Sky Bet League Two – Saturday 24th October 2020, Jonny Rocks Stadium [Behind Closed Doors]
Another game passes and it’s another one without a victory, prompting even more questions over the future of Stags Manager Graham Coughlan – questions which will get asked louder, written bolder and underlined in capitals – should his side fail to beat also winless Barrow at home on Tuesday night.
For me it feels like a dead heat photo finish at the races, one which expert after expert must analyse from every angle possible. The former Bristol Rovers boss has guided Stags to just four wins during his tenure, all four being last season pre-lockdown with a side which wasn’t his own.
He’s been backed well post-lockdown and despite losing Danny Rose and CJ Hamilton, has pulled in some big names from League Two and League One respectively – but whatever reason, the new faces have been stung with the old problems and perhaps arguably, have taken a step backwards – highlighted no less by this terrible run of zero wins leaving us lingering just above the drop zone.
Yet over the last two games his side have shown improvement at the back and on the ball, even without full backs Mal Benning [Positive covid-test] and Corey O’Keeffe [self-isolating following close contact with Benning] – taking points from two in form sides in Morecambe and Cheltenham.
Those points, as Coughlan said post match, are only good points IF we back them up with a win Tuesday – I’d go further than that and say they’re only good points if we beat both Barrow [Tuesday] and Walsall [Saturday], which should then give us the platform to push on further as we face Scunthorpe in the cup which we’re already out of, and Bolton in the league.
Barrow are really struggling to adapt to league life whilst Walsall, all-be-it the only unbeaten side in League Two, can’t turn draws into wins so SHOULD be there for the taking, IF Mansfield HAVE improved.
The next two games will be a real test of character, we’re at home and must play on the front foot with real attacking intent. Yesterday I felt we had that when we got on the ball, even though Cook was supposedly isolated up top, he had both Charsley and Maris playing at attacking midfield roles, feeding on the scarps and really pushing us forward – with a little tweak of tactic, I think we can turn our season around.
I’m no football manager or coach, just a humble fan with an opinion – I’m also not the CEO or owners, however I do feel that an absolute minimum of four points from the next two games is required to send the “urgent exit required” message, line of duty style.
Failure to win a game from those two won’t be about the ball not dropping, lady luck not smiling, or players having to isolate etc – it’s a leadership issue which would have to be addressed, especially as the games are against teams around us with negative results causing further damage.
For now, I continue to back Coughlan and the boys – BUT, the magnifying glass is well and truly out looking at the photo finish of our stats and performance, and a certain ex-burton manager’s number is being googled!
Actually, it’s Barrow at home on Tuesday isn’t it – quick, someone give Coxy a call and tell him there’s a Jag up for grabs!
Click HERE to read the clubs official match report.
STAGS: Marek Stech | Rollin Menayese, Farrend Rawson, Ryan Sweeney © | Kellan Gordon, James Perch, George Lapslie, Stephen McLaughlin | Harry Charsley, George Maris (Nicky Maynard 78) | Andy Cook (Jamie Reid 78)
Unused Subs: Aidan Stone, Aaron O’Driscoll, James Clarke, Tyrese Sinclair, Jordan Bowery
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