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CLOUGH, IAN EVATT AND ARTHUR GNAHOUA REACTION
20th February 2021 0:02


Boss analyses Bolton defeat
mansfieldtown.net, Wednesday 17th February 2021

Mansfield Town boss Nigel Clough has offered his thoughts on Wednesday evening’s 3-2 defeat to Bolton Wanderers.

Strikes from captain Ollie Clarke and frontman Jamie Reid had the Stags in control, but three late, quickfire goals from the visitors saw the points head back to the University of Bolton Stadium.

The boss says that, despite the disappointing result, there were good performances on show from his players.

“We can’t legislate for them, with ten or 15 minutes to go, putting a cross in that’s flown in the top corner,” the manager told iFollow Stags.

https://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/2021/february/gaffer-post-bolton/

“Then all of a sudden, their tails are up and they have a lifeline that they didn’t deserve.

“You can’t control those things - all we can do is control our performance. And there were a lot of things that were very, very good tonight.

“Having got to 2-2, then [it’s important] we don’t lose the game - that’s the most important thing. We were so close to winning it with Jamie Reid, then all of a sudden they break up the other end, it’s a good ball and the lad puts one in from 20 yards out.

“That’s the only disappointing thing, to lose the game from that position. We shouldn’t have lost tonight.

“I thought we got back into the groove tonight after the break, and that’s the ironic thing, as we’ve had two good points on the road and it’s probably the best we’ve played tonight [since the break due to postponements] , but we end up losing the game.

“We had a nice rhythm in our play out there tonight and there were a lot of good performances out there.

“We look at the performance and the result, and they are two different things for us.”

The boss also spoke of Stags’ two strikes this evening, which included a well-worked team goal, finished off by Reid.

“Two different goals,” he added. “Although it might look a touch fortunate with the first one [Clarke’s], he’s hit it with such ferocity that if it goes a yard either side of the goalkeeper he’s got no chance anyway.

“The second goal was a lovely move and it was quite similar to a few of the moves that we had tonight.

“It ended with a lovely finish from Jamie Reid and it should have been enough to win us the game.”

Cambridge are the visitors to One Call Stadium on Saturday, and the boss outlined the squad’s schedule ahead of the weekend’s fixture.

“It’s an even bigger test [against Cambridge] as if you go into that game on a win, after two days of rest, it’s a different feeling.

“We have to get over that quickly tonight and put a performance in on Saturday.

“The lads will have a rest tomorrow [Thursday]. We had a long trip on Sunday to Colchester.

“We’ll have a good rest, a bit of training on Friday and ready for Cambridge on Saturday.”

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

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Nigel Clough frustrated as 'fluke and scrappy own goal' leave Mansfield Town beaten by Bolton Wanderers
chad.co.uk, By Duncan Browne, Wednesday 17th February 2021

Stags boss questions why side weren’t awarded ‘stonewall’ penalty...

Nigel Clough was left rueing a 'fluke and a scrappy own goal' as Mansfield Town lost their first League Two contest since mid-December.

Bolton Wanderers ended the Stags' eight-game unbeaten run with three goals in the final 11 minutes to turn the game on its head, securing a 3-2 win at One Call Stadium.

"We know exactly why we didn't win the game. They've scored a fluke and a scrappy own goal off Mal Benning's knee, which has got them back into a game which they were never in in the second half," said Clough, referring to Declan John's brace which cancelled out finishes from Ollie Clarke and Jamie Reid.

https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/nigel-clough-frustrated-fluke-and-scrappy-own-goal-leave-mansfield-town-beaten-bolton-wanderers-3138451

"You can't legislate for somebody putting a cross in that's flown in the top corner."

Arthur Gnahoua had the final say with a curling 20-yard finish in the 88th minute, but Clough was left questioning why his Stags were not awarded a spot kick early in the first half after Stephen Quin n went down in the Trotters box.

"I thought there was two turning points," Clough added.

"The penalty in the first half was absolutely stonewall on Stephen Quinn and that gives us a good start in the game.

"I'm puzzled why that wasn't given. And then obviously the fluke that got them back into the game.

"All of a sudden their tails are up and they've got a lifeline they didn't deserve.

"You can't control those things. All we can do is control our performance and there was lots of things that was good tonight."

