FORMER club mates and old adversaries Paul Cox and Nicky Law go head to head again tomorrow as Stags play their second local derby of the week at home to Alfreton Town (3pm).
Stags aim to build on their decent display in Tuesday’s 1-1 draw at Lincoln and improve a home record of only three wins in eight while the struggling Reds need to halt a run of one win in 11 and five straight away defeats.
“Nicky and I go back a long way,” said Cox. “He was in the team when I was just coming through at Notts County and we’ve since faced each other as managers a few times.
“Knowing him as I do, he is a winner and will keep his distance before the game as I will. But we will probably have a beer afterwards, win, lose or draw. That’s the nature of the game.
“He will be looking to put one over on us and we will be looking to do the same.
“I think Nick will turn it round there, but hopefully after our game. He has been in the game a long time and knows what it’s all about.
“It is a massive game for us. Although the table says we are 10th, we are only four points off second place and three of the play-offs and we have a game in hand. It would be nice to go into the FA game next week higher in the table.”
Stags do welcome back ex-Alfreton midfielder Anthony Howell after suspension. But Tom Naylor remains sidelined with a hamstring problem, and Ben Futcher is almost certain to miss out again with injury too.
However, wing pair Louis Briscoe and Lindon Meikle could be included, despite injury problems at Lincoln, and Cox may also yet bring in one of his proposed new faces if a deal can be done in time.
Cox added: “If we play like we did at home last weekend we will get beat – simple as that. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that. But if we go about our business as we can do we have got every chance.
“When we are dynamic there is no better team in this league.”