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22nd February 2021 0:46

Cambridge clash one to look forward to, says boss
mansfieldtown.net, Friday 19th February 2021

Stags’ boss Nigel Clough says Saturday’s clash with league leaders Cambridge United will be a ‘good measure’ of how far his side have progressed in Sky Bet League Two.

Mansfield will look to respond positively to Wednesday night’s defeat against Bolton, but face a stern test against a side at the summit of the league standings.

The boss says that, in order to be successful in the weekend’s fixture, his charges will need to deal with the ‘dangerous players’ Cambridge have within their ranks.

“I think it’s a brilliant game for us, off the back of the other night. It’s another good measure for us to see how far we’ve come,” he told iFollow Stags.

“The 1-0 away win [against Cambridge] was one of our best performances, and I think we caught Cambridge on a good day. They hadn’t played for a while and were perhaps a little bit rusty.

“I think they are a far better side than they showed that night, and they’ve shown that since.


“It’s about us getting back on track after the other night. It doesn’t feel very nice when you lose and aren’t used to it.

“We showed glimpses the other night and patches in the game, certainly at the start of the second-half where I thought we played very well indeed.

“[Cambridge will bring] a threat. I think they have very dangerous players and the result will largely depend on how we deal with them.

“[We’ll have a] very light [training session today], considering the effort that was put in on Wednesday.

“I think it’s more about mental preparation at this stage of the season than it is physical.”

Offering his final thoughts on Wednesday night’s loss to Bolton, the manager says that despite the disappointing conclusion to the match, there were plenty of positives to draw from the game.

“We have to take the many positives from the game and the performance. There were a lot of good things and a lot of good play.

“It was a good game, generally, and I thought we edged it and deserved to win. There was a blatant penalty [on Stephen Quinn] in the first-half which may have changed the game, you never know.

“But to be 2-0 up and be pegged back in the manner which we were, is unbelievably disappointing.”

There was also an injury update from the boss, who says that on-loan Blackpool forward Oli Sarkic has ‘an outside chance’ of making the bench for Saturday’s encounter.

“Stephen Quinn took a couple of knocks [against Bolton] and was taken off with ten minutes to go. He’s the only one that might be a concern [for Cambridge].

“Kellan Gordon and Oli Sarkic will continue their recovery - Oli maybe has an outside chance for the bench [on Saturday] but we’ll see how he is in training on Friday morning.

“Losing the three players [George Lapslie, Gordon and Sarkic] in a week was a blow. Laps will still be a few weeks, but the others aren’t far off.”

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


Mansfield Town manager Nigel Clough keen to see change in luck ahead of Cambridge United visit
chad.co.uk, By Stephen Thirkill, Friday 19th February 2021

Stags boss Nigel Clough wants to see some luck go his side’s way.

The Mansfield manager feels his side have not had the rub of the green of late with five points dropped through bad luck in the last two games.

Mansfield were pegged back through a late deflection at Colchester before an own goal and a fluke helped Bolton come from 2-0 down to win 3-2.

“We feel a bit hard done by and we feel we are due a bit of luck,” said Clough.


“They say it evens out over the course of the season, but I’ve not seen too much go in our favour since we have been here.

“Every team needs it and I would like to see a little break go our way, it can make all the difference.

“At 2-2 (against Bolton) we were pressing for the winner. Harry Charsley has a shot deflected wide instead of in, it would be nice if a deflection went our way.

“We feel we could have had more points on the board in the last two games without doing too much differently.”

Stags are likely to need a bit of luck when they face league leaders Cambridge United at the One Call Stadium tomorrow.

Clough also believes a key factor will be how his side bounces back mentally and physically from the disappointment of chucking the points away against Bolton..

“It will be how we recover mentally and physically from Wednesday,” added Clough. “We have to get over the disappointment straight away.

“We have emphasised all the good things we did against Bolton. There is a lot we can take from the performance.

“If you lose and you are rubbish then there is not a lot you can take from a performance and you do get down about it

“We won't get down about Bolton. It is great timing to be playing a team at the top of the league rather than a team scraping down there.

“It is a good game for us to put things right.”


Mansfield Town boss Nigel Clough feels his side have improved well since beating Cambridge United earlier in the season
chad.co.uk, By Stephen Thirkill, Friday 19th February 2021

Mansfield Town have progressed well since beating Cambridge United earlier in the season, believes boss Nigel Clough.

