Tranmere Rovers will look to extend their unbeaten run of form as they travel to Mansfield Town on Tuesday night.
The Rovers have picked up seven points in their last three games, following the weekend’s 3-1 victory over Gillingham.
It was a brilliant performance as the defence and midfield remained solid when required and Rob Apter continued his fine run of form, netting a brace.
Connor Jennings, playing at striker due to Luke Norris’ injury, also scored – a great way to celebrate extending his contract in the week.
Mansfield Town went away to Swindon Town and lost 2-1 on saturday, their first defeat of the season coming after 18 games, thus they’ll be looking to get back to winning ways.
Ahead of the game, I spoke to Mansfield Town supporter Sam Binch who runs the ‘MTFC Musings’ account.
Hi Sam, how long have you been supporting Mansfield? What was your first game?
I’ve been supporting Mansfield all my life, so 31 years. My first game was in March 1997 at home to Hartlepool, a 1-0 win with a screamer from Ben Sedgemore.
Could you tell us some of your best and worst moments whilst supporting The Stags?
Best moments would be getting promoted in 01/02, and the play-off semi final a couple of seasons ago at Northampton. This season’s 4-1 away at County was pretty good too.
Worst moments, getting relegated from the football league in 2008 and the play-off final at Wembley two seasons ago in which we didn’t do ourselves justice.
You run the Mansfield Musings account, @MTFCMusings. What’s the page all about?
Just views on The Stags really, I also publish a weekly newsletter details the weeks goings on.
Mansfield have had a phenomenal start to the season, how good does it feel?
Unfortunately we’re no longer unbeaten, after Saturday’s defeat away at Swindon, but it still feels pretty good. It’s incredible that we almost reached December unbeaten. We’re in a great position with a strong squad, hopefully we can finally achieve our aim of promotion.
Just how good was the summer transfer window as Mansfield narrowly missed out on a play-off spot last season?
It was pretty impressive, the squad as a whole didn’t require major surgery, but the defence definitely required a makeover. Aden Flint has been the catalyst for a transformation in our defensive solidity, he’s too good to be playing in League two. Lewis Brunt, Baily Cargill and Calum Macdonald have all played their part too.
A great reason for the amazing start is manager Nigel Clough, son of European Cup winner Brian. Formerly of Burton Albion, Sheffield United and Derby he was appointed in November 2020 and has a win percentage of 44.8 after 172 games. He must be loved!
He’s well liked, that’s for sure. That being said, there was a feeling before the season started that this would be his last chance, having only been handed a one year deal in the summer. He has proved he can oversee a play-off side but not yet proven he can take one to the next level, however he’s done a very good job so far this term.
What will be Clough’s starting eleven, tactics and formation on Tuesday night? It’ll be very tricky for the visitors at Field Mill.
It will be a 4-4-2 diamond, as it has been all season. I think that the team will be:
Mansfield are owned by The Radfords. How good are they and what are their current plans after buying the stadium completely in 2019?
They’ve pumped so much money into the club, including building a state of the art training facility. They may have made questionable managerial decisions at times, but they put the money in and therefore they live and die by their choices.
Top scorer Davis Keillor-Dunn has netted 11 goals in 22 games whilst picking up four assists. Another one to watch out for on Tuesday night is former Rovers man Lucas Akins who has hit 7 in 19. Could you give us a quick scout report as TRFC will need to defend well!
Keillor-Dunn benefits from the free role he has behind the front two. He roams where he likes, and is most dangers picking the ball up on the edge of the area or just inside, where he seems to create himself more time than most. Will likely take a high volume of shots. Akins is more of a link player,m. His touch is a bit hit and miss, but when on form he’s a strong forward who can hold off defenders and bring others into play.
What is your score prediction for the midweek tie in Nottinghamshire. The last time the two clubs met was in mid February as Mansfield won 2-0 at Prenton Park.
I think we’ll bounce back with a 2-0 win.
Finally, what are your thoughts on Tranmere. The Whites have been struggling this season but are looking to turn things around after appointing former Southampton boss Nigel Adkins, following his time in interim charge.
A good win at the weekend for sure and an experienced manager who is proven in spells at a higher level. We’re used to seeing Tranmere as a strong side in L2, so the last few seasons must have been a disappointment for the fans. I expect they will survive comfortably and move towards mid table.