LOMAS ON STAGS: A time for heroes, not for panic, after double defeat setback for Mansfield Town

Despite the Easter heartbreak, this is not a time for panic at Mansfield Town, this is a time for heroes.

Tuesday, 19th April 2022, 5:11 pm

And Nigel Clough will hope to have them in his ranks in numbers over the final four games as the season, as expected weeks ago, goes right down to the wire

There is no denying that two defeats over Easter were a dagger to the heart.

Stags can have no complaints about the Sutton United defeat as the EFL new boys produced a perfect away performance against the odds.

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Stags had no luck with officials all weekend - this was not deemed a foul Oli Hawkins on Friday. Photo by Chris Holloway/The Bigger Picture.media.

But the two awful decisions that swung Monday’s loss at Carlisle away from the Stags were hard to take as they dropped out of the top seven.

So with just two weeks of an incredible regular season to go, Nigel Clough’s side could still end up with automatic promotion, play-offs or mid-table disappointment.

Having three of their last four games at home does give Mansfield some advantage as does their game in hand.

But the pressure on them to win them is now intense.

No one can question the players’ commitment and bravery. Two of them even played on with breathing issues with Covid on Monday and several are, and will be, seeing out the season with injuries.

Stags tried to play their brand of football to the bitter end at Carlisle where poor decision-making from the officials and a lack of luck thwarted them.

It was very difficult viewing, especially near the end, as Stags bravely threw everything forward and survived several breaks when the home side outnumbered them on the counter-attack.

The fantastic 11-game record winning home run had also been halted on ‘anything but Good Friday’ as an early error from Faz Rawson proved so costly. But last week’s defeat for Forest Green and Monday’s home loss for Port Vale showed all the sides up there are human and vulnerable to mistakes and anything could happen on this run-in.

The way Stags fans got behind the side when 2-0 down on Friday shows what a part they will play in the last three outings at the One Call Stadium.

And what a boost it would give everyone if Clough can get injured top scorer Rhys Oates back out there again. Strap in and hold tight!