Mansfield Town boss John Dempster has spoken for the first time about his club’s tough start to the forthcoming season.
The new fixture list sends Stags to Newport County, who beat them in the play-offs last season, on the opening day of the League Two campaign.
Then Mansfield face two bruising home games against Morecambe in four days after drawing them in the Carabao Cup first round as well.
Dempster said: “Newport away will be a tough one as we found out last season. But they’re all tough aren’t they?
“It’s a new campaign. They will have new players in. We’ll have a new philosophy and I am sure it will be a right ding-dong battle – there is no doubt about that.
“The job that the manager has done at Newport is exceptional and I look forward to locking horns with him.”
He continued: “Morecambe will be another tough test. I know Jim Bentley very well – we did our A licence together.
“He is another manager that has done really well on a shoestring. He is another respected person in the game and somebody who is a wily old fox in terms of tactics and set plays.
“So will be have to be ‘en pointe’ to get anything out of those two games.
“The next six or sevens weeks will be in preparation for those games.”