Stakes are high in Saturday’s promotion showdown admits Mansfield Town chairman John Radford

Mansfield Town Chairman John Radford - Pic By James Williamson
Mansfield Town Chairman John Radford - Pic By James Williamson

Mansfield Town chairman John Radford admitted Saturday’s home clash with promotion rivals Forest Green Rovers is massive for both clubs and the stakes are high.

But, despite two successive defeats, Radford has every faith Stags can bounce back on Saturday and has called on the club to cement a place in the top three automatic promotion spots to avoid the lottery of the play-offs.

David Flitcroft’s men turned in a poor display in Saturday’s 1-0 derby day defeat at Notts County, dropping to third, and Radford said: “You have to get up and move on. It wasn’t a good result or performance. Let’s hope that it’s a one off.

“I have made a (superstitious) rule of not seeing my manager 24 hours before or after a game, because my passions run so high. “Unfortunately, I had to meet with David before Saturday’s game and I think it’s my fault why we lost the game.”

Forest Green are just four points behind Stags and Radford admitted: “It’s a massive game for both clubs, there’s no other way of describing it and we know that no game can be taken for granted.

“Our main objective now is for us to cement ourselves within the top three.

“I don’t want us to lose our automatic slot and then have to battle in the play-offs.

“To maintain our high-riding position within the top three of the league will mean us having to acquire three points for most of our games from now until the end of the campaign.

“This is, of course, possible, with the players we have and a manager who has a promotion on his CV from this division.”

He added: “The stakes are high and it’s an exciting time for the club and the town of Mansfield.

“I want us to put on a show for our fans, to respond in characteristic Mansfield fashion on Saturday.

“It should be a fascinating game of football, with the division’s two best footballing sides going head-to-head.”

Stags took 4,300 fans to Notts on Saturday and this weekend’s crowd should be boosted by free tickets once again for U18s.

“Many chairmen will say this, but I absolutely mean it; our fans have been brilliant this season, supportive, encouraging and vocal when our players have needed them most,” he said.

“It was heartening to see an excellent result and a bumper crowd when we did the free U18s tickets against Macclesfield and I want a repeat performance of the result from that game this Saturday.

“This offer enables young people to get out and interact with people in real situations.

“It’s good to get out and support your team as opposed to ‘supporting’ in front of a telly.

“This is our local professional football club, where we were born and brought up. This football club matters enormously to people.

“It is one of the best things in life to be able to support and follow your own local team; you make good friendships and it contributes to a real community spirit.”