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Interviews

Stags' squad showed character in victory - midfielder

2 March 2019

Interviews

Stags' squad showed character in victory - midfielder

2 March 2019

Match-winner Will Atkinson believes that his Mansfield Town teammates showed character in abundance to overcome Cheltenham Town, despite the Robins threatening a comeback.

Wing-back CJ Hamilton notched a four-minute brace as the first half drew to a close – but saw his double cancelled out within a ten minute spell in the second period.

Midfielder Chris Hussey and centre-half Charlie Raglan restored parity for the away side, however, their efforts would be in vain when Atkinson and Alex MacDonald, both introduced as substitutes, scored a goal apiece.

And Atkinson highlighted the Stags’ character as one of the main components behind the latest victory at One Call Stadium.

“It had everything in that second half and coming on at two-nil up you’re looking to see the game through,” he began.

“The next goal was vital and they got it with a quality free-kick. We know he [Hussey] has a great left foot but to then concede from another set-piece is disappointing.

“It meant we had to show character, which I think we did in abundance.

“It would have been easy to hold onto the draw but knowing the players we had out on the pitch I always fancied us to get a goal. And I’m even more pleased that it was me that got it.”

"We know he [Hussey] has a great left foot but to then concede from another set-piece is disappointing. It meant we had to show character, which I think we did in abundance."

Will Atkinson, midfielder

The 30-year-old then detailed the buoyant mood in the Stags’ dressing room, following a pulsating affair that saw Mansfield score four goals for the first time since late September.

“The boys are buzzing downstairs. They’re happy for me and they’re happy for Macca [Alex MacDonald] also coming back from a long-term injury.

“It’s great for him to get the goal but it’s a big win from the position we saw ourselves in first half. To be pegged back and then show the character we did is great.

“I took a little bit of stick earlier on in the season after missing a few good chances, especially with my head, but you’ve just got to keep believing in those positions and luckily that one went in today.

Atkinson, who has made 23 appearances for the Stags this season, scored his first goal of the season on Saturday afternoon.

And the midfielder wants to build upon this into the latter stages of the campaign.

“Every player wants to play and I’m no different to that,” Atkinson continued.

“I’ve played games my entire career so it’s been tough for me at times, but we’ve got a great squad so I’ve just got to be ready when called upon, which I was today. 

“There were mixed emotions but mainly I was just pleased to see it go in.

“I thought the player was going to volley it at the same so I half shut my eyes, threw my head at it and when I’d opened them again it had gone in. [I was] delighted to see it go in.

“My ambitions are the same as they’ve always been – it’s to get in the team, stay in the team and get promoted.”

iFollow Stags subscribers can watch the midfielder's interview in full by logging into mansfieldtown.net/ifollow later today.


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