Stags’ boss John Dempster believes that this afternoon’s dramatic 1-0 victory over Grimsby Town at Blundell Park could be a ‘massive turning point’ in Mansfield’s season.
Captain Krystian Pearce sparked scenes of ecstasy in the Mansfield away end when he prodded home a 96th minute winner from close range.
The winning strike came after the amber and blue were reduced to ten men on the hour mark when Hayden White saw red for a sliding challenge.
The manager says to win the game so late on with a man less was ‘an unbelievable feeling.’
“We went down to ten men again and the Mansfield supporters didn’t stop singing,” said the boss. “For the captain [Pearce] to pop up and net the winner was an unbelievable feeling.
“You saw how the bench and the supporters reacted – Lee Glover [assistant manager] got a yellow for doing a cartwheel I think!
“I’m really chuffed. I don’t think we played brilliantly today. We did really well when we went down to ten but up to that point I don’t think we were brilliant.
“I’m taking that all day long. There have been times where we haven’t had the rub of the green and I’ve tried not to go on about it.
“We’ve been through a lot in the first 12 games. But what a feeling that was, that’s why we’re in the game. I’m absolutely delighted and I think the reaction said it all.
“These players are with me and they want the club to do well. We spoke about picking up points when we don’t play particularly well and we spoke about digging in – in football if you do that for long enough, things do turn.
“It was an unbelievable feeling [when Pearce scored] – I’m still getting goosebumps now. I was getting a lot of stick from the fans behind me so it was nice to show my delight to them as well.
“When our supporters get the away end rocking like that, the noise doesn’t match the numbers. If we can give them more memories like that and stick together, we’ll climb the table without a doubt.
“It’s a results business, I’m not stupid. If you’re brave and you have courage and you keep doing the things you believe in, football does turn. This is a massive turning point, the effect it will have on the dressing room, giving them that confidence and belief.”
John Dempster gave his opinion on White’s red card before praising the reaction shown by his side after being reduced to ten men.
“Hayden White’s tackle [for the red card] today, he won the ball and went in hard and fair in my opinion.
“I’ve only seen it in real time, I haven’t seen it back. But he 100 per cent won the ball. Hayden has been out for a long time with a broken leg and if you don’t tackle with 100 per cent sometimes you can get injured.
“We were disappointed to see him leave the pitch but the way the players reacted was magnificent.
“Our backs were against the wall and it was looking unfavourable for us but we’ve come through a massive challenge which I believe is a massive turning point because everything was against us and we’ve come out with all three points at Grimsby.”
The boss then looked ahead to Tuesday’s Leasing.com Trophy match against Crewe, before emphasising his aim to secure back-to-back league wins when Oldham visit One Call Stadium next Saturday.
“To get on the bus with all three points is brilliant. We have a game on Tuesday night against Crewe which we’ll respect but we’ll make a lot of changes for.
“Then we’re going to go and play on the front foot against Oldham and put back-to-back [league] wins together. That’s the plan.”
iFollow Stags subscribers can watch the manager’s interview in full by logging into mansfieldtown.net/ifollow later today.