Manager Paul Cox will be hoping for another cup fairytale when we begin our Capital One Cup campaign at Tranmere Rovers.
Following a five-year absence from the competition, we are set to make our return to the League Cup at Rovers’ Prenton Park home on w/c August 5th.
Under Ronnie Moore’s guidance, Rovers finished 11th in League One last term and will undoubtedly provide a stern test in our First Round meeting.
Nevertheless, with 14 Premier League teams entering the competition in the Second Round, our boss believes there is a great incentive to win for both teams.
He said: “It’s an interesting tie. We’ll be pitting ourselves against a very good League One side, but there are plenty of incentives for us to win.
“You could find yourselves playing a Premier League side [in Round Two], and as we saw last season with the clash against Liverpool in the FA Cup, they are big games.”
“Paul Ogden [Chief Scout] has been to see Tranmere a few times, but they’re still relatively unknown to us, so we’ll get around and have a good look at our opponents.”
The Stags’ last visit to Prenton Park was over a decade ago in April 2003, in a fixture which had to be re-arranged in bizarre circumstances.
The original meeting, which took place three days earlier, had to be abandoned at half-time due to safety concerns after an individual climbed a floodlight pylon.
Results elsewhere meant that it was a miserable day for everyone as we lost our Division Two (now League One) status, whilst Tranmere missed out on a Play-Off place.
In the re-arranged clash, our side failed to raise the roof as strikes by Gary Jones, Simon Haworth and Jason Price consigned us to a 3-1 loss.
Nevertheless, Prenton Park is a familiar place to our summer-signing Paul Black.
Black, who joined us from Tranmere last month, made 11 appearances for the Wirral-based outfit last term and was a popular figure at the club.
Our boss added: “I’ve not spoken to him yet, but I’m sure he’ll be relishing the thought of going back [to Prenton Park] and looking forward to the tie.”
More details will be announced about our First Round fixture in due course.