Crucial week in a crucial month


I REALLY fancy us for six points in these next two home games.

The fantastic result at Darlington, the determination to end this poor run of six home defeats, the form of Jefferson Louis, the home debut of the impressive Keith Briggs and the chance for Jon D’Laryea to prove himself worth a run in the team in place of the injured Lee Bell will, I reckon, all add up to a return to home success.

Also both visiting sides – Chester and Bury – are struggling sides which makes both matches ‘six-pointers’ too.

It was a shame we didn’t get to play Stockport away on Tuesday at a time when our confidence was high and they had injuries and suspensions to deal with.

But, as I was suffering with man-flu I wasn’t too upset from a personal point of view. Serious stuff is man-flu and you can’t be too careful!

Just as fascinating as the onfield stuff right now, as ever, is the off-field stuff.

Barely has the furore of ‘Cigargate’ died down and we have whisperings coming out of the club that the takeover deal may be done and dusted inside two weeks.

Yes, I know our hopes have been raised several times before and this may all fall flat on its face again. But, from being recently told it was unlikely anything would happen before the end of the season, to this is a big boost.

It sounds like we are well on from the initial discussions and much nearer to dotting ‘I’s’ and crossing ‘t’s’ on a real contract.

We all know how unpredictable Keith Haslam can be but, imagine it, there is a possibility – however small – that we could be heading to Wrexham with another six points and a new owner and bright new future.

If it doesn’t happen then the current regime have to be realistic and start giving Billy Dearden the green light to sort contracts for next season.

League or Conference, Mansfield Town needs football players for next season and the wage bill would not drop that significantly if we had ambitions to get straight back up if we were relegated. Would it?

Bearing in mind what some of the top Conference clubs pay these days we surely can’t be expecting to pay significantly less.

In the worst case scenario of relegation, if we cannot commit longer to the handful of current players we would want to lead us straight back up again now then you have to wonder exactly what the club’s plans or ambitions are.

Some fans are already calling for Louis to be signed up. But Billy is sensible enough to wait a bit longer and see if his initial explosion fades like Barry Conlon and Martin Gritton last season.

Certainly so far Louis has been an absolute colossus.

He has given us everything he promised he would and has been Man of the Match or close to it in every game he has played. Let’s hope he can keep it going.

We said all along that February would be crucial with so many games to play. Well, with three ‘six-pointers’ in eight days, the most crucial spell of that crucial month is upon us.

Get behind them nice and early and help give the lads a leg up against a Chester side without a win in 12 matches.


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