Focus on next game only as Stags boss Paul Cox keeps his title-chasers’ feet on the ground

Mansfield Town manager is keeping his high-flying players’ feet on the ground as, after a seventh straight win, 4-1 over visitors Stockport today, they face a crucial spell of three games in eight days against title rivals.

Mansfield’s 11th win in 12 games has moved them level on top with Wrexham and Kidderminster on 68 points, but they are third on goal difference.

Now they face Grimsby, Forest Green and Wrexham on the bounce with their hopes of a return to the Football League possibly resting on this high-pressure spell.

However, Cox said: “All I am looking at is the next one. We are just ticking another one off and, while we know it is a big game, it won’t matter if we get beat as we then just move onto the next one.

“We must keep our feet on the ground and not get carried away. Being joint top means nothing. The table says we are third with 11 games left so we still have some way to go.

“If we carry on our form we have a good chance of winning games. But if we become a bit arrogant or take our foot off the pedal then we’ll get beat. It’s as simple as that.”

Today’s hero was on-loan Oxford midfielder Adam Chapman, who marked his home debut with a hat-trick.

Cox said: “I thought that was a good professional team display by the lads today.

“Adam scored three quality goals, but I though we worked hard as a team. Today he gave us a little glimpse of what he is all about, but I don’t want to single any individual out today.

“We have a very happy dressing room and the unity between the boys is excellent. The players are enjoying their football and the supporters seem to be enjoying it as well.”

Hatters boss Darije Kalezic said: “There was a difference in the quality between Mansfield and us – that’s a fact.

“We expected big pressure coming here to Mansfield and we made simple faults in the first 20 minutes. After that we made a fight of it and we controlled the last 15 minutes of the first half and the beginning of the second half when we had three chances. But our shots lacked conviction.

“Of course everyone is worried about our position. We have a young squad and they need to learn to take responsibility on the field. You looked at the size of the Mansfield players compared with our young players and they were all about 6ft 5ins, even on the bench.”