Manager John Dempster has said that this afternoon’s 4-2 victory over Rangers under-23s is a ‘nice way to sign off pre-season’ before the ‘business’ starts, with just one week to go until the new campaign begins.
The Stags recorded the win courtesy of four different goalscorers, with Andy Cook, Jacob Mellis, Danny Rose and Otis Khan all finding the net.
The boss says that the win sets Mansfield up nicely in the lead-up to the first game of the new season away at Newport on Saturday.
“It was a decent workout. I thought in the first-half, Rangers moved the ball very well,” he began.
“I was really pleased with how the boys reacted, and the boys who came off the bench improved the display.
“[We scored] four really good goals [which were] well taken. We roll into next week and start preparing for the real business side.
“You want players to be in your mind. We showed that we can play in a back-four as well as a back-three. That flexibility going into the season is going to be key.
“Overall, it’s a nice way to sign off for pre-season. From Monday, that’s the start of the new campaign.
“I know what the starting XI is going to be at Newport and I have the plan already. It’ll be about getting that into the players from Monday to Friday."
The manager was left impressed by the performances of individuals in Rangers’ side this afternoon, and added that he has ‘marked’ the names of players he may be interested in bringing to One Call Stadium, given the newly-formed link between the two clubs.
“I’d like to thank Glasgow Rangers for coming down today and giving us our last fixture of pre-season.
“We didn’t have a fixture pencilled in, so it was proving quite difficult to get one. I really appreciate Steven Gerrard sending a team down with a nice mixture of experience and youth.
“Looking at the players who were on show [for Rangers] today, they had some really talented players on show that were causing us problems.
“They’ll be marked down by our analyst, Dan [Ashby], and we’ll have a chat with the staff about their players.
“There were some really good performances from both sides today.”
The boss was also pleased with the quality of strikes on show by the Stags, along with midfielder Dion Donohue making his first appearance since joining the amber and blue earlier this month.
John Dempster also spoke of the injury to defender Matt Preston, who was substituted in the second-half.
“He [Rose] has been banging them in throughout pre-season and training and was good to see him open up and put that [strike] in the bottom corner.
“I’m not sure about the attempt from the halfway line though – he held his hands up for that one!
“It [goal] was a good finish, along with the others. The free-kick [from Jacob Mellis] was outstanding.
“I’m really pleased, and it was good to see Dion Donohue come onto the pitch. He’s been working hard with the fitness team and got minutes in the tank.
“He [Preston] has a bit of a cut. It was more impact, rather than any kind of muscle pull. So he’s icing that up as we speak, and we hope he will be okay.”
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