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We’re ‘excited’ for ‘cup final’ - Mellis

2 May 2019

Midfielder Jacob Mellis has described the feeling of ‘excitement’ in the Stags’ camp, as we approach Saturday’s huge game away to MK Dons.

The two sides sit level on points heading into the clash, with both teams able to achieve promotion to Sky Bet League One on Saturday.

Mansfield need a point to be promoted, as they have the superior goal difference, and MK Dons are required to win the game on home turf to finish inside the top three.

Mellis, speaking in a news conference on Thursday morning, says that ‘it would mean everything’ to gain promotion with the Stags.

“It would mean everything [to gain promotion]. We’ve been driving it since the first day of pre-season. Now, it’s come down to the last game, and it’s exciting.

“They [MK Dons] have a big pitch so we’ve been training here [St. George’s Park] to get used to the size of the pitch. It’s a good surface, so we’re getting our preparation in well.

“[The feeling in the dressing room] is excitement. The missus said to me that she’s more nervous as she can’t do anything about it!

“That’s the good thing, as we can affect it on the pitch. For the fans, they’ll probably be a bit more nervous than us, but we’re excited.

“We have a good squad of players here now and this has to be the season. With the gaffer [David Flitcroft], we stayed up on the last day of the season [at Barnsley in 2013] and that was a celebration.

“I can only imagine what getting promotion is like, and I want to taste that.

“We can’t hide away from the fact that it’s a massive game. We’re just embracing it and taking it in our stride.”

The 28-year-old described the fixture as having the feel of a ‘cup final.’

“It [Stadium MK] is a great stadium. I’ve played there twice and won so, I have good memories there.

“I think whoever holds their nerve the best [will achieve promotion]. We’ve played 45 games now and we just want to continue doing what we have been for the majority of the season.

“It’s a one-off game. The way the fixture list has panned out, it’s one of those where we’re on the same points and it feels like a cup final.

“They [MK Dons] are one of the best teams we’ve played [this season]. They’ll looking at us thinking we have a great squad, and we know they have a great squad, so may the best team win.”

“We can’t hide away from the fact that it’s a massive game. We’re just embracing it and taking it in our stride.”

Jacob Mellis, midfielder

The midfielder also spoke of the Mansfield faithful, with over 4,800 fans expected to travel to Stadium MK on Saturday. Mellis says that the Stags want to be celebrating in front of the fans after the final whistle.

“It’s fantastic support [Stags’ fans travelling to MK Dons]. We want to do well for them and we want to be celebrating in front of them.

“On and off the pitch, you can see where the club is going. It’s so professional. I’ve seen other clubs in higher leagues, and they’re not as professional as this club.

“It’s all set up and going in the right direction. We just have to do our job on Saturday and everyone will be happy.

“We all got recruited to get promoted. The manager has worked with the squad and made some great signings, and it all comes down to this.”

The former Bury man also spoke of on-loan striker Tyler Walker, who currently tops the Stags’ scoring charts with 26 goals in all competitions.

Mellis says that Walker has had an ‘unbelievable’ season.

“He’s [Walker] been amazing. I can’t tell you how much I’m proud of him. Sometimes you get loan players who just want to go back to their parent club, but he’s really bought into it from day one.

“He’s been unbelievable and scored vital goals for us. We all love him.

“I spoke to him in Portugal, and I could feel then that he could fire us to promotion with 20 plus goals.

“There’s one thing saying it, but he’s gone and backed that up. We’re delighted.”

iFollow Stags subscribers can watch Mellis’ interview in full by logging into mansfieldtown.net/ifollow later today.


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