David Flitcroft: Mansfield Town sack manager after play-offs defeat

Mansfield Town manager David Flitcroft
David Flitcroft was appointed as Stags boss in March 2018, his fourth management job

Mansfield Town have sacked manager David Flitcroft after just over a year in charge following their defeat in the League Two play-off semi-finals.

Academy boss John Dempster has been named manager, with head of football operations Greg Abbott and assistant boss Ben Futcher having also left.

Chairman John Radford said the decision was made with a "heavy heart".

"The decision has been made with the best interests of Mansfield Town Football Club in mind," Radford added.

The Stags were in the automatic promotion places for much of the season but dropped out of the top three on the final day of the campaign after a three-game losing run.

Flitcroft's side then lost on penalties to Newport in the play-offs having drawn both games.

Radford added: "Despite a season of progress, we were unable to fulfil our primary objective of earning promotion to League One, despite having a number of games to achieve this ambition.

"We thank David and his staff for their tireless endeavours and part ways amicably. David and his staff have been highly professional throughout their tenures and we wish them genuine success in the future."

John Dempster in action for Mansfield Town
John Dempster played more than 90 games for Mansfield, the last in August 2014

Dempster played for the Stags for four years from November 2011 before taking a coaching role.

He previously had a temporary spell in charge in 2016 after Adam Murray left as manager.

Radford said: "In John, we have a man who is considered to be one of the brightest and most innovative young coaches in football.

"His success with the youth team over the past few seasons has been remarkable and he now deserves the opportunity to manage the first team."

Analysis

Jake Garner, BBC Radio Nottingham's Mansfield Town reporter

This certainly wouldn't have been an easy decision for John Radford. David Flitcroft got a lot of things right and you could see improvements all over the pitch this season.

The football under him has been largely entertaining and Stags looked a force to be reckoned with, spending most of the season in and around the top three with players like Krystian Pearce, Mal Benning and CJ Hamilton flourishing.

A solid defensive record of 18 clean sheets helped bring the highest league finish for some time and missing out on automatic promotion, and then losing in the play-offs, was a cruel way to end a campaign full of promise.

But given the resources Flitcroft had been given, the season was simply not deemed good enough.

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