Manager John Dempster spoke openly and honestly in Tuesday morning’s news conference, adding that he wants to give the supporters of Mansfield Town a ‘team to be proud of.’
The boss says that there was a feeling of ‘disappointment’ following Saturday’s slender defeat to Plymouth Argyle at One Call Stadium, but the players have since returned to training in a ‘positive mood’ in a bid to turn Stags’ slow start to the campaign around.
The Mansfield chief added that he wants his players to perform with ‘freedom and courage’ on a matchday, while also further emphasising the need for ‘togetherness’ during a spell in which results have not gone Stags’ way.
“We were disappointed with the result on Saturday [against Plymouth] but the group have come back [to training] in a positive mood,” he began.
“They’re a group who care who care about the current situation and we know that results haven’t been good enough.
“Although performance levels have been better, we take full responsibility that results need to follow. It’s okay to talk about performance, but we’re in a results business and as of Saturday we need to start picking up results.
“At times this season I’ve over-complicated training when there’s no need to. We’ve got some good professionals within our ranks who know the game. You want to roll them out on a Saturday or a Tuesday in the right frame of mind where they can go and play with freedom and courage.
“As a coach or manager it’s important that you reflect and are honest with yourself, looking at where you can improve. So far this season I haven’t got the best out of the players, that goes without saying when you look at results.
“I believe and trust in the players that over a period of time we’ll climb the league table. Over the next batch of games, we need to get results.
“The good teams that I’ve watched and have played in get results when they play badly. There have been games during my period here where we’ve played well and not got the result.
“We’re not hiding away from anything – I’ll never hide away from anything or give in. Over a period of time, this group can be successful. It’s been a poor start, there’s no hiding away from that.
“But we need to be together as a group. When I saw them come back in on Monday, it was evident that they’ve never been more together and that the belief is still there. I’ll be working my socks off on a daily basis to make sure we turn this around.
“The weight of the town is on my shoulders and it’s a football club I care about. I want success and I want the players to achieve.
“I want to reward the owners and the board and I want the supporters to be happy. I want them to have a team to be proud of and, at the moment, we haven’t got that, because results are everything.”
The boss also looked ahead to this Saturday’s match against Grimsby Town, calling for ‘work rate and intensity’ in ‘abundance’ from his charges.
“We need to win games and we need to get three points on the board. Over a course of time, if we perform like we have, I believe we will win football matches.
“If we gain a bit of momentum, I think more wins will come. One goal on Saturday would have made a huge difference to how people reflected on the game.
“If you go back to the Port Vale game we were a minute away from a brilliant away victory. We’ll be looking for more of the same in terms of attitude and application.
“The players have had a difficult time but we have some good characters and very good players in the squad.
“If the work rate and the intensity to press are there in abundance again, we have the quality within the group to win football matches and that’s what we’ll be looking to do [against Grimsby] on Saturday.”
The Mariners sit in seventh position in Sky Bet League Two following a superb 3-1 victory away at league leaders Exeter City on Saturday.
“They have another young manager [Michael Jolley] who has had a season at it to get to know his players.
“It doesn’t surprise me that Grimsby have worked their way up the table because their manager has had time to get his ideas in.
“They’re a good team and have some experienced players with different attacking options. Their manager has done a good job there and like any game in League Two, it will be a real challenge.”
Following the news that Tuesday afternoon’s scheduled Central League Cup encounter against Scunthorpe United at One Call Stadium had been postponed due to a waterlogged pitch, the manager added: “We were going to play a strong team [against Scunthorpe United] so those players will now join us at The RH Academy and do a session on the 3G pitch here.
“We had a plan looking at the forecast, because we knew that the reserve game could be in doubt. It’s a shame because Scunthorpe were bringing a strong team, so it would have been a worthwhile exercise.”
The boss also provided updates on goalkeeper Bobby Olejnik and wing-back Hayden White, with both players expected to return to full training within the next seven days.
“There’s good news on Bobby [Olejnik]. There is slight damage to the finger that he dislocated but the specialist has said that if he has a week off handling, he can come back into full training as of Monday.
“He’ll still do some physical work [this week] but we just have to be careful that we don’t damage that finger that he dislocated. He’ll be in contention for the Crewe [Leasing.com Trophy] game.
“Hayden White is back in the building. He’s still not feeling brilliant, as he’s not long been released from hospital. But, we expect him to train later on in the week.”
iFollow Stags subscribers can watch the manager’s interview in full by logging into mansfieldtown.net/ifollow later today.