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Stags set for big battle against Crewe

5 April 2018

Manager David Flitcroft has said that his side 'cannot wait' for the Crewe game at One Call Stadium this Saturday, as Stags look to regenerate momentum heading into the final six games of the season.

Flitcroft added that he is looking for a similar level of performance that he saw in the games against Accrington and Luton, with an added clinical touch in front of goal.

“The Crewe game can’t some soon enough and we’re excited by the prospect of getting out there and showing the supporters what we are prepared to fight for,” he said, speaking in his news conference today.

“When we got back [on Monday] we soon flushed out why we didn’t achieve one point or three points against Luton and we quickly agreed that in the match-defining moments, that’s where you have to be 100% committed to win any game of football.

“As the games get bigger which they do - probably not in terms of opponent but in terms of games running out - we need to make sure we turn up in those absolute key moments.

“We gave Luton a host of problems but didn’t put them to the sword and didn’t finish them off. That’s something that we have to do in the remaining games, and be ruthless at both ends of the pitch.

“Without a doubt [we’re about to turn a corner], I looked at the Forest Green performance and that gave me concern. But looking at the last two weeks and especially over the Easter break, we’ve been as a collective and had a togetherness.

“To go to Luton after the physical output and the mental output of not getting something here [against Accrington] after a big effort, the certainly ran for each other and the supporters. I saw a galvanised spirit.

"The Crewe game can’t some soon enough and we’re excited by the prospect of getting out there and showing the supporters what we are prepared to fight for."

David Flitcroft, manager

“We’ve watched a lot of Crewe so from an intel point of view we have quite a lot of work on them. Crewe is a model that’s been sustainable for a number of years, it has a playing identity that’s really strong.

“I’m looking forward to getting the boys prepped over the next few days, ready for a massive fixture that we’re absolutely desperate to win.

“It’s really important that we turn performances into three point results.”

The Stags’ manager also added that some of the youth team will have the chance to train with the senior players this week, and spoke highly of midfielder Keaton Ward, who started in a strong Stags’ reserves lineup in Tuesday’s clash against Rotherham.

“We’ll have the chance to have a look at a couple of the younger players today in training,” he said. “What you get with the youth is hunger and desire to get in and around the squad, and then stay there. That’s an exciting part of this project.

“I think from day one you want to find out what the big vision of the football club is. It’s really important from a sustainability point of view that you can bring youth players through. They improve the training programme because they have that hunger and desire.

“We’ve had Keaton Ward training with us, and he’s a player, there’s no doubt about that. He’s a future asset to this football club.”

The boss also gave a quick injury update on top scorer Danny Rose, and defender David Mirfin, who has now been confirmed as out until the end of the season.

“I was disappointed to not have him [Rose] in and around on Monday, even if it was just to get him on for 20 minutes – that’s the way we thought it was going.

“The early signs were good but as he’s got out onto the grass and done the running, there is some soreness in there.

“We just have to keep hoping that for Saturday he might be able to play a part. He’s on end-stage rehab, and we just have to hope we get significant improvement on it.

“David Mirfin is coming on okay. Mentally it’s tough for any player to have an injury like that, no player wants to be injured. We’ll keep supporting him, but without a doubt [he’s out until the end of the season].”

iFollow Stags subscribers can watch David Flitcroft’s interview in full later today, by logging into iFollow here.

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