Mansfield Town manager John Dempster said it was ‘hurtful’ to be booed off by own fans after victory

John Dempster
John Dempster

Mansfield Town boss John Dempster said it was ‘hurtful’ to be booed off after the home FA Cup victory last weekend.

Stags were given a tough afternoon by National League strugglers Chorley before pulling off a 1-0 win which earned the club £36,000 and an away second round tie at Shrewsbury Town or Bradford City in Monday night’s draw.

Despite some poor recent home results, the Stags were shocked by the reaction and Dempster said: “We were delighted to progress to the next round by beating Chorley on Saturday.

“But there was some frustration among the supporters and I found it quite hurtful to be booed off at full-time as I felt it was a positive to progress to the next round.

“When you look at the fixtures that took place on Sunday, there were a few clubs playing lower division sides who did not progress into the next round.

“It just shows you there are no ‘givens’ in the FA Cup.

“We expected that kind of contest with Salford. When you go through their line up they had ex-Football League players and some of their players are still full-time.

“There were players who have played in higher divisions than League Two. So they were no mugs.

“Before the game we were never going to disrespect them or overlooked them.

“We’ve all played in FA Cup ties when you’re the underdog or the favourite and you’ve got to be very careful and get the job done. I feel as a group we did that on Saturday.”

Stags now face a trip to the winners of the Bradford v Shrewsbury replay at the end of the month - a fourth successive away game – but Dempster said that held no fears for them.

“It’s a tough draw, but the fact our form is so good away from home is a positive,” he said.

“Shrewsbury or Bradford, whoever progresses, will obviously pose us a massive task as Shrewsbury are in the league above us and Bradford have begun well in our league, having got relegated from League One last season.

“We understand the challenge ahead but we’ll go into whoever we play with confidence because of our away form.”

He added: “Before the draw we’d have wanted a home draw against a team from a lower league, ideally that was our preference.

“But, when you look at our form, either Shrewsbury or Bradford would be a brilliant scalp for us to get.

“So we’ll be attacking that game with a positive mindset and we look forward to it, though we do have other fixtures before then.

“Our preparation for away games is second to none.

“Also, at times the opposition has to come at you when you are away from home as they are in front of their home supporters, which probably leaves more gaps to pick from.

“Our away form is where it needs to be. It’s our home form that needs to improve and we will be looking to address that over the forthcoming weeks.”

Stags head to Macclesfield on Saturday unaware if the Silkmen will play a first team or, if they are still on strike over unpaid wages, a team of youngsters and college players.

The club’s financial problems continue and last weekend they named six starters and seven subs from Macclesfield College’s affiliated team and lost 4-0 at home to non-league Kingstonian.

“We won’t be taking any kind of interest in what’s going on at Macclesfield.

“We will just be preparing for another tough fixture, as it always is at League Two level,” said Dempster.

“When you look at the bigger picture, of course you don’t want to see clubs like Macclesfield, who have been around for years and years, in financial difficulty.

“But, from a professional point of view, we’ll be approaching it like any game, regardless of the team they put out.”