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13th October 2021 0:13

Boss analyses Oldham draw
mansfieldtown.net, Saturday 9th October 2021

Manager Nigel Clough has provided his post-match assessment of today’s 0-0 draw against Oldham Athletic.

Stags added to their ever-growing list of absentees in the game, with George Maris and Oli Hawkins both being substituted due to injury.

Despite creating chances in the second-half, Mansfield were forced to settle for a draw. The boss says that the result is ‘a point in adverse circumstances.’

“I thought the last 15 minutes of the first-half, we were very poor and they got on top. [Nathan] Bishop made a couple of great saves,” he told iFollow Stags.


“Half-time came at a good time for us to get in and reorganise. We really had to give a rallying call for the second-half.

“I thought in the second-half we reorganised, went to 4-4-2, and I thought we were very good. Bish hasn’t had a save in the second-half, and I thought we created more than enough chances to get a goal.

“We’re snatching at them [chances], which is a product of not scoring too many goals and not winning games.

“That’s our second clean sheet this season, and it’s a good one. It’s certainly a better feeling than last week, losing 1-0. It’s a point in adverse circumstances.”

When asked how the Stags can produce results despite their current injury woes, the manager replied: “Just do what we did in the second-half today. Try to play a bit, fight, scrap, and try to get anything we can on the board.

“It’s difficult when you have a whole outfield missing - and we’re talking about influential players in our team - we just have to fight.

“The crowd are with us and were fantastic again today. I think if we had finished one of those chances second-half, the roof would’ve come off.

“I’ve never known double figures be out in terms of outfield players. I don’t think we’ve ever had that many [as coaching staff].

“Three out of the last four [league games] are draws. We’re still trying to build that platform and rebuild our confidence, which will come when we can nick a 1-0 somewhere.”

The boss also provided updates on George Maris and Oli Hawkins, who were both forced off with injury.

The match saw 14 added minutes at the end of the first-half, due to the treatment required by Maris after a ‘whack in the side of his head and neck area,’ but the boss says the midfielder is ‘up, talking and okay.’

“He’s [Maris] sitting up in the treatment room. He got a very nasty whack in the side of his head and neck area, which is why all of the precautions [took place].

“The time [it takes] doesn’t matter in those situations, you don’t take any risk with the player. But he’s up, talking and okay. I don’t think he was actually knocked out but he did get a big whack on the side of the head.

“We don’t know [how long he’s out for]. We’ll just see how it settles in the next few days.

“[Hawkins has] a groin injury. He felt his groin in the first-half, so it [substitution] was certainly down to injury as well. I think that makes it double figures [for injuries and suspensions].

“It [groin] hasn’t actually gone, it was just very sore. There is a slight strain in there, so even in these circumstances, we can’t afford to lose him for four or five games.”

On Ollie Clarke being subbed, Clough explained: "Ollie's being playing with a broken nose, so his breathing's not brilliant, he got a yellow card in the first half, and one thing that Ollie can't afford early is a yellow card because then he can't play his normal game, which is upsetting the opposition and getting his foot in.

"We had an extra sub as well, George Maris was a concussion sub, so we still had one more left at the end if necessary."

"We're in a position where we've had penalties given against us this season. George Lapslie goes into the box, we think it's a penalty and he ends up being booked."

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


George Maris sitting up and talking after head blow says Mansfield Town boss Nigel Clough
chad.co.uk, By John Lomas, Saturday 9th October 2021

Mansfield Town midfielder George Maris would appear to be recovering from the huge blow to the head he took during today's 0-0 home draw with Oldham Athletic.

Maris was on the floor for 13 minutes after a clash of heads with team mate James Clarke and boss Nigel Clough said: “George is sitting up in the treatment room and talking - he seems okay at the moment. But he take a hell of a whack in his head and neck area.

“I don't think anybody minded the delay in the circumstances. It takes as long as it needs to take to make sure the player is okay.


“We will see how he is in the next couple of days. The crowd and opposition were patient. The referee said we could have maybe come off for the 14 minutes but there was no need.”

Clough now has 10 outfield players either inured and suspended, also losing makeshift centre half Oli Hawkins at half-time.

“It was a groin strain, Oli felt it in the first half and felt he couldn't continue so it was a big blow,” he said.

