Mansfield Town reach the quarter mark of the season this week just two points outside the play-offs with boss Steve Evans calling on the town and surrounding areas to get behind their promotion bid.
After over 5,000 home fans cheered a memorable 3-1 derby win over Notts County on Saturday, Evans called on neighbouring Forest, Derby and Rotherham fans to come down and enjoy some Stags action when their teams are away.
“We just hope we can produce good, entertaining football, score goals like we did on Saturday, win games, get up into that top group and be a real part of it, then the support base will only go up,” said Evans.
“Forest fans, Derby fans, Rotherham fans – when your team’s a long way from home, we are half-an-hour, 40 minutes, down the road.
“Come and get behind us and try to get us in League One and the Championship.
“Nottingham Forest had a brilliant result at the weekend but I want their fans to come and help us – they’re not going to go and support County are they?
“We are a great place to go and watch football.
“Rotherham fans as well – you have a manager here that bled for your club.”
Saturday’s 7,072 gate was Stags’ biggest home crowd since 7,682 turned out for the same fixture in October 2004 and Evans said: “I thought they were wonderful.
“I have always said to the chairman and to every other chairman I’ve worked for that what brings supporters to sit on the seats and support the team is performances and results.
“We got both on Saturday. If we’d played like and lost I’d have still gone home proud of my players but supporters would have gone away thinking about the result. That’s what they do.
“But they went home with both – proud of the result and proud of the performance.
“It was a Mansfield Town side that were really committed and really focused, though as I have said we are far from being ready yet to be the team that we want to be.
“I watched the video twice through yesterday and we’re a long way short of where we want to be. I keep saying we will be much better in the second half of the season.
“That may not be the case in fact, but it’s what I believe.”
Evans continued: “Since they came back up from the Conference, the supporters of Mansfield Town have spoken about promotion but there has been no substance.
“I’d like to fly an aeroplane but I haven’t got a pilot’s licence. The substance has only been about John Radford backing it. The substance is here now with the management team and the players – and you need the supporters above all. It’s all part of the same mix.”
Saturday made it 10 derbies against Notts without defeat and Evans said: “Any local derby you want to give your supporters a good day and we’ve had three so-called local derbies - if you can call Grimsby that - and we’ve won all three. That can never be a bad thing.
“Derby games are absolutely extra-special for supporters. They get the bragging rights for another week or two.
“We delivered a good result – a positive result which was important for the chairman, the chief executive and our supporters – but most of all important for the players.”
Stags head for Colchester United this Saturday and Evans said: “We have now taken 13 points from a possible 18 and we are disappointed which shows the standards we set ourselves and the standards other expect from us.
“It was important we had a reaction after Tuesday’s defeat at Cheltenham. The boys gave a fantastic reaction, but they’ve done that most of the time.
“Cheltenham was a disappointing performance and not like us. But you will have days like that in any competition in the world, especially Leagues One and Two more than the rest. You have to put it behind you and learn from it which we did.”
Evans was sent to the stand at Cheltenham but expects to be on the bench at Colchester.
“I am expecting a letter and then we’ll take the advice of our chief executive and see where that goes,” he said.
“But if I’ve got 15 priorities today it’s not in the top 15.
“I would think it’s unlikely to be for the weekend, maybe for the week afterwards.
“That depends if I agree with it. If I disagree with it when I see what’s there then it could be weeks or months.”