Time for players to make it up to Stags fans

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MANSFIELD Town’s beleaguered players must start to repair their relationship with their fans in Saturday’s FA Trophy tie with Newport County after their latest disaster – Tuesday’s 5-2 home capitulation to Fleetwood.

Rob Duffy’s red card at 1-1 was a major factor in that and assistant manager Paul Hall said: “I have played with Rob at four clubs and I felt let down him more than anyone else.

“He is an experience professional who should not be seeking retribution that way.

“The most important thing in his mind should be keeping 11 players on the pitch for Mansfield Town. His moment of madness cost us all.

“But 10 men can stay in a game and we folded which wasn’t good to see.”

He added: “Our fans have high expectations and are very knowledgeable people about the game. I have a great belief in them.

“When Ashley Cain went down the right and got the ball over they responded. It’s what they want to see.

“So we are telling the players they must give these fans something to respond to. Then we can all move forward as a group of people and as a town.

“We want to make it uncomfortable here for Newport and take another step on the road to a Wembley final which would be great for the club. Let’s show everyone who Mansfield Town are both on and off the pitch.”

Midfielder Adam Murray added: “I have a great affection for this club and I know what it means to fans here.

“We do need them behind us. I have seen it elsewhere at other clubs where teams know that if they can keep you quiet for 20 minutes certain sections of the crowd will turn on the team.

“I know we need to give them something to shout about. But if they want to boo, it would be great if they’d do it in the toilet at half-time or when they get home to the wife as it does give the opposition a big gee-up.

“I have seen this place full and experienced the noise they can make. I know how good this crowd can be. It is up to us to get them back to that level.”

On-loan keeper Kevin Pilkington will miss out as Luton Town do not want him cup-tied which will give back-up keeper Neil Collett another chances after his clean sheet in round one.

And Pilkington backed his deputy, saying: “Neil showed in the Worksop game he is a confident lad with good ability and I have every faith he can do a good job for us.

“We need to get a win after Tuesday. You can’t be too critical of the manager as he told us at half-time to go with two banks of four and don’t let them down the sides.

“But we didn’t stick with that and we let the fans down.”

Rhys Day and Adam Smith are expected to train today or tomorrow after injury and will hope to get back into the squad while young centre half Tom Naylor is having treatment for a slight hamstring strain.