CLOUGH AND MATT TAYLOR REACTION
Manager pleased by ‘solid’ away performance
mansfieldtown.net, Monday 5th April 2021
Boss Nigel Clough described this afternoon’s clean sheet and point away at play-off hopefuls Exeter City as a ‘good, solid away performance.’
The Stags did have opportunities to turn one point into three, including strong claims for a penalty after Tyrese Sinclair went down in the Exeter box in the second period.
The manager was pleased with the way his side ‘restricted’ the Grecians to very few opportunities, especially with Monday’s hosts currently boasting the accolade of joint-top scorers in Sky Bet League Two.
“We created enough situations and chances again, but the outstanding one was when we should’ve had a penalty,” Nigel Clough explained to iFollow Stags.
“It was stonewall and I looked straight across to their dugout, who were waiting for it to be given.
“Then the referee compounded it by booking Tyrese [Sinclair] for diving, which was a staggering decision.
“He [Sinclair] has gone clear of the back four and fouled from behind. Even the lad said to Ty he got away with one. It was a stonewall penalty.
“I thought we were brilliant from start to finish. We created a chance early on through George Lapslie who nearly hooked one in, and we created situations and chances all throughout the game.
“There were not many clear cut [chances] but there were enough situations and we restricted them, Stoney [Aidan Stone] has only had the one save and they [Exeter] are the top scorers in the league.
“On the back of Friday, it was important that we didn’t make any mistakes today and hopefully the changes that we made reflected that. We needed a good, solid away performance and that was it today.
“We put the ball into good areas in the first-half and Jordan [Bowery] and Tyrese caused problems.
“We didn’t want back-to-back defeats. It’s important in this little run, especially with Newport on Friday, not to be getting defeat after defeat.
“We’ve stopped that with the clean sheet and now we’re looking forward to Newport on Friday.”
The boss handed a first league start to Tyrese Sinclair (below) this afternoon, and says he was ‘very pleased’ with the young forward’s performance.
“Jordan crossed one and Ollie [Clarke] couldn’t quite get his head on it, Stephen McLaughlin had one saved, Tyrese has probably had the best chance when he was one-on-one,” he added.
“You just need one of those to drop for you. But the penalty is the one that should’ve been given.
“We’re very pleased [with Tyrese Sinclair]. He’s just had little cameos here and there, but I thought he was very good today.
“It’s good to get another player coming through to the first team. Reidy [Jamie Reid] needed a rest.”
Four changes from Friday’s disappointing loss to Leyton Orient were signalled by the boss, and he further explained the alterations, adding: “We would’ve made more [changes] if we thought we could’ve done. It was good to see Ollie Clarke back starting again.
“He’s not quite back to how he was, but somewhere near.
“Kellan [Gordon] made two errors and he’s made a few of late, so the players have to understand that there is consequence for the mistakes they make.”
iFollow Stags subscribers can watch the manager’s interview in full by logging into mansfieldtown.net/ifollow.
Nigel Clough explained to iFollow Stags why Gordon and Reid were dropped:
“Reidy needed a rest and also as a consequence of his error on Friday. Kellan has made two errors [in the last two games]. Players have to understand that there is a consequence for errors that they make.”
"A game-changing mistake!" Mansfield Town denied 'stonewall' penalty at Exeter City, says Nigel Clough
‘Staggering decision’ blights impressive performance, says manager...
chad.co.uk, By Duncan Browne, Monday 5th April 2021
Nigel Clough was adamant Mansfield Town should have been given a penalty in their goalless draw at Exeter City - labelling referee Carl Brook's decision a 'game changing mistake'.
When Tyrese Sinclair went down in the Grecians' penalty area the Stags boss was left waiting for the man in the middle to point to the spot.
That gesture never arrived, which Clough called a 'staggering decision'.
"We created enough situations and chances again, but I have to say the outstanding one of the game was when we should have had a penalty," Clough told iFollow Stags after the 0-0 draw.
"It was absolutely stonewall. I looked straight away at their dug-out, they were waiting for it to be given.
"Their players were, and then the referee compounded it by booking Tyrese for diving.
"It was a staggering decision, it really was.
"He got clear beyond the back four and got clipped from behind. Even the lad said to Ty he got away with one.
"I can't believe what he saw or what he gave. It's a result-changing mistake by the official."
While frustrated at the decision not to award a spot kick, Clough praised his side for holding Exeter to a goalless stalemate - bouncing back from Good Friday's defeat to Leyton Orient.
"I thought we were brilliant from start to finish, we created situations and chances all through the game. Not many clear cut, but enough situations.
"And we restricted them to, I think Stoney's (Aidan Stone) had the one save. They're the top scorers in the league and Aidan Stone hardly touched the ball second half.
"On the back of Friday, when we made mistakes, it was important we didn't make mistakes today, and the changes we made have reflected that.
"We needed a good, solid away performance and that was it today.
"We have a phrase: 'no mistakes, no chances'. Don't take chances as that leads to mistakes, and we didn’t do that."
Nigel Clough still searching for perfect Mansfield Town starting XI - but clean sheet pleases Stags boss ahead of Newport County clash
chad.co.uk, By Duncan Browne, Monday 5th April 2021
Nigel Clough isn't convinced he'll find the perfect Mansfield Town starting XI this season - but he believes his side will be in a stronger position to face Newport County after shutting out play-off chasing Exeter City.
The Stags and Grecians couldn't be separated as they played out a goalless draw, but Clough was taking the positives with him ahead of Friday's arrival of the seventh-placed Exiles.
Following Good Friday's defeat to Leyton Orient at One Call Stadium, Clough made four changes for the Easter Monday contest as he continues to look for the perfect blend from one to 11.
