As The Stags prepare to face Wycombe Wanderers this evening, I can’t help but feel that having a win under your belt across the weekend, really helps the week pass quicker and the anticipation for the next game build with more intensity.
Really it’s like the addiction of football manager, they say you should NEVER quit during a winning run – it’s the same in reality too, you want to skip the non-football days and get to matchday quickly.
That feeling is something that the Stags must now keep that up as they head into September rather than take more steps back, as a month into the season – this is the time that momentum is built and things start to take shape.
For Mansfield, Saturday’s victory over Grimsby Town was worth far more than three points, not only did the penalty hoodoo get lifted, but also the players got to lift the huge weight which their own mistakes had placed upon them, and that – with such a huge dressing room, is vital.
Football is a game which so easily becomes a blame culture when things go wrong, and with such a big pool of players that is very dangerous – especially when the starting line-up continues to remain practically the same.
Now the mantle has been lifted the boys can focus more on winning, and those not in the side can focus on making a statement to Evans on the training ground, which in turn – makes those selected up their own game – a positive situation all round.
Saturday’s performance against Grimsby saw David Murfin continue his improving displays at the back, he’s now starting to form a solid understanding partnership with Pearce and for the first time all season, it looked like the back four had a little more faith in Conrad Logan behind them – cutting out the indecisive nature of play which had cost them seven points prior to the weekend.
However whilst we rejoice in the warmness of a win, we have to make sure it becomes a regular thing and start to build up a bit of momentum. Tonight we face Wycombe Wanderers at home which is a very tough test, one where chances won’t be as frequent – and again a real test of staying switched on and focussed until the very last whistle, we know they can hit teams late.
I’d happily take a 0-0 draw against Gareth Ainsworth’s men, the clean sheet and ensuring a team who WILL be in the mix at the end of the season is just as vital as the three points were on Saturday against Grimsby.
It’s about showing we can be hard to break down, physical and up for the challenge – teams know we can attack and we know that we have the players to set some games a light, but it’s at the other end where we slightly fear a mucky blot to the canvas.
I’m reminded now of the list of stuff I have on my work desk labelled “objectives for the week” – to put a twist on that, if I were Steve Evans sharing a morning brew with my colleagues, there’s only one thing that’d be on my “objectives for the month” – and that’s to stay unbeaten.
If we achieve that goal, the train will have gathered some momentum and at last that feeling that Mansfield Town CAN be the team that wins promotion, may just formulate with a little more confidence.
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