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Stags will 'fight' for top seven finish - Johnson

17 April 2023

Stags will head in to the five remaining games of the regular season with ‘fight and endeavour’, full-back Callum Johnson said today.

The 26-year-old, who joined the club from Ross County in January, made his first start on Saturday at Grimsby since 04 March.

The defender has appeared on eight occasions for Nigel Clough’s men since his transfer and is looking forward to the remaining matches, starting tomorrow night at Newport.

Speaking in a news conference at RH Academy on the squad’s run-in, Callum was targeting a clean sheet, first and foremost, saying: “It’s massive [if we’re able to get a clean sheet tomorrow night].

“It’s a base to build upon. We look like we’re going to score when we go forward and we’ve got to make sure we keep it tight at the back.

“These are the big games. This is what you want as a footballer to thrive off. That’s our job. 

“I am confident, I think the fight and endeavour is going to be massive. That’ll hopefully take us over the line.

“We’ve got to keep our heads down, take it one game at a time and go toe-to-toe with every team we play against.”

After recovering from two separate injuries, Johnson said: “It’s been 11 weeks since I’ve played over 45 minutes, so it's been a long time.

“It was good to be back out there [on Saturday at Grimsby] obviously. I’m not fully match fit [or] match sharp but that’ll have done me the world of good to get out there after a tough few months for me.

“Obviously match fitness is massive and you can’t really replicate that in training as much as you try to, but even when I came back from the groin [injury] I felt really good and then in my first start [back at Wimbledon] I did my calf.

“Hopefully I can kick on now and get to where I was eleven weeks ago.

“It’s the business end of the season now. There’s five games left and there's no room for rustiness [or] tiredness. That’s gone now, that’s behind me. Head down, full throttle and do everything we can to get over the line.”

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