Classy midfielder Joel Byrom has described new Mansfield Town manager David Flitcroft as ‘a breath of fresh air’ since his arrival at the club last week.
The cultured midfielder was sent on as a half-time substitute in tonight’s 1-1 draw with Lincoln City and made an almost instant impact, heading the ball beyond Imps’ ‘keeper Ryan Allsop after 49 minutes.
Stags were on course for a maiden win under the new manager, before Lincoln frontman Ollie Palmer salvaged a point for the visitors in the 90th minute.
And speaking after the draw with the Imps, Byrom has described the positive influence of the new gaffer following his appointment less than a week ago.
“It’s been like a breath of fresh air, it’s been brilliant,” Byrom said.
“The manager’s come in and he’s been so positive. The training’s been fantastic. We’ve just got to look to improve now and take things on board and go again at the weekend.
“He’s tried to keep quite a few things the same because we’re on a good run. He’s just implemented little things you see in training, little tweaks that you can see that maybe we haven’t previously seen and it’s all positive.
“The manager’s come in and he’s been so positive. The training’s been fantastic."
“I think you could see tonight we’ve got to be better with the ball. If we’re a little bit more composed on the ball, and we don’t give it away cheaply, they don’t get to fire [those] diagonals into our box.”
Although he acknowledges Stags weren’t at their best this evening, Byrom believes Stags contained Lincoln well and is disappointed not to come away with maximum points.
“It hurts. We weren’t at our best tonight but we contained them. The defenders have dealt with the way they play fantastically in the second half and we’ve just got to get over the line.
“It was a sucker-punch right at the end but we just couldn’t hold on.
“It was probably a fair result. I think we’ve got improvement to work on with the ball but without the ball today I think we’ve worked hard and we’ve battled against a team that are very effective in this league.”
Byrom’s delicate header was his first goal in Stags’ colours and he now hopes to reclaim his spot in the starting XI after a run of four games out of the side.
“It’s my first goal in a couple of years.
“I got the call at half-time to come on and I just wanted to have an impact on the game.
“I was a bit disappointed to be out of the team but I just got my head down, worked hard and hopefully had an impact tonight to get a place at the weekend.
“Within five minutes I got the goal which was pleasing but it’s a shame we couldn’t hold on in the end.”
Supporters can view Joel Byrom’s full post-match interview on iFollow Stags.