We take a look at The Stags...
Mansfield Town produced a stellar display following promotion from the Conference the season before, as they finished 11th in League 2, with 60 points from their 46 games. After a positive start to the season, Mansfield struggled during October and November, failing to win a game. They won once in December, and once in January, before a win against Blues sparked an upturn in fortunes. Despite ending with two defeats, they went seven unbeaten towards the end of the campaign, to ensure a top-half finish.
Manager Paul Cox has been in charge of the Stags since 2011, having spent six years previously with Eastwood Town. A former defender in his day, his side had real problems winning at home for much of the campaign, but after the win against Blues, home form improved. Cox’s playing career was largely spent in non-league, mainly with Kettering Town.
THE KEY MEN
Sam Clucas was Mansfield Town’s main man in front of goal last season, finding the back of the net 13 times in total, including one against Blues in their 2-1 win at the One Call Stadium.
Striker Matt Rhead found the back of the net six times last season, but poses much more of a goalscoring threat when up against League 2 defenders. Rhead’s presence caused lots of problems for Mansfield’s opposition.
Midfielder Anthony Howell has been with Mansfield Town since 2011, having had a previous spell in 2008. He made 37 appearances last season for the club, scoring four goals.
WHAT’S HAPPENED THIS SUMMER
The club are close to agreeing a deal to bring former Grimsby Town striker Liam Hearn to the club, while Alex Fisher has signed from AC Monza in Serie C.
Luke Jones has re-signed for the club, returning from Stevenage.
Louis Briscoe was released by the club, having been with them since 2009.
10 others were released: Ben Hutchinson, George Pilkington, Keiran Murtagh, Paul Black, James Jennings, Godfrey Poku, Ian Deakin, Ross Dyer, Jake Speight and Lee Stevenson.
The first meetings since 2005 ended one apiece last season, with both sides winning at home.
Overall, Blues have won 17 times, there have been 13 draws, and Mansfield have won 21 times.