I want to stay in Stags’ back four, says youngster Naylor

SMILES of relief were etched across the faces of everyone connected to Mansfield Town today as a 3-1 win at Eastbourne Borough began to repair the damage done by last weekend’s back-to-back defeats, reports John Lomas.

“That was a huge result for us – massively needed,” said assistant manager Paul Hall.

“We are very, very pleased to come down here and win after such a long journey. We knew a result here was going to put us in good stead. It was really, really important to get three points after last weekend.

“We wanted to do it for ourselves and for the fans. It’s not nice to see your fans upset at home and now we want to give them a result at home on Tuesday and lots more after that.

“You can’t disrespect Eastbourne. I know they are down there but they are a great team and battled hard and we let them back in it. They were at home and they are quite hard to beat here.

“It can be harder playing against lower sides but we came here and were very professional and did a magnificent job.”

He added: “Even at 0-0 I thought we were playing the ball around with Adam Murray and Kyle Nix marshalling the midfield well.

“I was pleased for Keigan Parker to get his goal eventually. After missing those two chances he probably thought it wasn’t going to be his day. But he kept plugging away and that’s perseverance for you.

“Young Tom Naylor was a man-mountain for us alongside the oldest player in the team. Ever since I came here he has never put a foot wrong but has had to wait for his chance.”

Naylor, one of six changes to the side, said: “Hopefully I have proved myself today.

“I am a confident person and I know my own ability. Now I just want to stay in this back four, stay strong and see what happens.

“I want to play against the big clubs and against the best players and hopefully I can do that in the next few games.

“Fozzy (Steve Foster) is a great leader alongside me and talks to you all game which is what you want.

“That was a massive win today after last weekend.

“It was a very hard game. We wanted to hit them early in the second half and get the second goal but instead they equalised.

“But we won it in the end and hopefully now we can get back into the play-offs spots where we belong.”

Ashley Cain also enjoyed a rare appearance, setting up the first goal, and said: “As a young player you are champing at the bit to play so when I got the nod today I couldn’t wait to get out there and show them what I am about.

“My game is about getting at defenders and putting the ball across and today Nixy (Kyle Nix) got on the end of it with a great finish. It was a ground-out result in the end.”