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Tafazolli: Victory was huge

30 December 2013

Defender Ryan Tafazolli believes he produced his best performance in a Mansfield Town shirt in our 2-1 victory at Cheltenham Town yesterday.

The Stags went into the half-time break with a 2-0 lead courtesy of goals from Anthony Howell and Matt Rhead, before the hosts pulled a goal back with only four minutes remaining to set up a nail-biting finale.

But our team held on to record a vital three points, which lifts us to 19th position in Sky Bet League Two, and ended a 13-match winless streak.

Speaking afterwards, Tafazolli said: “I think personally I had a good performance at Chesterfield as well, but today we topped it because there was a lot of pressure and we had to maintain resilience throughout the 90 minutes.

“To be fair, the lads that played against Accrington didn’t do too badly, so I was surprised when the gaffer threw me in the line-up. But I’m very grateful that he did and I think I took my chance and now we have all three points. 

“We’ve been working hard during the Christmas period and have stayed professional throughout the Christmas break, knowing that it would just be an amount of time before we got all three points, as well as putting in a good performance. 

“All I can do is keep working hard, focussing on my strengths and weaknesses on the training ground, then hopefully play well when it comes to a matchday to keep my place in the team.”

The 22-year-old revealed how the rest of our side were delighted following this crucial victory, but has urged our players to remain focussed heading into the New Year.

He continued: “We should get the fireworks into the changing rooms to be honest – it’s that crazy in there. However, we know it’s just the start of our season to be honest, and we need to step up from here. We can’t just win one game and get complacent again.

“Just like Chesterfield, we were buzzing about the result against them, but then after that we didn’t win for a long time, so we need to make sure we don’t go too over the top and keep this form going. 

“With New Year’s coming up, a lot of teams are going to want to enjoy themselves, but we’ve got to stay responsible and remain professional. We’ll aim to build on what we achieved [at Cheltenham] and take that into the rest of the season.”

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