Mansfield Town head into another massive week finally sat in the hallowed League Two play-offs spots.
A magnificent 1-0 win in the local derby at Lincoln City finally pushed the pre-season promotion favourites into the mix in fifth place ahead of this Saturday’s tough home clash with seventh-placed Cambridge – the sides separated only on goal difference.
There is then little respite as a trip to Cheltenham Town follows on Tuesday before the crucial home local derby with high-flying Notts County four days later.
Manager Steve Evans was delighted to finally get a foot into that top seven and ease supporters’ worries, but said it was early days and he was feeling no pressure.
“Pressure comes from outside and not from within. It should never comes from within,” he said.
“As a manager I’ve been runaway league leaders and won championships with ease - though it’s never with ease at the time. And I’ve been a manager in League Two on a couple of occasions where I’ve had to come from off the pack.
“It takes all types. But I really believe in this group of players we’ve got. They will have good days and bad days – we all do that.
“But the one thing we will always do in my time here is we will all win together and lose together.
“You have to believe, if you have anything about you as a manager, that if you’ve got your recruitment right you’re going to be in the mix.”
Stags delighted their army of over 1,400 travelling fans on Saturday as Danny Rose’ goal secured all three points. But Evans was keeping everyone’s feet firmly on the floor.
“Like every other week here, we don’t get too high, we don’t get too low,” he said.
“My job here as manager is to make sure everyone is focused, whether they started Saturday or not and give everyone an opportunity to be included in next Saturday’s team.
“There is some real competition for places here and often if you allow your mind to be sidetracked and listen to different opinions you can make a decision that’s not right to win that game.
“We will get to Thursday/Friday and we’ll think about picking and shaping a team for a very difficult game against Cambridge on Saturday.”
On the Lincoln result, he added: “It was the most satisfying result of the season because it was the last one. In football you’re often judged by your last game and you judge yourself by your next game.
“We have gone away to local rivals that we have enormous respect for and the only real bit of quality in the game got us the victory.”