DAVID Flitcroft says matches like today’s crunch League Two clash at home to Mansfield Town is exactly the type of contest that whetted his appetite to take over at Swindon Town.

This afternoon’s fixture sees two promotion-chasing sides go toe-to-toe at the Energy Check County Ground, with seventh-placed Town just two places and two points below their visitors in the table.

The fourth tier’s promotion battle continues to look increasingly complex as although leaders Luton Town have an eight-point advantage at the summit, second-in-the-table Wycombe Wanderers are only six points clear of Lincoln City down in ninth.

Town have already faced two other potentially crucial games over the past week, away at both Lincoln and third-placed Accrington Stanley.

With another mouth-watering fixture on the horizon, Flitcroft stated that match-ups such as the impending one against Mansfield are what he has been looking forward to since taking the helm at the club last summer.

“Since the turn of the year, we have been in good form at home and we are looking forward to another home game,” said Flitcroft.

“It is a top-of-the-table clash, it is two teams that are going for promotion. These are the games that when I first took the job, I wanted around this time of the season.

“You have got two form teams going head to head and it gives us an opportunity to play one of the best teams in the league.”

Swindon roared to a dominant 3-1 win when the two teams met in the reverse fixture at the One Call Stadium back in October but Steve Evans’ Stags have lost just once in the league since then.

“That doesn’t surprise me. It is what Steve Evans does, he wins football matches, his record proves that,” said Flitcroft.

“That’s why he is always in work. There are a lot of managers out of work but Steve Evans never is because he wins football matches and he builds teams to go and do that.

“He has been building there for over 12 months now, getting the right players in over two or three windows. With the January one he probably re-balanced it and it’s led to the run they have been on.

“Steve always builds an experienced team and a team full of functional players. He has got a lot of good players in that team and that is why they don’t get beat a lot.”

Flitcroft is preparing his troops for their fifth game in 15 days this afternoon and the Swindon boss is thrilled with how well his squad are holding up to the physical challenge.

“The younger players have recovered really well and with the more experienced players, it’s about giving them the right rest,” said Flitcroft.

“I think we got back at about 4am after the Accrington game on Tuesday night and it was a hell of a long day, especially after bringing no points back.

“We have got them mentally rejuvenated, we have got the physical inside them and now it will be a low-key prep day on Friday for a maximum effort on Saturday.”