First team coach Andy Garner heralded Mansfield’s ‘incredible effort and determination’ to see out a hard-fought 1-0 home victory over third placed Stevenage.
The hosts grabbed a go-ahead goal through James Gale on 11 minutes and defended assuredly to claim all three points.
Andy was delighted with the effort of each Mansfield player.
“[It was] unbelievable. Absolutely unbelievable, I’m overwhelmed honestly,” he told iFollow Stags after the game.
“I think the players have been absolutely fantastic. I can’t speak highly enough of them. The effort and the determination, to keep that ball out of the net and the work rate [was] absolutely incredible.
“On the back of Tuesday night [in the 1-0 win against Newport], [it’s] another massive effort. They’ve been two fantastic games.
“[We] needed every single one of them [today], every ounce of energy that they’d got and they produced that today.
“It might not have been a spectacle in terms of football but [it was] 96 minutes of total hard work, total commitment [and] total effort. With that you get three points and your just deserts.”
Twenty-one year-old Mansfield forward Gale netted his second goal in as many games. The ex-Long Eaton United man was in the right place at the right time to feather Davis Keillor-Dunn’s edge-of-the-box effort into the net and Andy was delighted for the youngster.
On whether it was James Gale’s goal, he said: “I think so. He went running off celebrating so I assume it was him. I’ve not seen it back and there’s a little tap in or whatever.
“When it hit the back of the net, wow. I just looked at the linesman to see if he had his flag up.
“[It] was a great start to get the goal. It just shows you how important the first goal is. The emphasis is on them, when they’re 1-0 down and they’ve got to chase the game a little bit.”
On the injury Gale picked up on 21 minutes, he said: “I’ve not actually seen him yet. I thought it was a bit of a head injury. We’ll have to have a look but I hope he’s okay.”
Stags were boosted pre-match by the return of George Maris and Will Swan to the bench. Andy provided an update: “[George Maris, Louis Reed and Will Swan could all] do ten minutes,” he said.
“We didn’t want Oatesy [Rhys Oates] to have as much [play time as he did] but we were forced into doing it.
“We kept our word with George having ten minutes and Reedy. We didn’t risk Swanny.
“Swanny [will] be all right for Tuesday hopefully. We’ll get Swanny in training on Monday. We’ll do a little bit and he’ll be ready to go on Tuesday on the bench.”