The Wembley dream is over in terms of a cup competition as following a well-deserved break, the Stags returned to action and crashed out of the Checkatrade Trophy – losing by a goal to nil to Bury.
It’s disappointing to be out at this stage however after a prolonged rest, I did anticipate a slow and sluggish encounter to get back into the match routine, and in the grand scheme of things I’d much rather get that out of our system on a cold Tuesday night where nothing is truly lost, than in a local derby against the struggling neighbours itching to get off to a good start under new management.
Bury are a very good side as we saw at Gigg Lane earlier this season and I still believe they’ll be challenging in the top seven at the end of the season, they took advantage of our prolonged rest early doors and got a cheap goal, and then marked us out of the game – the lack of spark and desire did worry me a little but again, when Saturday comes I know it will be a whole different story.
Players who needed minutes got minutes and players who needed to be protected got protected – we weren’t played off the park and had opportunities to get back into the game, it just simply wasn’t to be.
We now put all focus on the league and give it our everything, we have made great strides over the last six months of so – this set back, as disappointing as it is, is just that – a set back and a chance to try again.
David Flitcroft put out a strong side having not played since the 24th November, he made three changes from the side which faced Lincoln – Conrad Logan replaced Oljenik between the sticks, Hayden White replaced Atkinson, and Otis Khan replacing Hamilton.
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STAGS Logan (GK), White, Benning, Preston, Pearce © (Elsnik 46’), Bishop, Mellis, Khan (Hamilton 46’), Sweeney, Walker, Rose (Davies 46’)
Unused Substitutes: Olejnik (GK), Atkinson, Butcher, Graham.
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