Jamie Reid scored his first goal for the club as Stags defeated United 1-0 to ruin the return of fans to the Abbey Stadium on December 2.

“I think the players have done incredibly well to sort the results out and to put in the level of the performances they are putting in.

“There has not been a massive influx of players in. They are just working incredibly hard on the training ground and have knuckled down.


“They are playing good stuff now and deserve a lot of credit for the improvements there has been.

“Overall the big things are ok, now little details are being punished that most of the time we would get away with.

“We just have to keep working at this level and even harder. We will just keep emphasising shape and little individual areas where we can improve.”

Stags face the league leaders at home on Saturday as they look for their first win since returning to action after glut of postponements.


Mansfield Town manager Nigel Clough critical of referee Darren Drysdale following confrontation with Alan Judge
chad.co.uk, By Stephen Thirkill, Friday 19th February 2021

Mansfield Town boss Nigel Clough has criticised referee Darren Drysdale following his confrontation with Ipswich midfielder Alan Judge.

The Lincolnshire official has been charged by FA with misconduct for confronting player following the incident during Ipswich’s 0-0 draw with Northampton.

It left Clough recalling a similar incident involving the referee during his time in charge of Burton Albion.

“It is not the first time he has done that,” said Clough. “He did the same with Stephen Quinn when we were at Burton and we did not receive a public or private apology.


“I can’t think of a more damning image for the refereeing profession than a referee having to be restrained by players from confronting another player.

“Imagine if a player had done that to a referee and what the outcry would be now.

“Players lose their head sometimes with the competition they are facing and fighting tooth and nail, the referee has no opposition.

“He did exactly the same last season. I hope the FA will take last season’s offence into consideration in the same way they would for players and managers.”

Drysdale has since been removed from Saturday’s League Two fixture between Southend and Bolton.


Mark Bonner wants Cambridge United to attack Mansfield Town challenge in Sky Bet League Two
By Mark Taylor, 19 February 2021

Cambridge United will be out to heap more misery on Mansfield Town’s difficult home form this season in Sky Bet League Two tomorrow (Saturday, February 20).

The Stags had been on an eight-game unbeaten run in the league prior to Wednesday night, but they threw away a two-goal lead at the One Call Stadium in the last 11 minutes to lose 3-2 to Bolton Wanderers.

It added to their woes on their own turf, which has yielded just two wins from 13 games.

But they have had six draws, and their overall form since Nigel Clough was appointed in November has been very good - including a 1-0 win over the U’s at the Abbey.

“Since he has gone in there, they have done very well, won a lot of games, scored a lot of goals and he has got them going,” said United head coach Mark Bonner.

“It’s no surprise because he is a manager that comes with a reputation and pedigree having managed higher and done a brilliant job with Burton Albion.

“When you look at the experience they’ve got in the team and the experience the manager brings them, it’s no surprise that he has had a really good, positive impression and that will create us a tough challenge.

“But we certainly don’t want to go there with any fear at all. We want to go there and be brave and take the game to them to see if we can get on top of it.”

United had been on their own seven-game unbeaten run through January, which came to an end against Salford City, and they responded with a 0-0 draw against Southend United last weekend.

But regardless of Mansfield’s home record, Bonner knows they will present a stern test.

“We’ve watched them live a few times; we’ve seen both their games this week,” he said.

“They have shrunk the squad a little bit, but the team is very strong and there has been a consistency to how they have played and they have got better as time has gone on.

“They’ve had some excellent results and had a good unbeaten run before Wednesday night.

“They will be frustrated with the way they lost the game, or certainly the timing with late goals, but I thought they played really well.

“They've got a good style of play. We know George Maris really well, and he is playing well for them at the moment.

“I think we will have a good test on our hands. In the main, we go in there playing an in-form team but we’re in-form ourselves so hopefully it will be a really good test and game.

“We need to give the best version of ourselves because any time you go to Mansfield you know you’ve got a really tough game on your hands physically because they are hard-running and aggressive.

“They’ve also got some good players that are going to cause you problems. We’ve got to make sure we contain that but cover as much ground as we can and create as many problems as we can.

“In this remaining period of the season, we want to attack as many games as we can and go and have a real go at teams.”