BOLTON Wanderers have the unenviable task of trying to do what few League Two sides can do...beat Mansfield Town.

Despite their apparent ‘mid-table mediocrity’ on paper, the Stags are the form team in the division and are on a hot streak of form having won their last five games to climb the table – the most recent a 1-0 win at Southend at the weekend.

Nigel Clough’s side have lost just one of their last 10 league matches – a 1-0 defeat at Carlisle in mid-December – to move up to 13th place in the table, five points shy of the play-off places.

The vastly experienced former Burton Albion, Derby County and Sheffield United boss replaced Graham Coughlan in early November and since then the Stags have lost just three of 17 games in all competitions, a 1-0 home defeat to Harrogate in the league while they beaten 2-1 at Cheltenham Town in the FA Cup after extra-time.

Mansfield’s revival began before Clough arrived at Field Mill, drawing both games immediately after Coughlan’s dismissal including a 1-1 draw with the Whites at the University of Bolton Stadium where it took a last-minute equaliser from skipper Antoni Sarcevic to salvage a point.

Wanderers will have to be wary for Mansfield’s three-pronged attack of Jordan Bowery, Harry Charsley and Jamie Reid.

While Bowery, with seven goals, heads the scoring charts for the Stags, Reid has four in all competitions but has scored the winner in his last two league outings.

Mansfield first-team coach Andy Garner believes the striker’s hard work is now beginning to pay off.

“We’ve always told him goals will come because of all the hard work he’s put in,” said Garner.

“He has run miles and miles. He’s holding the ball up and doing everything.

“You get your rewards for that and we told him not to worry about the goals and to keep on playing the way he has been.

“But he’s getting the rewards for his hard work now.”

The Stags will check on captain Ollie Clarke ahead of tonight's game.

The midfielder has resumed training after a knee injury and will hope to return after a three-game absence.

Veteran defender James Perch has been involved in training after recovering from a recent illness and was an unused substitute at Southend on Saturday.

Wanderers academy product Joe Riley, who saw his prospects at the club derailed by injury, is a long-term absentee and will be out once more for the hosts.