Mansfield Town manager Paul Cox stressed that today’s magnificent 1-0 home win over high-flying Fleetwood Town will mean nothing if they fail to beat relegation rivals Bury at the One Call Stadium on Tuesday.
The Stags won the day with a Matt Rhead header that keeper Chris Maxwell got a hand to but couldn’t keep out as Mansfield began a crucial spell of four home games in five matches in style to leave them nine points clear of the drop zone.
Cox said: “I am over the moon with the result and the boys worked hard today. But we are not shouting from the rooftops as it is only one win and consistency is the key.
“A nine point gap from bottom is nothing as there are a massive amount of points to play for.
“They are all big games now and it doesn’t matter who we play as long as we stick to our principles. When we apply ourselves we are a force for anyone in this league.
“We now just need to find some consistency. Performances have been there the last four or five games, now we just need to make sure we stay in this league and then look back at what it was all about.
“Today’s result means nothing if we don’t beat Bury on Tuesday. We must maintain our concentration levels and understand we can’t be excellent one game and mediocre the next. We must be on the ball 24/7, but the boys have worked really hard for the shirt today.
“Everyone looks at the table. It’s human nature, But it’s all about what we do now.”
He added: “I have a good set of boys who are learning what this league is all about and we now have a big game ahead of us on Tuesday.
“Credit where credit is due, the fans were absolutely brilliant today and behind us from start to finish.
“It was reminiscent of last season when they cheered us on the the championship.
“This is their club and if they stick by us they can help turn this club into a giant.
“I know we have had our ups and downs this season but that roar at the end really gives these boys a lift.”
On the goal, Cox said: “Matt Rhead did what he was told to do today and it was a half-decent finish. You don’t mind how they go in as long as they go in.
“We still need to be a bit more ruthless and be a bit more positive on the break. We were two on two a couple of times but tried to be a bit too intricate instead of going gung-ho for the goal.
“But I can’t have a go at them today. I thought our work rate was impressive and the way we coped with the conditions on a windy, blustery day was excellent.”
The result was a shock and a blow to a Fleetwood side who had won five and drawn two of their previous eight League games and boss Graham Alexander said: “We need to be more streetwise in games like this.
“We have played against all the top teams and not let ourselves down.
“But we have lost against a couple of teams at the bottom end in scruffy matches. Matches like this are important as it is very fine lines that decide success.
“We were okay for the first 20 minutes, but we gave away a sloppy goal and it cost us.
“We were better in the second half when Matty Hughes came on. He had the right attitude and was the best player on the pitch. We just needed to take some of the chances that we created.
“It is disappointing that we have not built upon the momentum we created by beating Chesterfield in midweek.”
“We plugged away in the second half and created some chances, we just couldn’t take them.”