John Dempster: Mansfield Town sack manager after seven months in charge

John Dempster
John Dempster succeeded David Flitcroft as manager of Mansfield in May

Mansfield Town have sacked manager John Dempster after seven months in charge.

The Stags have not won a league game since 26 October and are six games without a win in all competitions.

Dempster's last game in charge was Saturday's 1-1 draw at Crewe, which left the club 18th in League Two and 12 points below the play-off spots.

BBC Radio Bristol reports that Mansfield have had an approach for Bristol Rovers manager Graham Coughlan turned down by the League One club.

In his post-match interview following Saturday's 2-1 win at Ipswich, which left Rovers fourth in the third tier, Coughlan said both personal and professional reasons were leading him to consider his future at the Memorial Stadium.

"I've got a decision to make, for my own life and my own career, with where I'm going and what I'm doing," the 45-year-old said.

"I don't know where I can take this football club. I've got decisions to make in my own personal life. I'll see which way I wake up in the morning, to be quite honest."

Academy coach Jamie McGuire has been placed in caretaker charge of Mansfield.

'We feel a change in leadership is required'

"Football is a results centred industry and as we approach the halfway stage of the season, our points tally has fallen well below expectations," Stags chief executive Carolyn Radford said.

"Therefore, we feel a change in leadership is required to provide the best opportunity to turn our season around," she added in a statement on the club website.

Dempster, 36, was promoted from the role of academy manager following the departure of David Flitcroft in May.

Flitcroft left after the Stags lost to Newport County on penalties in the League Two play-off semi-finals, having been in the automatic promotion places until the closing weeks of last season.

Dempster played for the Stags for four years from November 2011 before taking a coaching role and had previously had a temporary spell in charge in 2016 after Adam Murray left as manager.

"John has conducted himself with the utmost professionalism and integrity and leaves the club in our highest regard," added Radford.

In his final interview as Stags boss, following the draw at Crewe, Dempster was aware that his side were desperate for points.

He said: "Normally a point away at Crewe would be a very good one, in our current predicament we're after all three because we need to climb the table quickly.

"People have said that there's been a lack of effort from the players and I've relayed that to the players before the game, which I think motivated them.

"One of the biggest insults in football to label at a professional is that he's not trying and I think you saw today that the players were together, they all put a shift in."

Analysis

Jake Garner, BBC Radio Nottingham's Mansfield Town reporter

Mansfield are way below where they expect to be after last season's exploits. Despite a lot of investment into the squad once again this summer, they have not delivered on the pitch.

It's ultimately up to the manager to get the best from those players and, despite some occasionally good results, we have only seen glimpses of what this team can do.

The squad is certainly good enough to get to where the club wants to be, but you do wonder whether it's too late for this season.

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