Radford rally call - I still believe in Stags’ glory bid

Mansfield Town owner, John Radford, with new manager David Flitcroft
Mansfield Town owner, John Radford, with new manager David Flitcroft

Despite the current slump in results at a crucial time, Stags chairman John Radford said he still has every faith that manager David Flitcroft and his players can still achieve promotion this season.

Mansfield Town go into the toughest of Easter weekends and games against top two Accrington Stanley (home, Good Friday, 3pm) and Luton Town (away, Easter Monday, 3pm) without a win in five games.

New boss Flitcroft is without a win in his first four games in charge, three 1-1 draws followed by a disastrous 2-0 defeat struggling Forest Green on Saturday.

However, chairman Radford said: “I have full faith in our players and management to fulfil our objectives this season. Promotion to League One remains our primary goal.

“We all know that the second half performance at Forest Green Rovers was below-par but that performance and result is now in the past and is unchangeable.

“As a club, we remain in the promotion hunt and have eight big matches to play, with 24 points to play for.

“It is an exciting time for everyone who has the Stags at heart.

“We are in the promotion mix and have a squad which we know is capable of delivering the success we all desire.

“The players want it as much as we do and I know the pride every single one of them feel when they pull on an amber and blue jersey before 3pm on a Saturday afternoon.”

Mansfield’s hopes of ending an awful run of results against bogey club and table toppers Accrington on Friday are not helped by a one game suspension for skipper Krystian Pearce and the possibility of top scorer Danny Rose missing out with an ankle injury.

“It will be a big test for us on Good Friday,” admitted Radford.

“Infamously, we have not beaten Accrington in the 13 League matches played against them. Now is the time to put right that unwanted record.

“They will be imposing and challenging opponents as their form and league position well suggest.

“We, however, will have the added advantage of thousands of passionate Stags’ fans in the stands.”

Radford said a big and noisy home crowd could make all the difference.

“Speaking to our players as I often do, they regularly talk about the genuine difference that can be made to their performances when they hear an encouraging and loud home support such as ours.” he said.

“It is only human nature to feel an extra sense of confidence and certainty when you hear thousands of people willing you to do all that you can on the battlefield.

“Where there is unity, there is victory, and I therefore ask everyone connected with the club to play their part, however large or small, in these remaining eight matches.

“Whatever happens at the end of the season, I want us to reflect and make one remark with absolutely certainty, ‘We did all that we could. We gave it our all’.

“Together, let us do all that we can in these exciting, final eight games and make this is a campaign to remember for Mansfield Town Football Club and all of us who love our club and town.”

Away from the results, Radford is delighted with the way things are moving at the club.

“There’s a real optimism at One Call Stadium right now,” he said.

“Everyone can see the progress we are making off the pitch as we continue to place strong foundations for the club’s future.

“Progress is the key word, for me, in football. Otherwise, if you stand still, then you are on the road to nowhere.

“Work is continuing at the new training ground at Woburn Lane in Pleasley.

“We have submitted plans to Mansfield District Council for a new Hampton-by-Hilton hotel at One Call Stadium, which would be of great benefit for the town as well as providing the football club with another revenue stream.

“Our academy is growing stronger and developing month-by-month.”

He added: “We are making positive strides forward to strengthen our infrastructure and, in truth, I would be surprised to see any other club in the English Football League developing on the scale which we are.

“I have been impressed by the way our manager is viewing our long-term strategy as the first team have forged much stronger links with the academy in the past few weeks.

“That is to the extent where five U21 players have been training with the senior side recently and the same number from the youth team.”