LOMAS ON MANSFIELD TOWN: Conrad Logan jeering not helping as new boss John Dempster chases first victory

Picture: Andrew Roe/AHPIX LTD, Football, Carabao Cup First Round, Mansfield Town v Morecambe, One Call Stadium, Mansfield UK, 13/08/19, K.O 7.45pm''Mansfield's keeper Conrad Logan is beaten during the penalty shoot out'Howard Roe>>>>>>>07973739229
Picture: Andrew Roe/AHPIX LTD, Football, Carabao Cup First Round, Mansfield Town v Morecambe, One Call Stadium, Mansfield UK, 13/08/19, K.O 7.45pm''Mansfield's keeper Conrad Logan is beaten during the penalty shoot out'Howard Roe>>>>>>>07973739229

After the opening three games of the season without a win it is inevitable that a section of anxious fans are starting to lose their heads already.

But Rome was not built in a day and rookie boss John Dempster knows he has much work to do.

And making keeper Conrad Logan the target for so much abuse is simply bizarre and unnecessary.

The penalties Carabao Cup defeat by Morecambe was disappointing, but, having made five changes, if it gives the manager a better idea of his starting XI and formation to get points away at Carlisle this Saturday, that is far more important.




Everyone, Dempster included, wanted to get away to a flyer.

But a defence that looked rock solid last season has inexplicably already let in six goals in three games and a moment of indiscipline by Matty Preston means it’s going to be another two games before Dempster has him available again after his red card at the weekend.

Also missing for three games is midfield maestro Jacob Mellis – another factor in the current problems.

Dempster certainly needs to settle on his best XI as soon as he has them at his disposal as well as his best formation.

But there is a whole season stretching out ahead and no need for panic.

A section of fans are not helping by booing their own keeper either. It seems to be a nasty, vicious knee-jerk reaction to the failure to win a game.

Conrad Logan could not be blamed for any of the goals conceded in the first two games.

So to hear boos from the Ian Greaves Stand when his name was announced at the start and then not surprisingly see him look jittery at times before being jeered every time he touched the ball was cruel and totally uncalled for.

Logan has made mistakes in his Stags career, as has every other keeper, but for some reason he seems to be a scapegoat at the moment for the side’s early problems.

Blaming him for Morecambe’s second goal on Saturday gives no credit to the brilliant cross by Kevin Ellison.

If Logan had stayed on his line he was already in trouble.

He had to come out, only to find how perfect Ellison’s cross was in the ball spinning slightly away from him to make Lewis Alessandra favourite to get there.

Logan could do little with Morecambe’s second goal last night either.

If he had been on his line from that free kick he would have looked silly. No keeper would have been perfectly on their line for it. He was only six yards off it but was beaten by a header that simply looped up over him and just under the bar – perfection from Steven Old.

If Logan makes a serious mistake, he will be back on the bench.

Having said that I did expect to see new keeper Aidan Stone get an outing last night to keep him polished and ready to go if needed.

For me the front combination of Andy Cook and CJ Hamilton disappointed as, despite his reputation, Cook missed two great chances from close range on his full debut while Hamilton always looks a little lost to me as an out-and-out frontman.

But, the result aside, for me the positives outweighed the negatives with Hayden White thankfully back fully fit as a great option in a back three, as a left back or as a wing back.

He worked well down that side with new boy Kellan Gordon and they caused umpteen problems for the visitors.

Dion Donohue had an impressive first half in the centre of midfield with some excellent passing, second half replacement Will Tomlinson not quite looking up to the pace after injury.

Stags youngster Alistair Smith made only his second appearance in the heart of midfield and the 20-year-old looked very much at home.

He was calm and kept it simple and he puts a lovely weight on his passes.

Fans know he’s one of their own and he has every chance of being a mainstay in that position for years if he maintains his current rate of improvement.

Otis Khan was again magnificent. Full of energy and movement he will now be very hard to dislodge from this side.

Mal Benning is now also quickly starting to look like he is hitting his best with some great balls in from the left that were not capitalised on.

And the club’s ‘invisible man’ Omari Sterling-James showed what he is capable of with a rare second half outing in which he scored a superb goal.

Sometimes fans need a reminder he is even still on the club’s books, let along raring to go.

Fans and players need to forget how last night ended as penalties are a lottery.

Instead they need to remember the side has not been beaten in its first three 90 minutes and Stags head for Carlisle with every hope of staying unbeaten.

Having said that, a defeat at Carlisle would see the pressure starting to tweak up on the new manager and up the ante for Tuesday’s visit of Leyton Orient.

Dempster wants this monkey off his back as quickly as the fans do.