Mansfield Town remain the hunters, not the hunted
MANSFIELD Town were the hunters.
But after finally clawing their way into the play-offs, after months of trying, some could say they are now the hunted.
However, after an eighth win in their last nine league games lifted the Stags up to fourth in the Blue Square Bet Premier table, boss Paul Cox is not seeing that way.
The mind-set, he insists, has to be on continuing to play the hunter, to gun down Wrexham and top spot following the midweek victory at Lincoln.
For getting into the play-offs is one thing, but with 14 games remaining and sitting just five points off leaders Wrexham with a game in hand, the title is very much a realistic goal.
Given Mansfield have to play Wrexham twice and other promotion rivals, it is what they have to aim for.
Bottom club Telford visit the One Call Stadium today (3pm) and are without a win in the Blue Square Bet Premier since early October.
But given the prize at stake, Cox is confident his side – who have just won three successive games on the road in the space of a week – can maintain their focus this afternoon.
"There is always that chance where complacency can creep in but we are still chasing and I want to get that through to the players and supporters," said Cox.
"It is about the thrill of the chase and that is massive for us. It happened last season where we went on that good run to finish third and people now start asking me about pressure.
"But this is a great period to be involved in and I am enjoying it and I hope the players are enjoying it too. We have to make sure we finish with a good end to the season.
"If you look at the table in terms of points tallies, the title is in our sights and we have got to be hungry to try to get to where Wrexham are at the moment.
"Any club in the top six would give themselves a chance of top spot at the moment and as we have seen so many times this season, anybody can beat anybody.
"So there is a lot to play for and we need to enjoy that."
Cox was delighted with the big followings to Hyde, Luton and Lincoln as his side continued their impressive run of results.
And he hopes the fans turn out in force today ahead of another hectic run, with a trip to Woking on Wednesday night and then a home clash with Stockport in a week's time.
A warning was also issued to his players, as he looks to ensure nobody starts to take things for granted.
"We have been working so hard and battling for everything of late and that can't stop," he said.
"As a group they are really enjoying their football. But if players are not performing well or not working hard, there is somebody waiting to take their place.
"We have seen the likes of Lee Stevenson and Luke Jones wait patiently and get their chance.
"The opportunity will arise for others to get their chance in the starting 11."