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Stags' boss looking to build on belief from derby victory

18 April 2018

Stags' boss David Flitcroft is looking to build on the 'belief' his players gained from the famous derby day victory over Chesterfield on Saturday.

Left-back Mal Benning's goal in the 67th minute of the game earned the Stags all three points on a day that will live long in the Mansfield Town faithful's memory.

Manager Flitcroft is now looking to use the win to spur his players on for the crucial remaining three games in the race for a play-off spot.

"I think confidence is something we probably over-emphasise, I think belief is the word that I would use following the result [against Chesterfield]. It insills a belief that what we're doing in training is the right thing.

"Confidence can only come from doing the practice right and making sure in the big moments that your ability is at its optimum, then the confidence levels do go up. Belief comes from winning football matches.

"On the training pitch it's not changed since day one, win or lose. If you lose a game, you learn from it - I never dwell on it.

"Trying to improve players and make them better is the environment that I want to create and build here so that success and winning becomes sustainable.

"We're building and I'm enjoying my time with the players. The atmosphere in training doesn't change win or loss, but what a win does change is the belief. That's what winning gives you.

"One thing we will get right at this club is that everybody wants to be part of a successful push - there can be no individualism or selfish behaviour. That's the environment that I want to bring in and I'm starting to see that happening.

"I thought the lads coped with it [pressure of the derby] really well. The pressure was built up, and rightly so, but they coped with it brilliantly.

"We're building and I'm enjoying my time with the players. The atmosphere in training doesn't change win or loss, but what a win does change is the belief. That's what winning gives you."

David Flitcroft, manager

"We've come into a mini-season, a block of matches, and we knew what we had to do. The magnitude of the Chesterfield win and the way the players celebrated with the fans was what our fans represented."

Stags face Port Vale at One Call Stadium on Saturday, and despite having effectively escaped relegation with their recent 1-0 win over Lincoln City, manager Flitcroft believes the Valiants' players will still have plenty to play for.

"The lads [at Port Vale] who are possibly fighting for contracts for next season, they'll always turn out. You don't know what the summer is going to bring, there's always uncertainty in League Two and League One. It's a different type of pressure for those players.

"Everyone is playing for something in this league. There's a lot challenging to get into the play-offs, and the security of staying in the league [for Vale] is not done and dusted yet, so there's a lot to play for.

"Usually there's a few teams who don't need the points but that doesn't take away the individual responsibility.

"For Port Vale, they're probably just about out of it [the relegation battle] now. But they'll rally, they're led by a fantastic leader in Tom Pope who I worked with for a few years. They have some top pros and good heads in there [at Port Vale].

"We're expecting a very tough game, they play quite direct and that's what having Pope does.

"We're not looking past Port Vale. It's the next game that we can achieve a positive result and that's the one we're concentrating on."

The Stags' boss also gave an injury update on defender Hayden White, who was subsituted in the first-half of the 1-0 win over Chesterfield, and forward Ricky Miller.

"He [White] is probably not going to be right for Saturday. He's tried to do a little bit on the training pitch today on the grass. We're still more or less nursing him through this week, but it's one of those injuries that could have gone either way.

"It might potentially be a week to ten days, that's the timescale we're giving it.

"Ricky is frustrated, he's one of those players who we have to hold back and hold the reigns of. It's very frustrating with a hamstring, you can't come out of your sequence and you can't do any extra work on it. You have to make sure you're considerate to these injuries.

"[He'll be out for] still probably another couple of weeks."

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