Will Atkinson knows only the best displays will be good enough to keep Mansfield Town shirt

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Mansfield Town midfielder Will Atkinson enjoyed his best day of the season so far as he marked his return to the team with a goal in the 3-1 victory over Barnet.

But he knows, such is the depth of talent in the squad, there are no guarantees he will keep hold of his shirt.

“That was one of my most enjoyable games this season,” he said.

“It’s nice to be back in the team. Getting a start today, all I wanted was to get the three points.

“Scoring a goal and us getting a convincing win, it’s been a good day for me and the team.

“I work hard every day and I have been frustrated to not be in the team. But that’s the nature of the game.

“We’ve got such a good squad here. There are players in the stand who aren’t even in the squad who are good footballers.

“But I thought I deserved my chance today and hopefully I’ve taken it.

“The manager has a really tough job with such a big and good squad, it’s hard to keep everyone happy.

“But we all have the same goal, which is obviously promotion. Everyone wants to play, that’s natural. But if you’re not in the team you support the other boys.

“I want to play every game. That might not happen so you just do your best when you can.”

Atkinson made it 2-0 on 55 minutes and recalled: “I enjoyed my goal. I was just doing a job on the keeper, trying to stop him coming for the ball. Kane Hemmings got a little flick and I just reacted and topepoked it in.

“My family were here today so it was nice to get one. My dad comes quite a lot but my mum came today with him so it was nice to score it for them.

“It was a vital goal as, at 1-0, it was in the balance.

“We should have won by more. On another day it could have been four or five.”