Last weekend’s 1-1 draw with Bristol Rovers failed to make the sunshine through this miserable month of weather, as bursts of rain continue to be swept through the chilling wind and brown autumn leaves get stuck to your shoes, fellow supporters will be hoping for a little more joy as the Stags head for the cost tomorrow as they take on Torquay United.
There’s no question Mansfield need to find the form of last month which saw them climb to third and beat arch rivals and league leaders Chesterfield along the way. As with every season we’re starting to enter our rough patch and as injuries and suspensions set in, it’s no secret Paul Cox is on the search for fresh input, especially in midfield, but how come he’s looking elsewhere?
First Cox cast his eye over former Coventry midfielder Steve Jennings who was sent off in the reserve teams 2-1 defeat at Hull City midweek. Then the stags boss appeared to bring Godfrey Poku out of the cold and ending his interest in Jennings stating that Poku’s “application and work rate had impressed him” (which we’d actually like to see) before declaring his interest in Nottingham Forest youngster Jake Blake.
Fair play, Forest’s academy is a few more years down the line than what ours currently is, but after all the fuss Cox made about the youngsters at Stags in the summer (Jack Thomas et al), why go looking to take someone whose part of another academy?
Naturally the debate can carry on and go round and round in a never concluding circle, but there’s no point in carrying it on as it wont find Stags an answer – that’s something they have to find themselves on the pitch tomorrow. Fingers crossed Jamie McGuire will be fit to play, he was suspended of course last week after picking up his fifth yellow card of the season in the chesterfield cup game, however he was taken off injured in the same match.
McGuire has been impressive since his arrival and a real fighter in the midfield, that’s defiantly an attribute we need to re-find our feet and go on another decent run of form.
Torquay are another side struggling for form sitting just outside the drop-zone however, Stags haven’t faired too well against struggling sides in recent weeks so need to ensure they stay focussed as they aim to bring home three points before heading to managerless bury in midweek.
LAST TIME WE MET
The Stags and Torquay last met in the conference during our debut season outside the football league in 2008-09. Billy McEwan was at the helm as Stags headed for Torquay and failed to bring home nothing bar rock and humbugs as the gulls flew away with all three points in a 2-0 victory. The last meeting came at the One Call Stadium, where the sides took a share of the spoils in a 1-1 draw.
The last football league encounter came in January 2007 at Field Mill as was, the Stags smashed the gulls 5-0.
In total, the sides have met 67 times of which the Stags have grabbed 31 victories and slipped to 18 defeats. The Stags lead the goals tally 98-74 but have only won 10 times at Torquay, the last victory on Gulls territory coming in 2006.
Paul Cox has Jamie McGuire back from suspension however the question remains over if the midfielder will be fit after being taken off injured in the cup show down with Chesterfield, fellow midfielder Chris Clements remains sidelined.
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