David Flitcroft urges his Mansfield Town players to stay calm as promotion race intensifies

Mansfield Town Manager David Flitcroft
Mansfield Town Manager David Flitcroft

Mansfield Town boss David Flitcroft has told his players to remain calm as the pressure intensifies ahead of their penultimate game of the season.

Third-placed Stags bring the curtain down on their 2018/19 League Two home campaign on Saturday when play-off chasing Stevenage arrive at the One Call Stadium.

And Flitcroft is under no illusions towards the significance of the encounter, with promotion hopes on the line.

He said: “The games get bigger as the season progresses. Moments get bigger, missed opportunities get bigger and everything is under the microscope.

“There’s no way we play these games down with so much riding on them - it’s a big game and one we’re looking forward to.

“After the Oldham game we almost went through a grieving process as a group.

“Players and staff were back in yesterday (Wednesday) and it was up to me as the leader, as the manager, to get them back on to firm ground.

“All the emotions you feel, the questions and unanswered questions, you have all that playing on your mind.

“But when you come out of that you start looking for answers and what the next challenge is, the next opportunity.

“The Stevenage game is our next opportunity and we’re going to embrace it.”

Mansfield boast the second best home record in the division this season, two goals behind Bury, with 47 points to their name from 22 games.

They will be looking to reach 50 on Saturday.

“All these games come down to application, focus and staying in the moment,” said Flitcroft.

“It’s an opportunity to get 50 points at home and it’s vitally important we stick to what we’ve been doing well.”

And added: “The players need to stay calm.

“Promotion and relegation is designed over 46 games.

“You can have lucky cup games but in a promotion season you have the highs and lows.

“We’ve bounced back from the lows this season.

“We need to stay together - that’s one thing that this group has done brilliantly all season.

“Football and life mirror each other - you don’t always get it your own way - but when you get there, those trials and tribulations make you who you are and shape who you want to become.

“This group has maintained that focus. They’ve bounced back, been courageous and brave.

“This team have shown consistency.”