CLOUGH AND MATT TAYLOR REACTION
Boss discusses Walsall defeat
mansfieldtown.net, Saturday 11th September 2021
Boss Nigel Clough has delivered his post-match assessment of this afternoon’s disappointing 3-1 defeat away at Walsall.
A George Miller brace and Ash Taylor header were enough to sentence Mansfield to a frustrating loss, with Danny Johnson on the scoresheet for the visitors.
The manager says it was an ‘inept performance’ from his players.
“All over the pitch, I thought it was an inept performance from start to finish. But certainly defensively,” the boss told iFollow Stags.
“When you concede two goals straight down the middle of the pitch, it’s very difficult.
“We started the game okay and we were well in it. Then it’s one 60- or 70-yard clearance and you’re 1-0 down.
“We’ve conceded far too many goals and you saw a negative reaction from us, certainly after that [conceding] and when the second one went in.
“When you start the game and it’s even, then it’s one clearance [that Walsall score from]. Today it’s two clearances down the middle and a set play again.
“It’s an individual thing [defending from set pieces] as well as a team thing. We’ve conceded from another one again today.
Nigel Clough introduced Farrend Rawson and Danny Johnson at the break, and explained his reasons for doing so.
“Elliott Hewitt was having a pretty bad time of it and got a yellow card late in the half.
“Rhys Oates made some poor decisions in and around their penalty area today. He got in some great situations [but made bad decisions].
“I wish we could go back to the time of making four or five changes. Oli Hawkins and Nathan Bishop were the only ones I wouldn’t have brought off today.”
The manager says one of the few positives from today’s game was the support of over 1,000 travelling Mansfield supporters.
“I wish we were as good as them [fans],” he added. “We just made a point to the players in there afterwards, when they keep singing and keep going and we can’t put a performance on for them, it makes you feel even worse.”
The manager was also pleased to see Johnson back on the scoresheet for the Stags: “It [goal] was about the only positive to come out of the game. Oli Hawkins’ performance [was also a positive].
“It’s just one of those that drops in the box and that’s what he [Johnson] is there for. Things haven’t quite been falling for him in the penalty area.
“If anything, that should give him a bit of confidence.”
Log in to mansfieldtown.net/ifollow later today to watch the manager’s interview in full.
Mansfield Town manager Nigel Clough rages at 'inept' performance as his side slip to defeat at Walsall
Stags boss Nigel Clough could not hide his anger at full-time after watching his side crash to a fifth straight defeat.
Danny Johnson’s late consolation was the only bright spot for Mansfield as a brace from George Miller and one from Ash Taylor earned Walsall a 3-1 League Two win at their Banks’s Stadium.
Afterwards, Clough said: “I thought it was an inept performance from start to finish, certainly defensively.
“When you concede two goals straight down the middle of the pitch, two-on-one, it’s very difficult. We know we’ve got centre-half problems but we didn’t think they were that bad.
“We started the game okay and we were well in it and it was just one 60-70 yard clearance and you end up 1-0 down. That gives the home side a massive lift.
“We’ve conceded far too many goals and you saw a negative reaction from us certainly after that and also when the second goal went in.
“Harrogate last week scored three goals from set-plays against us - today it’s just two clearances down the middle and a set-play again.
“There’s no secret we’ve missed out on three centre-halves during the transfer window.”
Clough made two substitions at half-time - hauling off Elliott Hewitt and Rhys Oates for Farrend Rawson and Johnson - but admitted he could have made more.
“I wish we could go back to making four or five substitutions like we could last season, because we would have made four at half-time,” he said.
“Oli Hawkins and Nathan Bishop were the only ones I wouldn’t have brought off today.
Matt Taylor hails Walsall star George Miller
expressandstar.com, By Joe Edwards, Sept 11, 2021
Walsall chief Matt Taylor has hailed George Miller's work ethic and desire after his fantastic home debut against Mansfield Town.
Miller was the star of the show as the Saddlers beat the Stags 3-1 at the Banks's Stadium, scoring either side of Ash Taylor's header.
The deadline day loan signing from Barnsley converted two one-on-ones in style, and boss Taylor said: "I'm pleased for George as what strikers need is confidence, and what strikers need is goals.
"He's got his goals because he's worked his socks off for 90 minutes.
"That's why we worked so tirelessly to bring him to the football club.
"He gives us a different dimension up front. He's strong and willing, and you see he can finish.
"His half-volley which hit the bar was outrageous - I couldn't quite believe it.
"George could have had more than two goals. He'll get better as well.
"If that's anything to go by, I'm excited to see him in a Walsall shirt again.
"George matches what we're looking for in terms of personality and character.
"The best thing I like is he's very aware of his situation - this has to work for him.
"It's a great position for us to be in with a player who's that hungry, and I think there's far more to come from him.
"He's enjoying his football and that's fantastic."
A dream day for Miller also saw Walsall make it back-to-back home victories and three unbeaten in League Two.
Nigel Clough's woeful Mansfield scored through Danny Johnson late on, but the Saddlers were comfortable winners.
"The players were exceptional in their work rate and attitude," said Taylor.
"For large spells of the game, we were in control.
"The players are really confident and I'm hoping that confidence will continue to grow.
"We're extremely confident in the group we've got, and you're starting to see some snippets where the players are showing that.
"Maybe we shouldn't have conceded the goal, but at that time they had four forwards on the pitch.
"So, I enjoyed us out of possession. We were dogged and worked hard.
"George's tenacity sets the team off and to a man, every single player did their job.
"That's what I asked of them before the game, and they went out and did it."
Taylor added: "Mansfield did not have a second to breathe or relax. We continually harried them.
"We were superior in our work rate, which is fantastic to say as I think Mansfield are a good team with some very good footballers.
"We need to enjoy this feeling and understand how hard we have to work for this feeling.
"You have to earn the right and I'm extremely happy."