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Stags will fight until death for play-off spot, says manager

25 April 2018

Stags will fight until the death to secure a place in the top seven, manager David Flitcroft has said.

The manager knows his side must surely win both of their remaining games against Yeovil and Crawley, and hope results from play-off rivals Coventry and Lincoln go in their favour.

Coventry were visited by Lincoln last night, and the Imps ran out 4-2 winners, leaving them now six points above the Stags. However, Coventry now sit only three points above the Stags with the same matches played and an inferior goal difference.

Stags’ boss Flitcroft believes that the play-off run in will go down to the final day of the season.

“I think it [the result in Coventry and Lincoln game] is fundamental to what happens this season,” he said, speaking in his press conference yesterday.

“I know in the Accrington camp they want to win every football match and Lincoln still have to go there.

“Football waits until the last game of the season. We can only control the last two games and we have to make sure we get the maximum six points. Unfortunately we have to wait on the results at other grounds.

“There was a disappointment [in training after the Port Vale game], but we got the session going, working on crossing, shooting and final third finishing. The session got to where I wanted it to be, the standard was high. They know exactly what we have to do on Saturday.

“There was certainly a mood of disappointment but it’s up to me as the leader to lift that and keep the standard high in training.

“We’ll make sure we keep working and implementing our strategies, like I said we only have two games to go and give ourselves the best chance of getting into the playoffs.”

"Football waits until the last game of the season. We can only control the last two games and we have to make sure we get the maximum six points."

David Flitcroft, manager

The Stags’ manager also reflected on last weekend’s game at One Call Stadium against Port Vale, and was disappointed that his side did not take all three points after a dominant display.

He also commented on the electric atmosphere inside the stadium on Saturday, and thanked the fans for their incredible support.

“We’ve been able to analyse the [Port Vale] performance and we have to understand that we dominated them, and that was the game plan to go and attack them and create lots of chances, we just didn’t kill them off,” he added.

“When you give teams hope and don’t defend properly for the full 95 minutes you’re susceptible to a sucker punch, and that’s what it was.

“Was the commitment from the players there? Absolutely. Was the intensity there to go and win a football game? Absolutely. Did we create enough chances? Absolutely.

“I was very happy with the performance and how the players performed but very disappointed as to how we didn’t see Port Vale off. When you get that second goal, especially in League Two, it kills off that fight in teams.

“For 98% of the game, this stadium was absolutely rocking on Saturday. The support was incredible for the group of players and that’s what I can thank the supporters for.

“I believe in what I do and believe in unity, only winning football matches is going to do that. I set an environment where people can flourish and over time the results will come.

“There was a real atmosphere and connection between the football the players played and the supporters. It’s really important to build a connection between the players, the team and the supporters.

“The only thing that will build a connection with them and myself is winning football matches, and I’m obsessed with doing that. I’ve not been able to do that at the minute but that will change.”

The manager also gave injury updates on skipper Zander Diamond, striker Ricky Miller and defender Hayden White, and doubts that any of the three will be fit and available for the weekend’s game against Yeovil.

“He [Diamond] has had a back injury that has plagued him for most of the season. It’s connected from his hamstring to his back, he’s had an injection to try and numb the pain. He’s certainly going to struggle for the weekend.

“They [Miller and White] are desperate to play these last two games. They are hamstring injuries so we have to be patient. I don’t think they’ll have enough time on the training pitch to make the game this weekend.”

iFollow Stags subscribers can watch the manager’s answers in full by logging into later today.






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