After making it 10 points from a possible 12 over the festive period with this afternoon's 3-1 win against Carlisle United, Stags' boss Steve Evans believes his side are proving their critics wrong as they moved to within one point of the automatic promotion places.
A brace from striker Kane Hemmings and a goal from defender Rhys Bennett ensured Stags raced to a fine 3-1 win against the Cumbrians at One Call Stadium this afternoon, despite Carlisle midfielder Jamie Devitt converting a controversial second half penalty.
And the gaffer, whose side have lost just once in their last 18 games in all competitions, is pleased to see his side answering the questions asked of them with commanding performances.
"We're a point away from where it really matters. We're working really hard. There's some teams around us that questioned us, managers that questioned us, they all questioned us, some of our own supporters questioned what we're doing, but we're a point away from the automatics," the Mansfield Town manager said.
"We're not far away from second either and I think we'll all accept that Luton, with the investment, they're going to go and get promoted. I think the other two places automatically are there for fighting, but we're not alone.
"We can't affect any other result in the country other than us, but you wouldn't want to play against Mansfield Town at the minute."
"You look at some of the results today; Coventry won I think, two or three others won but more importantly, we won. We can't affect any other result in the country other than us, but you wouldn't want to play against Mansfield Town at the minute."
After scoring the equaliser in Saturday's 2-1 win away at Wycombe, winger Alfie Potter provided the assist for striker Kane Hemmings' second goal this afternoon to cap off another fine performance and the boss believes the 28-year-old is beginning to show his best form in a Stags' shirt.
"Isn't it fitting that a wee man that we've been waiting for to display the type of performances [to show] why we signed him, why we love Alfie Potter, why I've said no to four or five clubs in the last two weeks about taking the wee man, because he can give you so much.
"When he faced the guy up for the third goal for Kane, I just thought 'somebody get on the end of it, because he's going to get by him'."
Although the former Leeds United manager acknowledges that his side have drawn too many games in their excellent 18-match run, the Stags' chief can see parallels in the current squad with his Rotherham United side who raced to promotion from League Two in 2012/13.
"We've not won enough of them; I made that clear before we went to Wycombe, we've not won enough games. I said to the players at half-time: 'don't let this opportunity slip, we've been here too many times'.
"They gave us a fantastic response, they can have a day off tomorrow and go and get their legs up. We've travelled the length of the country and we'll freshen people up and we'll make some changes and get ready for Cardiff.
"I'm really, really proud of them, they're a great group. They're the ones that have had all the headlines that we're not good enough, they've had the individual batterings.
"We agreed many, many weeks ago that we would remain collectively together and that will do for me every step of the way.
"This reminds me very much of the group I had at Rotherham United in League Two. They stuck together through adversity with thickness and they came out smiling, as we all know."
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