Here’s a look at some of the news stories making headlines elsewhere in our division.
- We’ve got to start at Mansfield Town today, you know how close to my heart they are. Their local paper, the Mansfield Chad, have stated they were ‘confused’ by Steve Evans approach to the Crawley game which they lost 2-0. Craig Priest wrote: “a lapse in marking from a set-play (again) saw us go a goal down and, as we pushed players forwards to chase the game, we got caught out and conceded a second – which to be fair, I’ve no problem with as at least we tried. However, this is where my mind is getting all confused! Why on earth did it take us going 1-0 down to start playing with an urgent energy and any real flair, and what on earth was Evans doing with 15 minutes to go, bringing Pearce on and throwing Diamond up front?” Steve Evans lacking tactical awareness? Well I never…..
- Wycombe have extended the loan spell of Birmingham’s Dan Scarr until the end of the season. Under-23s player Scarr is a boyhood Blues fan but has yet to feature for them. So far this season he’s made 13 appearances for Wycombe after joining Birmingham from Stourbridge in January 2017.
- Meanwhile Port Vale boss Neil Aspin (pictured top a long while ago) is hopeful of keeping his loan star Ben Whitfield at the club until the end of the season. Vale, experiencing a resurgence under the former Gateshead manager, have the 21 year old on loan from Bournemouth until January. Aspin has however spoken to the Premier League side about the chances of keeping him until the end of the season. ““I am hopeful we are making progress,” he told his local media. “The main thing will be that Ben himself wants to stay at the club and at the moment he has indicated that he likes it here and he wants to stay for longer. “So, that gives us a head start and hopefully we can get something sorted that would keep him here for longer.”
- Mark Robins wasn’t a happy man after his promotion hopefuls suffered defeat at Morecambe. Former Imp Vadaine Oliver grabbed one of the Shrimpers goals, but Robins was quick to attack his players, singling out Ducken Nazons in particular. Robins slammed his side’s performance against Morecambe as ’embarrassing’, continuing: “That was men against boys from start to finish. The players know how I feel. It is very difficult to come to terms with. Today’s showing was nowhere near a side that deserves to be anywhere near the top end of the league. There was no know-how and no fight. We looked lacklustre. We were disjointed and never worked them out really.” Robins replaced popular forward Nazon at half time after the City boss concluded the Frenchman’s partnership with Marc McNulty and Max Biamou wasn’t working. “Nazon didn’t give us anything – something had to change.”
- Shaun Derry is another manager under pressure despite Cambridge only being four points behind us. He spoke of a lack of confidence after Neil Aspin’s Vale beat them this weekend. “It’s a confidence game those that are at the top of the league at this moment in time, those sat in the top seven, they’ll be the most confident bunch. “We at this moment in time aren’t sat there but we’re definitely not sat in the bottom three either. Let’s get a few things right here, this isn’t a team that’s ever smelt relegation while I’ve been here and I don’t intend to let that be the case this season either. My own challenge is to try to push this club as far as I can and while I’m at the helm, whenever I’m the manager of Cambridge United, I’ll be doing just that.” I give in three months before he’s looking for another role.
- As Christmas approaches it must be time for players to get on the defensive. David Artell is having a tough time at Crewe, our 4-1 win there a few weeks ago was just one loss in a terrible run of form. He’s agreed fans have every right to be angry, but that he needs them with him. “They have every right to be disgruntled at the minute and I cannot blame them for that,” he told their official website. “We certainly need them with us. We need them to stay with us and if they have to vent their anger, then I prefer that to be on me than the players. However we need them with us through the game, right up until the final whistle. I think they can see that it is not a lack of effort from any of us but I know that we have got to turn the corner and quickly.” On recent performances, I give him even less time that Shaun Derry.