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Stags have tools to replicate Cobblers' success - Byrom

8 February 2018

With 16 matches of the season remaining and Mansfield Town poised for a promotion tilt, classy midfielder Joel Byrom has drawn parallels between the current Stags' squad and the triumphant Northampton Town side which won Sky Bet League Two in 2015/16.

Byrom was part of the Cobblers side which went unbeaten throughout the second half of the season to win the division with 99 points, 13 clear of second-placed Oxford United.

And the 31-year-old, who made 35 League Two appearances in the title-winning season, can see clear similarities in the current Stags' squad with Chris Wilder's side from two seasons ago.

"We picked up a defeat against Portsmouth in late December and I think that was the last defeat before, I think it was October the next season," Byrom said.

"Once you get on those runs, I think people already have that in their mind when they come here and they're thinking 'these are hard to beat'. If you get the first goal against them then it really puts them on the back foot and you can see teams fold.

"It was a good base where the team didn't change much, there were solid foundations and then we had match-winners at the top of the pitch.

"We had a fantastic goalscorer and then we had two or three people in behind who provided goals and assists throughout the season. I think you need those sort of match-winners in a squad and I think we've got those here.

"There's a strong foundation through the spine of team and then there's goals now. You can see both wide boys now have started chipping in with goals, which has been fantastic, then you've got the forwards who have scored goals all season."

"We had a fantastic goalscorer and then we had two or three people in behind who provided goals and assists throughout the season. I think you need those sort of match-winners in a squad and I think we've got those here."

Joel Byrom, midfielder

The former Accrington Stanley man believes he has taken on more responsibility in the Stags' side this season and is enjoying a deeper role in the Mansfield Town midfield.

"I feel like my performances have been good this season. I've taken on a bit more responsibility in my role this year. My role's probably changed a little bit from when I first came into the club.

"I played a little bit higher when I first came here but now it's more of a deeper role and it's something that I really enjoy. I'm getting back to my best at the minute.

"There is some experience in this team but there's also quite a few young boys and you've got to teach them along the way and help them as much as you can."

With Stags currently on a run of just one defeat in 19 Sky Bet League Two matches, Byrom has reaffirmed the need to maintain their good form in order to take advantage of any slip-ups made by their promotion rivals.

"It has been a good run and it's good now to see that those draws that we were picking up earlier in the run are now turning into victories.

"As you can see at the top of the table, no-one's struggling for form and everyone's picking up wins. We can't afford to slip up and hopefully when we pick up a win, others slip up.

"I think the manager's teams are always that way where they're difficult to break down and we've got the balance now where we're difficult to break down but we look a real threat going forward."

Supporters will be able to view Byrom's full news conference on iFollow Stags later today.

 


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