James Beattie admits that his midweek scouting trip to Mansfield wasn’t the most low key affair – but hopes that it’s given him enough of an insight to help his Stanley side get back to winning ways.
The Stanley manager was at the One Call Stadium for the Stags’ 4-1 FA Cup defeat to Oldham Athletic for television and came home with plenty of food for thought.
“I was going to the game with Paul Stephenson anyway and it was a nice surprise when BT Sport called me up and asked me to be a guest,” he explained. “I got a ringside seat and a little scouting mission! Stevo was up in the stand and I sat with him in the first half and then went and sat in the BT Sport truck which was nice and warm because it was absolutely freezing!
“They were very physical and got into Oldham’s face a little bit and were doing very well against them. They’ve come up from the Conference and got off to a lightning start maybe still on a high from last season and I think now the honeymoon period is over and they’re finding out what the league is all about.
“I’m sure they’ll be as determined to get out of their bad run as we do. I know the Chairman there has done a fantastic job to help them get where they are.”
Mansfield last won a league game in October but are two points better off than the Reds in the League Two table and Beattie believes that the emphasis must lie with his players and not the hosts.
“We’re going there with a game plan for what we have to go there and do,” he said. “It’s about getting the players in the right physical and mental state to go and apply the theories and the methods that we want.
“They’re on a bit of a bad run but there’s no more dangerous animal than a wounded one. We’re hurting a bit at the minute too; after the good run that we had we’ve had two defeats so it’s a chance for both teams to end bad runs.”