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6th March 2024 22:18

Exclusive: Aden Flint reveals Mansfield Town response to Notts County, Stockport and Wrexham promotion talk
footballleagueworld.co.uk, BY NED HOLMES, 1 March 2024

FLW has been speaking exclusively to Aden Flint

Mansfield Town quietly focused on promotion, not distracted by pre-season talk of rivals Notts, Stockport, and Wrexham.
Nigel Clough's leadership key to Mansfield's success, Flint praises experienced manager for taking a chance on him.
Flint draws on promotion experience to lead Mansfield's push for League One and says Stags are taking it one game at a time.

Mansfield Town have been happy to "go about our business quietly" in response to all the League Two promotion talk surrounding Notts County, Stockport County, and Wrexham ahead of the 2023/24 campaign, according to Stags defender Aden Flint.

Speaking exclusively to Football League World, via SkyBet, the 34-year-old made it clear that the league leaders will "do what we need to do" between now and the end of the season as they push to return to League One.

Much of the League Two promotion talk ahead of the current campaign was surrounding Stockport, the losers of last term's play-off final, and newly-promoted duo Notts and Wrexham, who many were tipping to go back-to-back.

But it's Nigel Clough's side that are top of the table, with a game in hand over most of the sides below them, as we head into the business end of the season.

read more at https://footballleagueworld.co.uk/aden-flint-mansfield-town-notts-county-stockport-wrexham-promotion/

At the moment it looks as though five teams are battling it out for the fourth tier's three automatic promotion places, with Notts sliding down the table into 10th after manager Luke Williams departed for Swansea City, and the Stags are the best set.

Speaking exclusively to FLW, Flint was pressed on all the talk surrounding Notts, Stockport, and Wrexham ahead of the season and how Mansfield had responded.

He said: “We’re happy going about our business - [we’ve] not been spoken about too much. We got a bit of attention when we beat Harrogate [Town] 9-2, which was obviously nice.

"You’re going to get people talking about Wrexham obviously because of the owners, Notts County coming up last season, and Stockport missed out in the play-offs - so, people are going to talk about those teams. We’ve gone about our business quietly and we’ll just do what we need to do.”

The central defender was something of a surprise addition at Field Mill in the summer. Having left Stoke City as a free agent, many would've assumed that another Championship club or perhaps a side in League One would be his next stop but he joined Mansfield and hasn't looked back.

It's proven a fantastic move for both parties. The central defender has not missed a game all season - with two goals and three assists in his 41 appearances so far - and has taken the captain's armband since August. With Flint in their backline, the Stags have had the best defence in League Two this term, letting in just 29 goals, with only Leeds United conceding fewer in the whole of the EFL.

He is certainly enjoying his football - as the new contract he signed in January illustrates - and is thankful that Clough offered him a new home after he left the Potters.

“It’s been good playing under Nigel Clough," said Flint. "He's a vastly experienced manager. Given my age, it’s nice to come across these kind of old school managers because it’s a dying breed in football. He’s been great, he’s really helped me this year.

“He took a chance on me when I was looking around hoping to get a club this summer, so I'm thankful for bringing me to the club and I’m really enjoying my time playing for him and Town.”

Flint has naturally assumed a position as a leader, both in the dressing room and on the pitch, and has been drawing on his EFL promotion experience with Swindon Town, Bristol City, and, most recently, Sheffield Wednesday.

He said: “I won League Two many years ago with Swindon Town and got promoted twice from League One, so I know what it’s all about to be in and around the top of the table at the business end of the season.

“There’s not just me in the team, there’s a lot of experienced players like Stephen Quinn. There’s plenty of players who have got promotion in our squad, so we won’t get ahead of ourselves. We’ll take it one game at a time and just tick each game off as they come - and getting the three points.”

It's a resurgent Newport County up next for Flint and Co, and while they'll take nothing for granted, Mansfield will certainly head to Rodney Parade with plenty of belief that, having suffered play-off final heartbreak in 2021/22 and missed out on a top seven place on goal difference last term, this is their year.



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