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I thrive on occasions like this

Tootle previews Stags clash

16 March 2018

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Matt Tootle will draw on his own experiences as an Everton fan to help him in this weekend's derby clash with Mansfield Town.

The Stags come to Meadow Lane for the third Nottinghamshire derby of the season and the defender is all too aware of the significance of the fixture to the fans.

"Being a football fan who grew up in Liverpool, I know how important these games are to the supporters," he said.

"As a player going into the game, you want to do what you wanted the players of your own team to do - work as hard as you can and show some passion.

"I thrive on occasions like this because there's a great atmosphere and it means so much. There's nothing better than making a tackle and getting a standing ovation for it.

"I enjoy games that are full of passion and have a bit of needle; that's probably when I am at my best."

With a crowd in excess of 12,000 expected for the game, Tootle is determined to keep a cool head to ensure he will not be overawed by the occasion.

“When I was younger it stuck with me that you should have fire in your belly and ice in your mind," he said.

“I’ve always stuck by that and, no matter what the atmosphere is in the stands, you have got to take yourself out of that situation.

“It’s just another game and you’ve got to keep your head. I’ve always been good at that and you hope everyone else does the same.

“Saturday is going to be a great advert for League Two and for us to both be in the mix is fantastic."

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