Clarke opened the scoring with a powerful drive that Matt Gilks palmed into his own net while Reid added the final touches to a well-worked team move which saw Mansfield storm into a 2-0 lead

"Two different goals," Clough stated.

"Although it might look a bit fortunate the first one, he's hit it with such ferocity and he's hit the target.

"If it goes two yards either side of the keeper he's got no chance anyway. The way the balls move, it's ended up in the back of the net.

"The second goal was a lovely move, reminiscent of a few moves we had this evening and a lovely finish from Jamie Reid. It should have won us the game."

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Mansfield boss Nigel Clough says Bolton scored 'scrappy' & 'fluke' goals in win
theboltonnews.co.uk, By Marc Iles, Wednesday 17th February 2021

NIGEL Clough complained that Bolton Wanderers escaped from Field Mill with three points thanks to a “fluke” and a “scrappy own goal”.

The Mansfield boss watched his side blow a two-goal lead with 11 minutes left on the clock with Declan John’s cross-shot and Arthur Gnahoua’s perfectly placed effort arriving either side of an unfortunate Mal Benning own goal.

Speaking after the final whistle, Clough moaned: "We know exactly why we didn't win the game. They've scored a fluke and a scrappy own goal off Mal Benning's knee, which has got them back into a game which they were never in in the second half.

"You can't legislate for somebody putting a cross in that's flown in the top corner."

https://www.theboltonnews.co.uk/sport/19098601.mansfield-boss-nigel-clough-says-bolton-scored-scrappy-fluke-goals-win/

Clough was also annoyed that referee Antony Coggins did not award the Stags a first half penalty when Stephen Quinn went down under a covering tackle from Marcus Maddison.

"I thought there was two turning points," Clough said. "The penalty in the first half was absolutely stonewall on Stephen Quinn and that gives us a good start in the game.

"I'm puzzled why that wasn't given. And then obviously the fluke that got them back into the game.

"All of a sudden their tails are up and they've got a lifeline they didn't deserve.

"You can't control those things. All we can do is control our performance and there was lots of things that was good tonight."

After the final whistle there were some ugly scenes between the two groups of players as emotions ran high.

A few of the Mansfield players appeared to confront Bolton keeper Matt Gilks, whose mistake had led to first goal of the evening.

Asked for his view, Wanderers boss Ian Evatt said: “I think a couple of their players were giving him a bit of stick about the mistake but when they’ve played in the Premier League and had the career that Matt has, maybe they can say something, but for now I’d suggest they keep their mouth shut.”

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Mansfield Town 2 Bolton Wanderers 3 - Ian Evatt's post-match reaction
theboltonnews.co.uk, By Marc Iles, Wednesday 17th February 2021

IAN Evatt praised Wanderers’ bravery at Mansfield after the battled back from a two-goal deficit to snatch a priceless win at Field Mill.

Declan John and Arthur Gnahoua scored either side of a Mal Benning own goal to complete a stunning comeback in the final 11 minutes.

“I am over the moon for the players,” Evatt said. “I have really felt a change of dynamic and spirit on and off the pitch. The club seems a different one to the one I first joined.

“I think we deserved more first half, we should have been in front. Second half they put a lot into the first 20 minutes and Matt made the error for the goal and we lost a bit of confidence.

https://www.theboltonnews.co.uk/sport/19098501.mansfield-town-2-bolton-wanderers-3---ian-evatts-post-match-reaction/

“But after we got a goal we went for the throat and didn’t let up. The boys that came off the bench showed a tremendous attitude and they deserved that win, no doubt about it.

Winning goalscorer Gnahoua came off the bench seconds before Mansfield scored their second goal of the night - seemingly heading for three points.

Once again, however, Wanderers came strong at the bitter end, not only dragging themselves level but going on to claim all three points.

“Arthur deserved that,” Evatt said. “He did the same thing at Exeter when he came on.

“We have got players who can come on and make an impact now, whereas I haven’t had it all season.

“It’s not the first time this has happened. We’ve done that at Carlisle and we did it in the home game where we were 1-0 down to the last minute and Sarce scored.

