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Fans have played ‘massive part’ in our season - manager

25 April 2019


Fans have played ‘massive part’ in our season - manager

25 April 2019

Manager David Flitcroft says he is ‘looking forward’ to being back in front of the ‘amazing’ Stags’ faithful, as we aim for our highest home attendance of the season on Saturday with our ‘Under-18s Go Free’ special offer.

We welcome play-off-chasing Stevenage to One Call Stadium on Saturday, for the final home match of this thrilling Sky Bet League Two campaign.

The Mansfield chief says that the supporters have played a ‘massive part’ in the Stags’ season so far, adding that he ‘can’t ask for any more’ from the amber and blue army.

“The chairman and Carolyn have put the [under-18s go free] offer on to get the stadium packed. When it’s been packed, we’ve not disappointed,” said the manager.

“We’ve had three offers on, and the lads have performed. Against Lincoln, one of our biggest crowds of the season, we were excellent.

“Our supporters have played their part, and have given everything. We’re looking forward to getting back to the One Call.

“When we talk about consistency, our support has been amazing. Away from home, I can’t tell you how disappointed I’ve been when we’ve not turned up, but our supporters have.

“They [supporters] have played their part this season, and will continue to play their part until the end of the season.

“They’ve been supportive, and that’s been unconditional. The support that came down to Exeter was phenomenal.

“They’ve been a massive part of it. I get what our supporters are about. They epitomise drive and commitment. They’ve been vocal and raucous – everything that you want from your crowd. I can’t ask for any more.”

The boss has asked for his players to be ‘calm’ in Saturday’s big match against the Boro, while also referring to Stags’ impressive home record this season - the joint-best in the division alongside Bury - ahead of the weekend’s game.

“The games get bigger as the season goes on,” he added. “The moments get bigger and everything is under the microscope.

“It [Stevenage at home] is a big game and one that we’re looking forward to. It was up to me as a leader to get them back on track [after Oldham].

“That fight, spirit and never-say-die attitude is something that you nurture in a squad, and I saw evidence of that against Oldham.

“When you come out of that on the other side, you look at the next opportunity. We see the Stevenage game as that next opportunity.

“It’s about accepting the defeat, understanding why we got beat and coming up with solutions for this Saturday.

“They’ve been a massive part of it. I get what our supporters are about. They epitomise drive and commitment. They’ve been vocal and raucous – everything that you want from your crowd. I can’t ask for any more.”

David Flitcroft, manager

“All of these games come down to staying absolutely focused and on task. It’s an opportunity for us to get 50 points at home [this season]. We’ve been phenomenal at home.

“For the players, it’s about staying calm. Promotion and relegation is designed over 46 games. Staying together is one thing that this group has done brilliantly all season.

“This group has maintained that focus, and from a position where we’ve been wrote off, they’ve bounced back. They’ve been brave and courageous.

“It’s now about that mental approach, and a lot is riding on it [Saturday’s match] for Stevenage. Everything the players do will have to be calm and considered.”

David Flitcroft says that his charges will only focus on what they can influence as we approach the final two matches of the season, starting with Saturday’s Sky Bet League Two encounter.

“The scores from other games might change how Stevenage come at us in a certain period of the second-half.

“Until you’re in that moment, all you can do is plan for the starting 11, what game-changers we have on the sidelines, and how we plan for if we need to change shape.

“The players have been in the zone for 22 games at home this season. Even when we’ve not got the win, we’ve still played the right way. That focus doesn’t change.

“It all comes down to what we need to do. What the MK Dons match gives us is another chance after Saturday.

“There is so much to play for this weekend. But if you get fixated on that, it takes you away from the focus.

“What’s going on elsewhere, we’re not in control of. We have to concentrate on what we need to make happen.”

The Stags have today trained at Loughborough University’s Holywell Sports Complex, and the manager described the reasons for doing so.

“We came [to Loughborough University] a couple of weeks ago for a day of training,” he explained. “We were working on 11 versus 11, so it was important that we had the right size training pitch.

“I spoke to the chairman on it, and he backed us on coming here [Loughborough]. He invested in us coming here and whatever we needed.

“It epitomises professionalism. A grass pitch is a fundamental. There has been a lot of good work on the training ground.

“This gives a different stimulus and a different environment. The players commit to it, and that’s excellent. Everything I’ve asked them to do, they’ve committed to.”

Ahead of the meeting with Stevenage, the Stags’ boss provided a quick update on his squad.

“We’re in good nick. Turns [Ben Turner] trained with us the other day, so he’s back in contention.

“Otis [Khan] is doing some field-based training today, so hopefully we might have him back for the weekend.

“Jimmy Knowles has come back into the fold after coming through a groin injury that he picked up. We’re getting over the injuries and are in a good place.”

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

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