Flitcroft keen for Mansfield Town to turn domination into goals

David Flitcroft
David Flitcroft

Mansfield boss David Flitcroft says extra work has been done this week with the aim of making the Stags a more potent attacking unit.

Flitcroft cited last weekend's defeat to Exeter as his main driving force behind fielding a very strong line-up in a 5-1 victory at Doncaster on Tuesday in a reserve team game.

And he hopes to now see the continued work pay off when Mansfield travel to Cambridge United on Saturday.

He said: “We’d looked at the work we’d done up front on Saturday and had around 30 entries into the last third but with a really poor end product.

“When we’d reviewed it we decided it wasn’t right such was the lack of quality, end product, responsibility and factors like the final ball and picking players out.

“In that first 25 minutes on Saturday we had to make more impact on them. It’s no good dominating teams and not winning, we have to dominate and go on to win the football match which we didn’t do.

“We were going to put a training session on at the One Call Stadium but I felt with live opposition it was a good opportunity to give the players that have been playing a chance to get out on a really good pitch at Doncaster after they switched the game to the Keepmoat Stadium.

“There we could keep trying to improve our body of work and improve the players and also get good game minutes in for players like Mal Benning and Danny Rose who both got 90 minutes.

“The performance was good and the attitude was great from the players which I expect whether it’s a training session, a visit to a hospital or a first team match.

“Our attacking play was improved which was important.”

Saturday's opponents Cambridge are just three points behind Stags in the early standings, but Flitcroft says it's been hard to ascertain teams' true form such is the unpredictable nature of the league.

He said: “When you look at Leagues One and Two they’re both such unpredictable leagues – you’ve got Newport flying at the top of the league but then Yeovil absolutely demolished them. There have been some real surprise results and I don’t think the form has settled down yet and that unpredictable stage remains.

“Any League Two team has threats but we’ll try and take advantage of the work put in this week and also aim to put right the things we got wrong on Saturday and we’ve been working hard to do that.

“We’ve got to start putting more points on the board because it’s alright the performances being good and the level of play being of good quality but the responsibility of scoring goals and not conceding them lies with me and we have to get that right come Saturday.

“I’m seeing a group of players that are prepared to stay behind, get to the training ground early and commit to what we’re doing.

“The attitude for the reserve game on Tuesday was phenomenal and I want to see them commit to what they do, which is what I’m seeing and while they’re committed in all senses then the results will come.”

Flitcroft added that he hopes to have striker Craig Davies back involved one way or another on Saturday after a hamstring njury, commenting: “With any hamstring injury, you don’t want it to get worse. He’s been in the gym and we’ll get him out on the grass by the end of the week and get his running and movement going to see how it reacts.

“I’m hopeful of having him for the weekend but until about Friday at 2pm we won’t make a decision.”