Manager Paul Cox has called for calm heads and rational thinking amidst a frustrating spell of form for his team.
The side have won only once in their last six outings, collecting three draws and losing twice – but Cox was keen to stress that this indifferent patch can be overcome in a similar fashion to last season, when only three wins were recorded throughout October, November and December before his team went on to lose just twice after this period.
Speaking at this morning’s press meeting, the manager said: “If we have aspirations to be successful this year then you want a larger points haul [than we currently have]. Saying that, there’s a long way to go. One thing I want to get across is that it’s a similar scenario than what it was last year. There’s no need to panic or lose our heads over anything.
“From 1st November to 1st January last, I think we picked up 11 points in that two month period.
Jason Harrison (Mansfield 103.2) is asking the questions from this morning's press meeting
“The points tally isn’t what we want, but there have been circumstances out of our control which has added to that. In the last 12 games we’ve lost one of the top scorers at this level of football for a quarter of that time [Matt Green]. We’ve lost one of the best midfielders [in Gary Roberts], and it was nice to have him back on Tuesday night, as well as one of the better goalkeepers [Alan Marriott}. And more importantly, we’ve lost a player who would have been integral to our side in Ross Dyer, who is now out for the season.
“There are things which are out of our control and things which we’ve had to put up with, but that’s not excusing some of the performances away from home.
“We want to be better but but I solely look at the business end of the season. It’s where you finish and not where you start [that counts].
Looking head to Saturday's clash at home to high flying Forest Green, Cox said: “They’re chucking a lot of resources at it, although a lot of people at the club [Forest Green] haven’t said a lot about it. They’re an excellent side and are where they are are [in the table] because of consistent results.”
In team news, Cox could be boosted by the return of defenders John Thompson and Exodus Geohaghon as well as midfielders Anthony Howell and Chris Clements. Cox expects to find more about the fitness status of the quartet later today.