Bring it on - Promotion-chasing Mansfield Town excited about huge Easter testers

Picture by Gareth Williams/AHPIX.com; Football; Sky Bet League Two; Northampton Town v Mansfield Town; 13/4/2019  KO 15.00; PTS Academy Stadium; copyright picture; Howard Roe/AHPIX.com; David Flitcroft thanks the travelling Mansfield fans for their support after the draw at Northampton
Picture by Gareth Williams/AHPIX.com; Football; Sky Bet League Two; Northampton Town v Mansfield Town; 13/4/2019 KO 15.00; PTS Academy Stadium; copyright picture; Howard Roe/AHPIX.com; David Flitcroft thanks the travelling Mansfield fans for their support after the draw at Northampton

Mansfield Town boss David Flitcroft said he and his players cannot wait for kick-off tomorrow as a crucial Easter begins with a visit from Morecambe.

Stags go into the last four games in third place and Flitcroft beamed: “I am excited, as are my staff, and I am bouncing around the training ground. You get that vibe and it’s a great pressure to be under.

“Our destiny is in our own hands.

“The work we’ve put in this season has been relentless from everyone concerned.

“But we have to look forward and not look back. It’s a time to live in the now.”

Morecambe, all but safe from the drop now, have won three of their six games at Mansfield and will be uncompromising and often unpredictable.

“They are a Jim Bentley team and they epitomise Jim and his character and honesty,” said Flitcroft.

“Every year he has managed to keep surviving doing what he is doing. He has been a brilliant operator and they have done well against the top teams. We don’t underestimate anyone.

“I know Jim really well. He’s been in this league a long time and he has been an outstanding manager for Morecambe under some tough and adverse times. He gets on with his job.

“The one thing they always do is have a right good go for the manager. We will certainly be expecting that and we have prepared for that.

“But we have really focused on us this week.

“We are at home and we love playing at home. I’ve said it all season. Our record at home is phenomenal.

“We now need to motivate our supporters to get behind us like they have all season – they have been fantastic.”

Mansfield are then quickly back in action at Oldham on Easter Monday afternoon and he said: “It is a quick turnaround but we are used to it and earlier in the season we went on a fantastic run when we played Saturday/Tuesday for about eight or nine weeks. We were phenomenal in that run.”

Flitcroft believes the more games players play together in a season the more likely they are to succeed and with four games left he said: “We have a lot of players who have played the majority of the games this season, we we need to manage their workload.

“The games played by the have been incredible and their workload phenomenal. They have also done the maximum training days.

“We have had a core – a solid base – who have been consistent. And results have been consistent.

“You can probably say that about all the top six teams.”

Stags did spill two points in a 1-1 draw at Northampton last weekend after leading early, but the manager said: “I didn’t enjoy the Northampton game as that wasn’t us for me. We got drawn into a battle and Northampton are good at what they do.

“We got dragged into that and I have spoken to the players a lot about that.

“I always say you never lose. You either win or learn.

“It was disappointing not to get all three points but we invited pressure on ourselves and didn’t show enough composure.”