Mansfield Town supporters are facing the classic ‘glass half full/empty’ syndrome right now.
David Flitcroft’s Stags have started the season well, remain undefeated still with some stylish football played, plenty of chances created, a club competition record EFL Cup win over Accrington, and a narrow defeat in a brave fight at Championship West Brom last night.
The players brought in over the summer all look to be quality acts and there would seem to be much to look forward to.
But those looking at half-empty glasses are already frustrated that five League Two games have brought only one victory – that on the opening day of the season.
That has left a side tipped for promotion below the midway point of the table and the pessimists are already starting to foresee another season of promise fade into the usual misery and ‘what might have been’.
Stags fans are not the only side in the county with this dilemma.
Just down the road at Nottingham Forest, they also sit unbeaten with one win and four draws and are also in 13th position.
But a closer glance at the League Two table shows that, despite those early dropped points, Mansfield are only a single point behind the play-off spots and just one win behind the top three.
That’s how early it still is and there is clearly little to panic about yet.
It’s nothing that a victory over visiting Carlisle United won’t help make the table position look a whole lot healthier on Saturday.
But chickens can’t be counted on that one too soon as the Cumbrians have just reeled off three wins in a row, despite a summer of cost-cutting and upheaval.
Anything Stags earn on Saturday will have to be earned the hard way.
Hopefully Stags won’t show too much fatigue from their midweek exertions at the Hawthorns and can take the form they ended the game with into Saturday.
By then we will know if Danny Rose is staying put or not.
The club have stayed tight-lipped on his situation since transfer deadline day, though it is believed he is still on the transfer list and available.
He has certainly looked sharp and impressive when used as a sub in recent games and must be knocking on the door for a start.
Although he upset some Stags fans with his transfer request, it would seem he acted on advice that wasn’t based on the most solid of facts. And a few goals will quickly win everyone back over if needed.
The majority of Mansfield supporters will be glad to see the loan window close at 5pm on Friday and Rose still in the building.
The last time he spoke on the matter Flitcroft said he had cover planned for anyone who left, but Rose is already an impressive part of the squad and needs no time to bed in.