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Rob Edwards says Mansfield fixture will suit Forest Green Rovers as his side bid for a third straight win

Forest Green Rovers manager Rob Edwards believes Mansfield will come out firing on Tuesday in the two sides’ League Two meeting at The New Lawn.

They will have to take on the Stags without top scorer Matty Stevens, who has suffered an ACL injury and will be out for the rest of the campaign and also the start of next season.

Rovers picked up a second successive 1-0 win at the weekend, defeating Scunthorpe United, to retain their four-point lead at the top of the division.

That added to a victory over Colchester United before the international break, ending a seven-game winless run.

Edwards said: “They were welcome wins as you can imagine. Saturday was difficult because there was than expectancy that we would just turn up and win, but you’ve got a team of 11 people there who are fighting for different reasons.

“We did really well to find a way to win in the end.”

Scunthorpe, who look destined for relegation, made it difficult for Rovers, before Dan Sweeney’s 75th-minute goal finally breaking the deadlock.

He added: “I saw good things on Saturday but also some areas that we can definitely improve in. If we had taken one or two of our chances early on, it would’ve been a very different story.”

Attentions now turn to a big game against Mansfield on Tuesday evening, the fixture having been postponed once and abandoned once over the winter months.

The Stags are unbeaten in four and are outside the automatic promotion places on goal difference alone, and Edwards believes Nigel Clough’s side will attack the game.

He said: “Mansfield have done very well and we know it’s a big big game, but over the course of the season, these are the games we’ve turned up in and performed well in.

“When teams bank up against us, it’s difficult to break them down. Mansfield won’t do that, they’ll have a go, and that’ll suit us a bit more.”

Forest Green have been favourites for the League Two title since fairly early on in the campaign, and although it’s theirs to lose, Edwards knows there’s still work to do.

“They’re all big games but they all have been from the very beginning. We know what it means now with the position we’re in. The lads are all aware, but what we’ve got to try and do is try and keep doing the things that have got us into this position.

“It’s become more difficult as the season’s gone on, so it becomes a challenge but that’s why I’m so proud of the way the lads have handled themselves.”

Eight games remains for the Greens, including a final-day trip to Mansfield. Edwards hopes that Forest Green will be promoted by then, adding: “We all want to get the points as soon as possible and I can’t be looking eight games ahead.

“If we do our job in the next games, that’ll make things easier at the very end.

“Now we’re in this position, of course, we would like to go up as champions, but the most important thing is having a ‘P’ next to our name, and to do that we need at least four more wins.”

Rovers’ last win over Mansfield was a dramatic one, Aaron Collins’ last-gasp goal sealing a 4-3 victory, and many will be expecting a similarly dramatic affair as the promotion race heats up.

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