CLOUGH ON HAWKINS INJURY / MARIS ON HIS INJURY
Manager delivers latest team news
mansfieldtown.net, Tuesday 12th October 2021
Boss Nigel Clough has provided an extensive injury update ahead of Saturday’s trip to Northampton Town in Sky Bet League Two.
Stags added to their ever-growing casualty list against Oldham at the weekend, with midfielder George Maris suffering concussion early on, and striker Oli Hawkins being replaced at half-time due to problems with his groin and back.
Nigel Clough offered the latest on Stags’ absentees ahead of Saturday’s match at Sixfields, as well as confirming that defender Farrend Rawson will return from suspension for the game.
“It’s a long [injury] list,” he told iFollow Stags. “It was made worse by losing the two players on Saturday [George Maris and Oli Hawkins]. George has come round okay but is still feeling a bit groggy.
“There are certain protocols that you have to follow with concussion, so Tom [Whittamore], the physio, will be doing that this week. But I would think he’s a doubt for Saturday.
“Oli Hawkins is not too bad. He’s been struggling with his back, so any sort of problem is coming from that. He’ll be another doubt for Saturday.
“Ryan Stirk is back at Birmingham having treatment, so we’re waiting for an update on him. I would think he would be a few more weeks [before returning], Richard Nartey the same. He [Nartey] is with us, but not close [to a return] at the moment.
“Kellan Gordon is not too far off, probably about 10 days or something like that. Hopefully Will Forrester will be in full training, then be available in the next week or two to actually start.
“[We’ll have] Faz Rawson back from suspension [against Northampton] which is good. Then we’ll get Quinny [Stephen Quinn] and Tyrese [Sinclair] back [for Port Vale on Tuesday].
“He [Rawson] only got the one-game suspension, which is good news. It gives us a much-needed centre-half.”
The boss, despite the players he is currently missing, has been pleased by Stags’ defensive contributions in recent games, with Mansfield conceding just two goals in their last four league outings.
Nigel Clough says that the amber and blue will fight even ‘harder’ in ‘adverse circumstances.’
“I think the main positive in the last four games is that we’ve stopped shipping goals,” he added. “When we’ve conceded as many as we have, against Walsall, Harrogate and Bradford, it makes it very difficult to win.
“We’ve only conceded two in the last four league games now, and one of those was a disputed penalty. I think we’re getting to be a bit tighter. We just need to start doing more at the other end of the pitch.
“It’s been very difficult to maintain the standards of the first five games with so many players out. I think we’ve had a season’s worth of problems in a month or two.
“It’s hard enough trying to win games when you have everybody available. But when we’re at the stage we are, when we’re low on confidence - especially in front of goal - you see the anxiety and snatching at chances.
“But we keep fighting. What we’ve tried to do over the years is, the more adverse the circumstances, the harder we fight. You get more satisfaction when you get a result in the circumstances than normally, because you know how hard you’ve had to work for it.”
The manager also looked ahead to Saturday’s game away at Northampton Town.
“[Northampton are] a strong, physical side. I think they’re adapting very well to life back in League Two.
“Of the teams that have come down [from League One], they’ve kept quite a few players, so they have a nucleus of League One players, which gives them a certain amount of quality.
“I think they’ve had some very good results so far this season.”
Log in to mansfieldtown.net/ifollow later today to watch the manager’s interview in full.
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Farrend Rawson returns for depleted Mansfield Town
chad.co.uk, By John Lomas
Nigel Clough will at least welcome defender Farrend Rawson back from suspension from his alarming list of 10 key unavailable players for Saturday's trip to Northampton Town.
He will then get suspended pair Stephen Quinn and Tyrese Sinclair back on Tuesday for the visit of Port Vale.
But in the meantime, as depleted Stags look for a first win in 12 games, Clough knows anything they can achieve in the meantime would be a bonus.
“It's still a long list, made worse by losing the two players injured on Saturday,” he said.
“In the next few weeks anything we can get will be a bonus until we get the players back on the pitch fully fit.
“In 20 odd years I have never known it like this to lose so many at one time. By the second half on Saturday we had 10 missing.
“I don't think I've ever had double figures before, even though we've always gone with similar squad sizes of 18/19 and a group of young players to dip into that we are very grateful for at the moment.
“It's not just the number, it's important players, crucial players, focused in a couple of positions - central defence and midfield.”
He continued: “I think only three of the outfield players that finished Saturday's game started against Bristol Rovers which tells its story.
“We played very well indeed in the first five games, then you lose large parts of that team, performances dip, results dip, confidence drains, and everything else that goes with it.
“It's been very difficult to maintain the standard of those first five games with the players out. It's been one thing after another.
“I think we've had a season's worth of problems and injuries in a month. It's not an excuse - it's a fact.
“It's testing. It's hard enough trying to win games when you've got everybody available and playing well.
“But we keep fighting. What we've always tried to do over the years is the more things are thrown at you and the more adverse the circumstances, the harder we fight. You get more satisfaction when you get a result in those circumstances than you normally would.”
