CLOUGH, KEATON WARD, DARREN MOORE REACTION
Young players impress boss
mansfieldtown.net, Tuesday 5th October 2021
Manager Nigel Clough was ‘encouraged’ by the performance from a ‘predominantly young side’ in this evening’s Papa John’s Trophy clash at home to Sheffield Wednesday.
Stephen Quinn’s excellent finish cancelled out Lewis Wing’s opener in the second-half, before the visitors scored a last minute winner via Florian Kamberi.
The boss, despite being ‘disappointed’ to lose the game, was pleased with the performance from a mixed Mansfield lineup.
“It was certainly an encouraging performance by a predominantly young side,” he told iFollow Stags. “It was a very good game, but we’re bitterly disappointed to lose in stoppage time. I didn’t think we deserved to.
“I think they [young players] did well. But we’re not making the most of our chances - we had three great situations to go and get a goal [in the first-half] and didn’t get one.
“I thought the way we started the second-half, [we were] on the front foot and penned them in. We wanted a little more enthusiasm and to be a little sharper [in the second-half].
“I thought we scored a very, very good team goal. We got the ball on the edge of the box and there were a couple of little touches in the penalty area. It was a nice lay-off from Tyrese [Sinclair] and Quinny smashed it into the top corner.
“Then when you’re withing 60 or 70 seconds of getting a 1-1 and going to penalties, you have to do more then to win the ball on the edge of the box or stop the cross.
“We only had a minute to go and we still had one or two situations ourselves after that. But it was that sort of game. We had enough chances to win it comfortably tonight.”
Nigel Clough also picked out his standout performers from the Group H fixture.
“I was pleased with Danny Johnson tonight. I was pleased with his work-rate and his hold-up play was good. I was very encouraged by his performance tonight,” he explained.
“Faz Rawson played well but he obviously can’t play on Saturday. The two young full-backs [James Clarke and Ryan Burke] battled away.
“He [Keaton Ward] played well and I think there’s still a lot more to come from him. We don’t want him just to be that defensive midfielder.”
Under-18s defender George Cooper made his first start for the Stags this evening, but was withdrawn at half-time due to injury following an impressive opening 45 minutes.
“He [Cooper] is now the fifth centre-back not available for Saturday [due to injury]. He felt his groin early on and he was too sore to continue.
“It’s a shame because he was looking good and looking comfortable. He’ll probably be [out] for a few weeks. We’re counting weeks rather than days at the moment for the injured players.”
iFollow Stags subscribers can watch the manager’s interview in full by logging into mansfieldtown.net/ifollow later tonight.
Nigel Clough encouraged by fine Mansfield Town display in defeat to League One Sheffield Wednesday
chad.co.uk, By John Lomas, Tuesday 5th October 2021
Mansfield Town's fringe players and youngsters impressed boss Nigel Clough in tonight's last gasp 2-1 home Papa John's Trophy defeat by Sheffield Wednesday.
The League One outfit stole it at the death at the end of an exciting game.
It left Stags without a win in any competition for 10 games, but Clough said: “It was an encouraging performance by a predominantly young side and people who have not been getting too much of a game.
“It was a very good game and I am bitterly disappointed we lost it in stoppage time as I don't think we deserved to.
“I think the young side did well. It was based upon giving lads a game and getting experience in this sort of competition.
“The lads that didn't feature tonight have generally got knocks.
“We had good chances to score in the first half and that's another element of our performances - not making the most of our chances and situations.”
He continued: “We started the second half with the wind behind us and penned them in and it was one of the very rare forays into our box they scored from.
“I think we had about five shots in the first five or 10 minutes of the second half, all of which we could have scored from. We had enough chances to have won comfortably tonight.”
On the three goals, he added: “I was disappointed with their first goal with George Shelvey. If he's coming for it, he has to get something on the ball.
“But I thought we scored a very good team goal in terms of the build-up.
“When you are 60-70 seconds away from a 1-1 and going to penalties you have to do more to win the ball on the edge of the box and stop the cross to take it to a bare minimum of penalties. It was a lack of concentration and desire to get to the ball.
“You know if you concede at that point you've lost.”Stags' centre half crisis worsened as 18-year-old George Cooper came off at half-time with a pulled groin after an impressive full debut to become the fifth central defender to be lost to injury and is expected to be out for a few weeks.
Boss delivers Oldham team news
Manager Nigel Clough has provided updates on a number of players ahead of this weekend’s home match against Oldham Athletic in Sky Bet League Two.
