Stags’ boss David Flitcroft has said that today’s resounding 4-1 victory away to Exeter left him with a feeling of sheer pride towards his players.
Forwards CJ Hamilton and Tyler Walker scored two goals apiece to secure maximum points in Mansfield’s longest away trip of the season – a 224-mile journey to Devon.
The manager says his charges displayed ‘drive, energy and urgency’ in what was a scintillating performance from the amber and blue.
“We’ve worked on it all week on how proud we can make each other feel. Today’s performance epitomised that,” he said.
“There was no selfishness to that performance. There was an absolute squad togetherness and I just thought we ran all over them.
“They [players] know what it means to me, and I know what it means to them. We have a collage up in the dressing room – which we’ll take to the next six games – that has all the players’ families on.
“There have been a lot of words spoken this week, so I told them it was now about action and good players making good decisions.
“We just got about them from minute one. Every player had that drive, energy and urgency.
“We’ve worked on it all week on how proud we can make each other feel. Today’s performance epitomised that.”
“Our supporters deserved that today. They’ve come a long way down here and we’ve let them down in the last few games away from home. I’m buzzing that they’ve witnessed that today.”
After making four changes to the Mansfield lineup for today’s match, the manager explained why he made such alterations.
“I said to the boys on Monday that I was going to pick the squad to travel down here on training alone,” he added.
“We had a really top-tempo training session [yesterday] and I was blown away by some of it. I’ve felt it building all week.
“We’ve had some young energy with Zayn Hakeem and Jimmy Knowles in the squad. I thought CJ and Tyler were so good up front – they gave us so many good options and terrorised them [Exeter].
“I told them [players] they’ve all got a fair and equal chance of making the team. One of the changes was made by Ryan Sweeney going down with a bug.
“We put him in isolation and got him a room on his own because I didn’t want anyone else getting it.
“Will Tomlinson came and saw me this morning and told me he might have something, but luckily he came through it.
“I’ve had to pull Bish [Neal Bishop] off because of a slight hamstring [strain]. That’s one we have to watch.
“It’s not about making big calls, it’s about making the right calls. You never lose your gut feeling.
“When this group get it wrong, they get it wrong. But fair play to them, as when they get it right, they’re a real credit to the football club.”
The Stags’ boss added that his players ‘badly’ want to gain promotion to Sky Bet League One, and that Mansfield will be ‘giving everything’ to achieve it.
“This Exeter team has some unbelievable quality. They have real top performers and have had a real surge lately.
“I love what the manager is trying to do down here. He’s really slotted in brilliantly and he knows Exeter.
“It was always going to be a tough game as they’re good at home, but we focused this week on what we can do and what it meant.
“I was disappointed with how they scored their goal. But apart from that Loges [Conrad Logan] has not had to make one save, and that’s a credit to the team.
“The three boys in midfield, I thought they got everywhere. It’s been a good afternoon’s work.
“It’s not decisive [result]. There will be turns and trials. It’ll be like that until the end of the season. What I know is that the team is fighting for us and wants to get over the line – badly.
“They’ll be giving it everything. We’ve had to reset them and refocus them, and that’s what we’ve done.”
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