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11th February 2021 17:42

Groundstaff doing ‘everything they can’ - manager
mansfieldtown.net, Monday 8th February 2021

Despite being frustrated by recent postponements, manager Nigel Clough insists that the club’s groundstaff are working ‘night and day’ to try and ensure upcoming matches go ahead at One Call Stadium.

The Stags last featured away at Southend United on Saturday 23 January, and have since seen both home and away matches be postponed.

Nigel Clough says that the club’s groundstaff have been ‘unlucky’ with recent inclement weather in Nottinghamshire.

“We haven’t had a game in about four weeks now but there’s nothing we can do about it,” the boss told iFollow Stags. “We’ve just been unlucky in the way the weather has been.

“About two weeks ago it was the frost, then we can’t do anything about the Walsall game as that’s out of our hands, then we get to the rearranged game against Bolton and had a deluge of rain.

“Then on Saturday it came down again overnight on and already soaking pitch, and there’s nothing anyone can do about that.


“We’re desperate to get the games on and the groundstaff are working night and day to try and improve it and get the games on.

“It’s not just us that’s been affected by it, the rain has just been too intense. When the season shut down in March, and nobody could say how long for, you’re faced with a huge dilemma.

“You can’t undertake renovations on the pitch that could take 10 or 12 weeks as you can’t then play on it. That’s why a lot of the pitches are suffering now. Even the pitches at the highest level are showing wear and tear.

“We just have to wait for a break [in the weather]. We’ve got snow now! There’s only so much you can do. We had ten people working on the pitch from 8:30am last Tuesday.

“Everyone here has a lot of sympathy for the groundstaff as they are doing everything they can.”

The manager says that the Stags ‘can’t wait’ to play again, and hopes that the recent prolonged break does more good than harm.

“We’re a couple of games down now [in relation to other teams], but one of the nice things is that we haven’t moved far in terms of our league position,” added the boss.

“I just hope that this break will benefit us rather than harm us. I hope the players are relaxed and rested as much as they can be, and that they don’t pick up knocks when we get back into it.

“I think we’ll be playing six consecutive Tuesdays now and that will take its toll. But we’re happy with the squad and happy with the numbers.

“We just can’t wait to play again. We have enough to rotate things a little bit if we need to [over the coming weeks].

“I know they [Walsall] will be doing everything they can to get it [tomorrow’s match] on. They had their game postponed on Saturday too, so they’ll want the game on.”

On Friday it was revealed that defender Kellan Gordon and midfielder Harry Charsley have both penned new deals with the club.

The manager discussed the pair’s new contracts, adding: “We’re delighted to secure their services. They are two of our young players who have committed their immediate futures to the club, which is always good news for everyone here.

“Kellan has come into the team and has pretty much been ever-present since then. He’s done very well and has established himself as our first choice right-back.

“Harry has adapted to his new position on the right-hand side and has grabbed himself a couple of goals.

“His work-rate has been very impressive indeed and they have both made a good partnership out on that right-hand side.”

iFollow Stags subscribers can watch the manager’s interview in full by logging into mansfieldtown.net/ifollow.


Mansfield Town keep an anxious eye on weather in Walsall
chad.co.uk, By Stephen Thirkill, Monday 8th February 2021

Boss Nigel Clough will be anxiously keeping tabs on the weather in Walsall ahead of the club’s planned fixture tomorrow night.

Stags have not played for 17 days following a string of postponements, while Walsall’s game at Southend on Saturday was also postponed.

“We are in such a good run of form and we just want to play,” said Clough. “We have no injuries or suspensions and we just want to play.

“We just hope we will be ok for tomorrow night and we are keeping an eye on the weather.


“Walsall were cancelled late on Saturday so they will want it on. Hopefully they have decent cover and manpower to get the game on.”

With so little football recently Clough admits he is unsure how much his players may have been affected.

“It's not a case of what we expect from Walsall, but what to expect from us, which we are a little unsure of because of the break,” he said.

“We will be raring to go, but it's how much the break has affected us and we won't know that until after the game.”


Nigel Clough warns it might take some time for Mansfield Town to get back into their stride
chad.co.uk, By Stephen Thirkill, Monday 8th February 2021

Nigel Clough fears it may take Mansfield Town a bit of time to get back into their stride.

Nigel Clough's side made it five straight wins following Jamie Reid's late winner at Southend United on January 23.

But four consecutive postponements - all due to waterlogged pitches - have come at the wrong time for in-form Stags.

Mansfield returned to action last night in a re-arranged schedule at Walsall, a whole 17 days after that victory at Roots Hall.


And Clough is warning it may take some time before his Stags players can hit those levels again.

“I know we will be raring to go,”he said. “Mentally and physically we have worked hard. We had a practice match on a bit of a muddy pitch on Saturday.

“The physical output for the first 70 minutes was 96 per cent of the physical output they would put in during a game.

“So you can see how much they put in and how much they are raring to go.

“Little doubts will creep in though and we have to put those out of the players minds.

“Let’s use it (the break in games) to our advantage. We are raring to go, but we need to get back into our routine. It will not so much be tomorrow night but the game after that and the game after that. ”

Clough also admitted a sense of frustration at the ad-hoc nature of the recent lack of action, which has begun to resemble a mid-season winter break.

But with Stags going into matchdays expecting to play, it has left little chance to plan for a structured break.

“If you had said before that we were going to have this break we would have said ‘Brilliant, right, Tuesdays off, then we will come in and train.’

“But when you have games called off on the day you are just reacting to the situation. That has been the hardest part.

“Before you are trying not to think too much about what you might provisionally do if the game is off.

“We might even have gone away on a team bonding exercise. We are just trying to tick things over as best we can.”


interview with Stephen Thirkill of chad.co.uk, available on iFollow Stags:

Stephen Thirkill: "I saw a tweet from Martin Shaw that's there probably 4 more free dates where if there's fixtures called off you can fit them in before you need to start playing Saturday, Tuesday, Thursday."

Nigel Clough: "I think Saturday, Tuesday is ok. I think if you start throwing a Thursday in as well, you get problems with that. So we're doing everything we can to avoid that."


Mansfield Town boss Nigel Clough happy with age and potential of squad
chad.co.uk, By Stephen Thirkill, Monday 8th February 2021

Mansfield Town boss Nigel Clough believes he now has young players with plenty of potential at his disposal.

Clough has built up a young-looking squad with the likes of Kellan Gordon (23), Harry Charsley (24) and George Lapslie (23) all establishing themselves as first team regulars.

They are backed up by George Maris (24), Farrend Rawson (24) and Jamie Reid (26) in a fresh-looking squad.

And Clough believes it gives plenty of encouragement for the club going forward.


“You want to secure the younger players on longer contracts,” said Clough. “It's a reward for how well they have done over the last six months.

“Kellan and Harry have established themselves as first team regulars, as well as George Lapslie who we now have on a permanent contract.

“When you look at their age, they show a lot of potential. It is great for us, we get the benefits and we also have saleable assets if that is an option we chose.

“If they stay in our first team that will be the best option for us. We are trying to identify younger players and get a nucleus of a team to build around.”

And the Stags boss is now keen to see his experienced players help them on their journey by passing on their wisdom.

“We have a couple of older players in the squad and it is vital we have those as well because they set an example to the younger players,” he added.

“Since Stephen Quinn has come in you see the extra edge he has in training and that is vital.

“That is what you have to do every day. He has played at the top level and it is great thing for the younger players to see.

“It says more than anything we can say.”