Mansfield Town chairman John Radford has issued a rallying call to everyone at the club to be unified as the Stags enter the play-offs – and “finish the job we have started.”
Speaking at the club’s annual awards dinner, a day after the disappointment of seeing the Stags miss out “by a hair’s breadth” on automatic promotion, he urged the fans to retain their backing and promised the management and staff “undisputed support.”
The Stags lost 1-0 at promotion rivals MK Dons on Saturday in a winner-takes-all clash, meaning they must now try to win a place in League One through the play-offs – starting with a two-legged semi-final against Newport County on Thursday and Sunday.
Radford said at the awards dinner on Sunday evening: “The highest qualities for supporters are encouragement, passion, positivity, and vocal backing in the stands.
“We have those qualities in abundance in our great fan base. We will need those qualities to shine like never before in the games (the play-offs) to come.
“As we head towards the play-offs we now wipe away the disappointment of yesterday (the defeat at MK Dons). We will not focus on the frustration but on our unfulfilled potential.
“We will concern ourselves now with what still can be achieved. Our destiny is not a matter of chance, it is matter of choice.
“As a club we will endeavour not only to be good at what we do but outstanding. We shall head into the play-offs with a unified mentality.
“In times of trial we shall not discourage. We shall support and encourage our management, staff and players in our pursuit of promotion. We shall give everything we have, all of us, to our manager, coaches and players.”
In a closing message to manager David Flitcroft, his management team and the players, Radford added: “(Chief executive) Carolyn and I are with you. Our directors are with you. Our staff are with you. Our fans are with you.
“We are on this season’s journey together and it is a journey we will all end together.
“You have our total and undisputed support in the days and weeks ahead. Together let us finish the job we have started.”
Radford praised the character at the Stags and said they had already overcome setbacks this season.
“Everyone knows that things don’t always go your way in football,” he added. “This is a business where there can be extreme highs and severe lows, but ultimately true winners are made by overcoming setbacks.
“The true character of a club or business is not when the champagne is opened and the celebrations are under way, but when you’ve been knocked down and feel like a tide is against you.
“We have true character here in this football club by the very people who are within it.
“Until the very last ball is kicked this season we will all keep our composure, and support one another to the very end with purpose for Mansfield Town.
“Only those who are mentally strong can recover from setbacks because adversity only makes us better.
“We missed out by a hair’s breadth on automatic promotion. We missed out as one club and we will go to the play-offs together as one united club.”