Byrom relishing a key week for Stags

Joel Byrom
Joel Byrom

Mansfield Town midfielder Joel Byrom says he and his teammates are relishing what could be a pivotal week ahead in the Stags’ season.

A trip to Cheltenham Town on Saturday will be followed by a visit from second-placed Plymouth on Tuesday and then a game at fellow play-off chasers Colchester United.

And Byrom says that Mansfield have nothing to fear from those matches.

He said: “It’s the old cliche of one game at a time. It’s a big week for us with those games but they’re the sort of weeks you want to be involved in as a footballer as so much can ride on them.

“They’re the games everyone wants to play in rather than games where there’s not much to play for. We’re not afraid of anyone as we’ve shown with our form since January that we’re as good as any team in this division.”

Byrom believes Stags were unlucky to come away from Yeovil Town with just a point on Tuesday night in a 0-0 draw, despite the hosts having had the better start.

He said: “It’s always tough at Yeovil. They played with a lot of energy early on and we struggled a bit in the first-half, but the manager got into us at half-time and in the second-half we had more than enough chances to win the game and played some really good stuff.

“We couldn’t live with their intensity in the first 10-15 minutes but we picked things up towards half-time and then carried that into the second-half.

“Ben Whiteman, Krystian Pearce and I all had good chances to score but we couldn’t find the net, but we’ve got to take the positives from the game in that the second-half performance was good and something for us to carry into the Cheltenham game.”

Byrom was quick to praise the impact of fellow new signings Alex MacDonald and Alfie Potter alongside him in midfield.

The trio have performed well together in recent games, with Byrom well aware of the qualities the new faces possessed long before they became teammates.

He said: ““Alex and Alfie are great signings to add to the midfield. I’ve played against them both before and they always seemed to score against the teams I was playing for.

“They’re full of energy and it’s good to have players like that around as it brings good competition for places as well as goals and assists.

“I started well when I came in but things caught up with me a bit and I had a couple of off games, but I’m starting to get back to where I want to be and where the manager wants me to be and can hopefully kick on now to the end of the season.”

On Saturday’s upcoming trip to Cheltenham, Byrom says that whilst on paper Stags will be favourites to win, the form book can regularly be upset at this stage of the season.

He added: “Carlisle went to Cheltenham and were beaten on Tuesday and the pitch didn’t look great so it’ll be a tough battle and we’ll need to get the ball down and play and create chances again. The pitch might make it difficult but if we work harder and win more tackles and headers we’ll be half way there, but if the chance is there to get it down and play we’ll do that.

“Teams will be going on runs between now and the end. It happens every year and any side that makes a late run into the play-offs or goes into them in good form usually does well in them.

“There have been some strange results flying around but you’re going to get that every week now. We’ve just got to be one of those teams that isn’t on the end of a strange result.

“You have to make sure you recover quickly from the long trips like we had to Yeovil, more on a mental level than physical. It starts from the second the previous game finishes in readiness for the next one.”