Stags’ two-goal hero Gary Roberts says: “We are in with a shout of play-offs”

TWO-goal Gary Roberts turned in yet another man of the match display in Stags’ 3-0 win at Ebbsfleet United on Saturday.

But his sparkling form has been no surprise to boss Paul Cox who explained: “I said when I brought Gary here that, with all due respect, he shouldn’t be playing at this level. The kid is a fantastic footballing talent.

“Sometimes a player just needs a bit of an arm around them and some of the things he did today were immense. The ability he has as a 24-year-old is huge.

“Since he came here he has worked as hard as everyone else in training and the games. He gave himself a target of 10 goals when he came here and looks like he could do it.

“He is bedding into a very good team, It wasn’t just about his two goals but also his passing and his creative ability are maybe something we were lacking earlier in the season.”

Roberts said: “It was a must-win game today or the point we got at Luton in midweek would have been a waste of time.

“We went short and long first half and they didn’t know whether to stick or twist.

“But credit to Ebbsfleet in the second half they got us on the back foot. Any team 2-0 down is going to put you under a lot of pressure but they didn’t really create any clear cut chances. We defended quite well at times, though we can defend better.”

Roberts netted in the first half and, after being unable to come off near the end exhausted after all three subs had been used, he grabbed a late second.

“I am glad the boss kept me on – now I will have to chase him for a goal bonus now,” he said.

“I am getting near my fitness now but there is a lot more to come from me

“We are in with a shout of the play-offs and, if we keep performing like that, we won’t be far off.”