CLOUGH PREVIEWS SWINDON
Protect your goal with ‘desire,’ says boss
mansfieldtown.net, Tuesday 24th August 2021
Manager Nigel Clough has challenged his players to find a ‘balance’ between ‘being entertaining’ and ‘doing the other side of the game’ in this weekend’s match at Swindon Town.
The Stags will travel to the Energy Check County Ground on Saturday for their second away fixture of the Sky Bet League Two campaign.
Following a slender 3-2 home loss against Bradford City, the boss has emphasised the need for his side to ‘protect’ their goal with ‘desire.’
“I’m interested in Saturday at Swindon, [with] how we approach that and how we play. They have some very good players,” the manager told iFollow Stags.
“From the reports we’ve had [on Swindon], they’re as good a footballing side as there is in this division, along with Forest Green.
“They play a brand of football that is very difficult to deal with, as they’re good technically and have good players. First and foremost, we have to stop them playing.
“I hope there are good signs that they [Mansfield players] know the reasons why we lost [against Bradford] and want to put it right.
“I’m satisfied with the performances in lots of ways [so far this season]. I would argue that our best three performances were against Preston, Colchester, and in some ways on Saturday [against Bradford].
“I didn’t think we played that well against Bristol Rovers and Newport, but what we did well was stop them from creating chances and everything they did get, they had to work extremely hard for.
“We protected it [our goal] much better and with a desire that you need in any level of football.
“The supporters want to be entertained and see us have a go, so we’re going to try and do that. We want to win in a certain way and try to entertain.
“It’s about striking that balance. We want to play good stuff, we want to be easy on the eye, we want to be entertaining, but you can’t forget about the other side of the game. We need to get that balance.”
Looking back on Stags’ last fixture, Saturday’s defeat to Bradford, the boss says he still feels ‘anger’ due to the ‘manner’ in which Mansfield conceded three goals.
“[I feel] exactly the same as Saturday after the game,” he added. “[My] anger has probably subsided around one or two percent, but that’s all at this moment in time.
“I’m unbelievably disappointed that we lost the game. The positives were two cracking goals that we scored again and the way we approached the game.
“We’re not going to change our approach to games, we’re just going to do it better. To concede three goals in the manner which we did, that’s what causes the anger, disappointment and frustration. It’s mainly anger because we know we’re better than that.”
There was also an update from Nigel Clough ahead of next Tuesday’s transfer deadline.
“It [incomings] might depend on outs more than anything. We have a settled first team squad at the moment.
“It [number of incomings] will depend if we get any enquiries about any of our lads. We’ll just have to see what develops.
“The defender that we’re after, hopefully that will go ahead irrespective of whether anyone else goes out.
“We’re still discussing things [with the defender] and have a little bit of work to do on it, but we still have a week to go. Hopefully we can reach an agreement in that time.
“If we bring that defender in that brings us up to those 18 outfield players, which is our ideal number.
“So if then any of the lads go out on loan for a few months, we’ll have to replace them if they do.”
Midfielder George Maris was substituted in the second-half of Saturday’s clash with Bradford City due to a knee injury, and will be assessed in the days leading up to this weekend’s match.
“It [selection for Swindon] might be [based on] injury worries more than anything.
“George Maris took a fair old whack [against Bradford] on his knee, so we’ll see how he is this week.
“So, it [team selection] could be dictated by that as much as anything.”
"There has to be an emphasis on stopping them (Swindon) playing."
iFollow Stags subscribers can watch the manager’s interview in full by logging into mansfieldtown.net/ifollow later today.
Tickets for this weekend’s clash away at Swindon Town can be purchased by heading to stagstickets.co.uk.
Mansfield Town boss Nigel Clough warns out-of-favour players - no sulking
chad.co.uk, By John Lomas, Tuesday 24th August 2021
Nigel Clough expects to complete a deal to bring in a defender in this final week before the transfer window closes as Stags head to Swindon Town on Saturday.
And the Mansfield Town boss has warned that other changes could happen if he has 'sulky subs' that don't want to stay part of the squad.
“The defender that we're after - hopefully that will go ahead irrespective of anybody going out,” he said.
“We are still discussing things and have a bit of work to do on it. We have a week left and we're confident we can reach an agreement in that time.
“That would give us that 18 outfield players which is our ideal number.
“Otherwise it may depend on outs as much as anything.
“We have a settled first team squad of 17 senior outfield pros - Harry Charsley is very unfortunate at the moment as he can't get in the matchday squad.
