LOMAS ON STAGS: Incredible run of bad luck goes on for Clough’s men

After all the injuries and suspensions Mansfield Town have had to cope with in recent weeks it seemed like a bad joke when Saturday’s team sheet at Exeter City showed two more defenders on the treatment table and unavailable.

Monday, 25th October 2021, 5:47 pm
Updated Monday, 25th October 2021, 5:47 pm
Oli Hawkins opens the scoring for Stags on Saturday. Photo by Chris Holloway/The Bigger Picture.media

Stephen McLaughlin and Elliott Hewitt were the latest casualties, McLaughlin revealing he played on against Port Vale in midweek with a torn ankle ligament.

He got through but from the compensatory way he ran to complete 90 minutes with a heavily strapped ankle he ended up aggravating his hamstring and could not face Exeter.

But it was a brave gesture from a player who is an early frontrunner for Player of the Season for me if he can maintain his form.

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It is a crazy time for Nigel Clough right now, but slowly but surely these players will come back and the Stags boss is convinced that, if they can register a win, more will follow.

Certainly the display against Port Vale rightly earned them a standing ovation from home supporters.

And four days later, again with a depleted side, they led away at another high-flying club in Exeter before losing 2-1.

But, had Jordan Bowery pulled the trigger when running in on goal, it might have been so different.

Once that chance evaporated you almost knew what was coming.

From how the full strength squad started the season in such impressive form, it is inconceivable Mansfield would be in the bottom two by October.

A run of 14 games in all competitions without a win is quite astonishing.

Even a poor side down the bottom will usually see a goal go in off someone’s backside and somehow hold onto to it and earn a rare win among a run of poor results.

But we all know this squad is capable of so much and it is painful to see the current situation.

Thankfully it is still early days and surely some of Mansfield’s bad luck has to even out sooner than later?

A good display and a win against visiting Tranmere Rovers on Saturday would go a long way to giving players, manager and supporters the big shot in the arm they so desperately need right now.