Striker Danny Rose believes fitness will be key to Mansfield Town finding form

Danny Rose in action at Bradford City.
Danny Rose in action at Bradford City.

Mansfield Town striker Danny Rose believes that once new manager Graham Coughlan has the squad fit enough to play his new high-pressing style, few teams in League Two will be able to match the Stags.

Despite a magnificent first 45 minutes against Forest Green last weekend, Mansfield could not sustain the pace after the break and lost 4-3.

But Rose said everyone is upping the ante in training to improve those fitness levels ahead of Saturday's difficult trip to Plymouth.

“We have had another tough training week under the new manager,” he said.

“It's the intensity of training that has changed. We are working on our fitness.

“We have a number of runs we need to do and have to complete them in specific times. Then we have gym sessions after.

“There are no hiding places. The lads are working hard and determined to put things right.

“We are not as fit as we should be if we want to play a high pressing game we need to be a lot fitter.

“We've been doing a lot of running in training and we're hoping to take that into games.”

Rose believes the signs are there that the hard work is starting to pay.

“The first half against Forest Green on Saturday was probably our best performance of the season by far,” he said.

“We scored two goals against a very good side and I think if we can do that again against Plymouth then we will shut up shop.

“If we can play like that for 90 minutes I don't think there will be many teams in the league that can live with us.

“That comes from fitness – and that's not built overnight. We're an honest group and we want to do that for 90 minutes not 45. As the weeks go on we will be a lot stronger and a lot fitter.”

Already Krystian Pearce and Jacob Mellis have been told they can leave if they wish. But Rose believes they will stay and fight for a place.

“That's football,” he said. “We've not been performing this season so we kind of expect a bit of change.

“Obviously the gaffer wants his own players in. It's the time of year when we've got to put a shift in. If we don't then ultimately we might not be playing for this club.

“The lads that were told have reacted well in training. They are training hard like they want to get back into the team on Saturday.”