David Flitcroft delighted as Mansfield Town 'take care of business' against Cambridge United in thrilling promotion race
Mansfield Town boss David Flitcroft said the thrilling League Two promotion race was going exactly as he predicted as today's 1-0 home win over Cambridge edged Stags into second place.
MY Dons stumbled at home to leaders Lincoln City, Bury lost at Carlisle and Tranmere were held at Newport.
“It's going to be tight. I said a few weeks ago when people were doubting our credentials it would go to the wire,” said Flitcroft.
“We had a really good night on Tuesday as, by not playing, our goal difference improved.
“Today, Hallam Hope who left from Bury to go to Carlisle scores an 89th minute against his old club – football will keep throwing up stories like that every week.
“Lincoln again showed their intent to win the league by going to MK Dons and beating them.
“And Newport was always going to be a tough game for Tranmere.
“We took care of our business, protected that clean sheet with our lives, and it's all credit to the squad.
“There is going to be another five games like that in which we have to be resilient and solid like they were today. They didn't give an inch.”
Cambridge certainly made Stags work hard for their win today, a few days after winning 3-0 at Bury.
“It's an impressive clean sheet against a team that are giving everything for their manager,” said Flitcroft.
“They have quality players and they are fighting for their League survival. They could have had five or six at Bury on Tuesday.
“We tied them down first half but our attacking play needed to improve by 20 per cent, which the injection of the subs gave us.”
Tyler Walker was again the hero with his 24thgoal of the season.
“That's what Tyler Walker does – second half goals,” smiled Flitcroft.
“That angle usually favours the goalkeeper, but it was a brilliant pass and a brilliant finish. That was that calmness I was asking for at half-time.”
The tension could be felt all afternoon as Stags ground out the win.
“It's a brilliant pressure,” said Flitcroft.
“I think the whole stadium felt that pressure first half. I get that. Some of the shouts behind me at times I have to ignore as they are not warranted.
“But the whole stadium – wow. That was support.
“I think the supporters got us through that last 10 minutes. How could you not want to get a block on or make a tackle when the stadium is being so supportive and loud. They were brilliant.
“It's been a good couple of weeks since the Crewe game. To only lose seven games all season is a credit to those players.”
Stags lost defender Ben Turner at half-time and Flitcroft explained: “I had a chat with Ben at half-time and his calf was tightening after about 10 minutes. He is an honest professional.
“He said he could maybe stay on but if it went at the wrong moment he might let us down and he didn't want to do that as it meant too much. He is a phenomenal guy.”