CLOUGH AND MARK COOPER REACTION
Manager praises ‘brilliant’ display
mansfieldtown.net, Tuesday 23rd March 2021
Boss Nigel Clough says a goal was the ‘only thing missing’ from a hugely encouraging performance at home to promotion hopefuls Forest Green Rovers this evening.
The Stags and Rovers played out a thrilling, end-to-end contest, which somehow ended without either net bulging at One Call Stadium.
The manager was full of praise for the Stags after their impressive performance, especially in the second-half.
“It’s funny how a 0-0 can be that good and that entertaining, but that [goal] was the only thing that was missing,” he told iFollow Stags.
“I thought we were a bit unlucky not to get that goal tonight. Overall, you look at the performance, and the second-half was the best we’ve played since we’ve been here.
“I thought the first-half was not bad, but in the second-half we stepped it up a gear and apart from the one chance where Stoney [Aidan Stone] has produced a brilliant one-handed save, that was about all they had.
“We had numerous [chances] in the second-half and you’re dying for a little break in the penalty area to give us that goal.
“The main thing was we got a clean sheet, we got a point which should’ve been three, but it’s a brilliant performance.
“Seamus McDonagh [goalkeeper coach] has just said that’s the best League Two game he’s seen. It was two very, very good teams.
“We just got the ball down and we played. It was chalk and cheese to Saturday - there was more football in the first ten minutes [tonight] than the whole 90 on Saturday.”
The boss says that this performance will lift confidence levels in the Mansfield camp ahead of the final nine matches of the Sky Bet League Two season.
“We were very strong through the middle of the pitch. It’s four [correction by Martin - five] unbeaten now at home and it’s a clean sheet, which we haven’t had enough of.
“They are the sort of games that we’ve been losing. We’ve come off and we’re disappointed not to win, but we haven’t lost the game.
“It’s another point on the board towards that 50, but more than anything, it’s a confidence-lifting and morale-boosting performance for the last nine games of the season.
“It was us with a couple of corners in the final few minutes and if anyone was going to score [it would be us].
“It was bobbling around and that’s what we want to do. Let’s play in their half and play in their third, as sometimes that’s the best way to defend.”
Nigel Clough says tonight’s entertaining affair is the product of ‘two teams who want to get the ball down and play.’
“The likes of Forest Green and Cheltenham don’t give you the opportunity to play much as they close you down, but they are more interested in playing themselves [compared to other teams].
“Some teams want to stop you playing and see what comes from that. When you have two teams who want to get the ball down and play, you see a game like tonight.”
iFollow Stags subscribers can watch the manager’s interview in full by logging into mansfieldtown.net/ifollow.
"The best we've played since we've been here!" Second-half performance pleases Nigel Clough as Mansfield Town draw with Forest Green Rovers
chad.co.uk, By Duncan Browne, Tuesday 23rd March 2021
Nigel Clough described Mansfield Town's second half performance as the best he's seen since joining the club.
The Stags couldn't find a way through as they had to seetle for a point against third-placed Forest Green Rovers.
Results elsewhere meant Mansfield dropped to 18th in the League Two table, but with nine games to go Clough was looking to the positives.
"It's funny how a 0-0 can be that good and entertaining but it (a goal) was the only thing that was missing," he said, raving about the contest.
"We were a little bit unlucky not to get that goal tonight.
"Overall, look at the performance and the second half was, I think, the best we've played since we've been here. Because of the quality of opposition and everything else.
"I thought first half we weren't bad. Apart from the one chance where Stoney's (Aidan Stone) produced a brillant one-handed save that's about all they had.
"We've had numerous chances in the second half and you're dying for a little break. We got a point, should have been three."
Stone's brilliant reaction save - suggested to be the save of the season by Clough - ensured his clean sheet while Rovers' Lewis Thomas frustrated the Stags at the other end.
Once again, the Stags were able to go toe-to-toe with one of the division's better sides.
"We got the ball down and played. It was chalk and cheese to Saturday (a 2-2 draw with Grimsby Town) wasn't it.
"There was probably more football in the first 10 minutes than the whole 90 (on Saturday).
"But that's the opposition again. We spoke about how the opposition turn it into a certain type of game.
"Forest Green want to play but we showed as well again tonight we wanted to play."
"I'm sure next year they'll be right up and amongst them." Forest Green Rovers boss Mark Cooper tips Mansfield Town to become promotion contenders
Rovers boss believes his side should have claimed three points...
chad.co.uk, By Duncan Browne, Tuesday 23rd March 2021
Mark Cooper is tipping Mansfield Town to become promotion contenders... but the Forest Green Rovers boss believes his side should have left One Call Stadium with three points.
The League Two rivals had to settle for a goalless draw last night following an exciting, open contest.
"It's a clean sheet. It's frustrating we've not got three points. I thought it was a good game, two teams going for it," Cooper told Rovers' YouTube channel.
"You're not going to come to Mansfield and have them lie down for you. They beat Cheltenham here two weeks ago, convincingly.
"They've got some good players, they play a diamond and they're difficult to play against.
"I'm sure next year they'll be right up and amongst them."
Stags stopper Aidan Stone pulled off a marvellous reaction save to tip away Jamille Matt's goalbound header, a chance that Cooper felt should have been rewarded with three points.
"When you have a chance like Jamma's got at the end, you have to score it," he added.
"I can't question the commitment, the boys had a right go.
"We got into some brilliant positions tonight but didn't produce that bit of quality that's needed to win games.
"So, pleased with the point, could have been three. But we need a bit more quality at the top of the pitch."
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