Coughlan targets winning start and warns Cobblers face 'difficult' afternoon at Field Mill
Graham Coughlan has warned the Cobblers they are in for a 'difficult' afternoon at Field Mill on Saturday when the new Mansfield Town boss looks to get his reign off to a winning start.
Coughlan takes over an underperforming Stags squad who have gone six games without a win and currently languish down in 18th in Sky Bet League Two, 12 points behind the Cobblers.
“I would like to win my first game and get off to a good start," Coughlan told the club website. "I’d like to see a response and a reaction and I’d like to see three points on the board on Saturday.
"It will be difficult because the team coming – Northampton - are flying and they’re in a good place at this moment in time.
“But this is a difficult place to come and when the crowd get up and get behind this team it galvanises the team and the team gets an extra ten per cent, so the fans will play a major part in it as well."
As one of the favourites for promotion before the season started, big-spending Mansfield's struggles this season have come as something of a surprise.
Coughlan added: “The club as a whole has been struggling this season, confidence-wise, and being local you can actually get a feel for the club, a feel for the players, the supporters, and you can actually tell where, how and why they’re struggling.
“We’ve got a tremendous group of players at the club and they’re just not functioning. They may be short in confidence, they may be missing one or two vital ingredients and it’s up to us to put that in.
"But on paper, this club shouldn’t be where they are in the division and we need to ask questions and we need to find out why they are 18th in League Two.
“It’s a real top squad. They’ve proved that, I think it was October that they picked up and how they played. They’ve tinkered with the system, there have been various systems and various players playing in different positions so I think all that will need to be addressed.
"At this moment in time they’re missing a bit of continuity and if you give them that, they should breed confidence."