Anderson hails team spirit ahead of derby day clash

Paul Anderson. Photo by James Williamson.
Paul Anderson. Photo by James Williamson.

Paul Anderson says the spirit in the Mansfield Town squad is high as they go into Saturday’s local derby with Chesterfield on a fine run of form.

Stags have won their last five games in all competitions and are unbeaten in nine since losing at home to Swindon on October 14.

And Anderson says that’s led to morale being sky high.

He said: “The confidence is high and there’s a great buzz around the changing room as well as amongst the fans, but we need to keep the run going and every game coming up is important and we have to concentrate on winning as many games as we can now we’ve crept into the play-off spots.

“We’ve been taking each game as it comes. We did the job on Tuesday night and as soon as that result is over you start focusing on Chesterfield.”

Tuesday’s 4-0 win at Port Vale saw Mansfield kill their opponents off convincingly, something Stags have been unable to do in such a manner during their fine run and that Anderson feels was crucial.

He said: “We’ve actually played better in some of our other games and would have expected to score more goals in those than we did on Tuesday.

“To get the second goal was excellent because it eased the pressure a lot and we went from 2-0 to 4-0 up in no time.

“It got the monkey off our back a bit in terms of finishing a game well and leads us nicely into the weekend.”

Anderson is familiar with big local derbies having featured for Ipswich Town against Norwich in the East Anglian derby and for Nottingham Forest against Derby County in the East Midlands, and is well aware that Saturday’s game carries with it extra pressure.

He said: “From what I hear it’s an eagerly-anticipated game and we’re looking forward to playing it, hopefully in front of a big following. We’re looking forward to playing in what is a big game but we have to try not to get too caught up in the emotion of it.

“I love playing in the big games and I think every player, fan and member of staff loves to be part of it, especially when you win as it’s a great feeling and the atmosphere is fantastic.

“A full stadium will help us a lot. The whole of the second-half at Coventry saw our fans not stop singing which was incredible as at 0-0 for so long it could have tailed off, but then we got the late goal and it carried us through.

“For derbies, everyone has to be up for it. People have to try and play their own game and almost ignore the atmosphere so you can keep a cool head. The fact is that it’s just another game which we have to remember but there will be that edge to it as that’s how the game is.”