Quick chance for Mansfield Town to bounce back against visiting Crawley Town

Mansfield boss David Flitcroft
Mansfield boss David Flitcroft

After suffering two defeats on the bounce, Mansfield Town are delighted to have an immediate chance to bounce back with the visit of Crawley Town tomorrow night (7.45).

“We are glad to have a game this soon,” admitted manager David Flitcroft.

“Football does give you that opportunity. Luckily we don’t have to wait a week.

“The players know what’s expected. We will bounce back into training today and make sure everyone is lively, enthusiastic and energetic as we plan for Crawley.

“I have told them all to get fixated on Crawley now.

“They need to take that frustration and anger they’re feeling and, in a calm and considered manner with a clear vision, set out to put things right that haven’t been right against Crawley.”

After losing twice in as many games after a 17-game unbeaten run was halted, Flitcroft has urged his players to use the defeats as a springboard for their promotion push over the second half of the campaign.

“I think it’s really important in life to know that the only way you get better is at times by getting hurt and understanding that life is not easy and football’s not easy. It’s a ruthless business,” he said.

“Now is the time to fight and kick on if you want to do anything in the game. If you want to be an also-ran then don’t chose football. It knocks you down like life, but you have to keep fighting.”

Stags will welcome back influential midfielder Neal Bishop to the fray after a one-game ban but will be without centre half Matt Preston, who will serve a one-game suspension after Saturday’s red card against Yeovil Town.

Crawley had taken seven points out of nine available, including beating Colchester and a draw at Newport, before Saturday’s 2-1 defeat at Stevenage.

Former Stags striker Ollie Palmer has 12 goals for them so far this season.

Midfielder Filipe Morais, who eight games after hand surgery and an Achilles problem, and new signing, defender Tom Dallison, were both on the bench at Stevenage.

But fellow defender Joe McNerney misses out as he serves the last of his three-game ban.

This game was originally postponed in late November after heavy rain had left the pitch waterlogged.