On his walking wounded, he said: “George Maris is still feeling a bit groggy and there are certain protocols we have to rightly follow with concussion. I would think he is a doubt for Saturday.
“He got a nasty whack. Their player actually pushed him into it a little bit as well which we thought the referee would have spotted and given a free kick - but he didn't. I think it made the impact worse.
“Oli Hawkins is not too bad. He has been struggling with his back and we think this problem stems from that.
“But I think he would also be a doubt for Saturday. We will miss him in both positions. We want him back up front as soon as possible.
“Ryan Stirk is back at Birmingham having treatment and we'd expect him to be a few more weeks, Richard Nartey is with us but not close at the moment.
“Kellan Gordon is not too far off, probably about 10 days to two weeks. “Hopefully Will Forrester will train and be ready in the next week or two to start. In the meantime he will be on the bench.
“He has been out since pre-season. He's done a few sessions at Stoke but, with him being with us for the next six months or so, we have got to take it steady with him and ease him into it.
“Will had a good light session with us on Friday but needs a really good week or two's training as he's been a long time out without football. We'd like him to get a game under his belt as soon as possible.
“Faz Rawson is back from suspension on Saturday which is good news and gives us a much needed centre half.
“Then on Tuesday we will also have Stephen Quinn and Tyrese Sinclair back as well.”
He added: “The main positive in the last three or four games is that we've stopped shipping goals. When you've conceded as many as we have it makes it very difficult to win.
“But we have only conceded two in the last four league games - and one of those was a disputed penalty. So I think we are getting to be a bit tighter. “Now we need to start doing more at the other end of the pitch to get us a goal.
“We are very low on confidence in front of goal You saw the other day, we are snatching at chances and crosses are not being put in the right place. “Even set plays are poor and that's down to anxiety.”
On opponents Northampton Clough said: “It will be another tough one and they are strong at home as well.
“They are one of the sides that will be looking to get back up this season.
“Northampton are a strong, physical side - not in the wrong way.
“I think they are adapting very well to life back in League Two.
“They are well drilled and well organised.
“Like the other teams that have come down they have kept quite a few players so they have a nucleus of League One players, which gives them a certain amount of quality.
“They have had some very good results so far this season.”
With players now starting to return Clough said it was unlikely he would continue to search for reinforcements from the free agents market.
“That's probably out the window now with the players we've got coming back from suspension,” he said.
“You are never quite sure with the injured players as they can have setbacks. But we definitely have one back on Saturday and two more on Tuesday so that should ease things.”
chad.co.uk, By John Lomas, Tuesday 12th October 2021
Leyton Orient and Mansfield Town were fined £1,000 each by the Football Association for their players' improper conduct during their League Two game last month.
A mass confrontation followed a red card for Stags midfielder Tyrese Sinclair after he kicked out at Orient forward Theo Archibald in the 85th minute of the goalless draw on 25th September.
Mansfield manager Nigel Clough admitted they could have few complaints though he was annoyed that the instigator of the trouble escaped unpunished.
Team-mate Rhys Oates was also booked for his part in the melee that followed, along with Orient players Alex Mitchell and Shadrach Ogie.
Stags boss Clough said of the fine: “I wasn't surprised.
“What did surprise me was the lad that made the tackle that actually caused it all didn't get booked.
“That was what set everything off. Then Tyrese has reacted very childishly in his retaliation. But for the person who made the foul not to get booked was incredible.
“Yet Rhys Oates was booked for having his shirt grabbed by an opposition player. He never did anything.
“So I think they've got that wrong, but they always do this in those situations so you have to get on with it.
“It's so difficult in those situations. You say to players don't get involved but then they see one or two of their team mates get surrounded and the natural thing is to go and help them.
“Before you know it you have got 16/18 bodies there.
“But the vast majority of them are just trying to sort it out. I don't think they distinguish enough between that and people who actually go in and cause trouble.”
Midfielder provides positive update on injury
mansfieldtown.net, Tuesday 12th October 2021
‘It was a bit of a whack, but I feel alright,’ said midfielder George Maris in Tuesday morning’s news conference, after he suffered concussion during the first-half of Saturday’s goalless draw with Oldham Athletic.
Maris was on the receiving end of an accidental collision with teammate James Clarke in the early stages of the contest, an injury which led to 14 minutes of stoppage time at the end of the opening period.
Despite initial fears that the incident may have been serious, the former Cambridge United man has thankfully confirmed that he now only feels ‘a bit groggy.’
“I’m alright. It was a bit of a whack, but I feel alright. I’m a bit groggy,” he told iFollow Stags.
“We know they [Oldham] like to play out, so we were man-for-man. I saw their centre-half go to play the ball, I read it, but I think Clarkey [James Clarke] has read it as well.
“He’s come the other way, and it was a bit of a car crash from then on. I kind of knew it was going to happen, but it’s one of those things that you can’t really avoid.
