Sutton pinpoints Southport loss as Stags’ success catalyst

STAGS defender Ritchie Sutton pinpoints the feeling of losing at Southport before Christmas as the catalyst for Mansfield Town’s storming run into play-offs contention.

A run of 10 wins and a draw in 12 games have catapulted Stags into third – a far cry from the 3-1 pre-Christmas flop at Southport – and two points Hayes and Yeading on Saturday will seal their play-off place.

“I look at that Southport defeat as the big one,” he said. “Coming back from that we were a different team. We had a meeting afterwards and agreed we had the quality here to push for the play-offs.

“Everyone started believing, concentrating on their jobs and we have had the performances and the results. We have kicked on and never looked back.

“There is a great spirit in the squad now. As well as players, we are now also becoming really good mates off the pitch.

“Everyone is very excited. I include myself as I have never really been involved in a play-offs push before.

“We have one foot in the play-offs. But Hayes and Yeading are fighting for their lives and won’t take our foot off the gas.”