Mansfield Town manager Nigel Clough believes that the next five games will ‘define’ the Stags’ season.
Speaking to iFollow Stags following his side's 6-3 victory at home to Newcastle United in the Papa John's Trophy on Tuesday, the boss said: “I just feel that they are five very important games.
“There are 12 league points and a place in the FA Cup third round at stake.
“It’s that time of the season before we go into the busy Christmas period [and] we can put ourselves up towards halfway in the league if we have a good run in the next few games.”
When asked if he had an accumulated points target in mind in this batch of fixtures, the manager said: “There's] No points total [in mind for the next five games]. We’re going to Stevenage on Saturday and we will be trying our best to win the game. We will go from there.
“I think similarly to us, they [Stevenage] are better than their league position suggests. They’ve got some good players.”
Last Saturday’s excellent 1-0 victory away at Sunderland in the Emirates FA Cup first round was Mansfield’s first away win of the season and the gaffer hopes the win will be a catalyist for an improved run of results on the road in the coming weeks.
“When we talk about those five games [in November], four out of five of those games are on the road.
“[There are] Three long trips [in that period] as well. That is why it is going to be so decisive.”
The Stags could be without several key players for the weekend’s game at the Lamex Stadium. Full-backs Kellan Gordon (knee) and Elliott Hewitt (foot) are both doubts for Saturday.
Forward Rhys Oates is also a possible absentee for the Stevenage fixture due to a groin problem as well as midfielder George Lapslie who has a thigh injury.
To watch the manager's interview in full head over to iFollow Stags.