Boss Neil Young impressed with the Stags shape and work ethic
Chester FC 0 Mansfield 1
NEIL Young labelled his Chester side’s friendly defeat to Mansfield on Tuesday a ‘reality check’.
The Blues boss always expected the Conference Premier champions to be sharper than his new-look side due to their full-time status and the fact they are further into their pre-season training programme.
But he wants the way the way the Stags – winners of the division promoted Chester are going into this season – went about their business with and without the ball to act as a lesson to both players and supporters.
The Blues bossed the majority of the games they played last season on their way to winning the Conference North title.
But Young knows that will not be the case in the non-league top flight.
He said: “It was a little bit of a reality check.
“One thing Mansfield won the league by last year was hard work and I think it was clear to see that they’ve got a great shape about them and have good players, whatever side they put out. Fitness-wise and work rate-wise they were excellent.
“We’re part-time, we’ve only been in three weeks, the first time we saw a ball was Friday night, we played a few lads out of position and brought some back who haven’t played, so in terms of a workout it was great for us.”
Young went over the match yesterday morning with his chief scout Alex Hay.
On reflection he may not have selected such an attacking line-up.
But he stood by comments made after the game that his players have to be more courageous in possession and not resort to long balls.
Young, speaking after the 1-0 loss, said: “I don’t think we created any chances.
“We said to the lads afterwards that they have to be a bit braver on the football. Opportunities are going to be more limited in the Conference and I think you saw that tonight.
“Even they didn’t create a great deal, although they were better than us. But that will come when we start clicking and the closer we get to the season starting.”
Chester kicked-off their pre-season schedule with a 3-0 win at Heswall last Friday.