Mansfield Town will look to put a winless October behind them and start November with a bang with an away trip to Southend United tomorrow night.
The Stags failed to win any of their six October games, largely through a lack of goals – finding the net just twice in that time – but hope to complete the signing of Stoke City youngster James Alabi on loan today to strengthen their firepower.
“Since I’ve been here I have never had a good October,” said manager Paul Cox.
“But there’s no panic. It’s not the games we’ve lost that are hurting us, it’s the draws.
“The table is so tight, we could have easily been in the top three if we’d turned those draws into wins.
“But we are where we are for a reason. We know there are a lot of things we can still get better at.”
Stags were without keeper Alan Marriott and four defenders through injury and suspension for last weekend’s late 1-0 defeat by Plymouth as well as injured midfield ace Chris Clements.
“I don’t use injuries as excuses. But we have probably the worst et of injuries we’ve had since I’ve been at the club,” said Cox.
“But the good thing is we are getting players back soon. Martin Riley and Ryan Tafazolli are not a millions miles away and neither is Chris Clements.
“Chris is kicking a ball again now. He is down at the England training centre next week and should be back training with us the week after.”
He added: “We are just over a quarter of the way through the season and we are not doing badly at all. When you look at the size of some of the clubs in the league, we are doing okay.
“It’s so tight. You win two you are in the top three, if not you are swapping places with someone in 10th. Consistency is the key.
“We just need to start putting away the chances we are creating. Even the biggest clubs in the world go through these patches. You get through them and turn things around.
“We always try to play on the front foot. I don’t think anyone who has come to see our games this year would say we haven’t tried to attack, apart from Chesterfield away where we were a bit more defensive. We are creating a lot of chances.”
Stags are waiting on completing paperwork for the loan signing of Alabi and are confident it will all go through in time for tomorrow.
It is unlikely there will be a goals rush tomorrow, though, looking at the fine defensive record of the two sides so far this season.
Mansfield have the joint meanest defence with leaders Oxford United, having conceded only 12 goals in their first 14 games, while Southend are joint fourth meanest with Exeter, letting in only 14 so far.