Stags’ boss David Flitcroft has praised his team for the fight they showed in a pulsating second-half against Yeovil Town, coming from behind twice to take all three points back to Mansfield.
Substitute Lee Angol scored a brace for the Stags, including a stunning free-kick in the 79th minute which turned out to be the winning goal.
Stags found themselves 1-0 down at half-time, and the manager revealed he had to give his players some ‘tough love’ during the break.
“Certainly [in] the second-half performance, there was more tempo, more honesty, more drive. There was more belief and more of that fight that I want week in, week out. I’m delighted with the result.
“Once we spoke to them [the players] at half-time and told them what we needed from them, they certainly rose to the occasion.
“The players need that tough love, and there was that at half-time. I’ve been honest with this group of players and I’ll keep being honest with them because it’s the only way that I know.
“They dusted themselves off and came out absolutely fighting, but they should’ve been fighting from minute one. The game plan was to have that intensity which we had in the second-half.
“Once we spoke to them [the players] at half-time and told them what we needed from them, they certainly rose to the occasion.”
“The [Yeovil] penalty, whether it is or it isn’t, we haven’t let our heads go down and we kept fighting.
“If it’s a blatant push and the referee’s seen it then so be it. He was in a better position than us, but I was disappointed with it at the time. With ours, if he’s handled it and stopped it going goal-bound, then it’s a definite penalty.”
The Stags’ manager was full of praise for two-goal Angol after the win, saying he changed the course of the game following his half-time introduction.
“The goal to win the game is absolutely outstanding,” he said. “The technique and the courage to get up there and take it I thought was outstanding.
“I think the turning point was definitely Lee [Angol], he started off the half really well. He started to really upset them, and that’s what we need week in, week out. He’s got to be consistent.
“CJ [Hamilton] nearly started today and he probably should have. There are games where it doesn’t fall for you, and Alfie struggled to get to the tempo of the game. I had to make a decision early and inject that pace.
“It’s a League Two game where you’ve got honesty and sincerity. Yeovil could argue that they weren’t really playing for much today. They fought hard and fought to the last minute.
“It’s their last game of the season at home and they wanted to show the fans that they were fighting for them. That’s what you get with League Two.”
Manager Flitcroft also reflected on the results elsewhere in League Two today, and insists that Stags must only focus on what they need to do ahead of the final game of the season against Crawley at One Call Stadium next week.
“It looks like Coventry have really put their foot down and gone for them [Cheltenham]. I’d expect Accrington [to win], I think John [Coleman] and what he’s built there deserves to win the league.
“I think it will mean a lot to John to be champions and go and win the league.
“The league always throws up results, we said today was a must-win game to put pressure on the teams we are chasing down.
“We have to prepare the team now and concentrate on our business and commit to what we are going to do. The rest takes care of itself, if we do what we do right, there can be twists and turns.”
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