Evans, Flitcroft or the players? Debate rages among fans over where blame lies for poor run

Mansfield Town v Port Vale.     'David Flitcroft after Saturday's game against Port Vale.
Mansfield Town v Port Vale. 'David Flitcroft after Saturday's game against Port Vale.

As Mansfield Town enter the last two games of the season clinging onto their play-off dream with their fingernails, fans have been debating what went wrong and who is to blame.

The Stags were pre-season title favourites and, although they took their time to get into top gear, Stags were a good bet for a top three finish less than two months ago.

But then manager Steve Evans shocked everyone by walking out and new manager David Flitcroft has had the worst start of any manager in the club’s history.

Saturday’s 1-1 home draw with Port Vale left the Stags three points outside the play-offs with only two to play and sides above them having games in hand.

So where did it go wrong? Who is to blame? Is it Evans, Flitcroft or the players themselves?


Fans have their say . . .

Ian Butler: “Can’t understand blaming anyone but Flitcroft, he’s the only idiot that’s tried to change everything the players do with 12 games to go in the season. Should have put Carolyn in charge to the end of the season, she couldn’t have been any worse.

Steve Corry “Evans for me, I’ve watched them all season. He pulled the rug from under their feet, just when the door was opening. Don’t get me wrong, Flitcroft is far from inspiring, but the Scotsman should have seen the job through.”

James Williamson: “Evans closed the coffin but Flitcroft hammered the nails in.

David Groom: “One win in 10 matches and that win came against the team bottom of the league, so a lot of the blame has to come from David Flitcroft and his man management of the players but not helped by the fact that Evans left us when he did.”

Karl Laycock - I think all three (Evans, Flitcroft and the players) have to take some blame. The departure of Evans destabilised the club, Flitcroft changed too much, too quickly and the players failed to turn up on some occasions, notably Forest Green away.

“It’s a big summer for the club. My fear is that Flitcroft’s record plus the disappointing end to the season will harm season tickets sales, which will limit the budget and reduce our chances of success next season. I hope not.”

Alan Radford: “What Evans did was a disgrace, but typical Steve Evans. Flitcroft has been his own worst enemy. Better football in many periods but this negative shut up shop crap has cost us at least nine points.”

Mark Plumb: “When Evans was here we didn’t look a team. Flitcroft came in and made us worse with his style of football. As for the players, majority of them are showing they over rated and not up to the challenge.”

Stephen Wells: “I actually thought the football we played yesterday was the best I’ve seen this season, but the finishing was just abysmal, and the final ball when in the box was either to their defenders or behind a yellow shirt. I feel for the Radfords.”

Russ Clarkson: “The players are good enough to win games and carry out instructions but Diamond as captain should’ve stood up in the dressing room after the first 2/3 games and said to Flitcroft “no disrespect Gaffer but we’ve gone 36 games and only lost 5 and this ain’t broken so don’t try and fix it!”

“If Flitcroft doesn’t like it, tough - he should’ve had more belief in the players. He should’ve seen the season out and said “right starting in July, in L1 or L2, we do things my way” not with 12 games to go, change it for the sake of change.”

Tawneystag: “When Evans left, the team needed a motivator, not a tactician. Especially not one that was going to make wholesale changes during a run in.”

TMWilson: “We have gone from a team who looked unbeatable to a team who are bang on average at the best.

“Sorry but there is only one person to blame and that’s the manager.

“Flitcroft took over a job that any decent manager could have seen the form continue. If he can do that much damage in just a few months then God knows what we will be like under a full season with him.

“I admit that players have underperformed but that happened under Evans .

“I’ll never forgive Evans for what he did - but Flitcroft has made a pig’s ear of it.”

Arsene Wenger’s Coat: “The reason for failure this season is not Flitcroft, but that we probably expected too much too soon from a new group.

“When you dissect it, the group put together lacks three special, stand out players.”

Wil0211: “Evans undoubtedly caused the initial disruption by walking out but Flitctoft has been woeful since being appointed.

In my opinion we have the players that should be doing much, much better than they currently are.”