Mansfield Town boss David Flitcroft was delighted with the response of his players as they fought back from going a goal down to win 3-1 at Stevenage.
Tyler Walker was the Stags’ match-winner as he bagged a second half brace to add to Ryan Sweeney’s leveller to ensure Flitcroft’s men remain in the League Two play-offs at Christmas.
Flitcroft said: “Away from home we’ve been looking for the right performance because I knew that the right performance would bring the right result, I really did.
“That’s not me trying to be clever after a game. I kept saying to the players to move the ball. It’s the best start we’ve had by a country mile.
“Some of the quality first half, from Mal Benning and Hayden White, Timi Elsnik’s ball in, it’s top drawer. We’ve not scored from it but they were under siege. It was like a home performance.
“First half was like a home performance - they were camped. Once their centre-halves understood the threat we had of going in behind they dropped off but I thought we moved the ball brilliantly.
“I was shocked at half time by their goal, almost stunned, because it was such a one-sided performance. We keep doing the right things, we keep moving the ball, we are more ruthless in the box then we will win the game and we won it quite comfortably in the end.”
And added: “I’m trying to build a team spirit here.
“Hayden White was floored that he’s not dealt with the ball out wide earlier, if we deal with that moment then they don’t get a cross in and the time runs out.
“What’s important to me is how the team responds to that moment - and they did do. Whitey would have been distraught if that goal would have been the killer goal.
“We’ve caused them problems all day so it was only a matter of time and once the first went in I think the momentum really swung. It was a really strong performance from the boys.”
And Flitcroft reserved special praise for Walker.
“He’s had a fantastic season,” said Flitcroft. “He’s a player who listens, learns and wants to get better.
“When you get a loan player from Championship clubs, sometimes they hang on to being tied to being a Championship player, but Ty doesn’t. He never misses training. There are times when I’ve said ‘come out of training so you’re fresh’ but he doesn’t want to, wants to stay out there. I’m delighted for Ty.
“It was a real team performance today. Everyone played a massive part in a convincing win.”