STAGS boss Paul Cox is hoping to sign an experienced top quality former Championship central defender this morning.
He has played for his country and will massively boost a department that was certainly lacking in last night’s 2-1 pre-season friendly defeat at Conference North Nuneaton Town.
Once Tom Naylor had gone off with a hamstring problem after only 10 minutes, Stags had to use diminutive full back Matt Bell in the centre and they were twice pierced by a Nuneaton side expected to be challenging for honours this year.
However, there were many good signs going forward in a 4-3-3 formation with Lee Stevenson notching his first goal for the club early on.
“We didn’t look a solid unit, we looked like a team that had just been put together which is not surprising as the lads have only been together 10 or 11 days,” said Cox.
“We came here wanting to win it but also test ourselves and the game was too open for me, too end to end.
“We looked disjointed and rusty. But, having said all that, there were some positives to come out if it. It was a really good work out. I said all along I would have been surprised if we were the finished package straight away.
“There is lots to work on, but bits and bobs that were really positive when we started to relax and play a few passes.
“We created three or four really good chances later on and should have had a blatant penalty in the first half.”
Former Northampton, Oxford and Bristol Rovers left back Chris Carruthers had a decent game on trial and Cox added: “I thought he did pretty well but I have one or two others I am looking to bring in too so I will have a think about it over the next 24 hours.
“But Chris did himself no harm with that performance.”
Apart from Rhys Day, the only player unable to take part was Paul Bolland who is under doctor’s orders to rest his shoulder from contact for another 10 days.