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Protecting away record was important - manager

3 November 2018

Stags’ boss David Flitcroft has noted the value of his side maintaining their impressive away record, which now stretches to 12 games following this afternoon’s 2-2 draw at Cheltenham.

Tyler Walker’s stoppage time equaliser meant that the Stags kept up the unbeaten streak which stems from last season.

The manager says that his charges showed ‘character’ to protect their record.

“In the second half we were brave and it was more like us,” he said. “I had to remind the players why we have a good away record.

“It was really brave from the boys to get out of the mess we got ourselves into going 2-1 down. We showed real character.

“There was a record at stake. Our fans today were brilliant. It felt like we were at home because they didn’t stop singing from minute one.

“It was really important that we kept that bravery [in the second half]. Cheltenham are fighting tooth and nail for the manager and got a good result in the week.

“When they got the two goals they had something to fight for, and we had to wrestle that off them. It wasn’t a steal [Walker’s second goal to earn the point].

“We talk about quality, and Mal Benning’s cross was the goal was fantastic. Tyler’s header was excellent. I hope he can score a good streak now. He got one on Tuesday and added another two today.

“For a long time we have been very good away from home and I reiterate that to the players. We have something to protect and a lot of hard work has gone into that.”

David Flitcroft, manager

“Every game in League Two is different, and you have different styles. Cheltenham were very difficult to break down when they went into that back five.

“For a long time we have been very good away from home and I reiterate that to the players. We have something to protect and a lot of hard work has gone into that.”

The Stags’ boss spoke highly of the unity that his players show, which he believes was a main factor in Mansfield earning a point this afternoon.

“Absolutely [it was a deserved point],” added the gaffer. “We’ve been victim to having six or seven minutes added at the end of games and we got five today, but we should’ve had more.

“If we had that extended time, which was just, there was only going to be one winner. We had to dig ourselves out of the hole we got ourselves in, [and showed] character, unity and togetherness.

“After the first goal we almost became complacent and didn’t make angles for each other. We weren’t brave enough.

 “I brought Bish [Neal Bishop] and Whitey [Hayden White] off and their response shows me that we’re moving in the right direction. They were willing and allowed Davo [Craig Davies] and Will Atkinson to go onto the pitch and make a difference.

“You want that togetherness and that squad harmony that we’ve got. But I don’t want to be getting into positions where we are digging out of a hole we’ve got ourselves into.

“For their set pieces we didn’t really land on the second ball for most of the afternoon if I’m being honest. That was a real threat for Cheltenham.

“I’m pleased for the players that it’s another hurdle we’ve got over. We desperately wanted three points but we’ll respect the point that we’ve got.”

Stags are next in action on Tuesday 06 November, when they face Grimsby Town at One Call Stadium for a 7.45pm kick-off.

iFollow Stags subscribers can watch the manager’s interview in full by logging into later today.

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