Rookie boss John Dempster full of pride to manage Mansfield Town at home for the first time on Saturday

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Rookie Mansfield Town manager John Dempster has spoken of the pride he will feel on Saturday when he walks out in front of the One Call Stadium fans for the first time as Stags play the first of two home games with Morecambe in four days.

Dempster enjoyed his debut game as a Football League manager in last weekend’s eventful 2-2 draw at Newport County and now can’t wait for his first home outing.

“I will feel immense pride. I am looking forward to it,” he smiled.

“It is a massive achievement for any person to manage this football club and I am no different.


“It will be a very proud moment for me. But I have got a job to do and the team have a job to do.

“I know it’s going to be a real battle with Jim Bentley bringing his side here. But we will be trying to win all three points on Saturday.”

He added: “I am going enjoy it. I said when I first took the job it was important that I enjoy the experience.

“I get the pressure and I understand there are going to be stressful times and sleepless nights.

“But I will certainly enjoy walking out in front of the home crowd for the first time, though I won’t get too far away from the fact we have a job to do. That will be the message to the players too.”

Dempster went over to applaud the fans at Newport where Mansfield battled back from 2-0 down to get a point, even missing a penalty and having Jacob Mellis sent off.

“Before and after the game I will always acknowledge the fans, win lose or draw or whatever the performance is,” said Dempster.

“I think it’s important you show your respect and appreciation for a group of supporters that have always been good to me personally. They have always supported the team loyally as well.

“I was absolutely delighted for them to have something to sing about on Saturday.

“They probably felt like me after going 2-0 down. But the support they showed throughout the game was vital to the players and it will be for the remainder of the season.”

On the 90 thrilling minutes, he said: “I knew it was going to be a rollercoaster, though I didn’t realise there would that many ups and downs if I am being honest.

“But I enjoyed the ride, in particular the second half. I thought the boys were outstanding and, if we had capitalised on that penalty, I think we’d have gone on and won the game.

“We had real momentum. We had rocked Newport and the boys were full of confidence.

“I was dancing around in that dug-out like nobody’s business.

“I really enjoyed it. It was great to see a positive reaction from the players against adversity when we were 2-0 down.

“The players that came off the bench made a real impact and not only did we show real character, we showed a real togetherness as a team which is great to see in this early part of the season.

“I am sure Saturday’s experience will bode well for the future.”

He added: “Watching the game back, we can be better – especially the first half.

“A couple of times, out of possession, as a team we could have been closing the ball quicker and springing back rather than getting back in our own time.

“Although it ended up with a positive, picking up a point away from home, we can do better. If we can improve I am sure we’ll pick up many more points.”

After Saturday’s home League Two clash with Morecambe, the Shrimps return to the One Call Stadium on Tuesday night for a Carabao Cup first round tie.