Stags games glut start with Bradford trip

SPORT: FOOTBALL: Mansfield Town FC : Pre Season Tour Portugal : July 2018
SPORT: FOOTBALL: Mansfield Town FC : Pre Season Tour Portugal : July 2018

Mansfield Town head to Bradford Park Avenue tomorrow night (Thursday, 7.30) for their first domestic pre-season friendly as they continue to fine-tune their squad.

The Stags were pipped 1-0 in an unexpectedly intense opening friendly by Vitoria De Setubal in the heat of Portugal on Saturday.

Mansfield played two different sides in each half and will do the same at Bradford tomorrow before shuffling things more on Saturday, when they have the luxury of three different fixtures at 3pm.

Assistant manager Ben Futcher said: “The whole first team will go over to Bradford Park Avenue and we’ll hopefully look to do something similar to what we’ve done in Portugal with two teams in 45 minutes.

“We’ll be training hard on Wednesday and Friday and we’ll build into the weekend. When the other fixtures come into play we’ll really start fine-tuning stuff.”

On Saturday Stags will send sides to Gainsborough Trinity, Hednesford Town and Retford United before things start to take a firmer shape with the first of their big home friendlies next Wednesday when Championship neighbours Derby County visit (7.30pm).

Stags will also send their U21s to Matlock Town on Tuesday night.

Short on centre halves, Stags took former Bury skipper Nathan Cameron with them to Portugal and, while no decision has been announced on him as yet, continue to look for further defensive additions before the transfer window closes at 5pm on Thursday, 9th August.

“We’re really happy with where we’re at as a squad and the players we’ve brought in,” said Futcher.

“We’re just looking into fine-tuning and refining a few things.

“We’re looking to really home in on the last little parts of the squad.””

Stags still have four players on the transfer list and one of them could be on his way.

“In terms of outgoings, Paul Digby didn’t come on the trip and there’s been a bit of interest in Paul,” said Futcher.