Mansfield Town manager David Flitcroft has some major decision to make on his starting XI for Saturday’s visit of Colchester United after some of his fringe players shone in Tuesday night’s Carabao Cup demolition of Accrington Stanley.
After two excellent opening displays, Flitcroft rested four of his side on Tuesday only to see their replacements hit top form in a resounding 6-1 success.
“When you makes changes and lads come in you want to see them take their opportunity and everyone has done that,” said assistant manager Ben Futcher.
“In the first two games we were strong and everyone has done well. But some lads got to rest on Tuesday and other got an opportunity which they took.
“The squad is in a good place, everyone is firing on all cylinders, and they have certainly given the manager some food for thought.”
Opponents Colchester are tipped for promotion this season and followed an opening day 0-0 draw at Notts County with a 2-0 home win over Port Vale before losing their Carabao Cup tie on penalties after drawing 2-2 at Cheltenham.
“Colchester are a good side,” said Futcher. “They have been building now for two or three years.
“They have invested in the summer on a number of strikers and they signed Harry Pell from Cheltenham for a considerable amount of money.
“They look strong this season and they have had a good start and they were excellent on Saturday against Port Vale. They like to play the right way and move the ball around.”
Futcher continued: “It will be a really tough game, but we are worrying only about us, it’s what we do, and that’s all we’ve done so far this season.
“We are focusing on what we do – players going out to express themselves and enjoy their football, being on the front foot.
“We really want to get after anyone we play at home, no matter who it is, as you saw against Accrington.
“We want to really impose ourselves on them and hopefully get another strong result.”
Stags hope for another noisy home support with Futcher saying: “I think in the pre-season games the fans could see what we were trying to do and got right behind the lads.
“That has followed us into the season and the results have backed it all up. Everyone has bought into what we’re trying to do and it’s been fantastic.”