Coming up: Mansfield Town

The drop 

It doesn’t feel like it, but Tuesday was only our third League game of the season; two against just-relegated teams and one against someone that is heavily tipped to do well. And we’re doing more than fine, unbeaten – plus the destruction of a Championship side – and with a dizzying performance against Notts County under our belt.

And now for something completely different. When Saturday Comes’ season preview had a lot of fans, including our own representative, predicting a mid-table finish for their club. It illustrates a malaise pervasive across League 2 which hopes for the best and expects, if not the worst, something rather uninspiring.

Mansfield, up next, is one of those teams whose initial requirement is basic survival. These are teams that are harder to beat; more conservative, less interested in putting on a show, more interested in picking up points. There is a huge wodge of these teams, each one needs knocking down, its relentless and exhausting, and not very pretty. In some ways, the real season starts here.  

Old game of the day 

Mansfield Town, one of those teams that were once an irrelevance to us, but who now seem to be locked into a similar trajectory. This is from 2008 and you could argue that it was the first game after we’d hit rock bottom. We’d just gone out of the Cup to Torquay, which resulted in Darren Patterson being relegated. Jim Smith was in charge for this one, which was live on Setanta, and therefore probably played at 3am on a Tuesday morning or something. Shortly afterwards we recruited Chris Wilder and the revival was on.

From the blog

In 2012 we went to Mansfield with James Constable sitting on 99 goals. He went on to score his 100th goal; a bona fide modern Oxford legend.

“You hope, of course, that perhaps Gary Twigg can be the next John Aldridge, or Alex Fisher the next Paul Powell. I’ve lost count of the number of wingers I hoped would turn out to be the next Joey Beauchamp. 

Yes, Courtney Pitt, you failed me.”

Read on.

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Oxblogger is a blog about Oxford United.

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