Sutton pinpoints Southport loss as Stags' success catalyst
chad.co.uk, Thursday 12 April 2012
STAGS defender Ritchie Sutton pinpoints the feeling of losing at Southport before Christmas as the catalyst for Mansfield Town's storming run into play-offs contention.
A run of 10 wins and a draw in 12 games have catapulted Stags into third – a far cry from the 3-1 pre-Christmas flop at Southport – and two points Hayes and Yeading on Saturday will seal their play-off place.
“I look at that Southport defeat as the big one,” he said. “Coming back from that we were a different team. We had a meeting afterwards and agreed we had the quality here to push for the play-offs.
“Everyone started believing, concentrating on their jobs and we have had the performances and the results. We have kicked on and never looked back.
“There is a great spirit in the squad now. As well as players, we are now also becoming really good mates off the pitch.
“Everyone is very excited. I include myself as I have never really been involved in a play-offs push before.
“We have one foot in the play-offs. But Hayes and Yeading are fighting for their lives and won't take our foot off the gas.”
VIDEO: Smith focused on clinching play-off spot
mansfieldtown.net, Thu 12 Apr 2012
On the scoresheet in the 2-1 win over Stockport County, Adam Smith has spoken ahead of this weekend's clash with Hayes & Yeading about the importance of players' mindset heading into the remaining games.
Smith is hoping that his previous experiences with York City and ourselves last year, will stand him in good stead for the remaining games.
Speaking at this morning's press meeting, he said: "I have been in this position before and I have had this feeling before, so I know what to do to maintain the pressure and get through this final stage.
"You cannot look down the line, you cannot look to who we have got in the play-offs, you cannot see who we might draw because obviously nothing has been set in stone right now."
"Fingers crossed we can get to the Football League, that is what everyone wants. The club is obviously a league club and we need to re-establish ourselves back there."
Meanwhile, versatile defender Ritchie Sutton has stated that he is more than happy filling in at left-back if it means him keeping a place in the 11.
He said: "With other clubs I have played in all three positions as well, so it is something I have done before and I am just happy to be in the team every week, so I am willing to play everywhere.
"The gaffer knows that he has got a player that if he needs to fill in somewhere, I will do the job for him.
"I don't like to think that I just do a job, I like to think that he picks me there because he thinks that I have got the quality to do what he wants me to do. I'm happy to play anywhere across the back.
"Since I have been to left-back we have not really conceded a lot of goals and I think that is because Luke [ONeill] is a very attacking full-back and with the security of me being a bit more defensive, that has worked for us because we're not getting hit on the counter.
"We've got into a routine of doing that, I have let Luke do his thing going forward and I have been that safety defender at the back," he added
Stags winger Smith hoping for fourth time lucky at Wembley
chad.co.uk, Thursday 12 April 2012
ADAM Smith is hoping Stags can make the Wembley play-off final so he can make it fourth time lucky at football's spiritual home.
The winger has reached Wembley finals for the past three seasons but never finished on a winning squad.
The first season with York City he was cup-tied, the second year he failed to get on the field, York losing both, before he was part of Mansfield Town's losing FA Trophy final side against Darlington last year.
“It's a lovely place to go but it's not been nice for me,” he said. “I would love to put my Wembley demons behind me and make it fourth time lucky. It's a bit of a sore point with me.
“I have had a stop-start season and it's been a bit frustrating at times. I'd be getting fit, then injured, then go out on loan. But football is up and down like life and you've just got to get on with it.”
Alan Marriott: Great to see the town get behind Stags
Thursday, April 12, 2012, Nottingham Post
ALAN Marriott is delighted to see Mansfield Town's push for promotion capturing the imagination of the whole town.
The Stags have won ten of their last 12 games to rocket into third in the Blue Square Bet Premier.
They have 80 points and are nine clear of six-placed Southport, with three games to play.
Paul Cox's team will look to confirm their play-off spot when they travel to Hayes and Yeading on Saturday.
And goalkeeper Marriott believes being so close to a return to the Football League is bringing the crowds back, with almost 4,000 watching the 2-1 home win against Stockport on Monday.
Marriott said: "I hear from a lot of fans saying the town is buzzing and you can see that in the crowds.
"Every fan says they are so proud of what is being done and that gives you confidence.
"You can go to Hayes and there will be a few hundred people, but when you have 4,000 there it makes a massive difference. The players thrive off that energy from the fans.
