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Midfielder: Experience could count in final three

23 April 2022

Mansfield Town midfielder George Maris is confident that the Stags’ ‘experienced heads’ and ‘composure’ will see them through the final games of the season after the team convincingly overcame Crawley Town 2-0 at One Call Stadium.

The Mansfield number 10 made his first start for the club since the 2-0 away victory over Bradford City on 26 February 2022.  

Crawley were reduced to ten men in the 69th minute when James Tilley was dismissed following a second yellow card and Maris believes Mansfield capitalised on the situation to defeat a ‘good team’.  

“I know everyone says it’s sometimes harder against ten men and it genuinely i. They sit back and make you break them down,” said the 26-year-old. “Straight away we got the goal and it took the pressure off [us], we could just enjoy our football then. 

“They’re a good team, they’ve beaten some of the top teams in the league and they always seem to be a bogey team for people. So to beat them 2-0 and to have the chances that we had was brilliant, it could’ve been three or four in the end. 

“We did well, [it was] a good game and a good result for us.” 

The midfielder enjoyed his first start in two months as he helped the Stags return to winning ways.  

Maris told the local media: “It was nice [to start the game], it’s been a while. It took me ten minutes or so to feel my lungs and get going again but after that I felt good. Hopefully I can carry on starting now and keep my fitness up.”  

Mansfield have three crucial games of the season remaining, the first of which in three days’ time as the Stags host Steve Evans’ Stevenage. Maris hopes to help the side in their final push for promotion.  

On whether Mansfield’s sights are set on the automatic places, he said: “It’s got to be. We’ve got a game in hand so [we’ll try to] win that and see how it goes.  

“All we can do is win our games and not worry about the teams above us, hopefully it takes us to where we want to be. 

“We’ve got some experienced heads down there who’ve been through this before, they’re guiding us through really well. It’s just about being composed. We’ll play our own game, that’s what has been getting us results and long may it continue.”  

The former Cambridge United man says that Mansfield can use their incredible home form to their advantage in the run-in.  

“We’re good here [at One Call Stadium],” he said.  

“If [in the] worse case we do get play offs, then teams aren’t going to want to come here and play us. 

“[We’ve] got two games at home so hopefully [we] win them both and see where it takes us. 

“Any game at home, the boys look forward to. 

“The fans have been brilliant all season especially now we’re winning. They’ve been right behind us, they push us over the line.  

“It’s exciting. It’s nice to be playing for something at this stage of the season, hopefully we win the [last] three [games] and get this team promoted.” 

Watch the midfielder's interview by clicking here.

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