John Dempster keen to end 'restlessness' at Mansfield Town by beating Port Vale

John Dempster believes The Stags are close to turning the corner.
John Dempster believes The Stags are close to turning the corner.

John Dempster wants to end the 'restlessness' surrounding Mansfield Town by picking up three points at Port Vale.

The Stags boss - who was subjected to abuse from fans during Tuesday's 4-0 defeat to Cambridge United - believes that win number three of the season will be the best way to calm the storm.

"We understand there's restlessness around and we understand we need to pick things up without a doubt, and that's an understatement," he said.

"But we're going to go into Saturday the same as we went into Tuesday night, with a positive mindset.

"The players that want to be a part of that will feature. The players that want to stand up and be counted as men will feature, and it's going to be interesting to see how people react when there's adversity - who's going to stand up and be counted."

Looking to the positives, Dempster believes Mansfield Town are close to ditching their underachievers tag and becoming a League Two force.

"I've been in football a long time. People may see me as inexperienced but I've been in professional football for over 20 years," he continued.

"I've been promoted out of this league twice so I know what it takes.

"We're not a million miles away. People will look at the league table and think we are. Externally, people will be looking and thinking 'they're underachieving' - and they're spot on.

"But I'm telling you know, we're not far off."

The 2-0 victory over struggling Scunthorpe United is the Stags' only victory from their past six league fixtures.

Dempster, however, believes he has seen enough potential in his side during the defeat to Cambridge and Saturday's 1-0 reverse at Crawley to give him hope.

He said: "If we play to the levels we did in the first half on Tuesday, it's not up for debate; we'll win league matches and climb up the table.

"We're closer than peope think. If we go to Port Vale and play like we can, with confidence - and we're aggressive with our press and we're brave and we've got courage and we get on the ball - it's not in doubt.

"We won't just pick points up on Saturday, we'll pick points up home, away and we'll start climbing that league table."

Striker Danny Rose has echoed his manager's sentiments, claiming Mansfield played some of their best football of the season in midweek.

Matt Preston's sending off early in the second half, with the game goal-less, swung momentum in Cambridge's favour.

Dempster confirmed the defender - who will be suspended for Saturday's match at Vale Park - will be fined for collecting his second red card of the campaign.

The manager will, however, have Hayden White and Willem Tomlinson available for selection as both trained this week.

Three places and three points separate 15th-place Port Vale and the Stags, but victory would see Town leapfrog their opponents, giving a healthier look to the league table.

"We had people watch Port Vale on Tuesday night, they lost to Exeter by two goals late on and there was nothing in the game," Dempster added.

"They're a decent side. They were unfortunate to lose in midweek. Exeter managed to be really effective in the moments that matter, that's why they're currently top of the league.

"They're quite effective, they get the ball forward whenever they can. They've got some experience in there, League Two experience, which is critical.

"They're a team that need to be respected, without a doubt. But we fear no-one."

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