Stags looking to add defensive cover

Stags boss David Flitcroft
Stags boss David Flitcroft

David Flitcroft is working on bringing in additional defensive cover at Mansfield Town.

The Stags boss was speaking after his side’s latest pre-season match at Bradford Park Avenue on Thursday night.

Second half goals from Jacob Mellis and two from Lee Angol gave Mansfield a 3-0 win over their National League North hosts.

And Flitcroft offered an update on the club’s continued efforts in the transfer window ahead of the 2018/19 League Two season.

“We’re still working on that [transfers],” he said. “I think we still need that defensive cover. I think we have the right balance in midfield now. Obviously with striker options we’re good, we’ve still got Danny [Rose] to come into the fold.

“It’s the defensive positions and the strengthening of that we’re looking into. I looked at Will Atkinson as a wing-back tonight to give us an option and I thought he excelled.”

Flitcroft used two entirely different teams in each half at Bradford PA and is keen for his squad to play with intensity.

He did the same for a training match against Vitoria FC during the Stags’ pre-season camp in Portugal, which the manager said was a worthwhile experience.

He said: “I think it [Portugal] was massive. When we booked it, we talked about the impact of it in terms of bringing a football club together.

“The work that they [the academy] have done is phenomenal and one of the reasons I came to the football club.

“The bonus for me from Portugal was how the staff embraced each other in terms of the academy and first team staff being out there.

“It’s no good bringing young players into an environment that doesn’t feel right. There is a leadership group developing in the first team squad and you want good young players coming through that.

“The bonus was spending that time with the players and letting them know what the standards are, but watching the young players grow throughout the trip as well.”

And added: “So there’s been a lot of benefit from the Portugal trip and so much that we’ve go out from it. The game itself [vs Vitoria FC] was a feisty affair, more than I was expecting to be honest that a Portuguese team would come at us.

“But we stood up to the test and kept our control and focus. They’re a robust team and a decent technical team. It was a fantastic test.”

Stags are to send three different sides to matches against Gainsborough Trinity, Hednesford Town and Retford United on Saturday.