Mansfield Town boss John Dempster hopes back-to-back wins and a massive 6-1 demolition of nine-men Oldham today will see Stags fans start to believe.
Dempster had been under pressure after a poor start to the season, but recent form has been much-improved and culminated in a clinical win today with Nicky Maynard scoring a hat-trick.
“It was a performance to be proud of and hopefully now we will start transforming the doubters into believers. It won’t happen overnight but it’s something I am passionate about doing,” said Dempster.
“When the crowd goes up like they did today and chant yellows it gives you a real tingle down your spine.
“We can be a force this season. But if we are going to be a force it will be together – supporters, players, staff and the board. Everybody here.”
Oldham had Tomas Egert and Filipe Morais sent off on 37 minutes for two bad tackles in a row and Dempster said: “I wasn’t pleased with the straight red tackle and I think the second yellow was a second yellow.
“It was a bit of a bizarre situation and you don’t often see that. But I think the referee handled it well as it might have been easy to overlook one of the offences when he’s got to play to the rules and I think he did that.”
He added: “It was an outstanding performance and we felt that had been coming over the last month or so.
“People will look at the result and see there were two sending-offs, but make no mistake we were outstanding when it was man v man and 11 v 11.
“We were on the front foot and on full throttle and I am pleased for everybody involved.
“It can be difficult to play against 10 men. But they were down to nine so there were a lot of spaces.
“At times we could have shifted the ball quicker but let’s not take any negatives out of that one today. Today will give players belief. We can be a match for anyone.”
Maynard was the hero with a hat-trick and an assist and Dempster said: “It was brilliant to see Nicky go home with the match ball in front of his young family here watching.
“He was blowing kisses to them over my shoulder and I thought they were for me initially so I blew one back. But then I realised they were sat behind me!
“I think Nicky showed his quality today, not just his finishing but his one-touch play and some of his set-up play.
“The icing on the cake was young Jimmy Knowles getting his first league goal and how composed he look when he came on and took that penalty.
“I am chuffed to bits for him and his family who were here watching today. Hopefully that will be the first of many for him.
“Mal Benning is adamant it was a shot on target that took a slight deflection so he is claiming his first goal of the season.”