Flitcroft: Being more clinical is first priority after play-off failure

David Flitcroft watches on against Crawley.
David Flitcroft watches on against Crawley.

Disappointed Mansfield Town boss David Flitcroft vowed to end his side's Achilles heel of failing to put chances away next season after today's 1-1 home draw with Crawley saw their play-off hopes finally extinguished.

Flitcroft said he needed to build a side that can score 100 goals after seeing his team batter Crawley with attack after attack but fail to beat them.

He said: “We created chance after chance and absolutely dominated every aspect. We out-fought them and out-passed them. But we just could not finish them off.

“We threw everything we could muster at Crawley. We created some absolutely brilliant openings and attacked them from all angles.

“But I'm a stuck record now. If we'd got a second it could have been an absolute onslaught and the floodgates would have opened. That's probably the best we've played, certainly at home.”

He said a promoted side needed to hit triple figures and have players from all departments contributing.

“You look at teams that have got promoted and they've scored about 100 goals,” he said.

“That's something you have to steer towards if you want promotion. I will make sure next season we start putting teams to the sword. You make sure everyone is chipping in.

“It's the story of the season. We've just not scored enough goals.

“We kept probing and the fight, desire and commitment you ask for and the chairman, Carolyn and the fans want from their team was there.”

Meanwhile, Flitcroft thanked fans for the best atmosphere he has ever experienced in the game with Crawley and promised them the best side in the league next season.

Flitcroft failed to get the Stags over the line for the play-offs after taking over for the last 12 games when Steve Evans walked out and said he had walked into a job with many problems.

He said problems included a divide in the dressing room, wages that were too high and players short on fitness.

After today's game he said: “That's one of the best atmospheres I have been involved in.

“It was absolutely incredible. I am gutted and disappointed. “But when I get this right and a build a team that looks like a Dave Flitcroft team it will have all the ingredients that a Mansfield Town supporter wants.

“It will be fit, it will be dynamic and they will be able to out-run, out-fight, out-pass and out-think other teams. That's what I promise fans I will build.

“I will make them the fittest team in the league. They will be a possession-based team that will be able to pass and move the ball and be technically good. That will be my team.”

He continued: “It will take hours and hours of going up and down motorways looking for players who want to fight for the shirt.”

Flitcroft had harsh words for the situation he walked into, saying: “You can't just throw money at something and expect it to work.

“This team has been built and I think it's probably the most expensive team in the league. But I want hungry players who will train every day to get better and want to make it to the Championship.

“I don't want ex-Championship players who just want to pick up the money.

“I want players that want to play for Mansfield Town week in week out.

“They were not fit enough when I came in – that was absolutely rock clear. It's something we had to work at and that was difficult the first two or three weeks with the run of games.

“But I've seen a real change and most of the group have committed to that.

“The only way to get fit is to challenge yourself every day.”

He added: “You can't fluke promotion, you have to design it and build it on the training ground.

“It's been a failed promotion season and there are obviously reasons.

“It was down to recruitment. Players are on too much money at this club.

“When I look what Accrington have done, and Wycombe to an extent, there is a togetherness as a collective.

“When I walked into this club there was a disharmony in that dressing room. The players have told me that. There was a divide culture. I didn't expect to walk into that.

“I didn't realise what I was coming into but that will develop over the next couple of weeks when I get to grips with it.

“I need players who can see games out.

“There are players here who I desperately want to work with and have loved working with them.”