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Scouting Report: Mansfield Town

24 April 2019

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Find out more about Saturday's opponents...

  • Form:

Mansfield's form has stuttered somewhat over the closing stages of the season, with just three wins, three draws and three defeats from their last nine games. Despite this, automatic promotion is still in their hands, with two wins from two games needed.

The Stags would have been feeling mightily relieved on Monday evening after their 3-2 defeat at Oldham though, as rivals MK Dons failed to capitalise at home to Port Vale, leaving Mansfield in pole position to grab one of the two remaning automatic places.

  • The Gaffer:

David Flitcroft was named as Mansfield Town Manager on 1st March 2018, after former Stags boss Steve Evans moved to Peterborough United.

He began his managerial career at Barnsley, following the sacking of Keith Hill in December 2012, whom he worked for as an Assistant. After seeing the Tykes to Championship safety in his first half-season, Flitcroft was then dismissed less than a year later, in November 2013.

He was promptly appointed Bury boss, where he enjoyed his most successful period as Manager to date, dragging the team from League Two relegation candidates to promotion winners in 2014/15.

A sticky spell during his third season where his side went 11 games without a win proved to be his undoing, as he was dismissed from his role in November 2016. A short spell at Swindon Town followed, before Flitcroft decided to make the switch to ambitous Mansfield Town. 

  • Key Stats:

Mansfield have the joint-best home record in the division, with 14 wins, 5 draws and just 3 defeats at the One Call Stadium.

The Stags also have the best overall defensive record in Sky Bet League Two, having conceded just 38 goals from 44 games, including 13 from 22 home games.

Mansfield are yet to lose by more than one goal this season. Each of their 8 defeats have come by a single goal.

The Stags get stronger as games go on. 50% of their total goals scored have come in the final 30 minutes of matches.

Who could be Mansfield's key player on Saturday?

"Tyler Walker has 25 goals to his name now and would love to add to that with two games left in the regular season. The Forest loanee has carried Stags' promotion charge at times and has been exceptional up front.

But Stevenage will also have to watch out for the amazing pace of his strike partner CJ Hamilton and the midfield brilliance of playmaker Jacob Mellis and warhorse veteran Neal Bishop.

"At the back Stags have the meanest defence in League Two with a formidable back three."

What do Stevenage have to do to beat Mansfield?

"Stevenage cannot afford to let Mansfield start on the front foot as they have been exceptional at home all season with few sides escaping with anything.

"With so much at stake, the longer the game goes on without the Stags going ahead, the more tense the home side and supporters will get and, if they have to try to push it at some stage, mistakes could happen and gaps appear.

"An away goal could even all but silence the home fans."

What have Mansfield got to do to beat Stevenage?

"If Mansfield start well and are allowed to play their passing football they will destroy most sides at this level at home.

"Stevenage need to stay very tight on Mellis, Walker and Hamilton and their forwards need to not allow the home back three to bring the ball out as they are all very comfortable on it and able to pick passes.

"Over 5,000 home fans would have turned out anyway but U18s are now allowed in free so a huge crowd is expected and they will be fully and noisely behind them which will boost them massively."

Result prediction?

"Mansfield have so much at stake, although Stevenage do too and they won't roll over like Morecambe did on Friday.

"It will be tight and tense but you just feel like it could finally be Mansfield's season this time around up here and I can see them edging a thrilling 2-1 win with Stevenage throwing everything at them at the death."

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