Mansfield find themselves with a depleted squad for Saturday’s fixture due to several injuries and suspensions.
Kellan Gordon, James Perch, Ryan Stirk, George Cooper and Richard Nartey will miss out through injury, with Stephen Quinn, Farrend Rawson and Tyrese Sinclair all suspended for the game.
Stags may be boosted by on-loan Stoke City Will Forrester making the matchday squad, with Ollie Clarke also being cleared to feature despite having a broken nose.
“Him [Richard Nartey] and Ryan Stirk [are] unfortunately going to be a few weeks [before returning]. The only one we hope to have some good news on is Will Forrester,” the boss told iFollow Stags.
“We hope he will join up with us at the end of this week, and if he does, he’ll be on the bench on Saturday.
“He won’t be in a position to start as he’s been out for 10 or 12 weeks. He’ll be building back up and will have done some contact work this week at Stoke.
“I’m not sure [when he’ll be able to start]. We’ll see what we’ve got in terms of games, we might arrange a friendly as we have a clear week next week.
“[Ollie Clarke is] absolutely fine. He’ll probably wear some sort of protective covering [due to a broken nose], but he’ll be absolutely fine for Saturday. He played with it last Saturday against Barrow.”
Nigel Clough also reflected on Stags’ disappointing start to the season after the league campaign reached the 10-game mark at home to Barrow on Saturday.
“We’re well below where we wanted to be points-wise, certainly,” he added. “We know there are reasons for that which have been difficult to contend with in the last few weeks.
“It’s been a range of things, certainly some of them self-inflicted. Some of them are decisions that have gone against us.
“The two [penalties] that have been given against us [at Colchester and against Barrow] have defined results, and we’re very disappointed in those.
“But we have to concentrate on ourselves and get a performance out on Saturday that doesn’t hinge upon decisions.
“It’s very difficult to say that, because on Saturday [against Barrow], we battled away, it was an even game that could’ve gone either way, but the defining decision went against us.
“We have to try and get a win somehow without depending upon that [decisions].”
Looking ahead to the Oldham fixture, the manager added: “They [games] are all vital at the moment. It doesn’t matter who we’re playing, we’re just absolutely desperate for three points.
“Going into the Barrow game on the back of the 0-0 at Orient, we were buoyed, I thought we were good enough to get a result in the game.
“If we got that goal in the first-half it would’ve been a different game. We could do with that on Saturday, we could do with the first goal.
“The crowd were fantastic last week [against Barrow] and we’ll need them again this week [against Oldham].
“Oldham play football, despite being in the position they’re in, they play a certain way and we saw that at the end of last season.”
The manager’s comments followed Tuesday evening’s Papa John’s Trophy match at home to Sheffield Wednesday. To watch his interview in full, log in to mansfieldtown.net/ifollow.
Mansfield Town hoping to see loanee Will Forrester for first time at last
chad.co.uk, By John Lomas
Mansfield Town supporters could get a first glimpse of Stoke City loan defender Will Forrester at last for Saturday's huge game with fellow strugglers Oldham Athletic.
There could also be a recall for striker Danny Johnson while several youngsters have staked a claim in the midweek Papa John's Trophy game.
Stags, without a win in 10 games have had an injury/suspension crisis with eight players unavailable and Forrester has been injured since he agreed to join Mansfield in the transfer window.
However, boss Nigel Clough said: “The only one we have some good news on is Will Forrester and we hope he will join up with us at the end of this week. If he does he will be on the bench on Saturday.
“He certainly won't be in a position to start. He's been out 10-12 weeks.
“He was building back up a few weeks ago and then had that setback. He will have done some contact work this week at Stoke, so the best he can hope for his the bench.
“But he will have to go on the bench as we have five centre backs missing. I think Oli Hawkins is our only fit centre half - and he's not even a centre half.
“We have a clear midweek next week, so we might arrange a friendly for Will to be involved in and some of the younger players who played against Sheffield Wednesday. If they get some more regular games, hopefully they won't be getting cramp like they did on Tuesday.
“Richard Nartey and Ryan Stirk are going to be a few weeks.”
Skipper Ollie Clarke is expected to play, despite needing his broken nose resetting this week.
“Ollie will be absolutely fine,” said Clough “He will probably wear some sort of protective covering.
“He played with it last Saturday against Barrow. He's not the best looking in the first place, so I don't think it will harm him too much!”
On the players who faced Sheffield Wednesday trying to stake their claims, Clough said: “I was pleased with Danny Johnson.
