Bouncing back as Spring approaches

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How they react to a defeat is the benchmark of successful football teams.

Sides at the top, or ambitious to be up there, have a knack of boucing back straight away.

 It is still very early days yet in the Holdsworth revolution at Field Mill, but even so it will be interesting to see how his charges respond to their first defeat under his tenure when they travel to Rushden and Diamonds on Saturday.

One thing is for certain – Rushden will be lucky to manage to score one of the nine goals they chalked up at crisis club Weymouth last weekend.

It was the first time they had won in nine games and, let’s be honest, we have stolen two of Rushden’s best players here! So, although we will pay them due respect, we have every chance of coming away with something.

Anyone who saw Stags’ first setback at Oxford last weekend in the new manager’s seventh game in charge won’t have been too disappointed with the performance away to an in-form side and, given some more clinical finishing and a bit of luck, the Stags might have came away with a point or three.

 It was a cracking game on a suprisingly warm afternoon and you could almost get away with believing it was a Football League fixture given the quality and surroundings on show.

 In the end the game brought an abrupt end to the unbeaten run and all but killed off outside play-off hopes (though they will never die completely until it is mathematically impossible).

But, with Rob Duffy and Louis Briscoe nursing knocks, Stags do seem to be lacking a little up front and it is no surprise that David Holdsworth is looking at possible loans.

However, don’t hold your breath for Daryl Clare. Even if we were a couple of points off the play-offs, would you really shell out a £10,000 fee on an injury-prone 30-year-old? That’s before you start talking about wages!

 Holdsworth has already said he knows Clare is a quality player. And I, for one, wouldn’t bat an eyelid if he turned up here in the summer. But I really can’t see him coming now at this stage of the season.

And let’s not forget in a few weeks there will be literally thousands of players available on free transfers for a man with the calibre of contacts that Holdsworth has to exploit.

 Once this season begins to peter out I would love to see players like Connor Higginson, Lewis Trimmer, Nick Langford etc given a chance to blossom with the pressure off.

With that strange yellow disc in the sky and bulbs bursting through, it already feels like it’s time to ditch the thermals and 20 layers of clothing.

And the advent of Spring here at Field Mill usually means the advent of more disappointment.

But this year maybe we should at least celebrate seeing the club returned to the fans, caring people running it, a cracking new manager and the final bottoming out of our downwards spiral.

And maybe, just maybe, in 12 months time, Spring will give us something much, much more to cheer about.

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