LOMAS ON STAGS: A day to savour as England expects - but not too much

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Some days in life are made to savour – and for Stags fans who also support England this is one of those days.

Football is generally about disappointment and might-have-beens.

Few teams actually win anything significant each season, the rest see their campaigns peter out or, for clubs like Chesterfield, end in disaster.

So before the heartache, the best bit for fans can often be the anticipation – the knowledge that for a time anything is possible.

With the feelgood factor of Friday’s triple signing at Mansfield Town, suddenly bookies are slashing the odds on glory for the Stags.

The agony of last season’s awful finish that saw the club miss out on what looked nailed-on play-offs has suddenly been replaced by a feeling of optimism.

David Flitcroft cannot be solely to blame for that end of season capitulation last time around. But he knows this season’s outcome does rest on his shoulders and he looks to be building a young, exciting team that could stand the club in good stead well beyond that.

All over the park, there are exciting players and possible combinations and we have been promised more to come, particularly to shore up the defensive department.

Fixtures in the first month of the season offers rich promise of early pickings and, while last season the club shouted loudly about their prospects, it somehow feels more real this time around that they could prosper. There seems to be less hot air - just a quiet, steely confidence exuding from the One Call.

Today is also a day to savour from a World Cup that could see an England exit by tonight.

It has been one of the best ever tournaments – full of the drama, joy and tears you want from something so huge it unites the planet.

And it is true that, the way things have gone, it has opened up as the best ever path England could have to a World Cup final.

Gareth Southgate’s youngsters are all high quality players with a great future ahead of them.

However, tonight they could lose 3-0 to a very talented Colombia and none of us would really bat an eyelid, having no expectations of a young work in progress pre-tournament.

Even flying home tomorrow they have shown us glimpses of the future that genuinely excite.

We all know how cruel football can be and usually is.

But if we as fans, and the players, can take every World Cup win now as a huge bonus and try to ease some of the pressure, it will be fascinating to see how far they could go down this path.

It is potentially four massive games ahead of them to a fairytale finish and, as cruel as football can be, it is also capable of throwing up unlikely glory.

England expects tonight – but not too much.

Between now and then let’s savour the fact that the summer sun continues to shine brightly and England could win the World Cup at the start of a season that Stags could be champions of League Two and enjoy that daydream until reality bites at 7pm tonight.