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Manager looks ahead to return to former club

16 October 2018

Stags’ boss David Flitcroft has previewed Mansfield’s next clash in Sky Bet League Two, which sees him return to former side Swindon Town this Saturday.

The manager joined the Stags from Swindon in March of this year after the two clubs agreed a compensation package for 44-year-old.

Mansfield are back in competitive action following a blank weekend in Sky Bet League Two, due to the postponement of the scheduled fixture against Grimsby Town, after three of Stags’ players received international call-ups.

The manager spoke of this weekend’s fixture, and says that he will be fully focused on Mansfield Town for the game.

“You can’t focus on the background noise,” he said. “I’m going to a football club that I did manage last season, but I will focus on Mansfield Town and make sure that our players know exactly what they are doing.

“We’ll make sure that we are not just competitive but really competent in our work. You focus on the weaknesses of the team you are playing against, which is what we will be doing on Saturday.

“Getting this opportunity [at Mansfield] was something I couldn’t not take, with the ambition of the chairman and Carolyn. I’ve had phenomenal support. Everything that was spoken about when I met the chairman and Carolyn has come to fruition.

“They [the players] are desperate to put teams to the sword. They’re showing that in everything they are doing.

"I’m going to a football club that I did manage last season, but I will focus on Mansfield Town and make sure that our players know exactly what they are doing."

David Flitcroft, manager

“Teams have come here [One Call Stadium] and respected what we’ve done. Away from home, going and setting a marker down, is what we’re all trying to do.”

The manager also reflected on Saturday’s 1-1 draw against Birmingham City in a behind-closed-doors friendly, which he says was vital in maintaining the players’ ‘rhythm.’

“It [friendly] was about trying to keep the players in a rhythm. It allowed us to get a tactical training session under our belt on Friday and then put that into practice on the Saturday.

“It was about keeping the players in that Saturday-Saturday or Saturday-Tuesday routine. It was probably quite key for a few of the lads getting them game minutes.

“They [Birmingham] had some top players playing. It was a great test for us. It’s a fantastic learning experience and better than putting on a training session here.

“The attitude and application that the Birmingham team put in was phenomenal, so we had to match that. Our application was fantastic as well.

“It gave an opportunity to players like Gibbo [Lewis Gibbens] to play 90 minutes. It keeps them in that game mode and game rhythm.”

Last Friday it was confirmed that striker Danny Rose came off the transfer list, something the Stags’ boss described as ‘brilliant news.’

“I waited for Danny [Rose] and I said to the chairman from day one, let Danny come to us and ask to be taken off the list.

“The biggest thing in the decision was how the supporters supported Danny through that time. His performances and the energy that he possesses changed everyone’s view on it. The reception from the supporters has been a major factor in it. It was brilliant news.

“Danny is a goalscorer who wants to score goals, and he wants to score goals for us. I do believe that will come and he will get hatfuls because we are creating good quality chances.

“There should always be an ambition to get out of the league. Our ambition is to get out of League Two and drive up towards the top of League One.

“I’ve said that to Danny and we want him to be a part of that. Danny has understood that he can follow his dreams with Mansfield Town.”

The manager also took time to provide updates on the three Stags’ players who were on international duty over the weekend, as well as the latest on striker Craig Davies and defender Zander Diamond.

“Sweens [Ryan Sweeney] won’t be back until Thursday. We’re planning the training around that. We’ll have KP [Krystian Pearce] back today but it’ll be a light session for him after the travelling he has had to do. It’s the same with Omari.

“You would love them to be on the training ground today but they have played the game and done a lot of travelling so you have to respect that.

“He [Craig Davies] has had a scan and had an injection yesterday in the back of his heel. That will settle down hopefully in the next five or ten minutes.

“He’ll still be able to do some sort of training, gym-based and cardiovascular work. We probably won’t have him for the Swindon game.

“We’re currently speaking to Zander [Diamond]’s advisors [about retirement]. There’s been nothing official from our side because we want to get everything right from a contractual situation.

“I have had really positive conversations with Zander’s advisors who have been really professional. We’re speaking to them, but haven’t sent anything official.

“We did say from day one that we won’t be putting anything out until it’s confirmed and it’s official. We want to do it professionally and do it right.”

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