LOMAS ON STAGS: Play-off heartbreak looms but next season will be one to savour

Steve Evans.
Steve Evans.

With Stags now needing a last day miracle to make the play-offs, it’s looking for all the world like another season in League Two for Mansfield Town next year.

But the consolation has to be that 2017/18 has all the possible hallmarks of a season to remember.

The glass is definitely half full, despite the heartbreak of Saturday’s 1-0 home defeat by title-chasing Portsmouth.

Stags now have to win at Crawley Town on the final day and hope a series of other results come up elsewhere akin to a win on the Lotto.

You always want promotion and a chance to test yourself at a higher level and had boss Steve Evans been in the building from last summer I have little doubt Stags fans would now be looking forward to the release of the League One fixtures this summer.

But having spent so many years in the lower divisions, Stags’ long-suffering supporters have had very few magical seasons to savour.

I have a feeling next season could be one of them.
With Evans’ plans for adding quality this summer and his track record I have every confidence that they won’t be in the play-offs next season.

Instead I expect him to challenge for the top three automatic spots and maybe even the title itself.

Chairman John Radford has said he will back the manager’s summer dealings and I am sure playing for the Stags under a manager with the pedigree of Evans is a far more appetising prospect for quality players than it may have been for a while.

Add into the mix the gates, atmosphere and thrills of local derbies with Chesterfield and Notts County plus big away followings from the likes of Grimsby Town and Lincoln City, there is much to look forward to.

There is not too much wrong with the current Stags squad apart from not scoring enough goals.

The defence is solid and there are some very talented midfield players.

With the addition of two or three strikers plus maybe a winger, the prospect of 2017/18 is quite mouthwatering and, if the day fails to go Mansfield’s way on Saturday, those prospects should leave a warm glow on what may have otherwise been a sad day.

In the meantime you can be sure Evans will want to end the season with a bang at his old club and sign off with a win, whatever the results elsewhere.