Mansfield Town boss Adam Murray may bolster his squad with a couple of U21 players from a higher level before the new season kick-offs with the visit of Carlisle United on Saturday.
Murray is delighted with the new squad he has assembled, bringing in 13 new faces, but with three games in the first seven days followed by two more the following week, he is keen to make sure he can keep everyone fresh.
After the home clash with Keith Curle’s Carlisle, Stags head to Championship club Sheffield Wednesday on Tuesday in the Capital One Cup before a mouthwatering local derby at Notts County next Friday.
“We are straight into the mixer,” said Murray. “I think the first month is going to be physically and mentally demanding for everybody and we are going to have to make sure our training is tailored towards that.
“We must make sure we stay fresh and stay driven in our goals for the season. We haven’t got a huge squad which was planned as we wanted it to be tight knit. It commits itself to each other more, but with that you have to manage certain aspects and have a bit of luck in terms of suspensions and injury.
“So we are looking at a few bits and bobs. We have got a couple of our young lads that, in the plan of their development, we want to get them out on loan early doors to get game time and to get in the environment of understanding about playing for three points, playing every week and being involved in men’s football.
“We may also look to bring in the other way. We’ve got a tight squad which we are very happy with. But because of the busy start to the season – we go Saturday/Tuesday/Friday, then Tuesday/Saturday – it’s an intense start.
“We need to make sure we keep people fresh to get the best out of the squad. So we may get one, possibly two, through the door by the weekend.”
He added: “I will probably look for another attacking option who will have a versatility about them and then we might look to get a little bit of cover in a defensive area.
“We will probably go for maybe a bit of a younger player to add to the group, maybe an U21 from a higher level. We are talking to a few at the minute so we will see how the negotiations go.”
Murray said his squad couldn’t wait to go out and implement his new footballing philosophy for the club.
“They are focused,” he said. “There is a real drive and focus about the group. We came in yesterday and you sensed the energy that it’s three points time. Points are on the line now and all the work we’ve done over the last few weeks is all working towards Saturday.
“There is a real buzz around the camp. We are looking forward to getting started. There will be a little bit of fine tuning this week ready to hit the road.”
Stags and Carlisle, managed by ex-Stags boss Curle, both flirted with the drop last season, but both have ambitions to be battling higher up the table this season.
“I had Keith as a manager so I know he is very detailed, a very good coach, and the group he has put together I think resembles him as a person,” said former Carlisle player Murray.
“He has got quite a big squad at the minute – a strong squad of 20-plus first team players. So he has an array of ability to pick from.
“I’ve watched them a couple of times and I know they will be a strong outfit this season. It is a really good game for us to get our teeth into first game of the season.”