One of Mansfield Town’s many new faces hailed the character of the new-look Stags after their fightback to earn three points at Cambridge United.
Joel Byrom, signed from Northampton Town over the New Year, was singled out for praise by manager Steve Evans after the 3-1 win.
“It’s always nice to hear the manager praise you. You have just got to enjoy the good times,” sayd Byrom.
The Stags, who extended their unbeaten run to six matches, trailed to George Maris’ early goal before Leon Legge’s own goal levelled just before half-time. They went on to dominate the second half and Krystian Pearce headed the visitors in front before Shaquile Coulthirst, another of the new faces who was making his debut, secured victory.
Byrom said: “We have come here and been dominant throughout.
“Maybe we had a 10-minute spell after they got their goal where we slacked off a little bit, but then we came stronger and showed the character of the boys.
“We went in at half-time at 1-1 and were a little bit disappointed because we thought we had dominated the first half.
“(In the second half) I think we scored at a good time where we were just getting on top of the game and got the goal (Krystian Pearce’s header to make it 2-1) at just the right time. The third goal came at the right time too just as they were trying to get momentum.”
“You are always getting new players in, but it has gone really well and the lads who have come in have worked hard and earned the right for their places,” he said.
“The lads who have been unlucky to go out the team are trying their best to get back in. That’s great competition. Obviously they will get their chance to stake their claim for a place on Tuesday (against Wycombe Wandereres in the Checkatrade Trophy quarter-final tie). It is healthy competition (for places).”
The experienced midfielder, praised by Evans for his passing at Cambridge as the win took the Stags to within three points of the play-off places, said the arrival of new signings “gives everyone a bit of a lift.”
“You think your spot might be under pressure so you have got to lift yourself and it gives the group a lift,” said the player who won League Two promotion last season with Northamnpton. “Everyone has to get on board with that and the standard lifts.
“We are where we deserve to be at the minute. We are just looking towards the next league game now and have got to pick up as many points as we can and see where that takes us.”