“I was pleased with his work-rate and his hold-up play was good. I though he won a couple of free kicks that he wasn't given. I was very encouraged by his performance more than anybody.
“Faz Rawson played well but he obviously can’t play on Saturday (suspended). The two young full-backs (James Clarke and Ryan Burke) battled away, though you could see it was a struggle at times for them against the quality of opposition.
“Keaton Ward played well and I think there’s still a lot more to come from him in an attacking way as well. We don’t want him just to be that defensive midfielder.
“It's his first game in midfield for a while, he's been playing at centre half for us, and he gives us an option in either position.
“But George Cooper is now the fifth centre-back not available for Saturday.
“He felt his groin early on and he was too sore to continue. It’s a shame because he was looking good and looking comfortable.
“He’ll probably be out for a few weeks. We’re counting weeks rather than days at the moment for the injured players.”
Oldham, managed by ex-Stags boss Keith Curle, are one of only two sides below Mansfield in the table and have only won once in seven games in all competitions.
But Stags are desperate for a win and Clough hopes some refereeing decisions will go their way soon.
“We are well below where we wanted to be points-wise certainly,” he said. “There are reasons for that which have been difficult to contend with over the last few weeks.
“It's a range of things, certainly some of them self-inflicted. Some of them are decisions that have gone against us.
“But we have to concentrate on ourselves and get a performance out on Saturday that doesn't hinge upon decisions. It's very difficult to say that.
“On Saturday we battled away in an even game and the defining decision went against us. We have to get a win somehow without depending on that.
“Despite being in the position they're in, Oldham do play football. They play in a certain way - we saw that at the end of last season and they have continued that this season.
“But they are vital games at the moment, It doesn't matter who we are playing. We are absolutely desperate for three points.
“We could do with the first goal on Saturday. The crowd were fantastic last week and we will need them again this week.”
Ward relishing Stags’ support
mansfieldtown.net, Tuesday 5th October 2021
Mansfield-born midfielder Keaton Ward was delighted to play in front of the Stags’ supporters for the first time and felt the amber and blue deserved more from tonight’s slender loss in the Papa John’s Trophy.
The 21-year-old performed admirably in front of the defensive four this evening, making only his second start of the campaign, in a 2-1 loss to Sheffield Wednesday.
And after his maiden match in front of a home Stags’ crowd, the midfielder admitted fulfilling a childhood ambition.
Speaking after the game, he told iFollow Stags: "It was brilliant playing for my hometown club in front of everyone.
"They were brilliant, singing all game long.
“A lot of my friends and family were up there [in the stands] so it was nice to go out and put in a display in front of them all.
"Since being 13, 14 years old, thinking about playing and then to be here now, it's brilliant."
The youngster discovered yesterday that he would be in tonight’s the starting XI.
"We were going through shape work and what we were going to do today [against Sheffield Wednesday] in the attacking third. It was then that I realised [he’d be in the starting XI] and from then on I was just preparing for tonight."
Florian Kamberi struck the experienced visitors to victory in the 93rd minute after a young Stags side battled well in difficult conditions.
Ward felt that defeat was a harsh outcome for Mansfield.
"I think we deserved more tonight against very strong opposition.
“Every single player put a shift in and again we just fell short.
“Our luck will turn. I know it will and as a group we believe that's going to happen.
“I think we probably created more clear-cut chances than them but just didn't put them away.
“It's one of them where you look at it and think 'when is the penny going to drop? When are we going to start doing that? [converting chances]' And hopefully it's going to start this Saturday [at home to Oldham]."
Log in to mansfieldtown.net/ifollow to watch Keaton's interview in full.
Mansfield Town youngster Keaton Ward hoping for a start in crucial clash with Oldham Athletic
chad.co.uk, By John Lomas, Tuesday 5th October 2021
Mansfield-born midfielder Keaton Ward is hoping he has done enough to be involved in depleted Stags' squad for Saturday's crucial home clash with fellow strugglers Oldham Athletic.
The 21-year-old played just in front of the back four in Tuesday's 2-1 home Papa John's Trophy defeat by Sheffield Wednesday, his ninth appearance since returning to the club he started out at after a spell at Barnsley, and his third Stags start.
“I think that was my best display so far, getting on the ball first half and getting us playing from the back was helpful,” he said.
“It was just great to be out there in front of the fans for the first time since being back.
“Ever since I came back all I want to do is get in that team every week, show everyone what I can do, and then kick on.