“We were both going for the ball, so it was just one of those things. I remember hitting Clarkey, but from then, the next thing was seeing Tom [Whittamore, head physio] on.
“After that, I felt alright. It was just the initial impact. Then Tom had to do what he had to do and make sure I was okay with my neck. My neck is a bit stiff, but I’m alright.
“I’ve rested for a few days, now I need to do some tests with Tom, then we’ll go from there.
“We’ll see how that goes. If it settles down, then maybe there’ll be a chance [I’ll play on Saturday], but I need to speak to Tom and see what he says.”
When being taken off via a stretcher on Saturday, the 25-year-old received waves of applause from both sets of fans.
“Yeah, I did [hear the applause],” Maris added. “It was nice. Obviously I was down for a long time, so people were probably worried that it was worse than it actually was.
“It was nice to hear from both sides that I got applause. I just want to make sure that they know I’m okay, because it was obviously worrying to see.”
The midfielder then reflected on the season as a whole so far for Mansfield Town.
“We started the season very well, winning the first two and probably should’ve won the first three,” he said.
“I do think we’ve been unlucky. We’ve played better in games this season than we did when we won the first two.
“We just need that win. Hopefully we can kick on from there again and start our season really.
“We’re all trying to come together and win a game [despite current injury problems within the squad]. We’ve had a lot of injuries, but we still have good players.
“Like I said, we just need that one win to get us going again.”
Under manager Nigel Clough, Maris has been deployed in a slightly deeper role than he has been used to in his career, sitting at the base of a midfield diamond.
Stags’ No.10 says he enjoys ‘getting on the ball and trying to make things happen.’
“I’m the deepest midfielder in the team now, and I’ve not really done that throughout my career. I’m enjoying it as I get a lot more of the ball.
“I think that’s one of the main reasons I’m there. When I’m higher up [the pitch], sometimes you can struggle to get on it [ball].
“In this deeper role, I enjoy getting on the ball and trying to make things happen. It’s a new role, and to be fair, I do like it.
“Obviously I don’t score like I used to, but I’m completely fine with that.”
iFollow Stags subscribers can log in to mansfieldtown.net/ifollow later today to watch George’s interview in full.
Mansfield Town midfielder George Maris is now on the mend
chad.co.uk, By John Lomas, Tuesday 12th October 2021
Mansfield Town midfielder George Maris appears to be making a good recovery from the horrific clash of heads with team mate James Clarke during Saturday's 0-0 draw with Oldham Athletic.
It took a worrying 13 minutes to treat Maris and stretcher him off and he said on Tuesday: “It was bit of a whack and I feel a bit groggy still. But I'm all right.
“We know they like to play out so it was man for man and I saw their centre half go to clear the ball. I've read it but Clarkey has read it as well and he's come in the other way to me.
“It was a car crash from then on. I kind of knew it was going to happen but it was one of those things where you can't avoid both going for the ball.£
Stags physio Tom Whittamore and his team were quickly on to tend to him and Maris said: “I remember hitting Clarkey and then from then the next thing was seeing Tom on after the five seconds or so I was out. I don't remember the ref blowing the whistle - that was the main thing.
“I actually thought I headed the ball but I have watched it back and it's Clarkey that headed it.
“After that I felt all right and Tom asked me a few questions. I knew where I was, knew the score, who we were playing. I was fine with all that. It was just that initial impact.
“I think it hit the side of my next but my neck jolted with it.
“They brought oxygen on straight away but I am not sure I needed that.
“Then Tom had to do what he had to do to make sure I was all right with my neck. You couldn't move me because of my neck so that's what took so long.”
He added: “It's a bit stiff but I'm all right. Hopefully my head will settle down in the next few days and we'll go from there.
“I don't want that to ever happen again. I said I never wanted to get stretchered off as well!
“It was nice to hear the applause from the stands. I was down for along time so they were probably worried about me thinking it was worse than it actually was.
“I have rested for two days and now need to do some tests with Tom on stuff like remembering things.
“I hope I am not out for long but we will have to go through what we have to go through and see.”
On the campaign overall so far, Maris said: “It's been a weird season. We started well and won the first two and should have won the first three.
“It seems that goal in the last minute at Colchester hit us for six really. It's been bumpy since then, but we're the same group of players that won those first two and I think we can beat anyone in the league.
“But I do think we've been unlucky in some games. We have played better in some than in the first two that we won. We just need that win and hopefully we can kick on from there and really start our season.
“It's easy to say but some decisions have gone against us - and we have had a lot of injuries, particularly defenders.
“I have never seen this many missing from a squad in my career and it's difficult to deal with. But it is a chance for someone else to stand up and a lot have taken that.
“These things can happen. We are all trying to stay together and win a game. We have had injuries but we still have good enough players to get results. We just need that one win to get us going again.”Maris has been pushed back into a new role at the base of a midfield diamond and said: “I am now the deepest midfielder in the team and I have not really done that throughout my career.
“But I am enjoying it as I get a lot more of the ball.
“I like to get on the ball and try to make things happen.”