Consistency is key over final 12 games - manager
mansfieldtown.net, Monday 15th March 2021
Mansfield Town boss Nigel Clough has called for ‘consistency’ from his side over the course of the 12 remaining matches this season.
The Stags were left frustrated by a 1-0 defeat to Crawley at the weekend, a result that followed a superb win and performance against league leaders Cheltenham just days prior.
The manager, looking ahead to the next fixture - at home to Carlisle - says the Stags must aim to get the ‘winning feeling’ back.
“To lose in the last minute [at Crawley], is unbelievably demoralising,” he told iFollow Stags. “But to lose it in the manner that we did, with us contributing again to our own downfall, it just makes it worse.
“The consistency element is certainly something that’s been lacking. I think we’ve got enough in the last 12 games to get us over that line and be safe, then we’re looking to put a squad in place to produce more consistency week in, week out.
“We have the same [intent against Carlisle] than we did against Cheltenham, Morecambe, Cambridge, Bolton.
“Even in those two defeats, we were happy with the performance. And that’s what we want.
“We’re trying to replicate that away from home as well. We’re not setting up any differently [away from home], but for some reason at the moment, we’re creating more at home and putting our chances away at home.
“We’re delighted to be at home [for the next three games]. We fancy our chances against anybody at our place.
“We’ve had a couple of long trips in the last week, from one end of the country to the other, with Barrow and Crawley.
“When you’ve lost, they are long trips back. We just want that winning feeling for everybody, because it improves your life.”
Mansfield and Carlisle, who will clash at One Call Stadium on Tuesday evening, were both subject to enforced breaks earlier this season, due to reasons such as inclement weather and COVID-19 outbreaks.
The boss discussed the impact that these prolonged breaks had on both clubs, who have since struggled to regain their past momentum.
“They [Carlisle] had some great momentum building and went top of the league. Then they had the break put upon themselves, like we did,” he added.
“It just completely disrupts your momentum, and as days go by and you’re training every day, things just drop a little, no matter what you do.
“You can’t maintain that momentum [without playing games], and then you’re looking to pick it up again.
“They still have games in hand and are still right in the mix.”
There was also an injury update from the boss, as well as a word on skipper Ollie Clarke, who could be rested for Tuesday’s clash with Carlisle.
“We have the usual ones [absentees], George Maris and George Lapslie, who are both doubts for tomorrow night [Carlisle].
“We’re missing them at the moment, and with Ollie Clarke being a little below par as well, they were our three first choice midfielders a few weeks ago.
“We’ll probably be without those three. Ollie is feeling the effects of no pre-season - he had two calf injuries at the start of the season.
“With so many games in such a short period of time, it’s really caught up with him. He’s such an honest, genuine lad, and he wants to be out there. He’s doing everything he can to influence the game.
“But sometimes, physically, if you can’t do it, you just have to have a breather. With the amount of effort he puts in, we’re not talking about a player who just sits there in midfield. He charges around, up and down the pitch, and he’s that sort of ‘all-action’ player.
“He [Aidan Stone] is okay. He did the warm-up [on Saturday] and has done some training, so hopefully he’ll be back in contention for tomorrow night.”
iFollow Stags subscribers can watch the manager’s interview in full by logging into mansfieldtown.net/ifollow.
Nigel Clough wants Mansfield Town players to 'play like he knows they can' until the end of the season
chad.co.uk, By Stephen Thirkill, Monday 15th March 2021
Nigel Clough wants his Mansfield players to ‘play like he knows they can.’
Stags are now six games without an away win following the 1-0 defeat at Crawley Town on Saturday.
It capped another Jekyll and Hyde week for Mansfield who had beaten league leaders Cheltenham in midweek to keep up their good run of home form.
“I want the players to play as they can from now to the end of the season,” said Clough.
“We know we can do it and we need to do it week in week out.
“You have to do that every week if you’re going to be successful in this league.
“You can't beat the league leaders and then go and lose the next game by conceding such a soft goal.
“We were in a position of comfort against Crawley and lost the game from nothing.
“The pattern that has emerged in away games is giving away soft goals. I don't know why it's different between home and away. Generally speaking we are creating chances and situations away, but we are not putting them away
“We seem to be more wasteful away from home.”
Stags begin a run of three home games in a row on Tuesday night against Carlisle, with Grimsby Town to follow on Saturday and Forest Green next Tuesday.
They go into the Carlisle game likely to be without the injured Ollie Clarke and George Lapslie.
It is a run of games which Clough is keen to start and knows it could officially seal survival.
“We have been very good at home, even in the games we have lost,” he added.
“We had good wins over Morecambe and Cheltenham so we are looking forward to having a run of games at home.
“We seem to have been on the road a lot recently and have just had two long away trips from one end of the country to the other with Barrow and Crawley.
“The next three games can go a long way to securing our safety.”
Once safety is assured Clough will turn his attention to preparations for next season and has warned his players that they are playing for their places.
“We know where we are in terms of the team and where we need to progress,” said Clough.
“Each game highlights what we need and where we need to get to in order to be a team that will challenge.
“Most of the players are in contract for next season, there are a few out of contract, but that is irrelevant.
“They are playing to stay at the club if they want to be a part of what we want to do.
“We are having discussions and we know the positions we need to strengthen.”
Chris Beech on Carlisle United's clash with Nigel Clough's Mansfield Town
newsandstar.co.uk, By Jon Colman @joncolman
Blues boss Chris Beech is hoping for a repeat of Carlisle United’s previous positive showing against Mansfield when they face the Stags tonight.
United face Nigel Clough’s side at the One Call Stadium (kick-off 7pm) hoping to build on Saturday’s victory over Bradford.
The Cumbrians beat Clough’s men 1-0 at Brunton Park in December when a superb Omari Patrick goal was the difference.
Mansfield have struggled to maintain form since their initial good run under Clough, and have lost six of their last eight games.
One of their recent wins, though, came against leaders Cheltenham and Beech said he holds his opposite number in the highest esteem.
“Nigel, I respect him so much,” Beech said.
“When you watch his interviews I think he’s absolutely superb.
“You can’t get more of a footballing man than the son of Brian, to play Premier League football and manage like he has.
“We did well when we played them at home, hopefully we can do as well when we play them away.”
Carlisle are hoping to inch further back up the table tonight.
Victory could put them back in the top 10 of League Two, with Beech keen that they repeat the positive aspects of Saturday’s much-needed victory.
“It was good, but we’ve got to keep doing it now, we’ve got to build,” the head coach said ahead of the contest with the 16th-placed Stags, who lost 1-0 at Crawley on Saturday.
“We’ve been put in those circumstances [of Covid and postponements in recent months], I’ve tried my best not to hold it high as an excuse, but no club’s been put in our position, and we’ve got to crack on.
“We’ve got opportunities left to play games and we’ve got to do our best in them, that’s all we’ve got to do.”
Latest | March 2021