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We must play the game not the occasion says Stags keeper ahead of derby

Conrad Logan - Pic By James Williamson
Conrad Logan - Pic By James Williamson

Mansfield Town keeper Conrad Logan said the players must play the game and not the occasion when they run out at Meadow Lane for Saturday’s big local derby against promotion rivals Notts County.

But Logan said players do love the big game atmosphere and he is hoping the 4,200 army of Stags fans can help edge them to victory.

“It’s a local derby and everyone is looking forward to it,” he said.

“We want to play in big games with big crowds and local derbies are fantastic. A full house is always something special.

“There are a lot of times when you play Tuesday night games a long distance away and you have to generate your own atmosphere.

“Once we cross that line on Saturday both sets of supporters will be at it and it will be a great buzz. That’s why we play football.

“But as a player you’ve just got to play the game and not the occasion when you actually go out there.

“Let the supporters and everyone else enjoy the day and the buzz. But it’s only three points like any other game. So you’ve just got to be calm.”

Logan believes Mansfield have a great chance of success on Saturday, saying: “We have just got to keep doing what we’ve been doing as it’s worked so far this season. We are in a decent position.

“There will be key moments in games and you have to hope we have in this squad that bit of magic to score a goal or make a defensive block.

“Sometimes derbies can be over-hyped as a player.

“Fans will have a crack and some banter with the other fans. But we will solely be concentrating on what we can do on the pitch.”

Logan is hugely impressed by the number of fans travelling down to back the Stags.

“ To have 4,000 fans going away from home is fantastic,” he said. “Most people would like that for a home game in this league.

“We will need their voices and, if the game is tight and a little bit edgy, that little bit of support and will might just get us over the line.

“I am sure they will be vocal like they have been all season.”

On the game itself, he added: “With both teams being so close to each other this is a big game.

“But it is only three points – that’s all it is. There are three points on offer next week and three points on offer the week after. All we can affect is the next game.

“Notts have had a good season. They are well organised and they are grinding out victories. They seem to be working hard for the manager.

“They will be tough – we’re under no illusions. They have a good mix of youth and experience.

“We beat them here earlier in the season but you can take that with a pinch of salt. It’s a different game, a different stadium, a different occasion.”