Demspter backing Mansfield Town for promotion after his last game for Stags

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DEFENDER John Dempster ended a successful three-month loan from Crawley with a goal and a 5-2 win against Darlington last night – and he is confident the Stags can taste promotion this season or next.

“I have really enjoyed it here. It is a great bunch of lads and great supporters,” he said.

“I am sure they all get tired of hearing they are a sleeping giant that should be a League club but have found it’s not that easy to go back up to the Football League with only one place available in the play-offs with the champions.

“But I think the structure here will give the club more than a good chance of achieving it, whether it happens this season or next, I think it will happen.

“The manager has made it clear to me he would be interested in bringing me back this summer but that is a long way off yet and anything can happen in football.”

Manager Paul Cox is now looking for a replacement centre half on loan and said of Dempster: “It will be a big hole to fill. It’s not just his defending, he will get you goals as well.

“John has become a big player to replace but we not have to work hard to do that.

“I would love to bring him here in the summer as I hold him in high regard as a player and also as a person.”