CRAIG PRIEST STAGS BLOG: Mansfield Town promotion jelly not quite set yet

Mansfield Town v Barnet.
Colin Daniel tries a shot in the second half.
Mansfield Town v Barnet. Colin Daniel tries a shot in the second half.

Those who know me will understand that me and maths don’t have the greatest of relationships.

In fact if Jeremy Kyle ever did an episode on ‘meaningless issues with my day to day life’ - me and maths would make compelling viewing.

Today maths, well more specifically mathematical outcomes, is a sore subject.

Why? Because now it is a mathematical impossibility for Mansfield Town to finish in the League Two play-offs.

Dejecting for some maybe, certainly for Adam Murray and his players, who have worked hard to try to bring the club further glory.

Yet I’m glad in a way, as now we won’t get carried away and face the heartache of the play-offs.

Nor will there be the possibility of promotion and with it a heavy chance, in my humble opinion anyway, of getting beaten frequently by sides that are too strong for us.

I don’t believe this side has enough about them to compete and be stable in League One.

If they were then I’d be sitting here typing the opposite - that maths is a thing of sheer beauty by way of the fact it’s a mathematical certainty we will finish in the play-offs. It’s as simple as that.

Now I should reiterate here that I am in no way slating the players, the coaching staff or management.

All I am saying is, that right now we are not quite ready yet… almost like a jelly that looks set with the naked eye, but on closer inspection is still a bit watery and soft.

The jelly needs another hour, we need another season.

The progress Murray has made has been nothing short of phenomenal.

He’s taken a side which he was part of as a player and completely restructured it away from the one which was staring Conference football in the face.

He has broken records, worked hard behind the scenes on the youth set-up and explored areas of the game which go far beyond our Football Manager marathon experiences.

All of this for the good of the club’s future, all of this with budgetary constraints, and all of this without the experience of being a number one before.

Yes Adam Murray the manager is still finding his feet.

He’s admitted errors, he’ll work hard to put them right and I honestly believe that next season, with a few additions to both the playing squad and Murray’s backroom support network - Mansfield Town at the very minimum, will be a play-off side, who are capable of being stable in the league above.

York City, promoted a year before us, didn’t allow time to build or stabilise, now they’re back in the Conference.

I’ll leave you with this question, opinion or whatever you want to call it.

If mathematical gods had have been kind to us this season, and we had gone up, in a further two seasons where would we be? Stable League One? Mid-table League Two or back in the Conference?

Two more games to go, let’s finish as high as possible and then vote in numbers next term…. Bums on One Call Stadium seats…. League One football awaits.