Mansfield Town boss John Dempster hopes the confidence of Saturday’s 2-0 win over Scunthorpe and the increased competition for places as the injury crisis subsides will give everyone a big boost ahead of tomorrow’s game at Crawley Town.
With all but three of the 10 players unavailable last month now back and with a home win and a clean sheet under their belts, Dempster believes they can now take their season up a level.
“I was pleased with the result and the performance on Saturday and we will look to build on it when we move forward to Crawley on Saturday,” he said.
BIG MATCH PREVIEW: CRAWLEY v STAGS
MATT PRESTON ON WHY A SETTLED BACK THREE IS A HUGE BOOOST
“Any win brings confidence – and it was great to score two goals. Looking back on the footage I think we should have had a third with CJ. I think the linesman was probably fooled by CJ’s pace. If you’ve not seen him play you don’t realise how quick he is. That would have been the icing on the cake to win 3-0.
“It was a good day at the office. It’s always pleasing to get a clean sheet. I think we were comfortable at times and the back three and keeper were outstanding on Saturday.
“When you win it is a relief. You work all week to achieve that goal so when you accomplish it it is a relief. But I felt more happiness than relief. I was pleased for the supporters to get the first home win this year.
“With the owners at the game as well the board room was jam-packed and a lot of happy faces. That’s what we’re here to do.”
With injured players coming back, new boss Dempster can finally start to feel what a selection headache feels like.
“We are starting to have excellent competition for places,” said Dempster.
“It does make a difference when you look over your shoulder and there is someone with great experience in your position, wanting to play in the team. It’s very healthy.
“I don’t think we’ve moaned too much about our injury crisis.
“We’ve had a lot of unfortunate things happen so far this season, but one of the massive positives to that has been we’ve had more debuts from our young players this season than we’ve had in recent years – and we’re only eight games in.
“We want to have a successful campaign and if we’re going to do that we need strength in depth. With the boys coming back we certainly have that.”
He added: “Having players like Neal Bishop coming back and joining in training actually lifts the whole group.
“He is someone with a wealth of experience and a good communicator. So it makes a real difference to the intensity of the session.”