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Manager delighted with squad effort

6 April 2019


Manager delighted with squad effort

6 April 2019

Stags’ boss David Flitcroft has said that ‘everyone played a part’ in this afternoon’s vital 1-0 win over Cambridge, which saw Mansfield rise to second in Sky Bet League Two.

Frontman Tyler Walker fired home his 24th goal of the season just past the hour mark to secure maximum points at One Call Stadium.

David Flitcroft says that all of the players that featured today made a difference, and paid homage to the raucous support inside the ground.

“It’s about getting results, and that’s what everyone in the football club is working towards at the minute,” he said.

“I watched them [Cambridge] on Tuesday night against Bury, and it could’ve been five or six. We gave them the ultimate respect.

“The atmosphere in here was bouncing – all credit to the support that came in today. The lads needed that.

“They [Cambridge] are fighting tooth and nail and they came with a plan to try and hurt us. The lads stood up to every single test that’s been put against them today.

“It meant so much to the players to keep the clean sheet. You just have to look at Tyler’s contribution, too. It was a red hot finish and there was a calmness and clarity to his work.

“The lads were thankful to him for that [winning goal]. We have a really honest group.

“Ben Turner at half-time, we had a chat, and he had a little bit of a calf injury. One thing he said to me is ‘gaffer I don’t want to let you down.’

“That’s what it means to the players. Sweens then came on, and I thought Ryan Sweeney was brilliant.

“[Jacob] Mellis came on and made an absolute difference by getting the ball down and getting us playing. He gave us a calmness.

“Everyone played a part. Danny [Rose] has come on and he gave us everything he had. The three substitutes made a difference.”

After coming under pressure in the closing moments, the manager was pleased with the way his side protected the clean sheet ‘with their lives.’

“In the first-half it was just a wrestle,” he added. “We didn’t get the ball wide enough and we weren’t brave down the sides of the pitch.

“I asked [at half-time] for some end quality in the last third, and certainly we got that. Mells’ pass was precision at its best, and Tyler’s finish is precision.

“We had some words at half-time and the lads took that on board. They’ve earned the three points today.

“Everyone played a part. Danny [Rose] has come on and he gave us everything he had. The three substitutes made a difference.”

David Flitcroft, manager

“We had to end our work with higher quality [in the first-half] than we did in the second-half. It was very easy for them to defend [in the first-half].

“We never felt threatened, as our structure looked good, but we didn’t make enough impact on them.

“The lads took the responsibility on in the second-half. In the last ten minutes, what you’re asking the group to do is nothing to do with tactics.

“It’s down to a group of men having resilience, committing to each other and committing to our supporters.

“We took care of our business and protected that clean sheet with our lives. It’s all credit to the squad.”

Following yet another match-winning goal by Walker, the manager explained that the clinical striker ‘deserves’ his goals based on his commitment this season.

“We have two songs for [CJ], so I might make a song up for Tyler and sing it! He feels part of this and loved by us.

“He’s really committed to it. Sometimes, loan signings get questioned, but I look at Ryan Sweeney, who came in and we turned the deal permanent because of his performances.

“I remember when we spoke to Tyler, sometimes the parent club wants to keep the player for pre-season, but he wanted to join us for the training in Portugal. He says it’s the best preparation he’s had.

“Where he built his momentum and form is probably during those six weeks [in pre-season] that he spent with us, in terms of socially, certainly physically, and mentally.

“Tyler is fully committed and he’s deserved those goals.”

Elsewhere, the manager will be in London tomorrow evening, along with Mal Benning, Krystian Pearce, Walker and CJ Hamilton – who were all recently named in the Sky Bet League Two Team of the Season – for the EFL Awards.

The Stags’ boss says it is important that the players have been ‘recognised.’

“Those players [Benning, Pearce, Walker, Hamilton] have deserved to be in Team of the Year. I’d have had some more in, if I’m being honest.

“It’s brilliant for the football club. We’re going down there [EFL Awards in London] to celebrate the family stand and what the club’s been doing.

“To have four players in one team [of the season], that’s a merit to the club and where it’s got to.

“They’ve deserved the recognition they get. It’s important when you get those awards and that recognition, because the players remember that.”

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

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