Mansfield Town look to extend winning away run at Hereford
IT WAS fast becoming a stick to beat them with, their travel woes haunting their promotion push.
Every time they took to the team coach, there was almost a feeling of trepidation.
Heavy 4-1 defeats to Gateshead, Grimsby and Cambridge came in a sequence of eight away league matches that threw up just a solitary victory – at Kidderminster in August.
But, of late, things are changing.
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A steel has developed within the Stags squad on the road, they are making themselves hard to beat.
And when they arrive at Edgar Street tonight, they will do so on the back of four straight away Blue Square Bet Premier victories.
They have put Macclesfield, Alfreton, Stockport and Southport to the sword.
But after no game at the weekend, they have had ten days to freshen up although the recent snow played havoc with training plans cancelled after the heavy downfall on Friday night.
Before that, they recorded another away win at Notts County's Burton training base last week, winning 4-0 in a behind-closed-doors friendly.
And manager Paul Cox is confident ahead of tonight's road trip, with his side just three points off the play-offs with games in hand.
"It's going well for us away from home at the moment, the lads are looking resilient and getting back to how we performed last season," he said.
"We have had two good performances against Stockport and Southport and we need to carry that on now.
"The games are coming thick and fast and we are going to need the whole squad. And that is why the performance of the lads in the friendly last week impressed me.
"There is a hunger about the squad and a desire, which is what I want to see.
"We were set to train on Saturday morning but that had to be cancelled because of the adverse weather conditions.
"Everywhere was shut up and covered in snow so I took in a game and apart from that, it was a quiet weekend.
"But we have a lot of games coming up now and it is a big chance for us."
Hereford have won just once in their last seven matches in all competitions and have drawn their last three games.
Cox knows what to expect from the Bulls, but also knows his side face a hectic schedule with seven games next month including away trips to Newport, Hyde, Luton and Lincoln.
And March will be even busier with nine games pencilled in.
That is why he is keen to bolster his squad this month and says everybody at the One Call Stadium will get their chance.
But he is remaining patient over new signings, knowing loan players can still be brought in a week after the January transfer window slams shut.
Cox, who has a few triallists in this week in training, said: "We are a bit closer to some deals but with some of them it is how long is a piece of string? You think you're close and then somebody else comes in at the last minute.
"I am not going to panic and jump two-footed into something.
"But we do have a lot of games coming up in a short space of time and it does not take a rocket scientist to work out all of the squad is going to called upon and that we need to strengthen to improve us.
"However, we are on a good run at present away from home and we need to keep that going at Hereford."
Midfielder Jamie Hand has extended his loan spell at Hayes & Yeading by a further month.