"I don't think we're going to find that between now and the end of the season, we hope to be somewhere closer to it come August," said Clough.
"We didn't want back-to-back defeats. Although we haven't scored in the last couple we certainly created chances in those two games.
"Now we've got Newport on Friday. It's important not to keep getting defeat after defeat, so we've stopped that with a clean sheet and now we're looking forward to Newport on Friday."
The four changes saw Stephen McLaughlin, Ryan Sweeney, Ollie Clarke and Tyrese Sinclair replace Mal Benning, Kellan Gordon, Jason Law and Jamie Reid.Sinclair made his first start for the club and got the thumbs up from the manager, while others were dropped due to their performances against Orient.
"I'm very pleased. He's just had little cameos, the occasional 10-15 minutes here and there," Clough said of the young striker.
"I thought he was very good. I didn't realise it was his first league starts, so good another player coming through into the first team.
"Reidy needed a rest and also, as a consequence for his error on Friday.
"It was good to see Ollie Clarke back starting again and somewhere, not quite back to how he was, but somewhere near.
"Kellan made two errors and he made two of late. Players have to understand there's a consequence for mistakes they make."
Happy to get MOTM on my first league start
we kick on now!
Contest 'lacked quality'! Exeter City boss Matt Taylor gives verdict on Mansfield Town stalemate
chad.co.uk, By Duncan Browne, Monday 5th April 2021
Exeter City manager Matt Taylor believes his side's goalless draw with Mansfield Town was a game which 'lacked quality'.
The two sides couldn't be separated, with the Grecians boss suggesting the conditions and pitch played their part in the stalemate.
"I can't fault the effort in the game, from both teams," Taylor said.
"It probably lacked quality. It was a difficult day to create clear cut opportunities. We had slight moments but they weren't enough.
"It wasn't to be in terms of winning. When we wanted the ball to fall to us in the box it never quite happened."
Taylor felt it was the same story for both sides.
He added: "They found it difficult. They had extra bodies in midfield in terms of the way they played, but it was a game where both teams just did what they did and never really had those moments of quality.
"When it comes down to it, a set piece, mistake or reffing decision (can settle a game), but it didn't happen today."
City left back Lewis Page added: "It was a scrappy game. We was in it all the way through, we had a few half chances.
"It was scrappy in the final third and hard to get the ball down on the pitch really, and we ended up playing it long.
"Mansfield did the same and it was one of them scrappy games."
Effort there but quality lacking - Matt Taylor's verdict after Exeter City's goalless draw
“It was a difficult day to create clear cut opportunities and we had slight moments but they weren’t enough."
By Daniel Clark, 5 APR 2021
Exeter City boss Matt Taylor felt he couldn’t fault the effort of his players but that the quality wasn’t there as their play-off hopes were hit by a goalless draw with Mansfield Town.
In a game of few real chances, a Jack Sparkes header well kept out in first half stoppage time was as close as City game against a Stags side who are winless in seven, while the visitors felt they should have had a penalty instead of the yellow card for diving awarded when Tyrese Sinclair felt he was brought down by Pierce Sweeney in the box.
With Newport County beating Bolton Wanderers, the Grecians are now three points outside the play-offs with just eight games to go, and with a trip to league leaders Cambridge United on Saturday, City’s run of one win in six has come at the wrong time.
“I can’t fault the effort of the game but it lacked quality,” Taylor said. “It was a difficult day to create clear cut opportunities and we had slight moments but they weren’t enough.
"We had a different dynamic second half when Randell Williams came off the bench as we could stretch the game a bit more, which is something we have missed in recent weeks, but it wasn’t to be in terms of the ball in the box falling to us.
“He came on at half-time for a reason,” Taylor said, adding: “I think he is pretty much there in terms of starting. We could see how raw he was at times and how he didn’t move with play often enough, but we need him.
“Without him and Joel Randall, we are a different team in the way we hurt the opposition. We didn’t get it where we wanted it and it was never clean for the chances, and even when we broke past them, it was never clean.
“It was a difficult environment and pitch to play on and a game where both teams did what they did and never had moments of quality, and it didn’t happen for either team. It was difficult to create and score, and not just for us but the opposition as well."
Both teams only had one shot on target on Monday which neither ever looking like breaking the deadlock, and while Taylor said that he was pleased with the clean sheet, he knows they need more going forward.
“We had moments, but we were not consistent enough,” he said. “I was pleased with the clean sheet but we know we need more. We tried to get it wide earlier but it never ended up in the six yard box where we wanted it to. It was no risk football from Mansfield today and defensively they were strong and we just couldn’t quite break them down today.
“It was the right intent from the group and I cannot fault that but we are just a little short of what we need at the moment and it might happen in the next eight games but we need something to kick-start us and that may be that will be Randell Williams coming back.”
“We are a tired bunch, MJ had a tight hamstring, Josh Key was physically gone, and it is becoming too much for this group of players which doesn’t have the depth to deal with the injuries to key players. We are just a little short of what we need at the moment and it might happen in the next eight games but we need something to kick-start and maybe that will be Randell Williams coming back.”
Up next for City is a trip to league leaders Cambridge, but Taylor doesn’t feel yet it is a ‘must-win’ for City.
He added: “We are not quite that stage yet with eight games left. Teams will win and lose around us, and until the last few games, it is not a must win. We are always looking to pick up points and we know what the games are like at the moment but haven’t been as effective as we were earlier in those games.
"It should be a good game as they will attack us and go at us, so there will be space on the pitch, but we have to utilise that and capitalise on that as we need to score more goals and win more games."