Mansfield Town boss David Flitcroft today held up promoted Accrington Stanley as a shining example to everyone else of what can be achieved by ‘togetherness’.
Still in the play-off hunt with three games to go, Flitcroft travelled to Accrington last night to do homework on next week’s opponents, Yeovil Town, but also to see Accrington clinch promotion and get a handle on why they have been so successful.
“I went to Accrington last night to watch the game and almost be in and around that celebration to feel it and understand it so I could speak to the players about what it meant to a town and the new, young Accrington fans coming in,” said Flitcroft.
“I was obviously there to scout Yeovil, who we play in a week or so, but more importantly to experience that spirit that John (boss Coleman) has created there – 25 players all driving for the same thing.
“There was a hunger and an intensity to what you felt last night.
“All the fans there, girlfriends, wives, dads, mums, supporting Accrington’s effort.
“They’ve gone up with four games remaining and done an incredible job.
“Without a doubt they are a great example to everyone else. It’s all; you heard last night from whoever you spoke to – what’s the secret to what they’ve got? It’s togetherness.”
He continued: “It’s an inner spirit. The players are not on great money but so hungry to run for each other, to work for each other, galvanised by getting promoted. It makes everyone’s lives better and the probably epitomise that more than any other club because of what John and Jimmy have done.
“They got hungry players to come in on an understanding if you do well at Accrington you either get promoted and you’re successful and you get bought by another club. The formula works fantastically well.
“They have built that over a time. They have had that time over many windows to keep getting the right balance.
“Being there last night you get get that sense that every single person is responsible for that promotion.”
At the same time as Accrington were celebrating promotion, Flitcroft was relieved to see play-off rivals Lincoln had only picked up a single point in a 0-0 home draw with Wycombe.
He said: “You do look at other results – you can’t help it. But we’ve just got to concentrate on our business and make sure, if they do slip up, then we are ready to take advantage of that.
“Lincoln do have a tough run-in – there is no doubt about it. They’ve got probably the hardest run-in. But the Cowley brothers have been successful over a period of time.”