Chris Wilder's notes from today's matchday magazine
Saturday’s excellent result at Mansfield means that we go into this weekend’s fixtures top of the table, which is a great place to be and a fitting reward for the fantastic support that you gave us at Field Mill. The support was one hundred per cent behind us all the time and the players responded with a great display.
We created loads of chances and I thought that Ryan Williams had his best game for the club. Sean Rigg looked back to his best in that game and from front to back the team looked confident and strong. We had to overcome two setbacks with Andy Whing and Deane Smalley coming off but the players took that in their stride.
I was always taught that there are three ways to play. You either go through teams, around them or over them. You try all ways and against Mansfield we got it right for most of the game. In the previous match at home to Gateshead in the FA Cup we needed to change tactics a little and the players deserve enormous credit for snatching a result when many people thought we were dead and buried. That takes genuine character and the players keep showing that quality week after week.
Again, we had to overcome the skipper going off, Tom Newey suffering concussion and Ryan Clarke having stitches. We fell behind to a wonder goal and other teams would have folded. Instead we came back strong and earned a replay.
On Wednesday when we were due to play that game I had two senior players who knew they were not 100 per cent fit but held their hands up and wanted to be involved. That speaks volumes for this set of players and is a great example for the young players in and around the first team squad. We would have had probably the youngest bench in the club’s history - my Clash records are older than that bench’s combined ages I reckon!
If we are to achieve what we set out to do this season then we will not be doing it with the cheque book culture that some clubs have used in the past. We will look to do it with a set of experienced professionals who work for each other, play for the shirt and lead the way for the crop of youngsters who are coming through behind. Young Josh Ruffels, for example, has come to the fore in recent games and there are others who will also get their chance.
They need the support of those around them and those in the stands. We are very aware that the home form needs to improve and that some of you have not seen us at our best yet. That will change. All we ask is that you stay positive and get behind the players. If we all do that then we can kick on and build from a very promising position.