Oh I do like to be beside the seaside…. But not in early December on a Wednesday night! But that’s the magic of the Checkatrade Trophy for you – a competition fancied by few, but one in which I [like a parrot] keep saying we’re good enough to win.
Tomorrow night’s trip to Blackpool (7pm) see’s the Stags face League One opposition who are in a poor run of form with one win in their last seven and despite wholesale changes from Evans, Mansfield as a squad are in rich form – meaning those who come in will play like it’s an FA Cup final to stake a claim for a start at Crawley on Saturday.
If you look at the players likely to play too, your Mirfins, your Angols, your Butchers and Potters – a lot of them have league one experience and above so the divisional gap, will count for very little and make for a very competitive game indeed.
Blackpool are a vulnerable side at the back and if we play like we did on Saturday, quickly from back to front, then we’ll cause some damage.
Aside from the players making a claim for a starting place in the bread and butter of league two, financially progression is worth it too as I’ve said before, the competition may be heavily overlooked, but as a cash booster – well I’m sure John & Carolyn wouldn’t complain as there’s another £20K up for grabs for the winner tomorrow night – which would add to the £40K already earned (£20K for participating and £10K per victory in the group stages).
That money could be pivotal not just in January but over the course of the next season or two as we continue to develop things off the pitch – success costs investment and like every football fan up and down the land – I want to see my club be successful and win trophies, I’m not going to turn my nose up at it just because it’s the checkatrade trophy.
We’ve a big squad, some competitive competition only bodes well to keep everyone hungry and driving us on - and if all else fails, it’s a trip to blackpool and if we’re lucky, we might get to see the illuminations!
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