CLOUGH AND PAUL HURST REACTION
Manager reflects on Grimsby draw
mansfieldtown.net, Saturday 20th March 2021
Stags’ boss Nigel Clough has offered his post-match thoughts following Saturday afternoon’s 2-2 draw with Grimsby Town.
Mansfield twice took the lead via goals from George Maris and Jason Law, but were ultimately pegged back by a stunning free-kick from Grimsby substitute George Williams in stoppage time.
The manager says his side did not make the most of an encouraging first-half.
“We’re disappointed with the result after having led twice in the game,” he told iFollow Stags. “Two set plays we’ve conceded from.
“We had to scrap and battle, and when you’re playing the team where they are, that’s the way it was going to be.
“Generally we dealt with the majority of things, but the lad [Williams] has hit a brilliant free-kick and they’ve had a free header from a corner.
“When you get in the lead twice against bottom of the league, you expect to win the game.
“We missed our opportunity in the first-half to get more than one goal. We didn’t make the most of our situations, and then you’re only holding a one goal lead.
“We usually create stuff here and score goals, but you have to keep clean sheets and deal with the opposition.
“We have to get up the other end of the pitch [in the closing stages]. When we’re defending these leads, if we can get up the pitch, win a free-kick and spend some time in the opposition half, that’s the best way to deal with it.”
Both Maris and Law netted their first goals for Mansfield this afternoon, and the boss says the maiden strikes from the pair was the main ‘positive’ from the match.
“I didn’t realise it was his first [Mansfield] goal, but if it is, it’s an unbelievable first goal for him [Maris],” he added.
“It was good build-up to the goal as well. Little ball inside [from Stephen McLaughlin] then an unstoppable shot from 20 yards. It was a brilliant strike.
“The two big positives from the game was those two lads [Maris and Law] getting their first goals.
“It should’ve been enough to win us the game, and we threw everyone on to try and deal with the set plays.”
Nigel Clough made five substitutions in the second-half, and spoke of his reasoning for some of the changes after the game: “We needed some height to come onto the pitch somewhere and Ryan [Sweeney] can run around and hopefully win us a few headers.
“Unfortunately, he ended up giving the free-kick away, 25 yards out, which got the equaliser.
“As a defender, it doesn’t matter where you come onto the pitch, you don’t want to be giving those free-kicks away.
“[Oli Sarkic has a] hamstring] injury. It’s disappointing really as he kicked the ball out because he was struggling, and we didn’t get the ball back from Grimsby.
“He felt his hamstring, we were going to bring somebody else off, but we had to change the substitution.”
There was also a word on skipper Ollie Clarke, who was rested for today’s clash.
“It [Clarke rest] was because of an accumulation of the knocks and things that he’s had.
“He trained a little on Wednesday and yesterday morning, but he doesn’t feel anywhere near at the moment.
“It was that [enforced] break that we had that did us. Nobody could’ve envisaged having such a long break with the games being off.
“The Saturday-Tuesday, Saturday-Tuesday is catching up with the players. Jamie Reid was on his knees today and that was the reason he came off.”
iFollow Stags subscribers can watch the manager’s interview in full by logging into mansfieldtown.net/ifollow later today.
Nigel Clough 'disappointed' as Mansfield Town let winning positions slip against Grimsby Town
chad.co.uk, By Duncan Browne, Saturday 20th March 2021
Nigel Clough was left 'disappointed' his Mansfield Town side couldn't hold on to their winning position as they drew 2-2 with Grimsby Town.
George Maris and Jason Law scored their first goals for the club as the Stags twice led at One Call Stadium.
But Lenell John-Lewis' header and George Williams' late free kick saw the Mariners leave with a point.
"I'm disappointed with the result having led twice in the game," Clough told iFollow Stags.
"Two set plays, we've conceded from.
"Performance-wise, I think we've had to scrap and battle. When you're playing the team in the position that they are, that's the sort of game its going to be. They turned it into that game.
"Generally, we dealt with the vast majority of things. The lad's scored a brilliant free kick and they've had a free header from a corner.
"When you get in the lead twice against bottom of the league you expect to win the game."
