Midfielder praises unwavering support and team spirit following vital step towards safety.
Mansfield Town midfielder Chris Clements credited the important role that supporters played, combined with an unwavering team spirit, as the success factors following Tuesday night’s win over Tranmere Rovers and believes that exciting times could now lie ahead for the club.
Speaking at a press conference today, Clements said: “The atmosphere to begin with was electric and that is what these players want every game. The fans were brilliant through the whole match.
“It felt like the game was never going to end but having the fans behind you, it was like a 12th man. If that atmosphere wasn’t as it was I don’t think we would have kept the clean sheet.
“Once the fans get behind you and you have something to fight for, we just needed to hang on for the result,” he continued.
The 25-year-old highlighted the team's 'mature' performance to help seal victory against Rovers: “The manager [Adam Murray] said that game management was going to be key [going into match against Tranmere]. I thought they [Tranmere] played well in the first half and we struggled to get going but little things like halting their momentum was key to us getting the result.
“We’ve got this team spirit that meant we weren’t going to let that ball go into our net.
“When Liam Marsden came on as a substitute in stoppage time and made that last ditch tackle just shows that it’s not only the eleven players that start the game that matter but the whole squad,” he said.
Clements also praised the contribution of his fellow midfielders as the season nears its close: “Jack (Thomas) is one of these players that will go far in the game. He is only 18 and the way he plays on the pitch is like an experienced professional. He will learn things along the way, but having not played many league games, his performances have been outstanding.
“You know what you are going to get from Ricky Ravenhill and Jamie McGuire. [They are] disciplined performances where you know they will deal with anything coming forward. You are going to get 110 per cent every game from them,” he added.
Looking ahead to our remaining fixtures, starting with Saturday’s visit to R Costings Abbey Stadium to face Cambridge United, Clements said: “It is going to be difficult. Our away form hasn’t been the best, but looking at our recent performances, we are playing good football.
"We won’t fear anything and now that we have grown the gap in the table, the lads can go out and express themselves.
“We can’t go into the upcoming games thinking we are safe because you never know what can happen.
“We have a professional group of players that will go into every game thinking that we still have to get points on the board,” he said.
Clements believes that there is still plenty to play for as the Stags look to mathematically confirm their survival in Sky Bet League Two this weekend: “Everyone is playing for their future. Lately we have been putting in good performances and playing the right way.
“Next season is going to be an exciting time for the club,” he added.