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Stags' boss discusses impact of new training ground

20 September 2018

Stags’ boss David Flitcroft believes the new RH Academy training facility at Woburn Lane will make a ‘massive difference,’ as the project nears its completion.

The venue’s name – short for the Radford and Hymas Academy – honours the two benefactors, chairman John Radford and academy director Steve Hymas, whose funds have made the project possible.

Speaking of the new training facility, the Stags’ manager says that it will be ‘fundamental’ as the club moves forward.

“A key decision on me coming here was the fact that the chairman, Carolyn [chief executive], Steve Hymas and the board were developing the new training ground,” he said. “I think it’s a fundamental part of any infrastructure.

“When you get up there and see the actual site, the building that’s been built and the size of it is phenomenal. It’s got a 4G pitch with a stand, which is probably unheard off at League Two level.

“I can’t wait to get up there. Credit to the football club for the vision it’s had and the support from the chairman and Carolyn. The hard work behind the scenes, Steve Hymas, Mark Burton and the direction they have put the club in, [the club] is in good hands.

“We certainly want to lead the message up there and the values up there. It’s a training ground for the community, but we have to set the standard as the first team going up there.

“I think at the stadium it can be quite departmentalised. You have the physio room under one stand, you eat under another stand. On your own training ground you can spend more time with the players. It’ll make a massive difference to the way we do things.

“The biggest thing will be the implementation of the under-21s training alongside us. The plan is that the scholars will stay down at Brooksby, but the best three scholars will come and sample the new training ground. If you’re doing your stuff, it doesn’t matter how old or young you are, you will get the chance to train at this top class facility.

“The vision that the directors have had for this is phenomenal and I can’t wait to get up there and get started.”

The manager also spoke of Tuesday’s 5-1 Central League victory over Doncaster Rovers, a game which he attended and selected a strong Stags’ side for.

“We looked at the work on Saturday and the forward work,” he added. “We had something like 30 quality entries into the last third, but with a real poor end product.

“The chances we created in the last bit weren’t right. [There was] a lack of quality and a lack of end product. We weren’t picking players out or missing the first man.

“We went through it with the players on Monday and took responsibility. In that first 25 minutes, we had to make more of an impact. We have to dominate teams and then go and win the football match.

“We were going to put a session on the One Call [Stadium pitch]. I felt with live opposition, it was a good opportunity to play [on Tuesday]. Doncaster switched the game to the Keepmoat, which is a fantastic stadium and a brilliant pitch.

“The performance was good and the attitude was great from the players which I expect, whether it’s a training session or they go to a hospital or a visit to a school. That commitment has to be there whatever we do with the Mansfield Town badge.

“On the [training] pitch here we have a sort of grub infestation and the crows have chewed it to bits, so we’re really unlucky. Mez [Michael Merriman, head groundsman] has done a fantastic job with both pitches, but it’s in a bad state to be fair.

“We’re going to have to spend a couple of days off it [training pitch]. Luckily we have the opportunity to train on our actual pitch today, and we’ll get a really good session in on the pitch as the surface here is beautiful.

“We might have to stay off that [training pitch] for a few days as we might have to get it resurfaced and levelled out a bit.

“It’s one of those things that nobody can do anything about. We’ve found the problem and we’re dealing with it.”

Ahead of this week’s trip away to Cambridge United in Sky Bet League Two, manager Flitcroft touched on the unpredictability of the league, before providing an injury update on striker Craig Davies.

 “You look at League Two and it’s such an unpredictable league. You see Newport flying at the top of the league then Yeovil absolutely demolish them. There’s been some real surprise results.

“I don’t think the form has settled down yet, it’s still at an unpredictable stage. Any League Two team has threats. We’ll try to take advantage of the work we’ve put in this week and take advantage of us not just being upset by Exeter beating us, but out of a pride thing.

“We have to start putting more points on the board. It’s alright the performances being good, but scoring goals and stopping goals is the responsibility. That starts with me and ends with me.

“With any hamstring injury, what you don’t want it to do is get worse. The medical staff are managing that at the minute. He [Davies] has been out on the grass, and he’ll have an opportunity on Thursday and Friday to get more done on the grass.

“Now it’s a case of taking that up a level and seeing how the hamstring reacts to that. That’s where he is for the next 48 hours. Then we’ll make an assessment to see how he gets through that.

“I’m hopeful of having him but again, until Friday 2pm, we’ll still leave it until then to make a decision on whether Craig is involved or not on Saturday.”

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

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