Manager John Dempster declared himself satisfied with his summer transfer business and confident of a successful season as Mansfield Town aim to put a tough opening month behind them ahead of Saturday’s visit of bottom club Scunthorpe United.
Stags only won one game in August and had up to 10 players injured or suspended.
But Dempster strengthened his midfield and defensive options with the loan signing of Leeds United’s Conor Shaughnessy before the window closed on Monday and said he had every faith in himself and the squad he has compiled to bring Stags success.
“I am confident,” he said. “You look at the history I’ve got with this football club as a player. We were very successful and we got this club back into the Football League where it belongs.
“You look at my tenure as academy manager and I brought success to the club, leading the U18s to three titles in four years while getting a few players through for their debuts.
“I have never been more determined to bring success to this football club’s first team.
“It’s a club I am passionate about and I have a strong allegiance to the club. I have given seven years service.
“Believe me when I say I will be giving everything to this football club – as I always have – to bring success and be a winning force in the future.
“It has been a challenging first month. But if there are challenges and obstacles in front of you it’s important you smash them down. That’s what I will asking the players to do on Saturday when Scunthorpe come to town.
“I don’t want to paper over cracks. We have things we need to solve and the challenge is there for all to be seen.
“But I am determined to make it a successful campaign – as in my previous years here - and the players will produce the goods.”
Dempster brought in eight players during the summer window and said: “We were talking to a large pool of players and some of the loan fees other clubs were demanding were ridiculous and some of the stupid agents fees certain people wanted were out of this world.
“So we are happy with the business we’ve done. We are not going to have people fleece this football club as they have in the past. “Those days are gone. We have done our business very efficiently.
“We want to be a successful club but we also want to be a sustainable one and we won’t be taken advantage of.
“We are pleased the window is closed as we know we need to work with the group of players we’ve got and we drive forward from here.”
After a poor August, some fans are already talking about Saturday’s match with winless Scunthorpe as a must-win game.
But Dempster said: “It is certainly a game we have got to give everything in to get the three points.
“But a must-win game only seven games in? That’s a big statement.
“But I wouldn’t shy away from anything. I have never shied away from a fight or challenge in my life – and neither will my players.
“Saturday is a massive game but it’s a game you want to be part of.”
He added: “We need the supporters behind us and we need the players to lift the supporters to get behind us.
“You can guarantee Scunthorpe’s game plan will be to come and stifle us and either score an early goal or go in at half-time 0-0 with a clean sheet.
“They want our supporters to turn on us and we have to be aware of that and our supporters have to be aware of it.
“If this is going to be a successful campaign – which I firmly believe it will – we need to be together through thick and thin - and it starts on Saturday.”