Mansfield Town captain Ollie Clarke says his Stags teammates have regained their ‘buzz’ following a 3-1 victory over Scunthorpe United in which the skipper netted a brace.
The Stags’ high-energy triumph at One Call Stadium was their fifth consecutive win in all competitions.
Clarke bagged Mansfield’s first of the game, a powered left-footed strike into the bottom right corner. His second put the Stags 3-1 up on the hour mark, having dispossessed a Scunthorpe defender thanks to Mansfield’s high pressing system.
The 29-year-old felt Mansfield’s plan worked perfectly in overcoming the Iron.
“I think we dominated the majority of the game,” he said. “We created good chances [and] probably should have had a couple more [goals].
“I think the way we prepared and the way we set up [were key to victory]. We were [always] going to press and try and run all over them and that’s how we got our goals.
“We looked at their strengths and weaknesses and we pinpointed how we could control the game. I think we did that for the vast majority.
“I don’t think they really got in at all. The penalty was a lucky ricochet through to the attacker. We dealt with the set back and came back strong.”
Clarke’s goal from outside the box came as no surprise to the skipper.
“I’ve actually done a couple [like that] in training this week,” he said. “[I] brought it onto my left [foot] and shot back across goal.
“As soon as I hit it I saw it going towards the bottom corner and I was just hoping the goalie didn’t get down to it. It’s always nice to see the net ripple.”
The midfielder’s second of the game came after he had dispossessed Scunthorpe defender Alex Perry outside the visitors’ box.
“It was a good bit of pressing on our behalf.
“I managed to nick it off him 10, 15 yards outside the box. [I] managed to dribble it into the box and slide it under the goalie which is a nice feeling.
“I should’ve had a hat trick but I’ll take two and keep moving forwards.”
Mansfield face two trips to south London in the coming week against sides within six points of them in the Sky Bet League Two Table, Sutton United and Crawley Town. The Mansfield skipper says the Stags now have the confidence to perform at their potential.
“Everyone’s positive,” said Clarke. “Everyone’s really happy and that’s what you want to see when you come in after a game.
“It’s nice to have a buzz around the place again.
“I had no doubt in my mind that we were going to put on a strong performance after the way we’ve been playing recently. Today we came in and everyone had a little spring in their step and we performed well despite a setback.
“It’s going to be a tough week on the road but we’ll prepare right. We’ll get ourselves rested up and we’ll travel down on Monday.
“You always get these sort of weeks in football where you’ve got a lot of travelling to do, but we’ve got a nice bit of rest afterwards.
“It’s nice to get three points [today} and keep moving forwards, especially here in front of the Stags fans.
“Our confidence is now building and we’re trying to move ourselves up the league.“
Watch the midfielder's interview in full by clicking here.