Let's turn this round for the manager says Mansfield Town midfielder Alex MacDonald

Alex MacDonald in Stags actionAlex MacDonald in Stags action
Alex MacDonald in Stags action | JPIMedia Resell
Mansfield Town midfielder Alex MacDonald said the squad were desperate to turn their poor form around to bring under-fire manager John Dempster some overdue success.

Ahead of Saturday's visit of Cheltenham Town, MacDonald said Dempster was well liked in the dressing room and the players were upset to be letting him down.

“I speak on behalf of a lot of the lads down there that we are desperate for us to turn it round, not just for ourselves and the football club, but to see the manager do well as well,” said MacDonald.

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“I have a great relationship with him and he's been great since he came through the door. The lads have enjoyed working under him.

“So it's up to us as players to go out there and perform for him.

“As a group of players and professionals I think we've let him down at times. We need to put that right.

“When you have a good person as well as a good manager in charge, you always have a stronger connection and try your best to make sure that man succeeds.”

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Stags, down in 15th place, begin a crucial December with five games against sides in the play-off running and MacDonald said: “They don't come much bigger to be honest. It's a crucial month, starting with this Saturday.

“It's a month where we're looking to put our foot down and pick up some much-needed results.

“It's no secret we have not performed to where we believe we are capable of going. The players are well aware of that.

“We can only turn that round by working hard on the training pitch and putting it into practice on a Saturday.

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“The older lads are trying to keep the morale as good as possible. It has been tough. We are not used to being in a run of form like this, certainly since I came to the club.

“But we are where we are, there's no turning our backs on it, we have to improve.”

With Stags anticipating a hostile atmosphere on Saturday if things don't go well, MacDonald called on supporters to stick behind them.

“We need everyone pulling with us,” he said. “It's been a frustrating time for us all, no one more than the fans.

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“The fans have been magnificent since I came to this club and this is the hardest time I've known since I have been here.

“But we need to stick together. We need them onside and to be with us and none more than this Saturday.

“To do that we have got to start the game really well. That's possibly something we've lacked – that energising first 15 minutes.

“It gives us a real start and when the Stags faithful get behind you it's a really tough place to come to.”

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MacDonald is looking forward to saying hello to Cheltenham boss Michael Duff, who was very influential on his career.

“He is a lovely man,” said MacDonald. “He helped me as a youngster when I was going into Burnley's first team.

“He was an older pro and a real helping hand. It set me in good stead for the rest of my career.”