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Interviews

Stags working hard in window - manager

8 January 2019

Stags’ boss David Flitcroft has said there is a ‘lot of work going on’ behind the scenes at Mansfield Town in the early stages of the January transfer window.

The Mansfield boss brought seven players to the club in the summer window, and has a target of three additions this month.

The manager says that after a typically hectic first week of the window, the dust should start to settle as we move further into January.

“Without a doubt [advancements have been made on potential incomings],” he said. “There is a lot of work going on behind the scenes, as there always is.

“At the minute, I think everyone is in a similar boat where they’re all reassembling squads. The first week is almost a wrestle as some players might not want to leave the club that they’re in.

“Yesterday we were unlucky with a couple [of targets] that we have been chasing for a while. But you have to make sure that when you’re chasing, you have other targets in the background.

“Football is one of those where until you see the signature, you have to be really on your guard. If you are looking at good players, then someone else is looking at those players.

“We have a team that is up near the top of the league. In terms of recruiting, do they want to come and work for Mansfield Town Football Club? Absolutely. It’s not for the money, they come here because they know they are going to improve and we have a really good chance of promotion.

“If we can bring maybe three [players] in – and that’s the target – then that’s going to leave surplus.

"Without a doubt [advancements have been made on potential incomings]. There is a lot of work going on behind the scenes, as there always is."

David Flitcroft, manager

“There are some good kids coming through, and we have had the benefit of that with Timi Elsnik and Tyler Walker. It’s really important for players to make games.”

The boss also provided an update on the situations of striker Tyler Walker and winger-cum-forward CJ Hamilton.

“[We look at] anyone that’s going to improve us,” he added. “We have room to get three players in, but that could change.

“The Tyler Walker one is important, because we’ve had really good communication, and thankfully our owners have a good relationship with Nottingham Forest.

“You sometimes get excited, but you have to wait for that signature. Until it is, we have to keep our options open.

“It is still the case [no bids for CJ]. This morning we have had another enquiry. They have been told we’re not looking to sell.

“We had a meeting with the chairman and Carolyn, and we discussed that if he carries on with the way he’s playing, it might be hard [to keep him]. We just have to keep driving towards the top of the league, and we’re all hoping that CJ stays with us in that time.”

Until the narrow 3-2 defeat at Carlisle on Saturday, the Stags were enjoying a club record 15-match away unbeaten run in Sky Bet League Two. The manager cited the reason for the run as consistency and a want to improve from his players.

“We had time to plan in the summer, and went with a plan to the owners to give them a strategy. Anything you do, to be successful, you need consistency.

“We knew we were recruiting quality [in the summer]. When you have a lot of players that want to absorb information, then you have an opportunity to progress and improve.

“When you see players at the elite levels, they do things with more of an intensity. I’ve never known anyone get better by doing less.

“With consistency, you have an opportunity to move up the leagues. The players are buying into development and buying into improving and getting better.

“Once the players were on that [unbeaten run], they wanted to hold onto it and wanted to keep it. Even though we’re an expansive team, there have been times in games where we have had to be resolute.

“Even in the second half against Carlisle, some of the blocks that Matty Preston and Pearcey [Krystian Pearce] made, throwing their bodies on the line, they still had that fighting desire to try and protect the unbeaten run.”

Next up for the Stags is Yeovil Town at One Call Stadium, and the manager says he is looking forward to being back at home in front of the Mansfield faithful.

“It didn’t surprise me the start that they [Yeovil] had because we played them early doors and they were a really good team.

“Darren [Way] has assembled a really good group of players, and the budget he has is probably one of the lowest in the league.

“He finds those young players, but they almost always do six-month or three-month loans, then move on.

“Probably that inconsistency in performance is due to some of that, as maybe he’s not picking the same team which is quite difficult.

“At the start of the season they put some good results together. If you look at us, we have managed to get that consistency, but we have had a solid back three-slash-five, and ever-presents like Neal Bishop, Jacob Mellis, Tyler Walker, CJ Hamilton and Mal Benning.

“Our form at home has been really good and we’ve played some really good football. It’s good to get back in front of our home supporters again.”

This morning we revealed that David Flitcroft has been nominated for Sky Bet League Two’s Manager of the Month award for December. The boss deflected the praise onto the club following his nomination.

“The club is trying to drive towards the results and the consistency. It’s the infrastructure at the club that allows us to go on the runs that we’ve been on.

“You have seen a group of players fighting for each other and fighting for the supporters.

“Any award is not about a person, it’s about people coming together. I see the supporters as part of this, when I see how the supporters have taken to this team.

“I think any award should be recognised as a club award. The club has been able to engage in everything Mansfield Town.”

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


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