“Today, this is everything that we’re not really, the pitch is difficult and heavy, awful conditions. We want to play attractive football but sometimes you have to dig and fight and the most pleasing thing tonight is the two centre backs were excellent as were the whole back four. MJ in front, Kieran Lee just out of quarantine ran his socks off and the whole group just put an amazing shift in. They deserved the three points.”

Evatt also had some words of praise for two of his recent signings, Declan John and Kieran Lee, who were two of the driving forces behind the Mansfield win, “Dec has got excellent quality,” he said.” We missed him when he got injured when he first came in but he will just get better and better, they all will. That’s why we have to be careful with players like Kieran Lee, we can’t break them by putting them through 90 minutes right now and getting them over-fatigued.

“Kieran is a fantastic player, there’s no two ways about it. I thought him and MJ were excellent and we’ve got George who was unfortunate to come out of the team after a brilliant performance on Saturday, but he’s a young player and playing relentlessly, Saturday-Tuesday, Saturday-Wednesday-Saturday, is going to be tough for him, but George is going to be a massive player for this football club and will be for the future games this season. I’ve got an embarrassment of riches at the moment and long may that continue.”

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Post-Match: Evatt on Bolton's Win at Mansfield Town
https://www.burndenaces.co.uk/2021/02/17/post-match-evatt-on-boltons-win-at-mansfield-town.html

Ian Evatt hailed Bolton's new-found belief, after they came back from two goals down to win 3-2 at Mansfield Town.

After their two previous trips to the One Call Stadium over the past month had seen fixtures postponed, Wanderers must have felt cursed when they trailed 2-0 with less than 20 minutes to play.

However, late strikes from Declan John and Arthur Gnahoua - either side of an Malvind Benning own-goal - helped Evatt's side to all three points and the Trotters boss believes his players have now shown a certain level of character that needs to remain for the rest of the campaign.

"I thought first-half we were the better team and had the better opportunities," Evatt told OfficialBWFC on YouTube.

"We've hit the post and should really have been in front at half-time.

"Second-half, Mansfield put a lot into the first 20-25 minutes and we were just trying to stay with them more than anything else.

"They got the goal. Matt (Gilks) has been fantastic for us and I haven't seen him do that for 15 years so we'll just move on from that.

"Then they got the second but our spirit and character once we got the first goal, we had them by the throat and didn't let up which was really pleasing.

"We could easily have settled for 2-2 but didn't. We went and got the winner, which is great."

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Bolton Wanderers boss Ian Evatt on dramatic late comeback win against Mansfield Town
Wanderers fought back from 2-0 down to claim three points in a thrilling League Two encounter

manchestereveningnews.co.uk, By John McDougall, 17 FEB 2021

https://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/ian-evatt-mansfield-bolton-reaction-19861944

Bolton Wanderers came from two goals down to claim three points in a thrilling victory over Mansfield Town.

Ollie Clarke had put the hosts in front after the break following an error from Matt Gilks, while Jamie Reid scored Mansfield's second of the evening.

Declan John grabbed one back soon after with a cross which looped into the goal, befoeputting in the cross which was turned into his own net by Mal Benning.

And Arthur Gnahoua came off the bench to score a dramatic late winner which lifted Wanderers up to 11th in the table.

After the game, Wanderers manager Ian Evatt spoke to the press and here's his immediate reaction.

“I’m over the moon for the players. I spoke the last couple of weeks that I’ve really felt a whole change of dynamic and spirit in the camp on and off the pitch.

"The club feels a different place to when I first joined right now. I’m over the moon for them because I thought we deserved more in the first half, we should definitely have been in front.

"Second half, they put a lot into it the first 20 minutes and obviously Matt’s made the error for the goal and we lost a bit of confidence from that.

"But after that once we got that initial goal, we grabbed them by the throat and didn’t let up. The boys that came off the bench showed a fantastic attitude and got us the goals to win the game. It’s a great victory, there’s no doubt about it.”

Declan John scored the tremendous first goal and that seemed to drive the team on?

“Dec’s got excellent quality and we missed him when we first came and got injured, but he’s just going to get better and better.

"He’s a very talented boy, as they all are, Dapo and Madders, they’re all going to get better and better and that’s why we have to be careful with them that we can’t break them by giving them 90 minutes and getting them over fatigued.

