Mansfield Town manager Steve Evans has likened the Stags to a family by paying homage to the club’s owners, in addition to the staff behind-the-scenes.
With only one defeat in their last 12 Sky Bet League Two fixtures and knowing that a win against Coventry City on Saturday will equal the total number of victories attained last season, the club is moving in the right direction both on and off the field after plans for a Hampton by Hilton hotel at One Call Stadium were unveiled earlier this month.
And speaking to the local media at One Call Stadium this morning, the boss gave supporters a glimpse of what it’s like to work for the club at present.
“You only need to walk around the club now; it’s a different football club to when I walked in to what it is now,” the gaffer said.
“The people who deserve enormous credit are the Radford family. I keep saying it, but without their support where would the football club be? Like many others, probably struggling perilously.
“Around the football club from the ground staff, to the catering staff, to the commercial team to the players and the backroom staff, it’s a real positive place to come to work. Everyone has a smile on their face and they’re focussed.
“We all have personal issues at home and problems around ourselves but we come through those magical gates and we’re in the world of ‘you have to be positive.’
“Around the football club from the ground staff, to the catering staff, to the commercial team to the players and the backroom staff, it’s a real positive place to come to work."
“Positivity in football is a great thing to have and negativity, as Sir Alex [Ferguson] once told me: ‘if there’s a bad apple in there, grab it and throw it as far away as you can because there will be two the next day’.
“I think it is a family. I think that’s possibly the biggest thing, other than the financial aspect is what the Radford family have brought to the football club.”
The positive mood around the club is epitomised by the dressing room banter which, according to the gaffer, he is often at the centre of.
“I’ve already been in and around the dressing room [this morning] and they’re already having their banter about me and Rayns (Paul Raynor, assistant manager) and others but it’s fantastic. What a great place it is to come and work.
“The line was cutting my socks up so I said if anyone cuts my socks up again they’ll pay a price. I didn’t say if any go missing, now my socks have gone missing.
“I’m looking at [Alex] MacDonald because he’s got that cheeky chappy eye and the person who was in front of me there, Kane Hemmings, him and [Jacob] Mellis, they’ll be involved. I only need to catch them and John Radford will be a few quid better off because we’ll take some of their wages!”
Moving attention to on-field matters, Stags have no new injury concerns for Saturday’s visit of Coventry City, who the gaffer describes as ‘the biggest club in League Two’ as we look to make it six successive home victories in Sky Bet League Two.
“We’re in fantastic shape. There’s only David [Mirfin] that’ll be missing from being able to be selected – that’s ahead of training on Thursday and Friday of course where you’re always subject to picking up little niggles. The boys look in fantastic shape. They look incredibly fresh.
“Players win you games and you help them as coaches and as managers but they’ve got a fantastic array of talent at Coventry City and I don’t hold back on that.
“Many of the players, or certainly two or three of them, who we’d liked to have brought here went there and it’s never about whether they go for money or whether they don’t or whether they go because of the size that Coventry could be, but this is the biggest club in League Two on Saturday.
“There’s a lot of good clubs but by far the biggest is Coventry City. 27,000/28,000 fans they’ve got, potentially, sitting on their doorstep waiting and wanting to come to their games.
“It’s a fantastic club and they’ve got a really good side, so it’s going to be tough for us.”
Supporters will be able to view the manager’s full news conference on iFollow Stags later this afternoon.
Need a ticket for Saturday’s match? Head to www.stagstickets.co.uk.