Sky Bet League Two | Tuesday 15th December – Brunton Park
Taking on a side in good form on their own patch was always going to be a difficult ask – however as the Stags’ team made the long journey home last night there was a lot of time for reflection following another night where things could, and should, have been very different.
Going into the match, both sides had only recorded five defeats in the league – but one was riding high in the top three and had the capability to take chances and be ruthless, the other was Mansfield Town.
At Grimsby on Saturday the Stags really struggled to get good quality crosses into the box to cause any danger – it was the same story last night, we had enough creativity in midfield and going forward to create opportunities, but it’s like there’s some kind of shield stopping us from being dangerous in the final third – and it’s really costing us.
I’m a big fan of trying to let partnerships develop and have some form of stability, but when things are flat you really need to inject some life and energy to get things going again – and with a HUGE game on Saturday, it’s very much needed.
Personally I’d be looking at going back to the 4-4-2 Diamond rather than 4-3-3 and get Lapslie at the top of the diamond again, he hit real form when he played their a few games ago and as a result, brought the best out of Jordan Bowery, who in the 4-3-3 has drifted over to the left hand side and has been ineffective.
If James Perch is available, he’d be straight in for Rawson to partner Ryan Sweeney and strengthen us at the back, whilst I’d be potentially looking to bring in O’Keeffe down the right hand side to try and solve the problem of poor crosses into the box.
Back to last night briefly, I felt we had some good spells on the ball against a physical side and on any other night may have taken a point – but Carlisle are in the top three for a reason, they’re clinical and created numerous openings and took them.
The down side to last night was Southend winning, whilst they can’t catch us on Saturday – should they beat us, they’ll move to within one point of us, whereas two games or so ago they were out of sight – we’ve missed the opportunity to put distance between us and failure to win Saturday puts is back into real danger.
Three more games until the transfer window reopens where I’m very sure we’ll strengthen almost immediately, Southend, Scunthorpe and Salford – this may be ambitious, but I think we need at least six points from those nine, if not seven to start another unbeaten run. We certainly must beat both Southend and Scunthorpe.
We’re better than what we’ve been over the last two games – time to prove it.
Click HERE to read the clubs official match report.
STAGS: Marek Stech | Kellan Gordon, Farrend Rawson, Ryan Sweeney, Mal Benning | Harry Charsley, Ollie Clarke ©, George Maris (Andy Cook 68) | George Lapslie, Jamie Reid (Tyrese Sinclair 79), Jordan Bowery
Unused Subs: Aidan Stone, Aaron O’Driscoll. Stephen McLaughlin, Rollin Menayese, Corey O’Keeffe
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