Skip to main content Skip to site footer

Crawley clash an ‘improvement,’ says boss

12 March 2019

Stags’ boss David Flitcroft says that Tuesday night’s showing against Crawley Town was an ‘improvement’ on recent away displays, but called on his charges to be more ‘ruthless’ in the final third.

Mansfield were held to a goalless draw at the People’s Pension Stadium after creating a number of chances throughout the encounter.

The manager hailed some of the ‘excellent’ quality on show from his players.

“It was an improvement,” he said. “We got the players in on Sunday and I told them that the [recent] away performances have been unacceptable for a Mansfield Town team.

“Tonight the lads have come out and took action on those words. We had to switch to a back four, and the clean sheet was always going to be vital.

“Crawley are a threat in that last third and we nullified them to few chances. But we have to be more ruthless.

“Some of the quality and how we carved them up was excellent. Some of the work was really good in that last third.

“Credit to Crawley, though. They were resolute and put their bodies on the line. The game had a bit of everything.

“We came down here wanting to win. I’ve not set the team up to take a point. We wanted those three points, desperately, but it’s a point we’ll respect.”

"Some of the quality and how we carved them up was excellent. Some of the work was really good in that last third."

David Flitcroft, manager

The Stags’ chief says that there were ‘fight and spirit’ on display from his men, before praising defender Ben Turner, who started and performed excellently in the game.

“They [players] worked for each other. More personality came in the team tonight and you need that.

“The spine certainly had that with Conrad [Logan], Macca [Alex MacDonald] and Bish [Neal Bishop].

“There was more of a freshness to what we did, and certainly the fight and spirit was there, which is what you want to see as a supporter.

“I felt really low with what I’ve offered them as a manager in the last two games away from home.

“To come down here and be represent and be back to normal, we’ll take this point. It’s definitely a step in the right direction.

“In that back-five, which has been the bedrock of what we’ve done all season, it was impenetrable at times, but we’ve not had a lot of those players to go to [tonight].

“Ben [Turner] has come in today, and it’s been a difficult start to his Mansfield career. But tonight he started the game and he’s committed to every single moment.”

There were 219 Stags’ supporters situated in the away end for Tuesday evening’s clash, a number that the manager says epitomises the ‘commitment and passion’ the Mansfield faithful have for their club.

“We’ve been in the hotel and I thought the game could be off. The wind and rain was coming in this afternoon.

“For fans to still travel in those conditions, four-and-a-half hours, it just shows the commitment and passion they have for their club.

“At one point, we even made a call to see if the game might be called off because it’s been that bad.

“But we got down here and it’s one of the best pitches we’ve played on. All credit to Crawley for whatever they’ve done.

“You can see their plan and how they want to play football, and it’s all down to a quality pitch.”

The Mansfield boss also provided injury updates on defenders Matt Preston and Ryan Sweeney, who both missed the match against Crawley.

“Matt Preston is having round-the-clock treatment. We’re trying to shift the pain he has on the front of his knee.

“We’ve left him back at home under the supervision of the medical staff, and we’re just trying to get that injury site clear.

“Ryan Sweeney came off [against Port Vale] with concussion, and it’s an FA protocol which we have to go through.

“He saw the doctor last night and we now have to find out whether he’s been given the all-clear to start back in light training. We have a duty of care to protect players.”

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

Advertisement block