Atkinson believes Stags are ready to ‘smash’ someone as winless run goes on

Picture by Gareth Williams/AHPIX.com; Football; Sky Bet League Two; Stevenage v Mansfield Town; 10/18  KO 19.45; The Lamex Stadium; copyright picture; Howard Roe/AHPIX.com; Stags' Will Atkinson equalises at Stevenage
Picture by Gareth Williams/AHPIX.com; Football; Sky Bet League Two; Stevenage v Mansfield Town; 10/18 KO 19.45; The Lamex Stadium; copyright picture; Howard Roe/AHPIX.com; Stags' Will Atkinson equalises at Stevenage

Will Atkinson won’t know how vital his equaliser was in tonight’s 1-1 draw at Stevenage until the end of the season.

But the midfielder believes Mansfield Town, without a win in nine games, are not far off giving someone a real hammering.

And he is hoping the long overdue win could come in Saturday’s crucial derby at Chesterfield.

Atkinson levelled the game tonight just after the break and said: “It could be an important goal by the end of the season. It was a point in the right direction, though we came here for all three.

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“We found ourselves behind to a well-worked goal from them from a set play. We were disappointed to go in one down, but we kept fighting and we got the point.

“I’d been working on those late entries into the box. It was a great ball back from Hunty (Johnny Hunt) and I think Kane (Hemmings) just got a little nick on it and I arrived perfectly to cushion it into the net.

“I was delighted to get a goal though disappointed it didn’t get us all three points. We have to stay positive as there is everything to fight for.

“We need to get into the mentality now where we get ourselves in front as it’s hard to fight back.”

Stags are just one point outside the play-offs with four games to go and Atkinson believes they can make it.

“We are desperate to get this club where it should be,” he said.

“Anything can happen still and it’s not over until it’s over.

“We just need to convert more of our chances. We are due to smash a team and hopefully that can be Saturday.”

Now the players can’t wait to take on arch-rivals Chesterfield.

“It’s exciting,” said Atkinson. “It’s what you want to play in as a footballer – big games that mean things, that mean things to the fans, players and staff, to everyone.

“There will be pressure on both sides. We’ll have the handbrake off. We need to really go for it. We’ve nothing to lose. We will get after them and give it all we’ve got.

“With the ferociousness of the fans all wanting to win, it will take a cool head – fire in the body, ice in the mind.”