Clough belives his side should have made the most of an opening 45 minutes when they were on top.
He added: "We missed our opportunity in the first half to get more than one goal. Harry Charsley has had one early on where, if he squares it, it's a tap in for somebody in the six yard box.
"I didn’t feel too threatened from open play but from set plays it's a big strength of theirs."
Clough added that Oli Sarkic has suffered a hamstring injury but expects goalscorer Law to recover from a few knocks picked up this afternoon.
"He's going to have to get used to it as when you're that sort of player, if he's around and got the ball at his feet, he's going to get a few whacks," Clough continued.
"He needs to toughen up and take a few whacks like he did again today."
Captain Ollie Clarke was rested.
Clough added: "It was an accumulation of the knocks he's had.
"He trained a bit on Wednesday morning and a little bit yesterday, but he doesn't feel anywhere near it at the moment."
Maris and Law goals 'big positives' from frustrating day, says Mansfield Town boss Nigel Clough
chad.co.uk, By Duncan Browne, Saturday 20th March 2021
Duo open their Stags accounts in Grimsby draw...
Nigel Clough called goals from George Maris and Jason Law 'two big positives'.
The Mansfield Town boss was 'disappointed' to see his side pegged back twice by basement boys Grimsby Town.
However, he was pleased to see the two Stags players open their accounts for the club.
Maris smashed home a 25-yard screamer while Law forced home an effort from close range.
"I didn't realise it was his first goal. It's an unbelievable first goal for him," Clough said of Maris’ finish.
"Good build-up as well. It started with the goalkeeper and then we won a throw-in. A little ball inside and unstoppable shot. Brilliant strike."
Turning his attention to Law's effort, Clough added: "Two big positives from the game for us, George getting his first goal and Jason getting his.
"It should have been enough to win us the game."
Paul Hurst reacts after George Williams rescues dramatic point for Grimsby Town against Mansfield
grimsbytelegraph.co.uk, By James Findlater, 20 MAR 2021
Paul Hurst has called for his Grimsby Town players to make an impact from the start after seeing his side rescue a late point at Mansfield.
Substitute George Williams stepped up for the Mariners as his superb late free-kick earned them a 2-2 draw at Field Mill.
Town had looked set to fall to a damaging defeat after goals from George Maris and Jason Law either side of Lenell John-Lewis’ header had put the hosts ahead heading into stoppage time.
But Williams stepped up to beat Aidan Stone from 25 yards to earn the visitors a point - and he could have won all three for the Mariners as he headed against the post in the 94th minute.
“I think he’s got to score the header,” Hurst told GrimsbyLive.
“I’m not taking away a wonderful free-kick from him, but with the position we’re in we’ve got to put those chances away.
“It’s certainly a deserved point in my eyes at least. Until the first goal, I didn’t think there was much in the game at all, I thought we were getting joy in terms of getting our full-backs out, which we spoke about with their shape, and in particular their right-back was causing us problems when they switched play.
“There’ll be something we could have done with the first goal because there always is, but at the same time it’s a great strike from Maris. After that, I disappointed.
“We looked like we were affected by the goal a bit, it gave them a lift, and at half-time I just felt like I had to change it.
“The subs had a good impact again, and that’s great and that’s all they can do. I said the subs have to be ready to go on and make a difference, and I think they did.
“But we need to have that from the start. We can’t just keep playing about a player who comes on and does well, and then maybe starts and doesn’t do as well and then we put some new ones on, because you’re going to be on a permanent rotation.
“From that point of view, I’m kind of pleased, but there’s an element of disappointment.”
Unfortunately for the Mariners, they were cut further adrift at the bottom of the table after Barrow earned a dramatic late win over Crawley, leaving Town 10 points from safety.
“I know the main score has gone against us, so that makes life more difficult, but what I will say is the team showed fight, showed spirit, and I’ve just said that’s the minimum we demand, irrespective of what’s going on elsewhere.
“I want us to have some pride about us and spirit, and in fairness, the players showed that today, and we’ll need more of it on Tuesday night.”
Jason Law @_jaylaw26
Buzzing with the first [goal], hopefully more to come
Latest | March 2021