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Interviews

Assistant previews Morecambe clash

4 February 2020

In Tuesday morning’s news conference, assistant manager Joe Dunne looked ahead to this weekend’s trip to Morecambe in Sky Bet League Two.

The former Colchester United manager spoke following Mansfield’s recent 2-2 draw with a Carlisle side that currently sits just two points above them.

Ahead of Saturday’s match at the Globe Arena, Stags are in 21st position in the League Two table on 31 points, with Morecambe two places and five points below them.

A trip to Leyton Orient will then follow three days later, who sit in 18th place, with 34 points.

Speaking to iFollow Stags about the current run of fixtures and Saturday’s match away to the Shrimps, Dunne said: “We’re in this bundle of games at the moment where we’re all playing each other. It’s very important that we try and take points off each other and get a consistent run together.

“A few wins on the bounce and all of a sudden the league table suddenly changes. We’re expecting a tough game [against Morecambe]. Every game is tough – there are no gimmes. But we have to go there with the confidence that we can win.

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“It [games against sides in similar position of the table] gives you an opportunity to either create a gap or drag more people towards you.

“If you look at the table, the quantity of points where we are from the end of the league to 11th are the same points. It depends how you want to look at it.

“A few results and the table changes – then confidence breeds confidence. We’ll strive to take maximum points out of the next few games.”

Reflecting on Saturday’s draw with the Cumbrians, the assistant boss says that the management team will be focusing on the ‘many good things’ that the Stags displayed in the clash.

“The standout point will obviously be the disappointment of the equalising goal, but we will try to focus on the many good things that we did in that game,” he added.

“We have to now work on turning those leads into victories, which is important. We can’t dwell – we have to move on very quickly as the league changes every week. The next game is what’s important.

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“We could come in and be miserable, but anyone that knows how to bounce back from disappointment, they know that you have to stay positive and move forward. That’s what we’ve tried to put into the players.

“The players have been good in training and have given us a lot. The lads work hard and the data proves that – we are making progress in terms of fitness.

“We’re seeing that in matches, but unfortunately we’re having some old habits creep in during games that don’t allow us to see games out.”

Dunne also looked back on what he believes to be a successful transfer window for the amber and blue.

“I think we’ve done some pretty good business – I think it’s been a good window for us. I thought all three signings [Harry Charsley, Joe Riley and Kelland Watts] played well on Saturday.

“Obviously some players went out – which is some business for the club. We were able to reduce the squad ever so slightly so the numbers in training were slightly more compact.

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“What was needed was a few fresh faces and we’ve done that. We’ve also created one or two pathways for other players to come in and stake a claim.

“There are always outs – we’ve seen two or three players move on and that happens every window. What’s important is the balance of the group and the intensity. We have to get that right.

There was also an injury update on Alex MacDonald, Kellan Gordon and Hayden White from the assistant manager.

“We feel that it [MacDonald injury] wasn’t as bad as first feared. It’s a low-grade injury and is not as bad as it could have been – we think we got it just at the right time.

“Unfortunately, I think Saturday will be too early for him. We have to deal with it as a low-grade injury, so it could be two to three weeks.

“Kellan [Gordon] has made good progress. We assess the injuries every day and we have a less busy treatment room than it has been, so that’s a positive.

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“Hayden [White] is back training and did some work over the last few days with the medical department. Hopefully he should be back all-guns-blazing pretty soon.”

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


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