JOHN LOMAS’ CHAD STAGS BLOG: Ultra-critical home fans the key to Mansfield Town inconsistency

John Lomas. Mansfield chad.
John Lomas. Mansfield chad.

Adam Murray was very diplomatic in not fully answering one of the questions posed to him after the win at Crawley, but it was obvious how he felt.

Mansfield Town’s away form this season has been superb – and he was asked why those results are not being replicated at home.

That is now eight wins and two draws from 14 games on the road – promotion form without a doubt.

Compare that with just four wins and six draws from 15 home games and the picture is not so rosy.

The truth is the biggest difference there is the side playing in front of that ultra-critical element of the home support.

For them there is only black and white, winning and losing, and not a thought for what their actions do to the team they purport to support.

Murray’s attempts to get everyone onside two weeks earlier went out the window as his side were booed off after a home defeat by Luton Town with Adam Chapman shamefully jeered as he was substituted and Murray and his staff subjected to more vicious personal abuse at the end.

The old cliché is trotted out about fans paying their money so entitled to a say and, to a point, it’s very true.

But this is not a Stags side that is struggling near the foot of the division, despite having a small squad and a budget dwarfed by most of their rivals.

This is a side that are over-achieving and punching above their weight in a division that, down the years, has traditionally been their level.

There is fabulous work going on down there both on and off the pitch and despite the struggle to pull in the crowds, the club is not far off breaking even.

But the players are clearly feeling the pressure of playing at home, fearful of making a mistake, and unsure if their own ‘fans’ are about to turn on them.

Instead of cardboard ‘clackers’ maybe the club should hand out some cardboard cats that the more excitable of their critics can simply take home and kick? Or maybe a giant bag of gob-stoppers at the turnstiles?

The football has been a huge improvement on the previous regime and you don’t even need a second hand to count disappointing or lacklustre displays on all season.

So the reaction the Stags have had at times this season is mystifying and they deserve better.

By no means is it a majority – and we all like to have a good chunter after a defeat – but it’s all about keeping things in proportion.