Stags’ boss David Flitcroft has expressed his delight in having the trio of Krystian Pearce, Matt Preston and Ryan Sweeney available for selection, describing them as the ‘bedrock’ of what has so far been a fruitful campaign.
The defenders lined up alongside each other in Monday’s 1-1 draw with league leaders Lincoln for the first time since Mansfield’s trip to Newport in early February.
The Stags’ boss says that the trio have performed ‘phenomenally’ this campaign.
“When you have that back three [Pearce, Preston and Sweeney], you don’t feel as much threat [from the opposition],” he said.
“It [back-three] has been a bedrock of our season. I see KP [Krystian Pearce] and he knows he has his two young bucks [Preston and Sweeney] at the side of him, and he enjoys organising them. He knows that they have his back.
“They’ve done phenomenally this season. There is a lot of athleticism in Ryan and Matty Preston, and good organisational qualities in Pearcey.
“It is good to have them back. It’s a brilliant base to work from. Sweens came through the [Lincoln] game brilliantly.
“Matty Preston has had some management on his game, but also came through the game superbly after being a doubt.”
"It [back-three] has been a bedrock of our season. I see KP [Krystian Pearce] and he knows he has his two young bucks [Preston and Sweeney] at the side of him, and he enjoys organising them. He knows that they have his back."
Reflecting on Monday evening’s encounter against the league leaders, the manager says he is ‘proud’ of how the club was represented in front of the Sky cameras.
“[Watching the game back] we had a general view of how good the stadium and the atmosphere looked,” he added. “I think it was crucial to show that.
“My responsibility is to get it right on the football pitch, but there’s so many people behind the scenes trying to get it right.
“I’m really proud of what the club did. In the first-half the players committed to the game [against Lincoln], and I genuinely felt in the first-half, in the way we attacked, we could have impacted the game more.
“We knew there would be a shift in their attitude, meaning what we had to be in the second-half is more calm and more brave on the ball.
“But from the sideline we never felt threatened. They had a couple of opportunities but I felt really comfortable in the game.
“Only getting one point has sunk in and I’m disappointed with it. But, I’m still proud of how the club were represented on Sky.”
The manager also previewed this weekend’s upcoming clash against Crewe Alexandra, a side he watched record a resounding 6-1 victory over Crawley Town last Saturday.
He says that Stags must focus on what they do well, alerting to the solid home record this season.
“Having the Sky game on Monday it gave us an opportunity to train on the Saturday morning and then get over to the Crewe game.
“Crewe went into overdrive [against Crawley]. Their movement was good and there was an energy about the team.
“The whole academy system is about getting players into the team playing the Crewe way.
“They could have settled at three or four but they went for the jugular [against Crawley] and got the six.
“We have completely different personnel [compared to the last time Crewe visited One Call Stadium]. It’s a different moment.
“We have the best home record in the league and they’re coming to our place. Over the next few days we’ll get a game plan that suits what we’re trying to do.
“We won’t come off what we usually do at home, and we’ll try and hurt Crewe with the quality that we have in our team.
“Crewe will always do it the Crewe way and have real belief in what they do as a football club. I don’t think they’ll change too much.
“What I have to do is make sure our players put a real emphasis on every detail. When we’ve done that, we’ve been excellent.”
Meanwhile, Mansfield have no fresh injury concerns ahead of this weekend’s home match against Crewe, yet Danny Rose, Bobby Olejnik, Craig Davies, Hayden White and Jordan Graham are all still sidelined.
iFollow Stags subscribers can watch the manager’s interview in full by logging into mansfieldtown.net/ifollow later today.