Mansfield Town must start a fresh on Saturday

Despite being present at Monday night’s friendly victory over Eastwood Town, Saturday’s game against AFC Telford United can’t come quick enough as the pain of dwelling on a defeat currently feels like one long headache, writes Craig Priest.

Despite being present at Monday night’s friendly victory over Eastwood Town, Saturday’s game against AFC Telford United can’t come quick enough as the pain of dwelling on a defeat currently feels like one long headache. fsfsf

That may seem surprisingly negative for me, however nobody likes to loose, especially at this stage of the season where, in my opinion, every point collected will be vital to our end of season ambitions. If we’re being totally honest, there hasn’t been a Stags victory we have been admittedly proud of since September 27th when we saw off league leaders Wrexham. Yes we’ve won two games since then (Grimsby and Alfreton) however the manor in which we won has seen questions raised over our performances and us slip away from the play-off places we seek.

Looking back on our 2-1 home defeat to Cambridge United, our performance was actually much improved, add to that the addition of much needed balance on the left hand side with Nick Hegarty and Kieron Freeman’s respective arrivals and in fact, there are more positives to reflect on than negatives. The harsh truth is though, you can weight up positives and negatives all day long, but at the end of the day the fact sheets and history books show a defeat, it’s this we need to address and something I’m confident we will do on Saturday afternoon at AFC Telford United.

Despite loosing Ben Futcher back to Bury and young Tom Naylor to championship side Derby County, we are boosted by the imminent return of Rhys Day and summer signing John Thompson. The duo have formed quite a partnership playing alongside each other in behind closed doors friendly’s and we’re the shining lights from Monday’s open to the public friendly at Eastwood Town.

Both still have lots more to give in terms of fitness and to some degree ability, however both seem to be on the right path mentality wise and will be eager to make there first starts of the season. On Monday the duo complimented each other well and generally led the side, Rhys Day showed glimpses of the Rhys Day of old, winning every header with ease and standing strong in the challenge, whilst Thompson showed the qualities which got fans drooling excitement when his name was first announced.

A break from Stags action may have left kicking our heals and scratching our heads on Saturday as we we’re without a game, however from being around the players and seeing the atmosphere on Monday night, it’s clear the break, arrivals and departures have spread a fresh thought trial – the boys seem eager to get back to action and return our club to winning ways, the gap has been time for a mini-preseason and now it’s time to stop reflecting and time to look forward, together as one – Let’s continue our climb back to the promise land.

Personally I can’t wait for match day on Saturday; each flashing white line as I head towards the ground will act as a beat, and inside my head I will hear you Stags fans singing, being the voice to guide us on – COME ON YOU STAGS!