LOMAS ON STAGS: A ‘name’ striker would be icing on the cake but not essential

Stags manager Steve Evans during Mansfield Town v Forest Green, United Kingdom, 12 August 2017. Photo by Glenn Ashley.
Stags manager Steve Evans during Mansfield Town v Forest Green, United Kingdom, 12 August 2017. Photo by Glenn Ashley.

Mansfield Town supporters continue to sit and sweat on news of a new ‘star striker’ to round off what is an already vastly-improved squad for the season.

But the fact it is taking so long suggests that the type of players Steve Evans is trying to lure to the One Call Stadium are not keen on dropping down to League Two.

At least the deal he began working on last week was only held up by the player’s club wanting to get their weekend Championship game out of the way before putting the move to the striker concerned.

We all await news on that this week with high anticipation.

If Evans can pull off a ‘name’ striker from a higher division it really would be the cream on the cake.

But, as the manager himself has said, it would be far from the end of the world if it didn’t happen.

The glass half-empty section of Stags fans were bemoaning not scoring more against Forest Green on Saturday. But the truth is the game finished 2-0 with one-way traffic from the home side and the two goals they deservedly scored were all they needed to clinch three points.

It was a frustrating first half all-round. But Rovers arrived wanting to make sure they took home at least a point from their first ever away Football League game and their spoiling tactics were a real annoyance but understandable.

The fact is the Stags stayed patient and eventually broke them down with two goals in six minutes- job done.

Not every side will come into games at the One Call as unambitious as Forest Green and you feel that players like Joel Byron, Paul Digby and Jacob Mellis will be able to pass their way through sides who want to go toe to toe and make more of a game of it.

Danny Rose already has two in two, the classy Paul Anderson scored and looks like he can easily make double figures this season while new strikers Lee Angol and Jimmy Spencer have shown some neat touches and I sure will be adding goals to the tally once they have settled in.

Of the three sides who went up automatically last season, only Doncaster Rovers’ John Marquis got past the magic 20 mark with his 26 goals in all competitions.

Tommy Rowe added 13, Andy Williams 12 and James Coppinger 10 for the Yorkshire club.

For champions Portsmouth Kal Naismith was top scorer with 15 with 10 for Gary Roberts, nine for Carl Baker and eight for Conor Chaplin.

Plymouth also went up automatically thanks to 15 goals by Graham Carey, 13 from Jake Jervis and seven from Sonny Bradley.

Blackpool, who went up as play-off winners, had only two players in double figures as Kyle Vassell and Brad Potts hit 13 apiece.

I believe Rose, Angol, Spencer and Anderson all have double figures in them his season and Stags also have a midfield that looks well capable of adding to those.

Evans said if he could bring in the player he wants he will score 20 goals plus.

He is also determined to land an attacking midfield player before the transfer deadline who would bring even more goals potential.

Success in both deals and bookies might stop taking bets on promotion.

But, even if both don’t come off, Evans knows he has enough already in the building to challenge.