It’s time to start winning at home, says Riley

Martin Riley.
Martin Riley.

Martin Riley admitted the Stags have got to stop talking about home wins and actually produce some if they are to turn their season around.

Stags’ form on the road has been promotion material in recent weeks, but they haven’t won at home in their last 11 games which is why they are lingering at the wrong end of the table.

Promotion hopefuls Southend United are in town tomorrow and strugglers Bury on Tuesday night and central defender Riley said: “We have two home games, one against a team flying high and one against a team down the bottom grinding it out, and we have got to be looking to win both of them.

“I don’t feel we are too far away and we have been unlucky not to take three points from a few of our last games.

“But we have got to stop talking about it and turn draws into wins as the draws are not doing us any favours.

“Taking away points from Portsmouth and Plymouth are great results on paper, but we are disappointed not to come away with at least one win.

“But we will keep going and we have a strong belief in the team. There is no way we are going to stop working hard and fighting for that win.

“We are looking a lot better away from home at the moment, though we should have won the Wycombe game. We need to turn this home form around and there is no better time to start then against one of the top teams on Saturday.”

He added: “It is tight and it is the wins that separate you from the pack. A couple of wins and you are right back in it. We don’t want to get dragged into the relegation fight and we are already lower than we want to be.”

It is in stark contrast to the first 13 games this season, when Mansfield only lost twice.

“It is very strange and I can’t put my finger on it,” said Riley. “We did have a bad spell when we struggled to win games, but it’s a different feeling around the camp now to back then. You can tell by the way we are playing and performing on the pitch.

“The lads will stick together, but we are going to need the fans Saturday and Tuesday – they are very important and can be a massive help in turning our home form around.

“The gaffer’s record after Christmas speaks for itself and he has always had a settled side by then. Let’s see if we can crack on and do what we’ve done for the last few years again.”

Riley made his return to the side at Plymouth last weekend and said: “It is brilliant to be back. I had been itching to get back in since my little injury, though I was a bit rusty especially for the first 15 minutes when I was blowing.

“Hopefully I can get a couple of games to get match fit and be back flying again. I am now hoping I can get a solid run in the team now and hope to be in until the end of the season.”