Flitcroft thrilled as Mansfield Town win at Grimsby

Stags players celebrate Neal Bishop's goal.
Stags players celebrate Neal Bishop's goal.

David Flitcroft played a glowing tribute to his players, staff and the Mansfield Town board after the Stags won 1-0 at Grimsby Town on New Year's Day.

Neal Bishop's goal was enough to seal the points and keep the Stags in the automatic promotion places.

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And Flitcroft said the victory was reward for not only the players and fans but also those behind the scenes.

He said: “The credit has to go to the football club and what we’re trying to do here. We had a hotel last night, a place called Forest Pines, and it gave us the chance to get some good recovery for the players after a really tough and battling game against Swindon.

“The club have backed me again when it comes these things – it’s really important you’re as professional as you can be, especially around Christmas and New Year’s Eve, and the club have committed once again to what we’re trying to do.

“We weren’t quite at it in the first ten minutes and as careful as we should be but once we’d got used to our surroundings and worked Grimsby out, how we’re not then three or four goals up I don’t know. Their keeper was man of the match at our place and again today.

“It’s always tentative if you don’t get that second goal and we had chances to do that, and if we had got that it would have been game over, but when you don’t it only takes one moment for them to get level.

“Conrad Logan had very little to do in the second-half, the three at the back were outstanding and the energy that Hayden White and Mal Benning gave us out wide was excellent, and I don’t know how he keeps doing it but the energy that Neal Bishop showed almost defies logic when you look at his legs and his running power and I thought he was phenomenal.

“So it was a brilliant squad performance, everyone was committed to the win and I’m really delighted for the players and the fans, as watching them celebrate together meant a lot to me as the fans had travelled again to support us in numbers and paid a lot of money. To see the players celebrate with them gives me a lot of pride.”

With Stags in such a strong position, Flitcroft says it can't be underestimated how important the momentum gained as long ago as last summer has been to the 17-game unbeaten run the club is now on.

He said: “When it comes to momentum, I think pre-season gave us that when it came to building a foundation and a solid platform of work which gave us the basis to be able to go on the kind of run we’re on now.

“But this is a difficult place to come – they’ve won the last five games here and really turned the corner since we beat them at the One Call. They’re young, energetic, do what their manager asks and have a no fear approach and they’ve got some dangerous players, so this is a really good win.

“Everyone committed hugely to this result over the last 48 hours and we can really plot and navigate our way through January.”

Mansfield now head to Carlisle on Saturday with Flitcroft adding: “Grimsby have picked up and Carlisle are flying too and carry a lot of good players. But we have something to protect. The pitch is really good up there and a good surface for us to move the ball on which is what we intend to do.”

As for whether he expects to make any additions to the squad during the transfer window, Flitcroft was open to the possibility.

He said: “We do want to add and make sure we have cover and competition. The balance and numbers have to be right for the run-in as it’s crucial for that and it’s the last chance we have to do so.

“It may be we have to move out in order to bring in. We’ve got Craig Davies and Alex MacDonald out injured as well as Bobby Olejnik. We have a month to make some big decisions but there’s not panic as we have a good squad already, it’s just about having good cover in place.”