JOHN LOMAS STAGS BLOG: It’s all go in the transfer window

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New manager Adam Murray has wasted little time in getting stuck into the January transfer window in a bid to get his Mansfield Town side clear of the relegation dogfight.

And the arrival of striker Billy Kee on Monday was a superb start as goal-shy Stags look to end a scoring record that is the one of the worst in the League.

We are all still on tenterhooks to see who the other new signings will be. But the quality of the names being banded about from the rumour mill are all highly promising and stamp all over the claims that Murray has no contacts and would be unable to bring decent players in with five new faces expected this week.

Players like Ricky Ravenhill, Neil Collins, Michael Raynes and Ian Sharps would all be great additions if rumours proved to be true.

Hartlepool Mail claim their local side has lost out to Stags in a race to sign Raynes and that the announcement of a deal is imminent.

With Dimitar Evtimov back at Forest and Keiron Freeman allowed to return to Derby, a keeper and a full back are bound to be on the shopping list as well as another striker, though Alex Fisher is only a couple of weeks away from coming back from injury and could yet flourish under Murray’s new ideas.

Murray has also stated he wants an influential central midfielder to play his former role out there after accusing his side of lacking real leadership in the middle.

The Ravenhill rumours have gained wheels since Northampton terminated the 33-year-old’s contract yesterday, and he would certainly fit the bill with the experience of three promotions under his belt.

With John Dempster still well short of fitness and not able to do anything at all for the last five weeks, an experienced central defender is a must and let’s hope no one comes in for Ryan Tafazolli this month or Stags may need two.

Murray will definitely want to try to keep hold of the two players currently on loan at Mansfield with Vadaine Oliver and Junior Brown already having shown what they are capable of.

Reggie Lambe, who short-term deal ends this week, has also done enough to earn himself a new contract to the end of the season having had very little chance to shine under previous boss Paul Cox.

Murray will be hoping that the two strikers who have gone out on loan will come back in better form with renewed confidence.

Despite his enthusiasm and never-say-die running, Ollie Palmer has yet to live up to the rich promise he showed at Conference South level while, after a very impressive start, Rakish Bingham’s star has quickly faded and he needs to sharpen up his first touch and finishing.

With new loanee Kee having to leave after three months, were Stags to still be involved in the relegation scrap (or, dare we say it, chasing a play-off place) in April, the late contribution of Palmer and Bingham (whom Stags can recall) to the campaign could be vital.

One thing still of concern at the One Call is the current level of attendances.

The crowds for the cut-price Cheltenham game and the Boxing Day Hartlepool game were not the best and it is to be hoped that those who can afford a ticket and continue to claim to be Stags fans will make their overdue return as soon as possible.

Whatever happens at title-chasing Burton this weekend, and anything from there would be a huge bonus to be honest, let’s hope the town will rally around Murray and his new-look team for the visit of Exeter City next week when advance tickets are once again just £7.

I, for one, am starting to feel just a bit excited about the second half of this eventful campaign.