Delighted Mansfield Town manager David Flitcroft saluted the work ethic of his squad — and the way his January signings have fitted in — after the Stags’ terrifc 3-2 comeback win at promotion rivals Colchester United.
Trailing 2-0 at half-time, the Stags fought back through a first goal from new signing Nicky Ajose, Tyler Walker’s equaliser and CJ Hamilton’s winner in a remarkable second 45 minutes.
Flitcroft said: “There’s been a collective work ethic and togetherness all season, The new players who have come in have fitted into the squad really quickly.
“To see loan players adapt and want to be Mansfield Town players, you realise that the togetherness is strong.
“In moments when you’re 1-0 or 2-0 (down), you have got to have a resolve. We impacted more on them (Colchester) in the second-half.
“In the first-half it was too intricate and too soft. There was no punch or impact. It wasn’t us. We suddenly thought we couldn’t pass our way, but there are more ways to beat a team.
“We had to make their defenders work and we didn’t first half, but we certainly did in the second half.
“The quality we have on the pitch... Nicky (Ajose)’s ball for CJ (Hamilton’s) run is a phenomenal ball.
“When you look at Nicky in the box and Tyler’s finish is pure. It’s just outstanding really.
“You’ve got to ask questions of any team and that’s what we have done.
“We didn’t do it in the first half but we certainly did in the second. The lads deserved that win.”
Asked if he could see the second-half fightback coming at the interval, Flitcroft added: “The important one [goal] is the [first] one. That’s what I explained to them at half-time. When you get to 2-1, it changes the mindset, the stadium and how our supporters feel.
“But you can’t run the risk of going gungho and then going three down. Momentum is key in anything and we had that momentum at 2-1 to put them on the back foot.
The second one (came) and then you could smell the third.
“We saw the game out. We knew there would be a load of extra time and we saw the game out. It ended up being a great victory.”