Mansfield Town boss Steve Evans believes a big home crowd can make all the difference when struggling Leyton Orient are the visitors on Saturday.
Stags chairman John Radford has laid on an offer of two matches for the price of one this weekend with fans buying a ticket for the Orient game getting a free one for the visit of Hartlepool United on February 11th.
Evans is looking forward to the increased noise levels, saying: “It is fantastic for the players, though as a head coach or a manager on the sidelines it makes no difference.
“I have been very fortunate that there’s been 60,000-70,000 there some games. There was 30,000 there regularly at Elland Road. From a manager/head coach perspective it just makes you feel good as a lot of them are your own supporters.
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“But it’s the players on the pitch that get the benefit. There’s nothing better than a support right behind you.
“Of course I have come to the One Call Stadium as an opposition manager and, forgetting the banter aimed at me, when the Stags fans get behind their team it’s great.”
He added: “We are going to need them. If we are going to have a run and try to get into these play-offs, it’s not just going to be about the 11 men on the pitch.
“It’s going to be about the 12th man off it and we have an opportunity to demonstrate on Saturday.”
Stags are five unbeaten in League Two after last weekend’s impressive 3-1 win at Cambridge. But Evans warned they will not take the ailing visitors lightly.
“In the League we’ve been in good form, we’ve had some really good, positive results,” he said.
“But this is a formidable wounded animal coming here on Saturday.
“They have one of the best squads on paper in the league. “Nothing, of course, has ever been won on paper – but they are capable. We need to be ready for the stern challenge that brings and nothing will help us better than our 12th man.”
Andy Edwards, who had a two-game spell as caretaker manager earlier in the season, has been put in charge until the end of the current campaign after Alberto Cavasin became the eighth manager to be sacked at the club since it was bought by Italian businessman Francesco Becchetti in the summer of 2014.
“They have good players and a manager that, dare I say it, has brought that British feel to the football club,” said Evans.
“I don’t know if I am allowed to say that but I’m going to say it. It is a British feel that has come back to a football club that needed it.
“Looking at the footage of their recent performances, the evidence is they’ve gone up a notch for that manager.
“They will come here and be whole-hearted and they have individuals who can play.
“It is going to be a test but we know the rewards for ourselves as, if other results go our way, we could be bouncing into that top eight or nine.”
Evans added: “We are only going to get stronger as we go forward as this is still a new team really. It is a team that has only been assembled for three or four weeks.
“If we are looking to add a few players to it before the window closes, it will be a team that in its evolution over the next 12 weeks will only get better.”