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New boss Flitcroft impressed with home fans’ backing

Stags' new manager David Flitcroft with assistant Ben Futcher at the One Call Stadium press conference on Thursday.
Stags' new manager David Flitcroft with assistant Ben Futcher at the One Call Stadium press conference on Thursday.

David Flitcroft was disappointed not to win his first game in charge of Mansfield Town after visiting Lincoln stole a late 1-1 draw tonight.

But Flitcroft, who took over the hot seat from Steve Evans last Thursday, was impressed by the commitment of his new charges and the response of the fans to them as well as to himself and assistant Ben Futcher.

Sub Joel Byrom had Stags in charge until ex-Stag Ollie Palmer levelled on 90 minutes for a direct Lincoln side that had bombarded the home goal.

“I am disappointed I’ve not to be able to give the fans the home win I really wanted to give them and the three points,” said Flitcroft.

“But it is another point to the total and that’s how I’ll view it.

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“I don’t think it was a good spectacle at all.

“At times we got involved in a basketball match with them and you’ve got to retain the ball better against those direct teams.

“If you give them the ball back they keep shoving it down your throat and keep coming at you. That leaves you susceptible to the goal we conceded.

“We dropped too deep later on in the game, then dealing with Matt Rhead on the edge of your six yard box becomes a problem.

“If I’m being honest the lads dealt with it for 89 minutes. But the crucial thing is dealing with it for 96 minutes and we didn’t.”

Byrom came on as a half-time sub and scored his first goal for the club within four minutes.

Explaining the switch, Flitcroft said: “Adam King was on a booking in a local derby.

“I just thought second half it would hot up a bit and that Joel’s calmness and his considered approach would give us a springboard which it did.”

On his new charges, he said: “I was encouraged by the commitment, but there’s still a lot of work to do.

“I need to get them a bit calmer in possession. We can be a lot better in and out of possession.

“When we did get the ball down and switch play in the first half we did look a decent team. Second half the goal was the only bit of quality.

“I think a draw was about right. Lincoln keep coming at you and pressing you. They don’t give you a minute and keep throwing size on.”

Flitcroft and Futcher were given a rapturous ovation as they walked onto the field at the start.

Flitcroft said: “The reception myself and Ben got was fantastic and we’re really appreciative of that. You can sense there is an energy and they want to back the players.

“They’ve got a real belonging to the players for how they’ve performed this season. I just hope we can keep that energy and that octane high.”