Goalkeeper Jordan Smith says that the extra support generated by Stags’ ‘under-18s go free’ offer for this weekend’s game against Forest Green Rovers will make a ‘huge difference’ to the players.
The offer has been set up by chairman John Radford and CEO Carolyn Radford for our upcoming home clashes against Forest Green and Cheltenham Town, and was deployed for the first time in our 3-1 victory over Macclesfield earlier this month.
On-loan Nottingham Forest ‘keeper Smith reflected on the win over the Silkmen, and says that the added support gave them a ‘ten percent’ boost in the game.
“We played them [Forest Green] fairly recently and it’s one where we know them a little better,” he began. “We know what they’re about, we know what they can do, and we know they’re a good footballing side.
“We know if we do what we can do well - especially in front of this home support - that will be what drives us on.
“It [under-18s go free offer] makes a huge difference. I’m a local boy and I’d be jumping at the chance to come and watch any football game.
“I’d implore them to come out. It’s the second time we’ve had this offer; we had it for the Macclesfield match, and that extra few hundred or thousand people it can bring in, that really does make a huge difference.
“It spurs the boys on and it really does give you that extra lift in terms of getting you over the line.
“The result is going to be mega important in the [Forest Green] game, so hopefully they [fans] will be the ones who get us the three points.
"It’s the second time we’ve had this offer; we had it for the Macclesfield match, and that extra few hundred or thousand people it can bring in, that really does make a huge difference."
“We’ve scored a lot of late goals this season, and that just comes from the supporters being behind us and cheering us on until the very last minute. They’re the ones who can give you that ten percent lift.”
Smith reflected on last week’s disappointing trip to Meadow Lane, and has his sights set on bouncing back quickly against Forest Green on Saturday.
“It [Notts result] is a difficult one to put our finger on. All I can say is no-one really left the pitch with much credit, and no-one was more disappointed than ourselves.
“To turn out the performance that we did, was miles off what we know we can do. It’s just something that we have to look back on and use as fuel in any of the remaining games in the season.
“It [Notts’ goal] was a bit of a wonder strike really. It doesn’t really numb the pain for me as at the end of the day I conceded and it ended up being the goal that sealed our fate.
“The fans that came out were absolutely fantastic. To go over and applaud them for their turnout, but also having to apologise, was super difficult. It really did take some getting over this week.
“While we might have wanted a Tuesday game this week to turn it around as quickly as we can, the game here on Saturday [against Forest Green] just becomes a bigger game, where we have to put everything right.
“We’ve worked very hard this week and we’ve analysed the game last weekend. The gaffer [David Flitcroft] and Futch [Ben Futcher, assistant manager] are going to make sure we do everything we can to put it right.”
The 24-year-old also spoke of his performances since joining the Stags on loan from Nottingham Forest in January, adding that Mansfield’s style of play suits him.
“I think that I’ve done really well. More frustratingly, I think my best two performances have come in the last two games, which we’ve lost 1-0.
“I know what I have to do and my job doesn’t change. Whilst we’re not content and always looking for extra, I’m doing the exact same.
“In terms of a personal level, I want to show what I can do, but on a team level, I want to help as much as I can.
“There is no secret that we’re a good football team. It’s important for us now that we do it [passing play] more often, show more of it, and get the success that it brings.
“Ultimately, that starts with me, with the ball at my feet or at my hands. It’s a little bit of a weapon of mine, and something that the manager encourages.
“We have the attacking flair and we have the pace to just let them [players] free. I just try to keep the back door shut and let them do the scoring.
“We know where we want to go, and as the weeks go by, we know more and more what we have to do when we get there.
“I think we need to come together as a squad and do it for ourselves on the pitch to show the ultimate respect to the manager. He sets us up brilliantly and gives us the freedom to play.”
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