The boo boys may be a minority, but their voices are some of the loudest at the One Call.
In spite of the fantastic progress made on and off the field in the past three years, Paul Cox has continued to receive criticism from some Stags fans, and it was clear to listeners of the post-match interview that it is being heard by management and players.
Are those most critical of the current Stags personnel and tactics correct? Cox’s record leaves little doubt that, hoof ball or not, the stags have been hugely successful for the last three years.
A 47 per cent win rate. Pushing one of England’s best in the FA cup. A league title and 95 goals. The return to the league, safety, and that sunny day in Chesterfield.
This has been achieved- until this year- with a generous budget, but many of the players brought in came from relative obscurity and have been forged into good players by Cox’s staff.
He has also proven that he can recruit players within the evolution of the team to ensure progress is continued.
We would love to have Matt Green, Luke O’Neill and Sam Clucas in this team but the stags have adapted and moved on. Long live Rakish!
More of a concern for many has been the direct football with which this success has been achieved.
It is easy to forget that we went out of the league trying to play decent football, but when long balls up to Rheady don’t work we can look amateurish.
The good teams in League Two can dominate against poor ball retention (see Rochdale, Boxing Day 2013).
Perhaps fans’ expectations were raised by the crisp short passing seen in pre-season, where good performances against strong sides indicated a fresh new approach for the upcoming season. It wasn’t to be.
The pressure and fight of the regular season resulted in a flurry of aimless hacks upfield.
That quick movement of the ball can allow for players with skill and pace to attack players however.
When that happens, Rakish Bingham looks like the next Matt Green. And that is Cox’s argument, and mine too. The personnel and tactics are working. Let’s enjoy it. Come on you Stags.
What do you think? Email your views to Stephen Thirkill