Rams in town as Stags look to take pre-season to next level

Frank Lampard
Frank Lampard

After showing they can score goals, Mansfield Town’s pre-season friendlies step up a gear tonight when they will need to show their defensive qualities at home to Championship giants Derby County (7.30).

New boss Frank Lampard saw his charges demolish Notts County 4-1 at Meadow Lane on Saturday and Stags manager David Flitcroft said: “The opposition we have played so far has been about our players getting the patterns of play and our strategy of attacking teams.

“The next three or four games we have coming up are more about defensive responsibilities and players’ strategies about how we defend as a team and a group.

“We are going to have to retain the ball really well against sides like this which we’ve worked hard on.

“They will certainly test us. Derby are one of the contenders to get promoted next season. By bringing Frank in and the excitement surrounding that.”

Flitcroft added: “Frank has not really dipped into the market, so all those players have an equal opportunity to start the season.

“They ran riot against Notts County last weekend and you can feel those Derby players feel they have that opportunity.

“It will be a fantastic game for us in terms of us doing the right thing and making sure we are ‘on point’.

“It’s a massive stimulus for our players to play against such quality opposition in all these games coming up.

“Their stats always go up as the stimulus is higher. But all credit to my players, we went to Retford the other day and their stats were fantastic.

“Fitness levels towards the end of the game are improving though there is still a lot of work to do.”

Admission tonight is £10 adults and £5 concessions.