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We played without fear - manager

23 February 2019

Stags’ boss David Flitcroft has said that his players were fearless and played with aggression in this afternoon’s 1-0 victory over promotion rivals Forest Green.

Tyler Walker’s header in the second-half wrapped up the three points in a deserved win at One Call Stadium.

David Flitcroft hailed the ‘quality’ and ‘commitment’ displayed by his charges.

“You always have to look at the performance,” he said. “I was after that performance, and if we got it, I thought we would’ve won.

“We’ve been really good at home all season and that’s one of the best first halves we’ve had all season.

“The only bit is the end bit, and I’ll keep alerting to that. We get a lot of chances, and that’s the most disappointing thing about the last couple of games, we haven’t done [created chances].

“There was quality and a commitment to the performance and a commitment to the supporters, who were let down on Saturday.

“There was an aggression about the play and a no-fear approach. The players love playing at home and representing the supporters.

“It’s been a really good environment and a platform for the players to work in. There’s a real collective [spirit], and we’ve built that.

"There was an aggression about the play and a no-fear approach. The players love playing at home and representing the supporters."

David Flitcroft, manager

“We’re not in and individuals sport, we’re in a sport where you choose to be a team player and work for a club. You can’t have any selfish behaviour. It was an absolute team performance.”

The manager emphasised the importance of rebuilding momentum as we approach the season’s final furlong.

“It [momentum] is important for the lads. The last couple of games, we’ve come off what we do, and that’s hurt us.

“They’re back on it and have got a lot out of that performance, playing like they did. They ran for each other and the team.

“I’ve got a strong belief system – we will get things wrong and I’ll be the first to admit it when we do.”

The Stags’ boss says that the players’ ‘commitment’ and ‘connection’ with the fans were key to getting a win from a ‘tough game.’

“They [Forest Green] have a good structure and have unpredictable players. They’ve been outstanding all season, and have had a brilliant season.

“It was always going to be a tough game. The lads have really committed this week, and there’s that connection they have with the supporters.

“We dug in and got a little bit lucky late on. They had a couple of good chances that they maybe should’ve scored from.”

Midfielder Willem Tomlinson made his first start for the Stags this afternoon, and the manager described his performance as ‘excellent.’

“I thought he [Tomlinson] was excellent – I thought he backed Bish [Neal Bishop] up. He’s organises his department well. Him and Bish really locked the centre of the pitch down.

“Willem came in, was guided by Bish a little bit, and it was almost like a son and his lad play Sunday football together!

“They’re quite similar in how they go about the business. I thought he [Tomlinson] was brilliant and I’m delighted with his performance.

“He gave freedom to Mells [Jacob Mellis], to Tyler [Walker] and to Jorge [Grant]. CJ [Hamilton] absolutely tore them to bits in the first-half.

“It’s another clean sheet and it’s really important that we’ve kept that – a massive well done to our supporters because they could’ve come in with a negativity.”

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

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