“There is nothing we can do, the injuries are so varied and innocuous at times. Any points we can get in this period are a bonus.

“Until we get some players back and a team on the pitch it will be a battle.

“Pre-season you plan the team and squad and there is no way you can legislate for losing so many, especially in one position.

“With Oli out, if you class him as a centre half, that's six centre halves out.”

He continued: “I was very pleased with how we reacted at half time and played in the second half.

“Nathan Bishop has had very little to do. If we relax a bit in front of goal and hit the target instead of snatching at chances we might have nicked it.

“At half-time, the way Oldham finished the first half, if you'd have offered us 0-0 we would have taken it. But we were not negative second half and we created chances and had a good shout for a penalty which resulted in our player being booked.

“We have to fight against all the odds and adversity. To come out with a 0-0 today is not the extent of our ambition but in the circumstances today we are very proud to come out of it not losing.


Nigel Clough told BBC Radio Nottingham:
"You saw Piergianni head the majority of balls out of his box today which is why we tried to sign him a couple of months ago."


Defender evaluates Oldham point
mansfieldtown.net, Saturday 9th October 2021

Stags’ defender James Clarke had to overcome a psychological battle to see out a hard fought 0-0 draw with Oldham following George Maris’ injury.

Maris and Clarke inadvertently clashed when challenging for the ball in the 11th minute seeing the Mansfield midfielder forced off on a stretcher.

Clarke admitted that he had to refocus following the 14-minute stoppage in play to contribute to Mansfield’s second clean sheet of the season.

“It was tough for me but I just tried to get my ‘head over it’ and play the game as normal,” the 21-year-old recalled.


"The ball [went] out to their left centre-half and he's tried to clip the ball inside. I thought I could read it but as I’m coming I've heard the late shout of George and unfortunately he's hit his head on my shoulder or my arm.

"I spoke to him downstairs and I did apologise but obviously he said it ‘wasn't my fault’.

“It was just one of those things that happen in football. It was probably a lack of communication on both parts.

"I've practiced this with myself. [Working on] getting over mistakes so I just tried to put it to the back of my mind and get on with it as usual."

The former Burnley defender was encouraged by Mansfield’s defensive ruggedness and felt the team could have earned more from the game.

"[It was] an absolute battle,” said Clarke.

“I think that's probably the best clean sheet that we'll get all season to be honest.

"Defensively I thought we battled really well.

“They had a lot of areal threat but Elliott [Hewitt] Macca [Stephen McLaughlin] and Oli Hawkins won absolutely every header.

“Going forward, we were creating the chances but our luck will turn in front of goal. It’s just not quite falling for us at the minute.

“We were unlucky not to get a penalty at the end. I thought that was very harsh to be given as a dive but it’s just one of those things."

The young defender admitted Mansfield’s injury problems are a challenge but the players can benefit from it.

"It's tough.

“I don't think I've ever experienced anything like it before.

“We're a tight-knit group and even the injured lads are still in around the squad having banter with the lads.

“The lads that are getting the chance to play now through injury to other players [have now] got a chance to step up into the team. People like Ryan Burke, myself and Keaton [Ward] came into the team today as well. It's a real opportunity for us to push on and stick in the team."

iFollow Stags subscribers can watch James' interview in full by logging into mansfieldtown.net/ifollow.


Mansfield Town youngster James Clarke enjoys ‘learning curve battle’ with Oldham Athletic powerhouse
chad.co.uk, By John Lomas, Saturday 9th October 2021

Young Mansfield Town defender James Clarke enjoyed his learning curve battle with the powerful Dylan Bahamboula in today's home 0-0 draw with Oldham Athletic.

Clarke was proud to be made captain for the midweek Papa John's Trophy game and even happier to be called into the first team today where he did well against a highly talented player.

“He is a great player, very strong with great feet, and it's one of those things that I am going to have to deal with in my career as I grow it,” said Clarke.

“It was a great learning curve today and I am glad I got the chance to do it. Hopefully I can use the experience today and build on it.”


Stags are without a win in 11 games and he said: “It's tough at the minute but the lads are sticking together. We are a tight knit group.

“It was a very well-earned point and clean sheet. I thought we defended immensely as a team and dealt with the pressure put on us with the long throws and aerial threats.”

