Stags man of the match Anthony Howell appreciates fans’ praise after Cambridge win

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ANTHONY Howell clutched his man of the match Champagne after yesterday’s 3-1 home win over Cambridge United and admitted that had probably been his best performance of the season so far.

In cloying midfield mud, Howell was the powerful engine behind this win and was very happy to get an ovation from the home fans on the announcement of his award, a home crowd that have often been on his back in the past.

“I went over and clapped the fans at the end. It is always nice to be appreciated when everyone recognises what I have done on the field,” he smiled.

“It is probably my best spell of the season. I feel comfortable out there and I am enjoying it, which I showing in my game.

“It was important we got three points today after the disappointment at Newport in midweek. We needed to pick up and that’s what we did. We rolled our sleeves up and got the win.

“Now we must keep it going until the end of the season and I hope I can keep my shirt until then.”

Boss Paul Cox said: “I have always maintained, even though I have had some stick at times, that Anthony is an excellent player. He has matured and got better and at 25/26, there is more to come from him. He is such an athlete in the middle of the park and deserves the man of the match.”

Howell’s award just pipped a great showing by Louis Briscoe, who added: “Anthony deserved it today.

“He has been one of the players who has taken things by the scruff of the neck and dragged us through some results.

“No one got near him today and he broke up everything Cambridge had to offer as well as showing some great passing.”

Briscoe added: “Today’s win was all down to our work ethic. We all worked hard for each other. I enjoyed it today. It’s been a while since I kicked the ball past someone and ran.

“If we can carry on our winning ratio from the last 10 games into the last 17 we still have a great chance of the title, let alone the play-offs.”