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Stags relishing League Two run-in

12 February 2018

Assistant manager Paul Raynor says a number of players are 'champing at the bit' to get into the Stags' side as we enter the 'nitty gritty' of the Sky Bet League Two season.

Only 15 games remain in Sky Bet League Two with Stags sitting sixth in the division with 53 points, just three points behind third-placed Wycombe Wanderers.

And with Stags having lost for the first time in 10 League Two matches against Swindon Town on Saturday, Raynor revealed that the squad is 'bright and bubbly' as they look to put the blip against the Robins quickly behind them when they welcome Newport County tomorrow.

"The boys were in training yesterday and looked very bubbly. We've lost six league games all season and that's not a bad place to be in," the assistant boss said.

"We're into the nitty gritty part of the season and we're really relishing it. We're into the last few games and the run-in now and everybody's bright and bubbly and waiting for an opportunity to get on that pitch.

"Players have got to perform on a weekly basis because they know they've got good players in reserve who will grab that shirt if they drop in their standards.

"The training yesterday was exceptionally good, there's people there champing at the bit and waiting for an opportunity and the players can't slip up because they know there's good players in reserve.

"We've always advocated that we train with a real tempo and we train how we play. We're 100 percent committed in training.

"Our sessions aren't two or three hours long; they're lively, they're bright, they're short and they're sharp."

"The training yesterday was exceptionally good, there's people there champing at the bit and waiting for an opportunity and the players can't slip up because they know there's good players in reserve."

Paul Raynor, assistant manager

Stags have a clean bill of health for tomorrow's clash with the Exiles, excluding defender David Mirfin who has been absent since the beginning of December with a knee injury.

"The medical department have done a fantastic job, we're only missing David Mirfin. So we've got lots and lots of fantastic options ready to field that team tomorrow.

"We've got a number of good players. We'll sit down this afternoon, see how we train this morning and see who looks bright, who looks bubbly, we'll look at Newport and sit down and put together a team that we think will give us three points.

"It's a good place to be and we're really excited for the run-in."

The former Swansea City midfielder is expecting a physical encounter against Michael Flynn's Newport County at One Call Stadium tomorrow, a manager who he believes deserves a lot of credit for his work at Rodney Parade.

"They're a big, strong, powerful side. Michael Flynn, you have to say, has done an incredible job.

"Since he came in last year, they looked to be dead and buried. What he's done for that football club in recent weeks and recent months is fantastic.

"You've got to take your hat off to Michael and they're a tough side. Michael's said that the cup's not been a distraction but hand on heart, I think he will say you can't not be distracted by playing Tottenham twice and playing at Wembley.

"It's very difficult to keep people focussed, particularly with the size of those games, and the opportunity to play at the national stadium.

"They're a big, strong, physical side but they've also got a lot of quality as well. They can play if you allow them."

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

Head to www.stagstickets.co.uk to purchase your tickets for tomorrow's clash against Newport County.

 


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