work.

“We’re 11 games in and in terms of the consistency of the work and the shape of the team is right. We’ve come here away from home and created lots of chances again.

“I’m going to work with these players and make them feel good about themselves. There’s a fine balance, and that’s what I have to get right.

“You need a cool head and excellent execution. Those are the two factors for me at both ends of the pitch. When we get them right, we’ll consistently keep clean sheets and score goals.

“You look at Tuesday and it’s one of the best performances I’ve been involved in. But we have to start turning those into three points. We’ve not been able to deliver that, and we have to start delivering those three points because we had them today.

Rose's deadlock-breaker set Stags alight following a strong opening ten minutes from the home side, of which the manager said: “It was two good teams locking horns together. We’ve come here and Bury started like a train and came at us.

“Once we weathered that storm, we made a couple of good opportunities. Danny [Rose] has shown really good intuition to know that the ‘keeper doesn’t know where he is.

“I was really pleased to get to half-time in front. We looked really solid and stopped the flow of Bury in the last 25 minutes [of the first half].

“Their [first] goal was a fantastic finish. Even though he [Maynard] had a bit of space it’s a tough one to execute and I think he did it brilliantly. Then they had the momentum.

“But we wrestled it a little bit and got that second goal. Matt Preston showed real desire to score that goal. It was a fantastic ball. I’ve been disappointed with our set piece conversion. But it was great desire by Matty, then you’re 2-1 in front.

“Where they got seven minutes from, I’m still trying to figure that one out. That gives everyone a lift. We’ve not seen it [the game] out, and they’ve opened us up.

“Bobby [Olejnik]’s save should’ve been the match-winning save. It’s a phenomenal save after he’s raced off his line. That’s the moment for me as a player where I would have been super-charged, knowing that Bobby has just won us three points.”

Striker Craig Davies was absent from the matchday 18, and the Stags’ boss provided an injury update on the forward.

 “On Thursday and Friday his [Craig Davies] ankle just flared up. He’s rocked it a little bit so we’re looking into that.

“The medical team will get busy with that over the next 48 hours so we can get the right intel into what he’s done. He certainly wasn’t okay for today.”

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

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