Mansfield Town manager Adam Murray says there’s no pressure on his side as they travel to Home Park to face Plymouth Argyle on Saturday.
Although Stags are unbeaten in four Sky Bet League Two matches, winning three of them, Murray says 'it’s brilliant’ that Plymouth will be expected to beat his side this weekend.
“We’re not expected to get anything on Saturday so we can go there with no pressure on us and try and beat them. They’ve got to beat us to stay in the top three and try and catch Northampton.
“They expect to get promoted this season and that wasn’t our main target this year, so there’s no pressure on us on Saturday. We’ll go there and enjoy it, give them a fight and try and beat them.
“They’re in their position [in the league] for good reason, they’re a very good team, so we’re going to have to go there and set up in a way which we feel will get the best out of that game.”
The gaffer believes that the nature of Sky Bet League Two means that many teams have the same ‘traits’ in the way they play, but small tweaks may be required to the Stags’ gameplan for each opponent.
“We’re working on our different game plans which we feel can get results against different opposition. On Tuesday [against Oxford United], we played five different formations!
“That’s the good thing about this squad is [that] tactically, they’re very aware and they take the information on and then carry it out, so we’ve got three or four systems that we can play within a game. Whichever one we start with, we know we can switch it in-game and be effective in doing it," Murray said.
“You have a general way of dealing with certain things and you have a few ways that you go about affecting other teams, depending on their weaknesses."
With Jack Thomas coming off the bench to score a late equaliser against Oxford United on Tuesday night, Murray says the young midfielder is working hard to improve as a footballer after a whirlwind 12 months.
“I think it’s been a massive learning curve for Jack. I think it’s the case of all young kids that he probably got threw in at a time when he didn’t expect to go in [last season].
“He dealt with a lot on his own shoulders, personally, and this year’s been a big learning curve for him. He’s had to take a step back to go again.
“He looks strong at the minute, he’s doing everything right; he’s doing everything off the pitch, the extra work and his strength and conditioning work. His focus is there at the minute.”
At the other end of the pitch, Scott Shearer was named in the Football League’s Team of the Week following his two penalty saves last weekend and the boss says it’s now the custodian's task to keep his standards high.
“I think he’s proved over the last couple of weeks what a good goalkeeper he is and we’re really privileged in that area to have Brian (Jensen) and Scott.
“They’re two massive characters, two massive goalkeepers – physically and mentally – and they've been brilliant.
"Scott's attitude to the whole group when he wasn’t playing was superb, and he’s come in and done what we expected him to do.
“On Tuesday he was outstanding again but now it’s up to him to keep his place and keep his standards.”
To view Adam Murray’s news conference, in full, go to Stags Player.