Mansfield Town manager Nigel Clough says his side will go into the play-offs in ‘good heart’ and with ‘some momentum’ following this afternoon’s 2-2 draw at home to title clinchers Forest Green Rovers.
The Stags needed a point to achieve a first top seven finish since 2019 and will now face Northampton Town over two legs.
Goals from Matty Longstaff and Jordan Bowery eventually secured the play-off finish for the gaffer’s side, despite being pegged back twice by Rovers.
Speaking to the local media in his post-match interview, the manager said: “That [the 77-points mark achieved today] was the club's best points tally in over 20 years and we've broken a few records along the way this season.
“I think we are going into the play-offs in good heart, with some momentum.
“It was an incredible finish to the [Sky Bet League Two regular season] and [was] absolutely heart-breaking for Northampton, but congratulations to Bristol Rovers [on going up automatically].
“I think the home leg [of the play-offs against Northampton Town] will be where it [the tie] will be decided.
“Our performances at home [this season] have been outstanding.
“We need to make sure we are in with more than a chance after the first leg.”
The boss’ squad were rallied on by a sell-out home crowd at One Call Stadium this afternoon.
“The fans were absolutely brilliant today. We sold every home seat,” Nigel said.
“The owners have put a fortune in over the years and I am sure they sometimes think 'why are we doing this?'
“But on days like today it must seem worthwhile to them.
“This is [getting into the play-offs is] a magnificent achievement by everybody – the whole squad has made a contribution.
“We've extended the season and we are going to give it the best possible shot we can [to get promoted].”
Mansfield now face Northampton Town at One Call Stadium on Saturday, who dropped into the play-off places this afternoon after Bristol Rovers’ 7-0 victory over Scunthorpe saw them leapfrog the Cobblers.
“We are still in with a chance [of promotion] and before kick-off we'd have taken that,” said the boss.
“Our aim at the start of the season was to get in the top seven.
“Obviously we'd have loved automatic [promotion].
“Bristol Rovers were always going to win so it was all about making sure we got that point [against Forest Green this afternoon]. It was tough but we got there.
“They [Forest Green] needed a point to win the league so it couldn't have worked out better for both teams.
“It was important we scored as you don't fancy keeping a clean sheet against Forest Green. They are always going to cut you open at some point.”
Watch the gaffer's interview now by clicking here.