Goalkeeper Scott Shearer says there is excitement in the Stags’ dressing room with 11 games left to play in the Sky Bet League Two promotion race.
Of the 11 games which remain in the league campaign, Stags still have the entire top seven and two of the chasing pack left to play as they sit two points behind Exeter in seventh place.
However, 36-year-old stopper Shearer sees the Stags’ run-in as a positive and says his team-mates are excited to be a part of it.
“I’m excited and I know the group are excited down in the dressing room. We’re working hard and we just need to go on the pitch and perform like we know we can perform,” Shearer said.
“It’s really nice to play in those games. The tough games are when you play against the lower teams who are fighting for their lives.
“It comes down to the grit and determination of your group and I do believe we’ve got that in abundance here. It’s getting to the stage now where we’re going to be in single figure games soon and there’s no room for error.”
The Glasgow-born goalkeeper has recently returned to the side following Jake Kean’s injury which he sustained against Newport County and although Shearer is pleased to be back in the starting XI, he’s admitted his displeasure at the circumstances.
“I’m gutted for him to get injured – really, really gutted for him because he’s a young lad who’s not had a lot of football and to see him come out through an injury, I was sorry to see that.
“I’m very competitive and I want to play but I don’t want it to be that way. You don’t want it to be to the detriment of one of your team-mates. I’m happy to be in there and happy to be playing but I’m gutted for Jake.
“We’ve got a lot of experience with myself and Brian [Jensen]. Jake himself has got a good amount of experience but he’s just not played very regularly over the last few years.”
After winning promotion twice before with boss Steve Evans at Rotherham United, Shearer believes the January additions to the squad have increased the promotion-winning knowhow in the dressing room.
“Fortunately for myself, I’ve been in a lot of these positions. When I was with the gaffer at Rotherham in League Two, we had the same sort of scenario at this time and we went on an incredible run and we got there.
“I know what it takes to get there; a lot of the lads in our team know what it takes to get there and I just hope we can get out and perform.
“I think it just ups the whole standard of the group, when you bring freshness into the group. Subconsciously you [might] feel like you’re going to start the game but as soon as new blood comes in it ups everyone’s levels.
“For the whole group, it’s been tremendous but then to add that experience of extra promotion winners, it’s been different class.”
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