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Key decisions pivotal in stalemate - manager

9 May 2019


Key decisions pivotal in stalemate - manager

9 May 2019

Stags’ boss David Flitcroft has reflected on what he describes as a ‘cruel’ night for Mansfield, who drew 1-1 at Rodney Parade following a ‘brilliant’ display.

CJ Hamilton fired the Stags into the lead with his sublime finish on 12 minutes, before Padraig Amond tucked home the rebound of what was a controversial penalty late on.

The manager says that the Stags were ‘on the wrong side’ of some key decisions in South Wales.

“This is a difficult place to come and the supporters make it that way,” he said. “They are passionate about football and get behind their team with every single action that they do.

“You have to withstand that pressure and stop balls coming into the box. That’s what we did brilliantly tonight.

“CJ’s goal deserved to win a football match. We were on the wrong side of two decisions that are just wrong.

“The sending off [Mark O’Brien foul on Tyler Walker which only received a yellow card] is as blatant as I’ve seen.

“Tyler has got in front with brilliant movement and he’s dragged him down. It’s not going through to the ‘keeper.

“It’s early in the game, but you still need him [referee] to make the right decision, and he’s not done.

“I’ve seen the penalty save, and Logan has come out and made the save – it’s hit his hand. He’s made the save and got ball to hand.

“So it’s big decisions that he’s got wrong. It’s a travesty because you prepare and work really hard for these games.

“Our fans have travelled a long way for this game, and I feel that we’ve been let down. It’s a massive game.

“It’s been a bit of a cruel night, but now we’ll just get ourselves ready [for Sunday]. We’ll prepare for one hell of a game on Sunday.”

The Mansfield chief was left pleased by his players’ reaction from Saturday’s disappointment at Stadium MK.

“When I look at Tyler’s [Walker] opportunity [in the second-half], that kills the game then at 2-0 in a really difficult place [Rodney Parade].

“We made some really good chances and we unbalanced them really well. In both halves we got into some really good goalscoring positions.

“It’s been a bit of a cruel night, but now we’ll just get ourselves ready [for Sunday]. We’ll prepare for one hell of a game on Sunday.”

David Flitcroft, manager

“I wanted to be at 2-0, which we’ve probably deserved to be at. But we go there [One Call Stadium] at half-time, with the tie a draw.

“We’ve got one hell of a fight back at the One Call on Sunday. We wanted to come and win this game here.

“We came down here and showed real fight, battle and a commitment. That was there for everyone to see, and comes from a group of lads who were on the floor on Saturday.”

Stags’ goalkeeper Conrad Logan made two sublime stops throughout, which led to the manager describing his performance as ‘excellent’.

“Logan saved the penalty but obviously it’s difficult when the taker gets the rebound,” added the boss. “He’s got the momentum and is always going to have that.

“He [Logan] was excellent. He got across and made himself big and stopped the ball [for the Jamille Matt chance].

“It’s a travesty because he’s come out and made the save for the penalty [decision]. He’s been wronged because he deserved a clean sheet tonight.”

The manager made three alterations for the clash - with Danny Rose, Gethin Jones and Ben Turner coming into the side - and explained the reasons for the changes.

“Danny [Rose] has been itching [to play] and he’s ready. This is a difficult place for him to come, with what happened to him last time out here [broken jaw].

“Danny felt comfortable playing here, and there have been times [since the injury] when he’s not felt comfortable with aerial balls.

“He’s over that now. Watching him tonight, he’s over that. He’s been smashed from pillar to post tonight and he’s accepted it and got on with it.

“Danny and Tyler formed a good partnership. It was important that we got CJ down that left-hand side with his pace. We knew there was space down that side and CJ exploited it.

“I brought Gethin [Jones] back in, who put in a really good performance. The lads, to a man, have defended absolutely everything.”

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

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