"But we’ve got all of a sudden a really competitive squad and before the game it was really hard to pick 11 and even harder to pick the seven subs. Add to that we’ve got Antoni Sarcevic almost returning and I’m going ot have a few headaches.”

Arthur Gnahoua has a super sub tag, but what a finish to win the game?

“He’s deserved that, he’s showed that he can do that. He did it at Exeter, came on, was unfortunate, but as I said we’ve got players that can make an impact now and I’ve not had that all season, players off the bench that can make a difference and impact games.

"We’ve got a really competitive squad and the most important thing for me is that on and off the pitch, the club feels in a much better place.”

What does it show you about your character that your side has gone 2-0 down against a team that were eight unbeaten?

“It’s not the first time. We’ve done that at Carlisle and we did it in the home game where we were 1-0 down to the last minute and Sarce scored.

"Today, this is everything that we’re not really, the pitch is difficult and heavy, awful conditions. We want to play attractive football but sometimes you have to dig and fight and the most pleasing thing tonight is the two centre backs were excellent as were the whole back four.

"MJ in front, Kieran Lee just out of quarantine ran his socks off and the whole group just put an amazing shift in. They deserved the three points.”

At the end there was something with Matt Gilks and you went on the pitch, was there anything in that?

“I think a couple of their players were giving him a bit of stick about the mistake but when they’ve played in the Premier League and had the career that Matt has, maybe they can say something, but for now I’d suggest they keep their mouth shut.”

What do you make of Kieran Lee’s performance, coming back after being in self-isolation?

“He’s a fantastic player, there’s no two ways about it. I thought him and MJ were excellent and we’ve got George who was unfortunate to come out of the team after a brilliant performance on Saturday, but he’s a young player and playing relentlessly, Saturday-Tuesday, Saturday-Wednesday-Saturday, is going to be tough for him.

"But George is going to be a massive player for this football club and will be for the future games this season. I’ve got an embarrassment of riches at the moment and long may that continue.”

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Arthur Gnahoua on scoring Bolton winner on 'Sunday League' pitch at Mansfield
theboltonnews.co.uk, By Marc Iles, Wednesday 17th February 2021

https://www.theboltonnews.co.uk/sport/19098612.arthur-gnahoua-scoring-bolton-winner-sunday-league-pitch-mansfield/

ARTHUR Gnahoua says his experience of Sunday League football helped him cope with the mud at Mansfield on Wednesday night.

The Bolton winger came off the bench to score a dramatic late winner - just 11 minutes after Mansfield had registered a two-goal lead.

And though the former Macclesfield Town man wondered before the game if the match could be postponed for a third time, he was certainly glad it lasted the course as he made light work of the mud with his third goal of the season.

“When I was younger I’d train on bad pitches, so I think I’m used to it. They don’t really bother me,” he said of the Field Mill quagmire.

“It helped a lot playing in the Sunday League and stuff.

“I am not going to use the pitch as an excuse - but you get on with it. When I first turned up I was like ‘how are we going to play on this?’ But it’s alright, it’s good.

“There was some good football. And I think it looks really bad but when you actually play on it the pitch isn’t that bad.”

With orders from Ian Evatt to “be positive” and get some shots away, Gnahoua stole the headlines with a superb right-footed finish to lift the Whites into 11th spot in League Two.

He would rather not be known as an impact player but accepts there is plenty of competition for places in the current forward line.

“Sometimes it’s good to hear me being called a super sub, but it’s probably better to be starting games. I don’t mind coming on and winning a game like that,” he said.

“It’s the manager’s choice. I hope I have given him something to think about. I have to try the best I can.

“We know if we are not having a good game that there will be someone who can come in to replace us.”

Wednesday night was the first time since 2004 that a Bolton side had fought back from a two-goal deficit to win a game away from home in the league.

Kevin Nolan, Youri Djorkaeff and Stelios were on the scoresheet when Wanderers came back from 3-1 down to beat Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park in the Premier League.

And Gnahoua reckons the result shows the character within Evatt’s dressing room.

“It shows we have that fighting spirit. We always have the quality to bring the game back, so we should never give up,” he said.

“We feel like we can win against any team now. We have the quality.

“We have to win one at a time now. That is the focus.

“Every team in this league is good. We cannot think that it will be easy even if we are favourites.”

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