Stags’ boss David Flitcroft has dedicated his side’s 1-0 titanic derby victory over rivals Chesterfield to the Mansfield Town faithful.
Mal Benning’s 67th minute goal was the difference between the two sides on a day that saw 2,617 Stags’ fans make the short trip to the Proact Stadium, and the Mansfield boss has described the win as one of the most important he has achieved in his football career.
The Stags’ manager went on to add that he felt a togetherness between the players and the supporters in a derby win that was vital for the Stags’ play-off hopes.
“It's not really sunk in yet what the lads have done, they put their bodies on the line and they gave everything to the cause,” he said.
“I told them the importance of this football match and what it meant to the supporters. They have displayed all the attributes that you want from a football team.
“The first goal for either team was crucial. It lifts the fans and gave us that edge. Once we got the goal the players, staff and the supporters all felt together. I'm delighted for the supporters and I understand that it really means a lot to them.
"It’s one of the most important wins I’ve ever had. I’ve wanted this from day one.
“The players in the dressing room are absolutely elated. Up to now we’ve not been able to give our supporters what they deserve and that’s hurt me.
“But today I felt that the group of players came together – now they have to do that day-in, day-out so we get some consistency.”
The Stags’ boss also commented on the environment that he wants to create for the players as he looks to create a consistent winning formula for Mansfield Town.
“I’ve seen the team really believe today. We have to make it sustainable now, we have to make winning part of the DNA.
“I’m here to help the players and some of the players in this squad will keep improving and improving.
“Winning breeds confidence and getting on the training ground and doing the right thing helps with that confidence.
“I’ve worked too hard to come up here and not give it absolutely everything I’ve got to make the team better and improve them.
“I said to the players that they have to come off with the feeling that they’ve given absolutely everything they had.
“I had to rotate the squad and rest some players today, but everyone supported each other. That’s the culture I want to create at this football club, 25 players who all want the same thing.
“[Johnny] Hunt before the game was wishing Benning the best of luck and that’s the culture I want to instil at this football club.”
The manager also spoke of Benning’s match-winning performance, and praised his players for holding onto their lead throughout a spell of Chesterfield pressure.
“I thought he [Benning] was excellent today, that’s certainly Mal’s best game. I knew with the shape that they play Mal would get a lot of the ball, and as a manager I will continue to encourage him to drive forward like he did. When he gets in the positions he has real end quality.
“Chesterfield are fighting to stay in the league and they pump balls [into the box], and we had to withstand it.
“We were unbreakable today and there was a real galvanised spirit from the lads, we stood firm.”
iFollow Stags subscribers can watch the manager’s answers in full by logging into mansfieldtown.net/ifollow later today.