Stags skipper calls on patient fans to ‘stick with us’ ahead of crucial game

Zander Diamond - Pic By James Williamson
Zander Diamond - Pic By James Williamson

Mansfield Town skipper Zander Diamond thanked fans for their patience during the current bad run of results and called on them to help the side get back to winning ways against Crewe Alexandra on Saturday.

A run of seven games without a win has seen the Stags slip out of the play-off spots with just seven games to go.

But ahead of Saturday’s crucial visit of Crewe, Diamond said to supporters: “Stick with us.

“You have been fantastic since I walked through the door on day one and we probably need you more than ever now.

“The fans have stuck by us and been patient and we thanks them for that. We need them to get behind us on Saturday and help galvanise us.

“We want to get back in the top seven and send them home happy.”

Diamond said the players were also desperate to give new manager David Flitcroft his overdue first win at the seventh attempt.

“He has been fantastic. I can’t speak any more highly of him,” said Diamond.

“He has brought a belief we can go and beat teams. He’s taken the shackles off and I think you saw at Luton the fruits of what we are working on in training with the chances we created.

“We are putting the hard work in on the training field week in, week out. He gets his ideas across and we just want to give him the victory. We crave it.

“We feel the disappointment. The management team puts so much work into getting us ready and prepared. We as a group of players want to reward them with three points.

“A win on Saturday would galvanise everybody. It’s been a long time coming. A victory in any walk of life and the feelgood factor comes back.”

Mansfield’s last six games are all against sides in the bottom half and Diamond said: “This last six games are huge.

“But we mustn’t get ahead of ourselves and we have to focus on the first game.

“We can’t afford to look ahead. We need to win on Saturday and where that takes us we don’t know. We just need that first victory on the board.

“We need to play as well as we did at Luton but take our chances when they come along. We had enough chances there to win two games of football let alone one and we got punished.

“I’d be more worried if we weren’t creating chances. But we’re creating them in abundance and just not taking them.

“If we take our chances I don’t think we’ll be a million miles away from where we want to be.

“The performances over Easter were good. But we need to turn performances into wins – and quickly.

“We want to win for the fans and the management team as much as for ourselves.

“It is a great honour for myself to lead this football club into this last six games. But ultimately we all have to pull together and we need more leaders out there.

“We know we’ve got them within the squad. It’s going to take a big push now.”
Stags drew 2-2 at Crewe on the opening day of the season and Diamond admitted: “A lot of things have changed since then and a lot of water has gone under the bridge.

“It was a new team here then. But we’ve bonded. It’s been eight months in the making.

“Crewe are a real footballing team and like to get the ball down and play. They will come here and probably see us as being on a downward spiral with the draws and losses.

“But we are a positive group of players and come Saturday we’ll be ready for a challenge and I hope and expect to win.

“The so-called harder games in this league can become the easier and vice versa. Anyone can beat anybody in this league.

“But there is no one to fear in the last six games. I’ve always said if we get our own stall in order we can win games.

“But it has to come together sooner than later as games are running out.”