LOMAS ON STAGS BLOG: Can Mansfield Town do business in the January window?

Mansfield Town v Accrington - Skybet League Two - One Call Stadium - Saturday 2nd Jan 2016''Adam Murray looks dejected after defeat
Mansfield Town v Accrington - Skybet League Two - One Call Stadium - Saturday 2nd Jan 2016''Adam Murray looks dejected after defeat

With Mansfield Town slipping down the League Two table over the festive period, all eyes will now be on how John Radford and Adam Murray are able to tackle the January transfer window.

With new accounts for 2014 showing the club owed Radford and his companies around £4 million and a ‘Kids for a Quid’ offer at the weekend bringing no major boost in the attendance, it is clear the Stags are not generating enough money to significantly boost the playing squad.

Thankfully Murray’s summer dealings were excellent and have provided a decent, versatile squad.

But, having raced up into the play-off spots, they seem to have peaked and now need a bit of help.

The question is do the club have any money to be able to do that?

The sell-on cash from Sam Clucas’ move from Chesterfield to Hull City will have provided an unexpected booster.

But, even with that, it is obvious that cash is still tight and the Clucas money may easily have been swallowed up in the black hole of keeping the club afloat. And Murray didn’t sound too optimistic in his post-match interview on Saturday.

Maybe a higher club will come in and take one of Stags’ current squad to give Murray some cash to wheel and deal?

Otherwise he may need to pull a rabbit or two out of the hat.

But fans hoping for a play-off push simply have to understand and accept that, on current gates, the club are where they are for a reason and no one can grow a money tree.

If Stags do end up missing out this time around it is still a significant step forward from last season.

But no one is giving up on the play-offs just yet with half a season still to play and only a four-point gap.

A couple of new faces may just be enough to spark the side back into life.

Hopefully on Saturday we may see Nicky Hunt back from injury as he has been badly missed at right back.

But left back could become a worry as hopes of keeping Notts County loanee Blair Adams on a permanent basis could now be scuppered by the sacking of Ricardo Moniz as Magpies manager.

Notts are leaking goals, have already recalled defender Scot Bennett from his loan at Newport, and it seems unlikely a new boss would not want to run an eye over his assets with all scouting reports on Adams’ form likely to be written in glowing terms.

The strike force definitely needs a boost too, particularly if Matt Green is struggling after taking a bad tackle last weekend.

With away form so good in the first half of the campaign, Stags just need to work out the right formula to start getting some results at home too.

The first half of the season’s home results were dreadful with just three wins, and 2016 has got off to a bad start with a home loss to bogey side Accrington Stanley.

Mansfield have now failed to beat Stanley in all 10 League clashes in the modern era.

Last Saturday was the fourth successive visit to One Call Stadium in which the Lancastrians have left with maximum points.

Somehow Murray needs to get his side playing on the front foot from the kick-off at home and stop conceding the first goal.

Whatever happens, it’s going to be a fascinating second half to the season and, despite the current January damp and chill, it will be May before we know it.