Mansfield Town top goal scorer Rhys Oates says the supporters will play a ‘big part’ in Saturday’s showdown at home to Forest Green Rovers.
Stags’ leading talisman – with 11 goals in all competitions – was buoyed by a travelling following of 1,286 supporters’ in Mansfield’s 2-2 draw at Salford City on Monday.
And now Oates is looking forward to playing in front of a sell-out crowd in the home stands this weekend when Stags welcome title-chasing Forest Green Rovers to One Call Stadium.
Nigel Clough’s men head into the final game of the regular season knowing that a point would secure a place in the end-of-season play-offs, but could also finish in third place or miss out on a top seven position, depending on other results.
“I think the fans play a big part in it,” said Oates speaking at a news conference on Tuesday in the build-up to Saturday’s fascinating encounter.
“They’ve backed us. They’ve been amazing away from home as well.
“They were amazing yesterday [Monday]. I reckon there could have been more Stags fans than Salford fans. They sing for 90 minutes and they’re like a 12th man. They keep you going, they’re just amazing and they have been all season.”
The former Hartlepool striker is confident that Mansfield can gain a positive result this weekend.
“I’ll be confident and I’ll think all the 11 [starting] lads will be.
“I think we’ve been confident going into every game that we can win.
“All we need is a point for the play-offs but we’re going to go and try to win the game and see what happens whether Northampton and Bristol [Rovers] are going to drop points and that’ll do it for us but we just have to concentrate on us.
“We only need a point [to secure a position in the play-offs] but we are only going to go for three points to try and win the game and hope other teams do us favours.
“All we are going to be concentrating on is three o’clock at the One Call and that’s it for us and then come quarter to five, five o’clock, and see how the other results have gone.
“It’s a big game and we’ve just got to concentrate on us.”