After such a well-earned victory at Coventry last weekend, the Stags return home to the One Call Stadium to face Stevenage tomorrow – in a game for my money, they must show the same endeavour and determination in.
Looking through our results thus far it’s fair to say Steve Evans’ side have been guilty of turning up for the bigger more appealing matches, your Lincolns, Luton’s, Coventry’s and Notts County’s – but have failed to have the same appetite against your Cheltenham’s, Barnet’s and Colchester’s.
After one year in charge Evans has overhauled the squad and made a lot of changes to life behind the scenes, now is the time to show the desire to take the club to another level on the pitch – and the way to do that is by keeping our focus against a side who are bobbing along quietly in mid-table in Stevenage.
It’s a good time to show too that we are not a one man team – we we’re guilty of that when Matt Green was the leading front man, and in my opinion clung onto that for far too many seasons – we need to avoid that with Danny Rose, as much of a talent he is, we do not need to be putting that weight on his shoulders.
With Lee Angol not quite fit, the only choices really are Sterling-James and Spencer, the latter has got goals in his game and can be a key player for us, whilst the former came to us with a good goal scoring record – but has yet to show it, or have the chance too – perhaps tomorrow could be that opportunity he’s been waiting for.
Krystian Pearce and Jacob Mellis are back from suspension and could come straight back into the fold, both having played 90 minutes in the reserves 2-0 win over Notts County in midweek, if I were Evans I would be tempted to play MacDonald further forward and accommodate Mellis in the middle – even though Bennett is a tremendous centre back, Pearce you’d think would get straight back into the side alongside skipper Diamond.
Stevenage shouldn’t be under estimated – they’re a side who like to get balls into the box and are often first to feed on the scraps, they were very unfortunate to not beat Notts County recently, and when they find their stride, can really punish you with creative players such as Ben Kennedy in the side.
Mansfield did the hard work at Coventry – they now have to come out and match that once more and build some real momentum ahead of a tough few weeks – Port Vale isn’t an easy place to go on Tuesday, then you’ve the big one next weekend following by a cup double. Games and points availability are coming thick and fast, we’ve the squad to manage that, collecting as many points as possible – let’s get out there and do it!
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