LOMAS ON MANSFIELD TOWN: Positive first week for new boss John Dempster

John Dempster, Mansfield Town manager.
John Dempster, Mansfield Town manager.

The first week of John Dempster’s reign in the Mansfield Town hot seat has been a very positive one.

After a meeting with chairman John Radford it certainly seems he will be given the same financial backing in the transfer market that his two predecessors were, so fears over cost-cutting by some fans would appear unfounded.

Another massive plus this week is the arrival of Lee Glover as assistant manager.

Dempster knew who he wanted, but it seemed a long shot with Glover doing so well up the road at Doncaster in scouting and recruitment with Glover’s good friend Grant McCann.

But the vastly experienced 49-year-old former Forest forward has agreed to come and, being from Corby like Dempster, the new management pairing could now be the ‘Corby Steel’ behind another promotion push next season.

With Dempster’s defensive know-how and coaching and man-management skills, the arrival of former Peterborough assistant boss Glover, with his own coaching skills, his knowledge of attacking football that began under the great Brian Clough, and knowledge of current players, the pair look perfectly dovetailed.

Squad-wise, to be fair, the previous management did a great job in tying players down to contracts with Dempster only needing to release Will Atkinson from the main squad on his retained list last week and just Jacob Mellis and Ben Turner to sort new deals with.

Key midfielder Mellis has already indicated he wants to stay.

And if negotiations with Turner come off too and the injured Hayden White comes back all guns blazing, what a defence that will be as well.

With a squad of the quality we saw last year, it’s very exciting to think how good they could be with the right four or five new faces, particularly up front, next season

As well as the wages of Atkinson and a couple of youngsters, the return of the loan players frees up five other amounts of cash for Dempster’s coffers with Radford promising to back him.

With other backroom staff to be appointed this week and Turner to speak to, attention will then turn to seeking out those other new signings with forwards and wide men top of Dempster and Glover’s hit list.

The mention of wide men hints at wingers and therefore a possible tweak in formation from last year, but it’s far too early to be able to gauge for sure.

All eyes will certainly fall on the recruitment of forwards as this was the biggest area of disappointment last season.

To be fair, it was injury and not poor signings that caused a lot of the problems as well as the pre-season/early-season Danny Rose transfer request saga.

Dempster has already shrewdly spoken to Forest loanee Tyler Walker to assure him he’d be welcomed back with open arms if he were allowed out on loan again after at times carrying the promotion charge alone last season with his 26 goals.

But I would think that highly unlikely as, if he is not given a chance in Martin O’Neill’s squad I can see the Reds wanting to improve his education with a spell at a League One club.

Rose will want to prove a point after a poor season, Craig Davies will want to show what he can do when fully fit and youngster Jordan Graham is a year older and stronger.

But the department still needs two or three sterling additions to give it the depth it lacked this time around.

Key also will be who, if any, leaves the club to sign elsewhere.

If bigger clubs come calling for players like CJ Hamilton with fat cheque books, doubtless Stags would at some stage sell and then need to replace.

Yet another fascinating summer is about to begin at the One Call Stadium.