A fortnight is clearly a long time in football.
Since tonight’s match was postponed two weeks ago, a lot has happened to the dynamic of what was seen as a title shoot-out then, but has a very different air about it now.
Since then Wrexham have been to Wembley and won, but faltered in the league, a shot at the title seemingly off the agenda. Mansfield, meanwhile, have kept on winning and have a chance to grab the Conference record for consecutive wins tonight. It might just be that playing the match tonight will be less easy for them, though.
A lot depends on how Wrexham feel going into the match. You could argue this represents their last shot at retaining some hope of winning the title, although the maths doesn’t really back that up: even if we won all our remaining games, including a double over The Stags, they’d still have to drop points in two of their other four games. Is such a collapse really likely?
So Wrexham might go into the game buying that this is a must-win game and tear into Mansfield. However, I’d rather they didn’t. If there’s a sense that the pressure of chasing Mansfield’s hot streak is off, perhaps we can relax and play the football we know we’re capable of.
How we manage the next six games will be crucial. There was a sense last season of an exhausted side staggering to the finishing line, although admittedly we did end the campaign with a heavy home win. We need to avoid that this time, but at the same time keep the squad as fresh as possible for the rigours of post-season.
We might have suffered a wobble, but wins over the likes of Mansfield and Kidderminster would do wonders for our morale. A fortnight is a long time in football: a month is an eternity. Hopefully we’ll have turned our form around by then and be able to hit the play-offs running.