Manager David Flitcroft has commended the club’s special offer for the next two home games – against Forest Green and Cheltenham – for which under-18s are eligible for free tickets.
The special offer, put in place by chairman John Radford and chief executive Carolyn Radford, was first used for our recent win over Macclesfield, which saw an attendance of 5,642.
The gaffer says that the offer provided further ‘energy’ to his players for the victory over the Silkmen.
“Getting over 5,000 fans in the stadium [against Macclesfield], it was a brilliant atmosphere,” he said.
“We love playing at home, but equally, we enjoy playing away. We have that mentality, that resilience and belief to go away from home and compete.
“It [kids go free offer] shows how our owners think. The support they have given me is absolutely unconditional – it’s incredible.
“They have seen the energy it [offer] gave to the players. It’s new people coming in who have an optimism.
“There’s not just hope, there’s an optimism [with the supporters]. The players can feel that and they love playing at home.
“When you flood the numbers, and you get a new audience in, we told the players that it’s important to commit to your values.
“I have a brilliant support staff and the owners support me with everything. We’ve had a great [January] window – there’s a lot of things right at this football club.
"They have seen the energy it [offer] gave to the players. It’s new people coming in who have an optimism."
“The backup that the manager gets at this club is phenomenal. With every bit of infrastructure at this football club, the word ‘improvement’ – that’s what our owners are trying to do.”
The Stags’ squad recently enjoyed a day of Go-Karting in Nottingham, with frontman Tyler Walker winning the club’s racing crown.
The manager emphasised the importance of maintaining a competitive edge within his ranks in different ways, and also spoke of the camaraderie between his charges.
“He [Tyler Walker] is just having one of those seasons. I think he goes there [go-karting] quite regularly, so when we chose to go, you could see that he knew he was going to be up there.
“He was top of the qualifiers, and when the competition started, he wanted to win it. It was a competitive day – we have to do things that are competitive, and it doesn’t matter what that is.
“They [players] want to get better. They want to stay out, they want to train. The modern day player understands what’s available to them - this squad I have want to improve, and they’re certainly competitive.
“When you take them on a day like that, you still see that competitive edge. The game against Forest Green took it out of us, so we just had to get off the training ground for a day.
“It was a brilliant day and the lads have come in with a bounce today. They spent some good time together and they didn’t want to leave. They want to spend time with each other.
“Players and organisations that spend time together usually win together, because you want to be in those people’s company.”
The manager also gave an injury update on a selection of his players.
“We’ve gone from a clean bill of health to some medium and long term injuries. Hayden [White] is mobile now – he’s walking. They’ve operated on Hayden and we’re now in that tentative stage.
“Jordan [Graham] had an operation on his cartilage. It [injury] was worse than we thought – we thought it would be a month but he’s probably going to be out for three or four months.
“Craig [Davies] is in a boot – again, it was a bigger operation than we first anticipated. He’s doing his fitness work and conditioning work, but we’re limited to what we can do.
“Gibbo [Lewis Gibbens] has dislocated his shoulder, so he’s another one who has to see a surgeon to decide whether they’re pinning it or operating on it.
“Macca [Alex MacDonald] played his first 45 minutes at Rotherham [for the reserves]. It’s been a long time [out] for Macca. It hurt Macca being out but he’s back around the lads now.
“We think it was a ten day injury when he [Ben Turner] first joined. We’ll see how he reacts to the treatment and the training programme – so he might still be ten days away. We’re probably looking at maybe ten days.”
Up next for the Stags is a trip to face Newport County, who booked their place in the fourth round of the Emirates FA Cup with a win over Championship side Middlesbrough in mid-week.
The Stags’ boss described the Exiles’ cup run as ‘phenomenal,’ and maintained that his players will need to be wary of the ‘bounce’ that Newport may take into this weekend’s game.
“As a League Two team, we have to commend Newport for the job they’ve done [in the FA Cup]. The run that they’ve been on and the tie with Man City, the benefit it gives to that club is absolutely huge.
“To pick your wits against a top Championship team and a Premier League team, it’s a phenomenal job that they’ve done.
“It’s a good profile for League Two to show that the giants can be slayed. It can’t be underestimated what they [Newport] do.
“They’ll have had a bounce all week. When you’re on that wave, you have that momentum to bounce into games.
“It may have emotionally and physically taken its toll – but we don’t know that. I know our strengths and weaknesses, and we certainly have an ambition to go down and give a fantastic account of ourselves.”
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