Stags’ boss David Flitcroft says that the amber and blue faithful are a ‘credit to the town,’ with over 4,000 Mansfield supporters expected at Meadow Lane for this Saturday’s huge derby clash against Notts County.
The weekend’s match sees the second Nottinghamshire derby of the campaign, with the Stags running out 2-0 winners in the first instalment at One Call Stadium in December.
The manager says that his players will give ‘everything’ for the travelling Mansfield contingent.
“I saw it at Chesterfield last season when Mal [Benning] scored,” he said. “It was electric. We saw the footage of the Stags’ fans celebrating and saw what it means to them.
“I’m a football fan myself and I get the passion. I get that when you lose, how disappointed people are.
“Those are the emotions that you go through. We go through that as a manager and players. The group works really hard to give our supporters those moments.
“To have so many Stags’ fans there [Meadow Lane] is a credit to the town. The players have to make sure they understand that and give everything, like they have done all season.
“I’m not asking for more or less, I’m just asking for that consistency in performance that the players have committed to.”
"To have so many Stags’ fans there [Meadow Lane] is a credit to the town. The players have to make sure they understand that and give everything, like they have done all season."
The Stags’ boss says that he is expecting a different test to the one posed by Notts County at One Call Stadium earlier this season.
“There are things we have to work on tactically and make sure we are absolutely ready and prepared for the Notts game.
“We have a few things planned for the players, including [being back] at the stadium. It’s been good, because they [staff] really want us here.
“That makes a difference. We have a good week planned, and we have to make sure that the boys take on all of the messages.
“It will be a massive game and a key game for both of the teams. Neal [Ardley] is a fantastic manager. I think he came in to a club that was probably a little bit in turmoil.
“He’s been patient and made a few signings. You can see that they’re working and they’ve had good results.
“They’re certainly fighting and Neal has now in his armoury what he probably wanted ten weeks ago.
“No two games are ever the same. Certainly, it’ll feel like a home game, with the amount of supporters we’re taking and the passion that our supporters have for this fixture.
“The players, as the week progresses, will understand that. They will understand what it means as a group to go and give a great account of yourself.
“It’s just another match that we’re getting ready for. We’ve flushed out the game at Newport. It’s another opportunity on Saturday to get three points.”
During Saturday’s slender defeat to Newport, Danny Rose was involved in a heavy collision, and was escorted off the field of play from both teams’ medical staff.
The manager says that despite much initial concern, the striker is now ‘stable’ and in a ‘good place.’
“At the time, there was a lot of concern from their doctor and a lot of concern from our players and Newport’s players.
“I was quite close to it and you got the sense there was a real serious issue. When we’re speaking now 72 hours later, Danny is recovering from his operation, he’s had some plates put in his jaw.
“It [jaw] was fractured in two places. He’s in a process of sort of six weeks where he’ll be on a liquid diet.
“When you see so much blood on the pitch, it throws you. It’s not a nice thing to see. Our medical staff have been phenomenal.
“Newport’s medical staff and their manager, Mike Flynn, have been brilliant. He went to see Danny down there.
“I was with Danny yesterday, and he still has his sense of humour – he’s still laughing and joking. He’s stable and in a good place.
“There was no malice in the tackle. It’s just one of those things on a football pitch that you get. It’s no-one’s fault.
“Newport’s medical team were absolutely brilliant. Danny has got them to thank and a club we have them to thank.
“Tom [Whittamore], our main physio, has almost lived with Danny. He stayed down in Newport with him.”
David Flitcroft also provided updates on two players looking to soon return to first team action, midfielder Alex MacDonald and defender Ben Turner.
“The [reserves] game is on the astro at the training ground, so he [Alex MacDonald] will join in with us training today.
“We’ll make sure that Macca gets his distance in. We’re looking at probably eight thousand metres for Macca and the other boys today.
“He did well yesterday, and has been in all weekend doing his work. It’s just that catch-up work now. He wants to do that work and loves being in and around the lads.
“For someone like Macca who’s been out so long, it’s been a long trek. But the last few weeks he’s been with the first team and it’s been brilliant to see.
“We’re probably one game away [with Ben Turner]. We knew when we signed him that there were still games to go. It’s not something that worries me.”
iFollow Stags subscribers can watch the manager’s interview in full by logging into mansfieldtown.net/ifollow.