Mansfield Town boss Paul Cox has remained coy about our Play-Off chances, but was delighted with our performance in today’s magnificent 3-0 victory over Rochdale.
Our team exacted revenge on the Sky Bet League Two table-toppers for a Boxing Day defeat at Spotland in magnificent style as we cruised to our fourth straight league win.
Defender Martin Riley opened the scoring with a stooping low header on 71 minutes, before Matt Rhead and Ryan Tafazolli also netted in the final few minutes.
The victory in our 5,000th competitive match since we joined league football in 1902 lifts us up to 10th position in the Sky Bet League Two table – just six points shy of the Play-Offs.
“We’re enjoying our football at the minute and we don’t want the season to end,” said Cox. “This group of boys are working extremely hard, they’re playing some good stuff and they seem to be enjoying themselves.
“Without shouting it from the rooftops, the way we’re playing at the minute, I believe we are a match for anyone when we’re in this mindset.
“Today I thought we came up against a very good team that I believe will go on and get promoted quite comfortably. They’ve good players throughout the side and they’ve been very consistent.
“We just did what we have been doing the last couple of months. We’re in a nice rhythm and playing on the front-foot. The lads are enjoying their football at the minute.”
He continued: “All three goals came from set-pieces, which we work hard on, and the boys have put their heads on the line. I always enjoy the business end of the season. I really don’t want it to end right now.
“People are now talking about Play-Offs, when only a few games back we could mathematically have been relegated.
“All we can do is keep trying to win the next game. It’s in the lap of the gods. I want to finish the season as strongly as possible, in the highest position possible with as many points as possible.”
Our boss also gave a first professional appearance to teenage midfielder Jack Thomas in today’s win and believes the youngster could have a bright future ahead of him.
He added: “We’ve blooded a young kid today who is 17 years old and what he did when he came on was excellent. It just tells me that he’s not going to be over-awed and he’s going to be a good player if he keeps his feet on the ground.”