Midfield maestro Chris Clements has warned that Mansfield Town can take nothing for granted as they sit eight points from the drop zone with three games to go ahead of the game at Cambridge United tomorrow.
It would take a remarkable sequence of results for Stags to go down after Tuesday’s tonic 1-0 win in the big showdown with Tranmere, yet Clements said: “The win has got us closer to the line, but we’re not over it yet.
“Crazy things have happened and you can’t think you are safe. You never know what’s going to happen below us. We are a professional lot in the changing room.
“Everyone is playing for their future. A lot of players are out of contract. But lately they have been putting in good performances so the future will look after itself. It will depend on what the gaffer wants and what players want.
“Next year, from what has been said around the club, is going is going to be an exciting time for Mansfield Town – watch this space.”
Clements is enjoying playing alongside hot teenage prospect Jack Thomas in the Stags’ engine room, and said: “He is one of those players who is going to go far in the game.
“He is only 18 but on the pitch he is playing like an experienced professional. He has other stuff he will learn along the way. But he is outstanding. His enthusiasm and raw talent helps you. You see him flying into a tackle as he does and it gets the whole team up and fighting.
“And you know exactly what you are going to get from Jamie McGuire and Ricky Ravenhill behind us. They both do what they really well, protecting the back four, ratting and battling to the very last minute.
“It will be difficult at Cambridge tomorrow and our away form hasn’t been the best. But, bar York and Tuesday, we have probably been playing the best football we’ve played all season, so we don’t go there fearing anything.
“Now there is this little gap, the lads can go out there and express themselves tomorrow.”
Clements thanked supporters for their deafening backing on Tuesday.
He said: “I though the atmosphere before the game was electric and that’s what we as players want every game. The fans were brilliant throughout the 100 minutes.
“The game was very scrappy to say the least. But obviously the only thing that mattered was the result and we got that. We wanted to play and give the fans something good to watch, but at the end of the day the result was key and the performance came second.
“It felt like forever and it felt like it was never going to end. People say the fans are like a 12th man and I think if they hadn’t been as good as they were, I don’t think we’d have kept that clean sheet.
“Once they got behind you and you had something to fight for, it’s about hanging on and getting the result you need. I though Reggie’s goal was unbelievable.
“Muzza said game management was going to be the key. I thought Tranmere played really well in the first half and we struggled to get going.
“Then it was about the little things – taking your time on throws and killing their momentum.
“We have this team spirit and we were not going to concede. There was no chance that ball was going in our net.
“Even when Liam Marsden came on in stoppage time and made that last ditch tackle, it just shows it’s not just the 11 players that start games, it’s about the whole squad.”