Mansfield Town manager David Flitcroft wants to reward the ‘incredible’ 4,172 Stags’ fans who will travel to Meadow Lane for Saturday’s hotly-anticipated local derby with three points towards the club’s promotion push.
We have sold out our full allocation of 4,172 tickets for the fixture, which means there will be a sea of Mansfield fans in the Jimmy Sirrel Stand on Saturday for what is set to be the biggest clash between the sides in recent memory with just three points separating the third-placed Magpies and fifth-placed Stags.
And the boss has expressed his sheer amazement at the phenomenal following his side will receive at Meadow Lane and is determined to represent the supporters with a good performance – and three points.
“Wow. That’s quite incredible," the gaffer said, when told the numbers who are set to travel to Nottingham this weekend.
"The noise our home fans make is fantastic and having that many fans away from home, we’ve got to give the fans something to really get behind," the gaffer said.
“I can see it being full and we’ve got to go and make sure we represent. The home fans have energised me here, they really have, and we’ve not given them the points that I want to give them yet but it’s a case of going to Notts County and really trying to drive that forward.
“I think the supporters here have backed them all season and that’s been a factor of the good results that we’ve had.
“It can be quite an intimidating place, they’ve made it a fortress Notts County, and we’ve got to try and take hold of that and take ownership ourselves. It can only come through the performance of the players and the energy they show.
“Like in any big competition or any sporting event, that’s where you’ve got have your focus. Stick to the game-plan, the game-plan might change but you’ve got to be adaptable.
“That’s certainly what I’ll bring to any game but certainly in the big games, you have got more what I call background noise and more pressure to deal with. It’s how we take that pressure from the players and how they perform and commit.”
After being in his post as Mansfield Town manager for two weeks, the boss has admitted his pleasure at the intensity at which the squad have performed in training since his appointment.
“They’ve looked good and they’re very receptive. I think whatever manager takes over, you always get that [intensity] for two, three or four days and then there might be a drop off – there hasn’t been.
“There’s been an intensity to their learning, there’s been an intensity to what they do and that’s really important. I think whatever club you take over, you always get a surge of intensity in everything and you’ve got to look for that drop off period.
“That’s not come and they’re a fantastic group to work with. I’m understanding the dynamics of it every time I’m manager and understanding what makes them tick.
“It’s got some fantastic characters in it, there’s a willingness to learn, there’s a willingness to have an openness and a transparency, which is in everything I do.
“They want to be successful this season. They’ve come here and the club has promoted this promotion push and the club’s done a fantastic job of that.
“These players have committed and they’ve committed to Steve [Evans, former manager] over his tenure here and now they’re committing to what we’re doing. Players do adapt really well.”
Skipper Zander Diamond was forced off with a hamstring injury in last week’s draw with Colchester United whilst midfielder Jacob Mellis suffered a knock to his ankle, however the manager has revealed that both injuries are less serious than first feared.
“They’ve recovered really well. Both are not as bad as we thought, which is good.
“They’re working with the medical team – we’ve got a great medical team here – they’ve been working round the clock with Ross [Hollinworth, head physio], Lizzie [Read, sports therapist] and Beth [Wilcockson, sports scientist] on competing and trying to get ready for Saturday.
“They’re doing everything they can but the early stages were the critical bit. We got a load of work into them to negate the injury site and get that in good knick.”
Supporters can login to iFollow Stags to view the manager’s full news conference.