Stags’ boss David Flitcroft has commended his players for ‘earning’ the 1-0 victory over Carlisle United which preserved Mansfield’s unbeaten start to the league campaign.
Tyler Walker slotted home the only goal of the game from the spot in the 55th minute, which followed by a resolute display from the Stags to keep hold of their lead.
The manager was pleased with the performance, but added that the Stags still have things to work on going forward.
“[It was just] a 1-0 win. I do want more,” he said. “I do want us to improve on that aspect of the game. We’re creating chances and we’ll be up there with created chances in the league.
“You have to put teams to the sword. If you get that 2-0, it breaks the soul and heart of a team. It stops them coming at you.
“Unlike Colchester a few weeks ago, we withstood that last little bit of pressure. Any team with hope are going to keep coming at you.
“We carved them open at time and I thought some of our passing was really good. That’s something that has definitely improved to get us into the last third.
“We have to make our home form the key. Away from home we’ve had a few solid draws this season. We’re unbeaten.
“There was potentially another penalty with Craig Davies [going down in the box]. Then there was the Tyler Walker incident when he was down with a head injury for 17 seconds. Darren Drysdale is a good referee but they [officials] have missed that.
“I’m really buzzing for the fans, the chairman, Carolyn and the directors. We’ve threatened to get that win and now we’ve got it, it’s a well-earned start.
“Nothing is ever given. You have to earn the right for three points. We’ve made sure we earned that victory today and it was good to watch.
“Pearce, Preston and Sweeney really come together. They’re improving. Bobby’s performance was excellent in the key moments and the key saves. I’m happy with a lot that’s gone on today but again, loads to improve on.
“When a team has hope they will keep on coming at you. When it’s 1-0 it feels a little cagey. Players are going to miss chances and as a support we have to support them in that moment.
"Nothing is ever given. You have to earn the right for three points. We’ve made sure we earned that victory today and it was good to watch."
“The players are desperate to do well for the football club. There have been times in my tenure when we haven’t held onto leads so the boys have come through a big test today and all credit to them.”
The Stags’ boss continued to praise his players after the win, which followed the narrow loss to Championship side West Brom in the week.
“You can’t fluke just trying to get wins,” he added. “I was disappointed after Tuesday [West Brom], even though it was a valiant effort. We got beat and that hurt.
“I look at the consistency in the team. We’re not a team that looks like we’re going to concede a lot of goals. We’re playing with and adventure and a verve to get bodies forward. But we’re really solid at the back as well.
“We’ve been able to shut out teams all season, but now it’s about driving it forward and improving in the top end of the pitch.
“I think there was a psychological impact drawing the game like we did against Colchester. I get it because we were so dominant in the game.
“I think it’s really important that you make your home a place where people come and fear it. Carlisle have come here and really respected our work and our players, and I’ve said that to the players.
“It’s our responsibility now to break down teams. Every time we exploded into movement, we looked threatening.”
Striker Danny Rose made his first start of the campaign this afternoon, and the manager expressed his delight at the forward staying at Mansfield following the closure of yesterday’s loan window.
“It was really good at 5pm [yesterday]. We breathed a sigh of relief at 5pm that Danny was with us. That was important. It was like signing another player.
“I think now he can concentrate and focus on what he has to do and focus on football. Focus on the training ground and on the grass.
“When I spoke to Danny on Wednesday or Thursday it was the admiration and the way the crowd felt about him in the games he’s come on, that’s what’s pleased me. That he still has the connection with the supporters who have been brilliant with him.
“That [unconditional support] is what he’s been given. Whether it’s the chairman, whether it’s Carolyn, whether that’s the directors, our supporters, me. He’s had unconditional support. He’s come through a tough time mentally.”
Lastly, the Stags’ boss looked ahead to Tuesday’s Checkatrade Trophy fixture against Lincoln, and hinted at possible changes to the side for the clash.
"It’s too early to talk about it [team selection vs Lincoln]. We’ll have to see where the boys are. We’ve had a positive today with White coming through. We were cautious with him because I didn’t want it turning into a longer term injury.
“With Matt Preston we’ve coasted him through. We’ve gone down the FA guidelines, which you have to do now for the safety of the players.
“We have two excellent players back in the team with that energy that they’ve got. Hopefully if we can get to Monday afternoon with a full quota of players, I’ll be delighted. It might give us an opportunity to change it up a bit.”
iFollow Stags subscribers can watch the manager’s interview in full by logging into mansfieldtown.net/ifollow later today.