"It is something you are aware of, that something special is building.
"This club has massive potential and you look at the fan- base and the area it covers.
"If this club gets back into the Football League, the crowds will continue to come back and that will only help the club financially to attract better players and push on.
"You appreciate money is tight but you know on the flip side if you are doing well, crowds of 5,000 are more than possible for a club like Mansfield Town."
twitter.com/LifeofRiley6 Martin Riley
Fuming my boots haven't come in time! Next day delivery pulling my pants down! Gonna have to wear moulds. Hope the pitch is Dryia Napa
Stags management duo deserve promotion, says Day
Saturday, April 14, 2012 Nottingham Post
RETIRING Mansfield Town defender Rhys Day believes the man-management of Paul Cox and his assistant Micky Moore is why the Stags are flourishing this season.
The duo joined Stags last summer and have led them to third in the Blue Square Bet Premier, which virtually guarantees them a play-off place as they head to Hayes and Yeading today.
Day, 29, has announced his retirement due to a serious knee injury and despite not playing this season, he said it is obvious why the Stags are on a run of ten wins in 12 games and in with a chance of promotion back to the Football League.
Day, who won promotion into the Football League with both Aldershot and Oxford, said: "It is all about belief really.
"The gaffer has looked after the lads all season, let them police themselves and when they have done well, rewarded them with days off.
"He has had a massive part to play and instilled belief that they are good enough to get promoted.
"I know the lads have to do it, but it all stems from the manager and his coach Micky Moore.
"They have been a breath of fresh air and I take my hat off to both of them.
"They are very professional and have been superb for the club.
"They deserve everything they get and I hope that ends in promotion."
Competition for places can drive Mansfield Town to promotion – Howell
Saturday, April 14, 2012, Nottingham Post
MENTION Wembley and it is difficult to stop a smile breaking out on the face of Stags midfielder Anthony Howell.
He admits it is hard not to start thinking about it when he relaxes at home or talks to his mates.
But it is not just the very realistic chance of turning out under the famous arch that is driving Howell, it is the prize at the end of it.
It is a chance for Mansfield Town to return to the Football League which makes reaching Wembley so important.
The Stags had that last season, when they reached Wembley in the FA Trophy final only to lose to Darlington.
Howell was at Alfreton last season when that happened, winning promotion with the Reds in Blue Square Bet North.
Now, as third-placed Stags head to Hayes and Yeading today looking to mathematically make certain of their place in the play-offs, Howell is in confident mood.
After ten wins from their last 12 games, he has every reason to be, having started both wins against Kettering and Stockport over the Easter Bank Holiday.
But a two-legged semi-final play-off battle, with the hope of a final eliminator at Wembley, is something he craves to be part of.
Howell said: "You go home and you do think about being at at Wembley and that is the aim. We want to get there and are working hard to do so.
"There is a big push from everybody, behind the scenes, the fans, the players and the whole town is behind us. It is not the biggest place, but the fans know it is going good and the crowds show we have the support. The lads are relishing that support.
"It is a great run at the moment, ten wins in 12 games, but the lads are not becoming complacent.
"As long as we keep winning, other teams will drop points and we just have to concentrate on ourselves and getting three points on the board. We do not want anybody catching us and we don't want it to go to the last game of the season needing something. We want to confirm that place as soon as possible.
"This away game at Hayes is not going to be easy. You have to roll your sleeves up and get a win.
"We need to keep sharp and when we do get into the play-offs, keep the momentum going. We need to keep on our toes."
Howell faces a personal battle of his own, fighting skipper Adam Murray, Gary Roberts and Jon Worthington for a place in the centre of midfield.
But he is not fearful of that, instead he believes the competition across the whole team is why Mansfield are thriving this season.
"There are a lot of players in the squad trying to get in and there is a semi-final, home and away, and potentially Wembley so who would not want to be in the starting 11," he said.
"Training is crisp and sharp and there are lads sat in the stands who are good enough to be in the team so we have to be on our toes.
"Competition in the middle of the park is strong with me, Muzza, Roberts and Worthington. The competition is very good."
So what has changed since Howell's brief first spell at Mansfield, which ended in 2009?
"The lads are a bit more together, we all get on and see each other outside of football and are a bit more friendly," he said. "We click. I cannot really explain it, but when it happens, like it has here it is brilliant."
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