Sutton pinpoints Southport loss as Stags’ success catalyst

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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.”