I start this week’s blog with the pre-season friendly trip to Retford where the young professionals, youth team and trialists were sent.
The game was a very even match and were it not for a mistake by the goalie and a defender then we would have drawn it.
The Stags played some good football but weren’t able to put the ball in the back of the net.
This match was very aggressive from Retford, but is was probably what the Stags needed.
I also spoke to one of the trialists from this game at my gym who I know, Jordan Slack, who unfortunately got injured 10 minutes in so I didn’t get to see him. But from the conversation we had he told me he’s going back to America so good luck to him.
We then went to Worksop on the Wednesday for a completely different game altogether with two good footballing teams playing each other.
It was really nice to see another local team playing good football and I wish Worksop all the best for the season because if they play like they did they could have a good season as well.
My pick of the players from this game was Mitchell Rose, who I thought was excellent.
Craig Westcarr’s finishing was good again, Reggie Lambe came on and had found a bit of nip to his game in the second half, while Adi Yussuff looked as good as he has done in previous games, but I don’t reckon too much about him playing out on the left wing. I would much rather him play up top. Liam Marsden also looked very good when he came on and put a few good crosses in.
My only worry from this game would be the central defence, as I feel this is still a problem area, as well as somebody who does the holding position in midfield in front of them as there were a few gaps that appeared in this game.
The attacking football is good to see but we need to keep it tight at the back as well.
Last weekend two Stags teams went to different games with the first team going to Barnsley for Sir Bobby Hassell’s testimonial and the other going to Solihull, this being built up of youth team and three young professionals.
I went to Barnsley instead of the Solihull game and thought it was a really good workout but, as ever, we had a rubbish ref like we always seem to get.
In the first half we played some really good stuff and was absolutely fantastic to see Matt Green finally put the ball in the net.
We did lose the way we were playing in the the second half a little bit as more subs were made, but the first team really excites me this season and if we can play like this against Barnsley then it could be fun this year.
It was also really good to see Sir Bobby Hassell back playing though I must admit I’d have preferred it if he’d have been playing for the Stags instead of them.
He is undoubtably the best right back I’ve seen and deserves all the praise he gets.
Also for the third game running Lee Collins was captain. So I’m guessing that he might be chosen as the captain for the season.
As stated above, the defence does worry me and Collins still needs someone at the side of him.
So I’d hope this will improve in coming games next week against MK Dons and Leicester.
I’d just like to finish this with a keep fighting message to my grandad who is ill in hospital.
Come on Adam Murray’s barmy army and COYS!