Bookies rate Stags as favourites for mid-table finish next season

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Mansfield Town’s busy week in the transfer market does not appear to have made national bookmakers change their minds about the Stags’ chances for promotion next season.

Odds released by most of the bookies suggest they think a mid-table place is most likely for Adam Murray’s men, who have now made five close-season signings.

This month, Murray brought in two wingmen - Ashley Hemmings and CJ Hamilton - to replace the departed Matty Blair and Reggie Lambe, and then added former Rochdale defender Rhys Bennett on THursday.

Last month he signed defender George Taft and striker Danny Rose, who have both won promotion from League Two.

Players offered new contracts who have chosen to move on include player of the year Ryan Tafazolli as well as Blair and Lambe.

League sponsors Sky Bet have the Stags at 25/1 for the title and 5/1 for promotion.

Their favourites for the championship crown are Portsmouth at 5/1, closely followed by relegated Doncaster Rovers 8/1, Luton 9/1 and Leyton Orient, many people’s favourites last season, at 10/1.

Sky Bet’s figures suggest they rate the Stags as 14th favourites for the title - and they have a similar rating in the odds for promotion at a not-so generous 5/1.

Ladbrokes rate the Stags as the 15th best bet for the title this season, but at 22/1. They also make Portsmouth, Doncaster and Luton as favourites for the title.

Pompey have strengthened their squad already for yet another tilt at League Two promotion following their play-off semi-final defeat by Plymouth Argyle in May.

Midfielder Danny Rose, who won promotion with Northampton just a few weeks earlier, has gone to the south coast together with Ipswich striker Matt Clarke, who was on loan at Fratton Park last season.

Newly-relegated Doncaster, as well as snapping up Stags winger Matty Blair, added another wide player when the vastly experienced Gary McSheffrey, who was on loan at the Keepmoat Stadium, made his move from Scunthorpe permanent.

Portsmouth and Doncaster also figure high on the list of likely promotion candidates with Paddy Power, who rate the Stags’ chances of promotion far more highly than most.

They are offering 18-1 odds for Mansfield Town to be in League One this time next year and make the Stags eighth favourite to go up.

However, Paddy Power appear to be out on a limb with the other bookies, like William Hill for example, who believe the Stags are 25-1 shots for promotion at best and around the 14th favourite to be playing League One football in a year’s time.