Mansfield Town David Flitcroft assures fans - and his mum - no-one should take Cheltenham Town for granted
Mansfield Town boss David Flitcroft has assured fans – and his mother – that no one should take revitalised Cheltenham Town for granted when the visit on Saturday.
With Stags back on top form last weekend and the Robins looking safe but having lost four in a row without scoring away from home, some may see Saturday as a home banker.
Flitcroft said: “That is football in general, not just here in Mansfield. Supporters do look at that.
“My mum does exactly the same. I get that text saying they are sat there in the league so you’ll win the game. It’s what people do.
“But throughout my football life as a player, coach and manager you have to respect everyone equally and you have to respect there are some really good managers down in Leagues One and Two. I have been brought up with those values and you never take anybody lightly.
“What we have is the ‘intel’ from their last three away games and doing the research on that. We are able to put real detail into it and you uncover the truth behind it that we are coming up against a good team.”
Cheltenham have pulled clear of the drop zone under new boss Michael Duff.
“Michael has resurged this team and got them in a good place from where they were,” said Flitcroft.
“The manager could have stayed safe and stayed in an academy job.
“Instead he had the ambition to go and manage a League club and another good young manager has come into the league.
“He has done brilliantly with that challenge. They will, come here organised, structured well and fight for every ball.
“He has given them an identity and stuck with that. “They play a similar system to us. I thought they were excellent against us and we had to fight really hard to claw the game back.”
However, he added: “Like I always say when asked about the opposition, it is really important this group of players focuses on what it mean to represent Mansfield Town.
“If we come off those values we are not as competitive or as bright with the ball.
“If the lads respond to that then I enjoy watching us in full flow. I also enjoy the fact we have the best defensive record.
“People know our home record is good and they want to unravel that. Cheltenham will be no different.”
Stags were back on form last weekend as they put the successive defeats at Newport and Notts County behind them.
“Sometimes it takes a couple of defeats to refocus and bring everyone back together,” he said.
“We certainly did that in the week leading up to the result.
“I can only thank the Academy for what they did for us. They brought our U18s up from Brooksby College to play against us and then the U21s on the Thursday too. “That gave us a chance to really structure training with having the reserve game too.”
Stags will be without suspended striker Tyler Walker but will welcome back centre half Ryan Sweeney after completing his two-game ban.