Stags’ boss David Flitcroft is looking to harness the ‘pride’ his players felt after the pulsating 3-2 win over Yeovil Town ahead of this weekend’s massive game against Crawley Town.
Substitute Lee Angol scored a brace in a dramatic second-half at Huish Park, and the manager added that the fight his players showed to take the three points is key to the winning formula ahead of this weekend’s ‘must win’ game.
“You look at a team fighting for each other [against Yeovil]. You look at a team that wants to win for each other. If we are all as one and we are together then we’re going to win games. We had a pride after the game,” he said.
“The feeling of pride after a football match is really important. We’ll get our business done on Saturday and we’ll make sure the quality is good.
“Since I’ve come in, that’s the bit we have to improve, the quality of work. We’re creating a lot of chances, but we have to finish off teams.
“The way we finished the game on Saturday has now given us a chance to keep the season alive and keep it going. From day one the objective has been to get out of the league.
"The feeling of pride after a football match is really important. We’ll get our business done on Saturday and we’ll make sure the quality is good."
“We’re in with a fighting chance, it’s a three-horse race and we’re one of those teams. We have to make sure that this week the players understand the magnitude of the game. We have to take care of our business.”
Despite the magnitude of this weekend’s game at One Call Stadium, the Stags’ boss insists that his players should play no differently to any other game.
“The minimum a player should ever go onto the pitch is wanting three points. I’ve never bought into that we’d play different or harder in a cup final, and that’s the environment I want to set at this football club,” he added.
“That’s what you create over time, that winning mentality. That is something that I’m absolutely desperate to do at this football club so every day is a cup final.
“We’re the luckiest people alive, coming into work and plying your trade. Football time is the quickest time, certainly when you’ve retired. You have to work hard and every day is a cup final day.”
The manager also reflected on his side’s performances in the bigger games over the past few weeks, and looked ahead to the test that Crawley will bring to Mansfield this Saturday.
“We’ve shown that already this season that in the big games we’ve shown up certainly. Against Accrington we had a man sent off but the lads showed up that day. When I look at the Notts County game we held our nerve for 97 minutes, and Hemmings puts that penalty away, that takes character and bottle.
“The boys have held their nerve and it’s a testament to the players and the courage they’ve got. But no games come bigger than Saturday. We have to win it. We then live in hope that the magnitude of that pressure does strange things to players.
“On the last day in football there have been obscure results, different results, form goes out of the window.
“You have to get them [results] fed through. You have to keep informed. We’ll be in tune with that, but it won’t take any focus away from what we’re doing.
“Crawley are one of the better football teams in the league. You look at the teams that have gone up and are in the play-offs, they’re strong and robust teams. Crawley try to do it a different way, they move the ball round the pitch really well. They’ll want to finish on a high.”
The Stags’ boss also gave injury updates on three players, one of them being striker Kane Hemmings, who is carrying a slight knock from our 3-2 win in Yeovil.
“We’ll just want to take a precaution with Hemmo [Kane Hemmings] who took a bit of a knock on his thigh in the later stages of the [Yeovil] game. He’s the only one from Saturday’s game carrying a knock.
“We’re hoping Hayden White is going to be a bit nearer than last week, he came close last week, he probably had another 20% to go.
“Ricky Miller had a good back end to the week and a god weekend with his work. He’ll probably be training with us on Thursday or Friday. I’m definitely expecting to have them both on the grass by the end of the week. There’s a chance [of them making the bench].”
iFollow Stags subscribers can watch David Flitcroft’s answers in full by logging into mansfieldtown.net/ifollow later today.