The final game of the season tomorrow will give Mansfield Town supporters either exhilaration, satisfaction, or despair as they go into their last match at home to already promoted Forest Green with a number of permutations still in play.
Should Mansfield beat second placed Rovers at the One Call Stadium, they will ensure playoff status whilst relying on other results going their way, they could also have a chance of gaining automatic promotion. Should they draw it will at least guarantee the playoffs but would leave them falling short on the automatic places, should the worse happen and they get beat at Field Mill, then looking over their shoulders they’ll be hoping that the three clubs directly below don’t all win, otherwise they could miss out on the playoffs completely.
The club have sold out their stadium ahead of the visit of Forest Green who themselves will be looking to win to have a chance at winning the league after being overtaken by Exeter City in recent weeks, over 9,000 fans expected through the turnstiles to greet the Stags on what has been a marvellous campaign, remember at one stage prior to a record unbeaten run, they were sitting second bottom with one eye worryingly on relegation in the month of October.
Manager Nigel Clough thankfully managed to turn things around and his side are one win or draw away from having a real pop at promotion to League one, Clough saying “Somebody’s going to miss out, I just hope it’s not us, it’s incredibly tight and I think there are three teams that can still get automatic and everybody else is vying for the playoffs”.
Clough continued “It’ll be an extremely elated football club on Saturday night whoever got the last automatic slot”
On those in the driving seat, Clough said “I think (4th placed) Bristol Rovers (at home v bottom of the table Scunthorpe) have the best chance because of the fixture they have got, going up to Barrow for Northampton (who are third), it’s in their hands, but it’s a tougher fixture”.
The Stags however will be hoping for slip ups from those around them and Clough said “It’ll be a really exciting end to the season for everybody, with Exeter playing Port Vale who need to win to get something and Exeter needing to win to get the title, Forest Green need to win at ours to get a chance, we need a point, it’s unbelievable how it’s worked out final day”.
Clough however stated that concentrating on his own sides performance rather than looking elsewhere is how they want it to be, the Stags boss saying “We just need to do our job, we know if we get a point or three, we’re guaranteed a playoff spot, and that’s where we need to be”.
Kick Off at Field Mill is 3pm on Saturday afternoon. Tickets have been sold out.
*Main image @mansfieldtownfc Nigel Clough knows a point will secure the playoffs which are a realistic goal.