Mickey Lewis's notes in today's matchday magazine
Welcome back as we take on Mansfield Town this afternoon.
I would like to begin this week with a thank you for the fantastic welcome you gave to all of us at the last home game against Wimbledon. As I said at the time it is a privilege to be asked to be in charge of this team and this set of players and when we walked out of the tunnel the reception we got was fantastic.
I thought the team played really well that afternoon. Credit to Wimbledon who came at us and caused problems but I thought the best team definitely won that game. It was good to get another set-piece goal courtesy of Tom Newey and to see David Connolly score on his debut really topped off a good afternoon’s work.
Sadly it came at a price with Sean Rigg picking up an injury but we are starting to see one or two players coming back into contention. Alfie Potter was back on the bench at Bristol Rovers last weekend and should be involved in some capacity again today. Michael Raynes and Ryan Williams are close as well and Jake Wright is not too far off again.
After the Wimbledon game we went to Bury on the Tuesday night and went with a different formation. Bury play a very different style of football to any other team in the division and when we took the pitch and conditions into consideration we went with a slightly changed shape. It meant a hard shift for the players but they worked their socks off and I thought showed great character to get a goal back so quickly after going behind.
Callum O’Dowda did well on the left in that game and Josh Ruffels scored with a good header. There are other good young players coming through the system just behind those two and Josh Ashby signed a first professional contract last week. Josh has a terrific attitude and will get the chance to keep improving and working at his game.
He travelled down to Bristol Rovers with us on Saturday and will benefit from seeing how the whole squad rolled up their sleeves and worked for each other on a boggy pitch which made it close to impossible to play passing football. Once again we had to adapt and play the right way on the day. We were disappointed not to win the game but when other teams are almost literally getting bogged down we are still picking up points and remain in a very good position.
Today will be a good test. It is nice to see Mansfield back in the league and doing well and as well as manager Paul Cox I’d like to welcome his assistant Adam Murray back to the club today. He will be desperate to do well I am sure but after a good positive week of training we are ready and looking forward to rising to another challenge.