Stags can follow in Fleetwood’s footsteps, says Stevenson
Stevenson bagged his third goal in four starts for Mansfield Town last weekend as he maintained his impressive career record, and ahead of the Fleetwood trip, explained that current Conference champions Stags should be hoping to follow in the footsteps of the previous year’s Conference winners, who are now flying high in League Two.
Said Stevenson: “Fleetwood are a bit like us in that they’ve come up from the Conference, established themselves at this level last year, cemented it and are now pushing on for promotion. They are a team we can look up to really.”
Mansfield have gone seven League games without victory, but Stevenson insisted: “Team morale is fantastic, the lads are loving coming into work and there is a buzz about us. We feel like we are going to come through it.
“We have got to be a group, stick together as a club and come out of the other side.”
Mansfield will be without midfield tiger Jamie McGuire tomorrow as his controversial red card in last weekend’s 3-1 home defeat by Oxford sees him suspended for a return to his old club.
“I was probably the closest one to the challenge and I don’t think it was a red card to be honest,” said Stevenson. “He was very unfortunate. Both had gone in wholeheartedly and I think both got the ball.
“We started the game very well and, even when they scored I thought we were still on top until the sending-off.
“I thought my early header was in – I was off! Unfortunately their keeper pulled off a good save. He is a decent keeper.”
However, Stevenson did volley the 10 men level – briefly – in first half stoppage time and said: “I enjoyed that. Being under the cosh, that got us back in the game. I wasn’t going to hit it, but then the kid moved so I thought I’d have a gamble.
“It always nice to score a goal and, with three in four now, statistics don’t lie. I am in there to score goals, got on the end of things, work hard and put myself into the gaffer’s options.
“I am scoring one every three starts which is not bad and something I have maintained throughout my career – not bad for a midfielder.”
Stevenson is convinced Stags can still make an impact at the right end of the table.
He said: “There is so little in this league. Football is weird. Put a run of three or four wins together or even four or five points and you can right back in the mix.”
Mansfield will be boosted tomorrow by the returns from injury of Chris Clements and Martin Riley and Stevenson added: “We’ve not won many since Chris has been out the team. He is a good player and class on the ball. Martin Riley is a top defender too so it will be a big plus getting them both back.”