The buzz is back at Mansfield Town ahead of Preston North End clash, but Graham Coughlan admits the fans will be missed

The buzz is back as Mansfield Town as they prepare for their first competitive fixture in almost six months - but manager Graham Coughlan admits it won't be the same without fans.
Stags boss Graham Coughlan. (Photo by Pete Norton/Getty Images)Stags boss Graham Coughlan. (Photo by Pete Norton/Getty Images)
Stags boss Graham Coughlan. (Photo by Pete Norton/Getty Images)

The Stags travel to face Championship side Preston North End on Saturday (KO 3pm) as the two sides meet in the Carabao Cup.

"The old routine's starting to fall into place," Coughlan said at today's press conference.

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"The lads had the buzz about them at the training ground this morning.

"You can certainly feel it, you can certainly sense it and you can certainly get that in your nostrils - you can smell the first game's only round the corner. It is exciting."

The Stags' last competitive fixture was March 7's 2-1 victory at play-off winners Northampton Town.

And while the long-awaited return to action is less than two days away, supporters will have to log on from home and watch via live stream.

And the Stags boss says they'll be missed.

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"Don't tell me football's the same without the fans," Coughlan added.

"You sit at home watching it on the telly, it ain't the same. The fans give you that extra five or 10 per cent in the game.

"That will probably be the strangest part of the new season, not having our own fans behind us and the atmosphere in the ground.

"It'll be my first professional game out of pre-season without fans, and I don’t know how that'll feel."