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10th July 2021 14:01

Players are in good shape - manager
mansfieldtown.net, Monday 5th July 2021

Boss Nigel Clough says the Stags reported for the first day of pre-season training in ‘good condition,’ whilst also discussing how he plans to utilise the remaining weeks before the 2021/22 campaign.

The Mansfield players took part in a bleep test before lunch, followed by a light passing drill in the afternoon on their first day back since the close of the 2020/21 season.

The manager says he wants to use pre-season to ‘look at the team’ as much as he can.

“[The players have returned] in good condition and relatively good shape,” he told iFollow Stags. “They’ve been working over the summer.

“It’s nice to see them all back looking relatively healthy - they’ll look a lot better in five weeks.

“We’ve had testing this morning and then a light day today, tomorrow will be similar. Then we’ll get into the hard work later in the week.


“We just want to get an idea of where they are fitness-wise, but nothing more than that today. It’s very important that people don’t go mad in the first few days.

“We don’t wany any injuries, and if they do feel something, we want them to tell us.

“[We want to get] fitness, patterns of play and things like that [out of pre-season]. We’ll be looking at different partnerships in different positions and the balance of the team.

“You have to use this period to look at the team as much as you can while there are no points at stake.

Nigel Clough provided an update on two absentees from today’s session, on-loan Manchester United goalkeeper Nathan Bishop and striker Danny Johnson.

“He [Nathan Bishop] is still training there [Manchester United], as they have goalkeepers still away because of the Euros.

“He was just needed as cover [at Man Utd], he’ll be joining us as soon as Manchester United can let him out, which will hopefully be a couple of weeks before the season so he can get a few games in before we start.

“Danny [Johnson] got messaged about self-isolating. He’s fine, but he has to self-isolate. He’ll be in on Thursday morning.”

The boss also spoke of Stags’ summer transfer dealings, adding: “We’re very pleased with the business that we’ve done so far. In an ideal world - and it depends on who goes out - another one or two would be ideal.

“We’re talking to one player at the moment and will see how that goes this week. We’re in a nice position, as we’ve done the majority of our business.

“If we have the nucleus here and the vast majority [of players we wanted] in already, they all start together in pre-season, and that’s great news.”

The boss also looked ahead to pre-season fixtures ahead of the 2021/22 campaign.

“We always like to play against different styles and different levels of opposition [in pre-season].

“Retford will be a warm-up, then we’re off to Matlock, and then we’ll step it up from there.

“When you look at Coventry coming to our place and then at Hull as well, along with Forest under-23s, those are the three games that we’ll be looking to put things together.”

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


Mansfield Town squad returns to training
chad.co.uk, By Stephen Thirkill, Monday 5th July 2021

Boss Nigel Clough admits he is happy with the nucleus of his Mansfield Town squad.

The gaffer was speaking after Stags reported back for training on Monday to begin their pre-season campaign.

“We are very pleased with the business we have done so far,” he said. “In an ideal world, depending on who goes out, we want another one of two in.

“We are talking to one at the moment and we will see how it goes.


“We’re in a nice position in that we have done the majority of our business early.

“If we have got the nucleus in already and are starting the first day of pre-season together then it is great news.”

Stags begin their pre-season campaign on July 13th at Retford United, before facing Matlock, Grimsby, Hull, Coventry City, Basford and Nottingham Forest U23’s.

Clough was a content man after witnessing his players return to training in good shape.

“The players are in good condition and in relatively good shape,” said Clough. “They have been working over the summer and it's nice to see them back and looking relatively healthy.

“They will look a lot better in five weeks' time. The first day is about testing and is very light and we will get into the hard work later in the week.

“We just want an idea of fitness levels right now. We don't want to go mad in the first few days and players get injured.”

Mansfield will kick their new EFL campaign off at home to Bristol Rovers on 7th August.

And Clough knows there is plenty of work ahead before the big kick-off with pre-season giving him the ideal chance to fine-tune.

He added: “You have to use the next five weeks to look at all sorts of things. We are looking at fitness, patterns of play, different combinations, the balance of the team and formations.

“We like to face different styles and different levels of opposition. Retford will be a nice easy warm up and then we will step it up after the Matlock game.

“Coventry, Hull and Forest U23s will be the three games where we are looking to put it all together. It is important we look at as many different things as possible.”


Players involved in the first day of pre-season training, with squad number on kit:

2 Kellan Gordon
3 Stephen McLaughlin
4 Elliott Hewitt
6 Farrend Rawson
7 Harry Charsley
8 Ollie Clarke
9 Jordan Bowery
10 George Maris
12 Oli Hawkins
13 George Shelvey
14 James Perch
15 Ryan Burke
16 Stephen Quinn
17 Tyrese Sinclair
18 Keaton Ward
19 Jamie Reid
20 Jaden Charles
21 James Clarke
22 Jimmy Knowles
26 Jason Law
32 George Lapslie
- Marek Stech
- Rollin Menayese
- Corey O'Keefe
- Josh Scott
- Nathan Caine

- = no number on kit today

Not at training:
1 Nathan Bishop (training at Man Utd as per agreement)
11 Danny Johnson (self-isolating until Thursday morning)
Aaron O'Driscoll (out on loan)
George Cooper
Ethan Hill