“It then may be dictated by lads saying 'I am not involved and I fancy getting out on loan for a few months'. We would have to replace them if they did.
“I have had a few saying they would like to be playing already, but we're only four games in. There is plenty of time for that to change.
“They just have to impress when they get on the pitch and even when they don't get on, everything they do as a sub is being looked at.
“The phrase 'sulky subs' comes to mind and I don't like sulky subs.”
He added: “If you don't want to be part of what is hopefully will be a promotion-chasing squad, don't be a part of it. That's fine. There are no guarantees that anyone is going to be in the starting XI.
“We know it's difficult. But if you are one of the seven or eight not in the side right now you have just got to be ready.
“And in training everyday you have to put yourself in our minds in case anyone is ill or injured, we will say who has done well in training or coming on as a sub.”
Jaden Charles has followed Jimmy Knowles in going out on loan, Charles joining York City at the weekend.
“A couple of the young lads have gone out on loan which is good,” said Clough.
“York are a great club and Jaden is behind Stephen McLauglin and Ryan Burke in the pecking order. I am very pleased with those two, so it's a great chance for Jaden to go and play some football.”
Mansfield Town boss Nigel Clough urges Stags to go for the jugular at rivals Swindon Town
chad.co.uk, By John Lomas
Mansfield Town manager Nigel Clough is encouraging his team to entertain and go for the jugular at likely promotion rivals Swindon Town on Saturday.
But he knows his players will have to make sure they do the 'dirty side' of the game first.
Stags were pipped 3-2 at home in a thriller to Bradford City last week and Clough said: “We don't want to sit back on 2-1 leads and invite the opposition on.
“We're looking for that third goal. We will keep going forward.
“Swindon are as good a footballing side as there is in the division.
“Along with Forest Green they play a brand of football that's very difficult to deal with in that they are good technically and have good players - probably a League One squad.
“Now they have been taken over and their problems ironed out they are the form team of the league.
“First and foremost we have to stop them playing, then play our own stuff from that point on.
“We want to be easy on the eye but you can't forget about the other side of the game. I thought that's what we did when we went 2-1 up on Saturday.
“We need to get the balance right. We will always create chances.”
Clough was furious at the manner in which he team conceded goals last weekend which allowed Bradford to take all three points.
“My anger has probably subsided by one or two per cent - but that's all at this moment in time,” he said.
“I am bitterly disappointed we lost the game but there were quite a few plusses.
“We won't be changing our approach but we will try to do it better.
“To concede three goals in the manner we did is what causes the anger and disappointment. We know we are better than that. It's down to individuals just doing their jobs better.
“I hope there are good signs in training that they realise the reasons we lost, but they can't put it right until Saturday - if they get the chance to.”
He continued: “I am satisfied with the performances so far in lots of ways - it's ironic our best three performances were Preston, Colchester and in some ways on Saturday (games Stags failed to win).
“We didn't play that well against Bristol Rovers and Newport but we did the things that enable you to win games.
“The four home games we've had been cracking games for the neutral - unfortunately I am not a neutral.
“But we want to entertain. Fans want to be entertained and see you have a go - we want to do that. We want to win but we want to win in a certain way and entertain.”
On squad selection for Swindon, he said: “George Maris took a fair old whack on his knee, so we will see how he is this week.”
Clough's biggest plus last weekend was a brace of goals from towering striker Oli Hawkins.
“He happens to be a tall lad but with the quality of his three goals in three starts, he is proving invaluable,” said Clough.
“We want him to get into more goalscoring positions as the quality of the crosses we are getting in, especially down the left hand side, are excellent.”
Stags have ‘very good’ squad - forward
Forward Rhys Oates says he is ‘very happy’ to be part of a Mansfield team that looks to play in a ‘positive’ manner on a matchday.
The versatile attacker joined the Stags in the summer after leading Hartlepool United to promotion last term.
The 26-year-old has been impressed by the talent in Stags’ squad since joining the club.
“[I’m] very happy [to be a part of this team]. As a team, we always look to get forward from full-backs, midfield, defenders, all the way up to the forwards,” he told iFollow Stags.
“It’s all about being positive going forward and keeping the ball well in a positive manner, not just playing it around the back.
“I just want to get off the mark now. I got an assist at the weekend for [Oli] Hawkins’ second goal, but personally I want to get off the mark.
“[It’s a] very good [squad]. We have a good, strong squad all around the pitch. We’re solid. I think we can improve in all aspects, but I think you can always improve no matter how well you’re doing. But it’s looking positive for the season.”
