Stags chasing Easter double over strugglers

STAGS begin their crucial Easter programme with a trip to struggling Kettering Town on Saturday (3pm) with another struggling club, Stockport County, at the newly-renamed Once Call Stadium on Monday (3pm).

Mansfield Town are now seven points ahead of sixth-placed Luton Town, thouhg the Hatters have two games in hand, and four ahead of fifth-placed Southport.

Kettering are almost gone, 12 points from safety after a season racked with debt and misery, and have lost eight and drawn one of the last 10.

As an ex-Kettering player, that is not something that current Stags boss Paul Cox is enjoying seeing happen to them.

“It’s not nice to see Kettering where they are as I had some fabulous years there and such a good rappore with the supporters. You just don’t want to to see one of your old clubs in their predicament.

“But on Saturday I have to be totally ruthless and we will go there knowing that, again, it is our biggest game of the season and we need a good result.

“They are fighting for their lives and we know they will bite and scratch and do everything they can to get a result.

“We must be single-minded and ruthless and work as hard as we have ever worked.

“We must focus on the Kettering game alone, if not, we will get turned over.

“Look what happened to Southport against Hayes and Yeading and York against Newport.

“These are not freak results as, on their day, anyone can beat anyone else in this league.”

Despite his current ankle problems, Cox expects skipper Adam Murray to want to play on Saturday but admitted his skipper may not play in both games.

“If he plays on Saturday, I am sure Adam will be banging on my door on Sunday, wanting to play on Monday.

“He is a winner and has that desire and mentality of wanting to play. Even if he is not having a great game with the ball you know he will still affect the game.

“But we don’t want to burn him out before the end of the season an we have got to be clever with him.”

Another ex-Poppies man is Exodus Geohaghon who agreed: “It is upsetting to see what’s happened at Kettering as they were second in the league when I left and I thought they were going to go on to better things. But things change in football.

“All I can do is go there and concentrate on getting the three points. I have spoken to a couple of the boys down there and, to be fair, they are expecting to get beaten on Saturday, just a case of by how many, but we know they won’t make it easy for us and it will be tough.

“We are the side with the momentum now and if we can get into the play-offs people will see us as the team to beat.”

Monday’s visit of Stockport, who are one place and four points above the drop zone, sees U12s admitted for £1 with an adult which should boost the home attendance.

Stockport have won their last two games against fellow strugglers Bath and Kettering but lost their previous three, including a 5-0 loss at Southport and a 6-1 hiding at Alfreton. STAGS begin their crucial Easter programme with a trip to struggling Kettering Town on Saturday (3pm) with another struggling club, Stockport County, at the newly-renamed Once Call Stadium on Monday (3pm).

Mansfield Town are now seven points ahead of sixth-placed Luton Town, thouhg the Hatters have two games in hand, and four ahead of fifth-placed Southport.

Kettering are almost gone, 12 points from safety after a season racked with debt and misery, and have lost eight and drawn one of the last 10.

As an ex-Kettering player, that is not something that current Stags boss Paul Cox is enjoying seeing happen to them.

“It’s not nice to see Kettering where they are as I had some fabulous years there and such a good rappore with the supporters. You just don’t want to to see one of your old clubs in their predicament.

“But on Saturday I have to be totally ruthless and we will go there knowing that, again, it is our biggest game of the season and we need a good result.

“They are fighting for their lives and we know they will bite and scratch and do everything they can to get a result.

“We must be single-minded and ruthless and work as hard as we have ever worked.

“We must focus on the Kettering game alone, if not, we will get turned over.

“Look what happened to Southport against Hayes and Yeading and York against Newport.

“These are not freak results as, on their day, anyone can beat anyone else in this league.”

Despite his current ankle problems, Cox expects skipper Adam Murray to want to play on Saturday but admitted his skipper may not play in both games.

“If he plays on Saturday, I am sure Adam will be banging on my door on Sunday, wanting to play on Monday.

“He is a winner and has that desire and mentality of wanting to play. Even if he is not having a great game with the ball you know he will still affect the game.

“But we don’t want to burn him out before the end of the season an we have got to be clever with him.”

Another ex-Poppies man is Exodus Geohaghon who agreed: “It is upsetting to see what’s happened at Kettering as they were second in the league when I left and I thought they were going to go on to better things. But things change in football.

“All I can do is go there and concentrate on getting the three points. I have spoken to a couple of the boys down there and, to be fair, they are expecting to get beaten on Saturday, just a case of by how many, but we know they won’t make it easy for us and it will be tough.

“We are the side with the momentum now and if we can get into the play-offs people will see us as the team to beat.”

Monday’s visit of Stockport, who are one place and four points above the drop zone, sees U12s admitted for £1 with an adult which should boost the home attendance.

Stockport have won their last two games against fellow strugglers Bath and Kettering but lost their previous three, including a 5-0 loss at Southport and a 6-1 hiding at Alfreton.