Stags’ boss David Flitcroft says that his side attacked with ‘vigour’ and a ‘real verve’ in today’s emphatic 4-0 victory over Morecambe at One Call Stadium.
Jacob Mellis, Krystian Pearce, CJ Hamilton and Mal Benning were all on target in the Good Friday fixture, securing a win that pushes the Stags up to second in the Sky Bet League Two table.
The Mansfield boss says that his players ‘fully deserved’ the victory, while also discussing a meeting he had with lifelong Stags’ supporter Jerry Jenner prior to kick-off.
“It was moving before the game, as I met a guy, Jerry, who has throat cancer,” he said. “We had ten minutes with him, and you realise what pressure is when you see his family, who have come here today.
“The club have supported him in giving him a fantastic day, and it moved me. It moved me to a point where you understand what people have to go through and live through.
“That gave me my team talk, to go and tell the players how lucky they were to go out there and be in a position we’ve found ourselves in.
“But there’s been no luck attached to what we’ve done. The lads, the staff, the chairman and Carolyn, the work that they’ve put in for us, it gives you days like this.
“Courage is about getting on the ball and making angles. We didn’t do that against Northampton. But everyone wanted the ball today and were making angles for each other.
“In the first-half we were brilliant, we seemed to attack them from every angle possible. We were unlucky not have more going in [at half-time]. We attacked with that vigour and a real verve.
“It pleases you when you see elements of what you’ve done in the week go into the game. It was an emphatic win and one that the players and the supporters fully deserved.”
"In the first-half we were brilliant, we seemed to attack them from every angle possible. We were unlucky not have more going in [at half-time]. We attacked with that vigour and a real verve."
The manager added his delight at seeing four different scorers for Mansfield this afternoon, emphasising the importance of finding goals from different areas of the pitch.
“We have relied heavily on Ty [Walker],” he explained. “We’ve had Danny Rose and Craig Davies injured for long stages of the season.
“Tyler has carried it at times. CJ has backed him up all season, and Mells, coming from midfield, he showed calmness and composure.
“Mal Benning kept driving in the second-half and it’s a great finish for his, and KP [Krystian Pearce] as well.
“It’s good to share the load. Once it got to three and four, it was important to take Tyler off. I didn’t want to take any chances with him, Bish [Neal Bishop] or Granty [Jorge Grant].”
After seeing his side score four goals, the manager was keen to point out the work of his defensive unit, who secured their 18th clean sheet of the season this afternoon.
“We’ve had to fight and be consistent all season. The bedrock is the back-three. It looked fantastic [today].
“In the back-three, I don’t know where that weakness is. We’ve seen that all season from them.
“We have to keep sticking to what we’re good at, and today we were back on it. I don’t know how the other results have gone, because I am focusing on what we’re doing.
“It’s important that we stick to that focus because we have stuck to what Mansfield is about today.”
The Stags face a quick turnaround for their next game, as they travel to face Oldham Athletic on Easter Monday.
David Flitcroft says that attentions have now fully shifted to Monday’s clash with the Latics.
“From a goal difference point of view, it [win] is important. You have that to think about.
“We’ve got a Sky game [live on Sky Sports] and the Oldham players will raise their potential and raise their game on Monday.
“We’ve got a really tough fixture against Stevenage, too [next Saturday]. There’s still so much left to play for, and there are quite a few teams still looking to get into the play-offs.
“You see how much it meant to the lads today. It was phenomenal. I told them to not go searching for the second goal, and to just be patient.
“We took them apart with some really clean, precise work today. We’ll get the boys in tomorrow and focus on the recovery strategy.
“We’ll put on a really good session for the lads that haven’t played the 90 minutes today. Then it’ll be recovery for the other lads.
“Our focus now is on Oldham, so it will be a late one tonight for us in terms of getting our work ready. Then we have two days to prepare for Oldham.”
iFollow Stags subscribers can watch the manager’s interview in full by logging into mansfieldtown.net/ifollow later today.