Mansfield Town wing back James Jennings was today bracing himself for three home games in eight days as the Stags try to build on last weekend’s superb 1-0 away win at unbeaten leaders and local rivals Chesterfield.
The two sides clash again at One Call Stadium on Tuesday in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy – a game sandwiched by tomorrow’s visit of Hartlepool and next week’s home game with Bristol Rovers.
And Jennings was quick to stress that players would be going all out to win all three.
“Our main interest is the league, but we want to win all three games ,” he said. “I haven’t played in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy for a few years.
“It does give you the chance of playing at Wembley and everyone wants to play there. Personally, I have never played there so it’s one of my goals. It is another game for us and we want to win every game. It is a good draw and it will be a good atmosphere again.”
Jennings certainly enjoyed the big match atmosphere of the Proact Stadium clash last weekend.
“It was a really good game – probably the best I have played in – and the lads are still buzzing,” he said.
“It was something everyone wants to play in, the atmosphere was electric and obviously we got a great result.
“You could tell it was a big game. We had a few comments from fans last week telling us how big it was, which built the game up even more. You could feel it on the way up there, then you saw all the police and all the fans and felt the atmosphere in the ground.
“They (Chesterfield) are a great team and I wouldn’t be surprised if they go and win the league with the way they play. But we went up there with a game plan and it worked.
“Any team that plays football like that, you have to get in their faces and press them high up the pitch.
“We did that and they really didn’t like it and they were getting more and more frustrated. You could see the red card coming for Gary Roberts. He caught me with his elbow five minutes before. He was frustrated nothing was coming off for him Then he stamped me which was silly as that killed the game off for us.”
He added: “We had to keep full concentration for the full 96 minutes. Everyone was digging in and grafting in all areas of the pitch. I know it wasn’t pretty on the eye but it was effective. We could have gone up there and tried to play and probably got taught a lesson.
“I thought the referee was spot on and he was brilliant all game. One of their players dived after Jamie McGuire caught him and most referees would have given a penalty. But he’d seen it and booked him for a dive and gave the free kick to us.
“That wasn’t easy for a referee in that sort of game and atmosphere.
“The final whistle was a relief. We’d been chasing shadows that long and working hard – we were all knackered at the end. But the atmosphere was amazing.”