Reflecting on the season so far, both on a personal and team basis, Oates discussed the start to the campaign, including the different positions he has operated in to date.
“Personally, I think I’ve done quite well,” he added. “There are still areas I need to improve on, but I think the more I play, the better I’ll get.
“As a team, we started well with the first couple of games in the league [wins over Bristol Rovers and Newport]. I think we played really well against Preston and were really unlucky against Colchester.
“On Saturday [against Bradford], in hindsight I think a point was maybe a fair result. We were unlucky to lose it. It was very hard [to take the loss], especially after coming back from 1-0 down to go 2-1 up.
“[This season] is the first time I’ve played just behind the striker, so I’m still working on that and where to be to get onto the ball.
“I don’t mind playing in any of the positions. The gaffer [Nigel Clough] has obviously put faith in me to start me in all five games and he has faith that I can play in numerous positions.
“When I play up front, my strengths are running in behind and causing defences problems that way. In the deeper role you still have to make those runs and cause problems for defenders, but you also need to find pockets of space.”
The former Morecambe man also looked ahead to Stags’ next fixture, away to Swindon Town in Sky Bet League Two.
“I think it will be a good game [at Swindon]. It’ll be another tough game. I think in the first five league games we’ve had quite strong teams.
“I think it’s been a tough start and it’ll be another tough game at the weekend, but I’m confident that we can go there and get the win.
“If I play my own game and play well, I can cause problems. I don’t look too much into it [opposition], but I think you should look at how they’ve done and how you can affect their style of play.”
iFollow Stags subscribers can watch Rhys’ interview in full by logging into mansfieldtown.net/ifollow.
New boy Rhys Oates is desperate to score first Mansfield Town goal
chad.co.uk, By John Lomas, Tuesday 24th August 2021
New Mansfield Town forward Rhys Oates is happy with his early-season form but desperate to notch his first goal for the Stags ahead of Saturday's game at Swindon Town.
Oates, who signed for Stags from Hartlepool United, has played two games as a striker and three just behind the forwards at the tip of a diamond.
“Personally I think I have done quite well though there are areas I need to improve on,” he said.
“There have been five or 10 minutes in each game in which I have been sloppy and lost possession too easily.
“But I think the more I play the better I'll get at that and be more consistent.”
But it's a goal that has eluded him so far.
“That's the thing for me,” he said. “I have said to family after games when I get home I think I have played all right, though I could do better with certain aspects.
“But, personally, I just want to get off the mark now with a goal. I got an assist for the second goal at the weekend, but I want a goal.
“It's the first time I have played just behind the striker so I am still working on that positions where to be. I don't mind playing either position. The gaffer has started me all five games so he has put faith in me.”
Oates is impressed with the quality of the squad he has joined.
“We have got a strong squad all round the pitch,” he said.
“We can improve in all aspects - you always can no matter how well you're doing. But it's looking positive for the season.
“As a team I think we have started well. We were unlucky to lose on Saturday and I think a point would have been a fair result. We just have to be clinical in front of goal and try to stop conceding as many.
“As a team we always look to get forward, it's all about being positive and keeping the ball well.”
Stags sit fourth and head for a Swindon side who are in third, also with seven points.
“The first five league games have been against sides expected to be up and around the play-off area come the end of the season,” he said.
“It's been a tough start but I am confident we can go there and get a win.
“We should have more points, but seven points and fourth is a good start and we can go on from there.”
Rhys Oates told iFollow Stags:
"Personally, I think I've done quite well, but there are areas I need to improve on. The more I play, the better I'll get."
"As a team, we started well. I think we were really unlucky against Colchester. On Saturday, I think a point was maybe a fair result."
"We sat back a bit on Saturday when we should've stayed on the front foot and kept attacking."
"It's the first time I've played just behind the strikers so I'm still working on that. But I don't mind playing in any position as the gaffer [Nigel Clough] has faith that I can play in different positions."
"In the deeper role, you still have to cause problems for their defenders, but also find pockets of space."
"As a team, we always look to get forward and be positive going forward. We want to keep the ball, but play it in a positive manner."
"I just want to get off the mark now and score a goal."
"We have a good, strong squad and it's looking positive. We can improve, but you can always improve."
"The league is always very physical. It's quicker than it was last year in the Conference."
"In the first five games we've played quite strong teams. It's been a tough start and it'll be another tough game at the weekend [against Swindon]."
"I think we should probably be on more points. Seven points is a good start, and we can go from here."
Latest | August 2021