He continued: “The gaffer showed great trust in me, giving me the armband on Tuesday - I was delighted with that. And I was obviously pleased to get the call up today with the injuries that are going on.

“I've just got to try to keep a steady head, keep doing what I am doing and not get too ahead of myself. Obviously we've got Kellan injured and back soon, so I will have to battle with him.”

On working under Clough he said: “He works us very hard as a team and training is intense. We all know our jobs.

“It's a real joy for me so early in my career to be able to experience it and I am really enjoying it.”


REACTION: Keith Curle on Oldham's goalless draw at Mansfield
theoldhamtimes.co.uk, By Suzanne Geldard

KEITH Curle believes Oldham Athletic are laying a platform to build on, with today's goalless draw at Mansfield Town their third clean sheet in four games.

Latics were denied the win that would have seen them leapfrog the Stags and get out of the bottom two by the woodwork, when Harrison McGahey saw a close-range effort bounce off the crossbar just before half-time.

There were chances for both teams, with Latics goalkeeper Jayson Leutwiler called on to make some good second half saves.

But Curle said leaving Field Mill disappointed not to have picked up more than a point was a good sign for his team in their quest to climb up the table.

"A third clean sheet out of four shows that we're trying to build a foundation whereby we are difficult to beat," said the Latics head coach.


"Clean sheets were at a premium last season, that's got to be part of our foundation that we go into games looking not to concede and being difficult to beat knowing that we've got creative players on the pitch."

Zak Dearnley returned to the starting line-up as one of three changes following last Saturday's defeat at home to Harrogate Town and was unlucky not to have his efforts rewarded with a goal.

"I think the pleasing thing from Dearns is a little bit of composure, moving the ball, quick feet, getting his strike off, you're thinking 'excellent, that's the Dearnley that we need to be seeing on a regular basis'," Curle continued.

"It's taken us a little bit of time building up his fitness and building up his confidence, building up the ability to be robust whereby he's disappointed coming off after 85 minutes and it shows the extra work that he's been doing that we've been doing with him is paying dividends."

The game was delayed by over 12 minutes in the first half following an injury Mansfield midfielder George Maris, who left the field on a stretcher following a collision with his own team-mate, James Clarke, in the middle of the park.

"I think it wass a collision between two of their players. Davis (Keillor-Dunn) has tried to get in front of their lad, as he's rolled him the other lad has propelled himself into him. Our physio went on with their physio and he's quite confident that it's a head injury and neck injury that isn't too dangerous," Curle explained.

Mansfield had been building momentum but the lengthy stoppage played into Latics' hands.

"With the quality Mansfield have got you know they are going to put you under pressure and the first 15-20 minutes was no surprise to us adjusting to working and becoming familiar and not panicking because of their system where they play a lot of balls in midfield and not get dismantled," Curle added.

"We were able to settle and get good information on.

"I thought we dominated and had the better chances at the end of the first half. Second half I thought was quite even."


Ex-Mansfield Town boss Keith Curle happy with Oldham Athletic’s third clean sheet in four games
chad.co.uk, By John Lomas, Saturday 9th October 2021

Oldham Athletic's former Stags boss Keith Curle was delighted to leave his old club with a point after today's 0-0 draw with Mansfield Town.

“It's a third clean sheet in four so it's a starting point and shows me are trying to build a foundation whereby we are difficult to beat. That's not bad as clean sheets were at a premium last season,” he said.

“We are creating opportunities too so that and not conceding is not a bad starting point.

“We needed to make sure we had a game plan and it took us 15-20 minutes for the players to feel comfortable within in and I thought we finished the half very well.


“We knew they'd be up for it first 10 minutes of the second half so we didn't enter into a game of football, just put balls into good areas.

“We looked an attacking threat after that and had balls bouncing in their box which are a tap-in if we are on the move. We have to be more pre-emptive.”

He added: “With the quality Mansfield have got, even with the number of players they have missing, they are going to put you under pressure. So the first 15-20 minutes was no surprise to us.

“Once we settled I thought we dominated and had the best chances in the first half with the second half much more even.”


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(On James Clarke)
Works tirelessly day in day out! What a guy and what a performance