“I will train hard to the end of the week and hopefully put a thought in the gaffer's mind, whether that's just on the bench and maybe getting a run out for 10 or 15 minutes and make a difference then.
“Or, with what's happening at the minute with the injury crisis, maybe get out there for another 90.
“I am not sure how close I am. We can change formations to make sure we get through it on Saturday.
“I'd like to think I was close, but that's probably a conversation me and the gaffer need to have and see what I need to do more to be getting in there regularly.
“I will play anywhere. You could tell me I was playing in goal and I'd be happy. I will just go on and do the job that's been asked of me.”
Ward said he was bursting with pride after making his first full start at home.
“It was brilliant playing for my hometown club in front of everyone - I could burst.
“They were brilliant, singing all game long. A lot of my friends and family were up there so it was nice to go out and put in a display in front of them all.
“Since being 13, 14 years old, thinking about playing and then to be here now, it's brilliant.”
Ward felt the stoppage time defeat by the Owls on Tuesday was harsh on the young Stags side.
“I think we deserved more against very strong opposition,” he said. “Every single player put a shift in and again we just fell short.
“Our luck will turn. I know it will and as a group we believe that's going to happen. That's the most important thing.
“It was down to a lack of taking chances. I think we probably created more clear-cut chances than them but just didn't put them away.
“It's one of them where you look at it and think 'when is the penny going to drop? When are we going to start doing that'? Hopefully it's going to start this Saturday.”
Every word Sheffield Wednesday boss Darren Moore said on Gibson, Corbeanu, Hutchinson and Mansfield
A full transcript of the Sheffield Wednesday manager's post match interview pitch side following their 2-1 victory at the One Call Stadium last night.
What did you make of the team's performance?
Credit Mansfield for a wonderful pitch. The swirling conditions and rain made it very difficult for both teams.
I thought both teams tried to get the ball down and play at times under difficult circumstances.
We kept going and stepped on the gas in the last 15 minutes. It was good to see the boys have that urgency. They went after the game and wanted to get the ball back into play quickly. It was a sweet moment to get the late goal.
I am pleased for Flo [Kamberi] that he got his just rewards in the end because it was a difficult night for him. You want your attacking players scoring. It was a clean contact from him for the finish.
How tough was it with the conditions?
It was the swirling wind. It was very, very difficult,
We used the ball well at times and exploited the space well at times. Our final contact in the opposition box could have been better but overall I’m really pleased. It was a perfect night's work for us.
We made a lot of changes. It was important to give a lot of those players some minutes. They got minutes and I’m really pleased with the outcome.
The players stuck to their guns and I thought we got stronger and stronger in the last 15 minutes.
What did you make of Lewis Gibson's performance?
I’m really pleased for him. He was always going to get 45 minutes tonight.
He was really calm and composed. He gives us that natural balance on the left hand side.
It was effectively a training practice for him in that 45 minutes. We thought it was right for him to play tonight as opposed to having a full week's training.
How close is Lewis to potentially starting in the league?
He’s close, he’s done the volume of training and we’ve got him up to where we want him to be in training.
We certainly felt we missed him when it was touch and go for him against Oxford. We just felt the volume of the game might be too much for him. We felt tonight was the ideal game for him and he was always going to get 45 minutes and he did that.
He wanted to carry on for another 10 or 15 minutes after half-time but after we had that break I didn’t want him to go back out on a cold night. I said to him that his work was done so we took him off.
What did you think of Theo Corbeanu on the right hand side?
He was a threat. He looked dangerous.
He was a constant menace when he picked up the ball.
He is a player that we feel on his day that if opponents show him on the inside he will take it and if they show him on the outside then he can take them on as well. He is very difficult to read and stop.
He gave us a wonderful out tonight and we got the ball to him in the right areas. He popped up with the assist.
How do you feel Jaden Brown did at left-back?
For sure, Jaden can play left back or left wing. He operates efficiently in both positions. It is wonderful for us to have. I gave him 30 minutes. Jack Hunt got 60 minutes and it was always detailed for Saido [Berahino] to have 45 on the pitch.
It was the perfect night's work for the players to get the minutes on the pitch and everyone came off unscathed.
What are your thoughts on the competition?
We are pleased...we take the competition seriously. It is a competitive match.
Every time Sheffield Wednesday play, it’s a serious game irrespective of what the competition is. We want to bring that winning mentality to the football club in every single game we play.
twitter George Cooper @georgecooper25
Frustrating night but delighted to have made my full debut