Mansfield Town are finally into the top seven play-off places after tonight’s win over Grimsby Town – and boss David Flitcroft said the table was now a much truer picture of the season so far.
Tyler Walker netted twice as Stags came from behind to make it six points out of six in the two games they have had in hand due to international call-ups which had left them trailing the field.
It was also an 11th game unbeaten and one defeat in 22 for Flitcroft’s men and he said: “With the games postponed for the international breaks I always felt we were in a bit of a false position.
“With the work we’ve put in and the support I have had from everyone at the club this season, it was really important to get the points and start climbing the table.
“That’s 22 games now – almost half a season – with one defeat. It gives us a platform to refocus, regenerate for a couple of big games. We now have to kick on to really drive up there.
“We deserve to be in this position. There are no hard luck stories. We haven’t got two or three wins I think we should have had to make us a top three team. But we are in a good spot.
“It’s brilliant we have three players to celebrate internationally, but you do drop momentum. But we have taken the six points now and it’s important to have them on the board.”
Poor finishing and some fine goalkeeping from James McKeown kept Mansfield at bay in a first half in which Mal Benning put through his own goal.
But, with two half-time subs, Stags went 4-4-2 and turned the game on its head.
“First half we were sloppy and we didn’t put them to the sword with the chances we made. We were not ruthless enough.
“But the changes we made at half time gave them something new to think about and we held the ball up better. We saw the game out much better tonight too. We have got much better at that.”
On Walker’s latest goals, making it five in three games and 12 for the season, he said: “I am really delighted for Tyler.
“He had a few games where he couldn’t find his form, but class is permanent.
“You just need to keep working and believe in yourself. “He is from fantastic stock with all those values that are embedded in him.
“Tyler has found a home here and everyone stuck with him when he went through that barren spell. All strikers get it, but he stuck with it. He is a fantastic kid and a good learner.”
Flitcroft added: “Five out our last six League games have been away so that win tonight was for those supporters who have followed us. We’ve not had enough home games.
“I am pleased for everyone. It’s been a collective effort.”