Mansfield Town boss David Flitcroft praises unselfish squad performance as Stags destroy Exeter City

Picture by Gareth Williams/AHPIX.com; Football; Sky Bet League Two; Exeter City v Mansfield Town; 30/3/2019  KO 15.00; St James Park; copyright picture; Howard Roe/AHPIX.com; Stags boss David Flitcroft salutes a thumping victory at Exeter
Picture by Gareth Williams/AHPIX.com; Football; Sky Bet League Two; Exeter City v Mansfield Town; 30/3/2019 KO 15.00; St James Park; copyright picture; Howard Roe/AHPIX.com; Stags boss David Flitcroft salutes a thumping victory at Exeter

Mansfield Town manager David Flitcroft praised an unselfish squad effort that saw Stags soar to a superb 4-1 win at promotion rivals Exeter City today.

The Stags had failed to win any of their last four games and dropped out the top three, so Flitcroft spent the week refocusing his squad and was delighted with the results.

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“We’ve worked on it all week, speaking about how proud we could make each other,” he said.

“You are not an individual, you’re doing it for someone else. Today’s performance epitomised that.

“We had people running for someone else’s family, people running for other people – there was no selfishness about that performance.

“It was an absolute squad togetherness and I thought we absolutely ran all over them.

“I thought the boys were outstanding.

“It’s not a decisive win and there are still going to be turns. But no one gave us a hope of getting anything after Saturday’s performance.

“It’s going to be like this until the end of the season now – they are important fixtures.

“But I know this team is fighting for us and one thing I can guarantee fans is this team wants to get over the line badly – as badly as a group I’ve ever met.

“They want to see this job through and they will be giving it everything.”

He added: “I got a text from my mum this morning saying go and make you dad proud. They know what it means to me and I know what it means to them.

“We have a collage up in the dressing room that we will take to the next six games and that’s got all the players’ families on – who they represent.

“I said to them – a lot of words have been spoken this week – now it’s all about action. Good players making good decisions.”

Despite conceding soon after going ahead, Stags took an excellent Exeter side to pieces in the end.

“We just got about them from minute one, every single players had that drive, energy and urgency,” he said.

“They just needed reminding we are the luckiest people alive to play football and how you can impact people’s lives.

“We had a top tempo training session at Bristol City yesterday and I was just blown away by some of it. I have felt it building all week.”

Flitcroft made four changes and said: “After last weekend I said I would pick the squad for today on training alone and everyone had a good chance of starting.

“One of the changes was made due to Ryan Sweeney going down with a bug. He was actually sick on the bus coming down.

“We tried to get some food into him but couldn’t so we got him a room on his own and just isolated him as I didn’t want anyone else getting it.

“Will Tomlinson said he wasn’t feeling right either and I had to pull Neal Bishop off with a slight hamstring.”

Flitcroft continued: “This Exeter team are a brilliant machine. They have got some unbelievable quality at the top end of the pitch and they’ve had a real surge lately.

“It was always going to be a tough game. But Conrad Logan has not had a save to make which is testament to the whole team.”

The win ended a poor run of form and Flitcroft said: “The supporters deserved that today. They have come a long way down here.

“We have really let them down over the last few games away from home so I am buzzing they could witness that today.”