It was a tough afternoon for Mansfield boss John Dempster at Field Mill on Saturday.
He watched from the technical area as his under-performing side once again failed to produce at home, losing 3-0 to promotion-chasing Cheltenham Town.
The result extended the Stags winless run to five league games and left them in eighteenth place in the table, just six points above bottom of the pile Morecambe.
Their home record is appalling, Dempster’s men have only tasted victory twice in the league at Field Mill this season, and the atmosphere has at times been verging on the toxic.
If it was a tough afternoon for Dempster, it was soul-destroying for the Stags faithful who have now watched the Yellow’s lose six times at home, and there was little sympathy for their under-pressure boss on social media after the game.
Dempster is nothing if not honest. He described the latest defeat as ‘gut-wrenching’ in comments made on the club’s official website. He hinted that the spirit in the camp was extremely low, although he made a questionable attempt at appearing up for the challenge, pointing out the Stags can even make the playoffs with seventeen wins from their remaining twenty-six games.
However, plenty of fans have lost confidence in their former youth team coach who has taken a side that just missed out on promotion last season to the bottom end of the table. Most fans feel his time is up and owner John Radford needs to make a change to save something from the season.
Some fans did attempt to defend a man who was very popular at the club before he became the manager. Dempster’s demeanour and comments appear to show a young boss out of his depth and struggling to make his mark in what is fast becoming a hostile environment around the club.
Indeed, some fans feel relegation is more likely than promotion if Dempster remains in the Field Mill manager’s office.
Here is a small selection of responses to Dempster’s comments on Twitter from angry and concerned Mansfield fans.
Like his team he looks clueless and lost. Time for change surely ?
— Mick Turner (@MickTurner77) December 7, 2019
Put him out his misery
— Matthew Ellis (@MJE_1982) December 7, 2019
He’s totally lost, time for a experienced quality manager
— ian singleton (@iansingleton99) December 7, 2019
I so want John to succeed at Stags, but if the players aren't playing for him, and it doesn't look as they are, then he's on a hiding to nothing. JD doesn't deserve the foul abuse & name calling he's getting from so called supporters! A young Manager trying his best. Good Luck JD
— Carole (@75Carole) December 7, 2019
It’s good enough, just not the tactics
— Harry Smith (@onecallharry) December 7, 2019
So sad a team/squad that couldn't get over the line in the past 2 seasons players needed outing not the manager not that the manager is totally to blame shame on the players disgusting performance
— Martin Smith (@MartinS48385240) December 7, 2019
The team this year is rather like our scoreboard, it’s big, expensive, and doesn’t work.
— rob (@rob17292668) December 7, 2019
Feel sorry for Dempster, but he simply isn't good enough. He does his best work with the academy. @JRadfordMTFC
— Arron Mather (@MatherArron) December 7, 2019
It’s all down to you dempster, any other manager with this team would be top 5 minimum
— Bilbo Hill (@MartinHill5) December 7, 2019
Write off this season, hopefully stay in the league and move on next season, they know he can’t stay, UTS
— Robert Timms (@TimmsRt) December 7, 2019