John Dempster’s first task as Mansfield Town manager has been trying to lift players’ spirits after the double bombshell of last week’s miserable end to the season.
After failing to get their anticipated automatic promotion, Stags then lost their League Two play-off semi-final to Newport County and two days later saw manager David Flitcroft sacked.
Dempster has now met all the players individually and tried to get them to look forward, not back.
“It was brilliant to sit down with the players and discuss things,” he said.
“A lot of those players were attached to the former manager and there was a lot of disappointment about the way the season finished.
“But, after having the actual discussion, every player left with a really positive mindset.
“I asked them to go away, enjoy their break and complete the off-season programme they’ve got and come back with a positive vibe and looking forward to pre-season and the season ahead.”
He continued: “They are good characters. There was a little bit of hurt there still from the disappointment against Newport. That is completely natural – you don’t get over these things overnight.
“But I don’t want to harp on about the disappointment as we are moving forward now.
“The biggest thing that stood out for me was the way the players spoke about the football club. It’s a place they enjoy working and a place where they are grateful to be.”
The players will return for pre-season on 26th June when their fitness will be assessed ahead of the pre-season programme.
“It’s been a busy first week and I have enjoyed it so far. We have a lot of good people here in different departments,” said Dempster.
“I am realistic and I know the pressure will start when the games start. That’s natural, that’s football. But so far so good.
“I have always loved working at this football club and I am passionate about it.”