Mansfield Town eyes on clash between promotion rivals Tranmere Rovers and Bury tonight

David Flitcroft
David Flitcroft

As Mansfield Town edge ever closer to Saturday’s massive showdown at MK Dons, all eyes tonight will focus on Prenton Park where promotion rivals Tranmere Rovers and Bury clash.

Postponed on Saturday due to a waterlogged pitch, it is a hugely significant game for the Stags as, if Bury win or draw, they are promoted, leaving just the one place for Stags and MK to fight over on Saturday.

However, should Tranmere win the game, they know a draw between Mansfield and MK on Saturday could allow them to leapfrog both clubs and grab the last automatic promotion spot by a point.

Also, if Rovers win their final two matches, one of MK Dons and Mansfield win and Bury lose to Tranmere and then suffer defeat in their last game of the season against Port Vale, Rovers would, again, finish in the top three.

However, a draw would not be enough for Rovers tonight as they could then only move onto the same points as Stags or MK if they were to then win at Crawley on Saturday.

Rovers’ goal difference of 15 is the lowest of any side challenging for automatic promotion, which puts them at a significant disadvantage (goal difference: Mansfield 29, Bury 26, MK Dons 21, Forest Green 21, Tranmere 15).

Tranmere manager Mick Mellon said: He said: “It’s been a tough old season; it’s not just the recent games, they’ve all been tough .

“But we’ve done very, very well and picked up enough points now to secure a play-off place, which is unbelievable for the club, and we’ll keep on fighting until the end to see what happens.”

On tonight’s match he added: “These are the kind of games you want to be involved in.

“There are different routes in order to try and get out of the division and be successful, that’s for sure, but it’s always been about preparing properly for the next game.

“So, regardless of what happens, we will always try and win the next game.

“We have a way of playing and if we hit the right tempo and intensity it’s got us the results. At the minute we are hitting the levels.

“You’ve got to go out there prepared to do the things that we’ve done again and again and you’ve to be relentless with it.

“You’ve got to keep going again and keep the performance levels high.

“You’ve got to be prepared to hurt physically and personally in order to try and pick up the valuable points.

“We’ll put out a group that we believe will represent the club properly.”

The best outcome tonight for Stags would be a Bury win so they can head for MK on Saturday knowing a point would be good enough to go up.

Stags boss David Flitcroft will among the crowd there tonight.