First team coach Jamie McGuire says that new signing George Lapslie will bring ‘energy and positivity’ to the Mansfield squad.
Lapslie (below) signed with the Stags from Charlton Athletic on Thursday afternoon on a loan deal that will run until the end of the 2020/21 season.
McGuire, speaking in Thursday afternoon’s news conference, says that the 23-year-old is a ‘perfect fit’ for the Mansfield squad.
“He’s full of energy and is a box-to-box midfielder,” he told iFollow Stags. “He got Young Player of the Season a couple of years ago at Charlton, which says it all.
“I think he’s a perfect fit for our squad and improves the squad really well.
“He’ll bring loads of energy and positivity to the team and the fans will love to watch him.
“The lads have created chances, but George will give us that little bit more in terms of arriving in the box. He’s always aware and alive on the pitch.”
McGuire reflected on the Stags’ start to the season and spoke of the ‘strange’ feeling of matches being played behind-closed-doors.
“It’s been a strange start, having no fans in the stadium,” he added. “We’ve brought a lot of new players in and we’re trying to get the balance with those new players.
“It’s been frustrating without the fans there as we want them to back us. We want the fans to believe in us, as we’re getting there.
“It’s frustrating on the fans watching on iFollow [as they’re not allowed in the stadium]. I know how passionate the fans are – I played in front of them for four years and I know they always used to drive me on in games.
“We’ve been unlucky, but I don’t want to say that word. We’ve been in games where we should have won, but we’ve never looked out of place.
“I think we were unlucky on Saturday not to get that [first win], but we just have to keep working hard on the training ground and that’s what we’ve done.
“The lads have been bubbly and we, as staff, have to keep driving that as well. We’re really looking forward to the Bradford game on Saturday.
“There has been some good play and we’ve had chances – we just haven’t put the ball in the net. You see the George Maris chance on Saturday, if that goes in the net, it’s three points.
“It has to happen on Saturday now. We’ve worked hard all week and we’ve prepared right. It’ll be a tough test against a very good Bradford team.”
The former Mansfield midfielder also looked ahead to Saturday’s home match against Bradford City in Sky Bet League Two.
“It’s a different contest [on Saturday against Bradford]. To be fair to Stevenage, they came and swamped the midfield to make it hard for us.
“We just needed that little bit of end product and I thought we had it with George at the end and Harry Charsley when he hit the post.
“It’ll be more physical on Saturday [against Bradford] – they’re a big, strong team who like to get in your faces.”
McGuire discussed his newfound role in the Stags’ coaching setup, having joined Graham Coughlan’s first team staff.
“My role and responsibility is stepping up to the first team after working with the academy for around three years.
“The gaffer asked me at the back end of the [last] season if I’d like to get involved with the first team, and for me, I’d always wanted to do that.
“My link is between the first team and the academy, to see if we can get a few young lads training with us.
“I’ve been getting involved in sessions with the gaffer [Graham Coughlan] and Joe [Dunne, assistant manager], which has been fantastic for me.”
There was also an update on midfielder Ollie Clarke, who missed Saturday’s game against Stevenage with a calf problem.
“We’re just waiting on the outcome [of Ollie Clarke’s injury]. He was a big miss on Saturday as he was just getting into his game.
“We have other lads who are able to step up and do a job. We’re just waiting to see what happens with Ollie and hopefully we’ll get some positive news.”
iFollow Stags subscribers can watch Jamie McGuire’s interview in full by logging into mansfieldtown.net/ifollow later today.
Match passes are available for Saturday’s game against Bradford City. To get yours for just £10, click here.