Stags’ boss Steve Evans commended his side’s battling qualities after this afternoon's superb hard-fought 1-0 win away to Wycombe Wanderers.
Defender Krystian Pearce’s first half header was enough to seal a hugely important three points which saw Stags close the gap on the play-offs to just two points.
Our 1-0 win over the Chairboys was one of only two victories for teams in the top half of Sky Bet League Two this afternoon, with Exeter City also triumphing at home to Barnet.
And the boss was pleased to see match-winning qualities at both ends of the pitch as Stags won at Adams Park for the first time since August 2013.
“I think the boys knew we had to come and ‘have a go’ and I think it was two types of performances; it had the bits that you need to win a game, in terms of dogged defending near the end and a super save by Jake [Kean].
“We played some wonderful football and then you have to deal with an aerial bombardment that you’re going to get from Wycombe – and I don’t knock it, you find a way to win a game.
“We’ve continued our performance levels today and we’ve put our bodies on the line and Jake Kean, I’ll need to look at it back, it’s probably one of the best live saves I’ve ever seen.
“Not many people stop Bayo Akinfenwa scoring from that position – his header is as hard as a shot and it’s a fantastic save.
“I’ve had to give big praise to my defenders today because they’ve been criticised in weeks gone past, but they deserved that today.”
The manager switched his formation to a 3-5-2 system this afternoon and he was impressed with how well his players adapted to the change after working hard on the training ground all week.
“It was nice to have four, five, six days when we came out of Doncaster to work on a change and the boys embraced it.
“We gave them two options to how we’d play today and they only knew the final way we were going to go an hour-or-so before kick-off.
“[When] you get to this stage of the season, you can’t give anyone a whisper of an idea what you’re going to do because it’s the finest of margins and we saw that today.”
The former Leeds United manager has now called on the people of Mansfield to come and support the Stags in Monday’s huge match against Luton Town as we look to build on today’s win.
“Results might have gone our way but we need a big crowd at the One Call Stadium on Monday, we’ll get that for sure. We’ve given ourselves a chance and if we can go and produce a performance as good as today and as dogged as today, it gives us another chance to get some points.
“It was a collective effort – we lose collectively, we win collectively and I’m pleased for the fans.
“They’ve been on a couple of journeys in recent times where it’s not been good for them and they go away disappointed but I said at Morecambe, don’t leave the aim of getting in the play-offs here and I said at Wycombe today, don’t leave it here.”
Supporters can login to Stags PlayerHD to view the manager’s post-match interview.