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Archived News from October 2021

23rd October 2021 23:51

Performance a ‘big, big encouragement’ - boss
mansfieldtown.net, Tuesday 19th October 2021

Manager Nigel Clough was delighted by the ‘hunger and desire’ on show from his players during tonight’s clash with Port Vale.

The match finished one goal apiece following strikes by Tom Conlon and George Lapslie in either half, but Mansfield’s performance was undoubtedly worthy of more than a solitary point.

The boss says that the positive nature of the Stags’ performance was a ‘big, big encouragement.’

“Without a doubt [we deserved to win],” he told iFollow Stags. “That’s the best we’ve played for a good few weeks now. I think on Saturday, quite rightly, our desire was questioned [against Northampton].

“But you saw tonight the hunger and desire to try and get three points. We pointed out a few things from Saturday; if you have anything about you as a professional, and someone questions your commitment, that gets you riled up.

“I think you saw that tonight. They [the fans] gave us a standing ovation going off tonight and we’ve just said to the players, ‘that’s all they want to see.’

“We saw it [good play] all evening and it [Lapslie equaliser] was another great team goal. Hopefully it will make people realise that we’re not quite done yet.


“I thought our play was good enough [to win the game]. They [Vale] were hanging on and we put them on the back foot for the majority of the evening.

“It was a big, big encouragement for everybody to perform like that in the position we’re in. We’re still in there and we’re still fighting. If we get a few players back and perform like that, results will come.”

Nigel Clough says the home faithful played a part in this evening’s display, saying Stags’ supporters ‘urged us forward.’

“When we missed a penalty before half-time I think we all had a collective ‘here we go again.’

“It was important that we got the equaliser as soon as possible, and when we got that, we felt as though the roof was coming off and they urged us forward.

“I don’t think we can play much better than that without getting three points. One free-kick on the edge of the box, we missed a penalty, we should’ve had another one; I really don’t know how we can play much better without actually winning.”

Tuesday evening’s match saw the long-awaited return of midfielder Stephen Quinn from a six-game suspension.

“We talked about his [Quinn’s] influence - the players look around and see who’s with them when they go out,” added the boss, discussing the former Sheffield United man.

“He has a huge influence. I’ve seen Perchy [James Perch] in the corridor just now, who has another huge influence. I know we wouldn’t be in the position we’re in if we had those two on the pitch for the last six or seven games.”

There was also an injury update from the boss, which included defender Elliott Hewitt, who was substituted early in the second-half.

“Elliott Hewitt is unfortunately injured. He has a problem with his glute. Stephen McLaughlin just about made his way through the game.

“So we’ll see how they are for Saturday. He [Hewitt] mentioned it at half-time. He’s had an unbelievable week as his wife had a baby in the early hours of Sunday morning.

“It’s a special, special week for him and he was very, very good at right-back bombing forward tonight.

“We’re not far away from getting Kellan Gordon back, another week or so, so that will help the effort.

“George Maris we’re hoping [to have back for Saturday]. He started his protocols and we have to be absolutely spot on with it. He’s looking good after a couple of days this week. If all goes well, he’ll train Friday and we’ll see how he is.”

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


Draw can renew our confidence says Mansfield Town Nigel Clough
chad.co.uk, By John Lomas, Tuesday 19th October 2021

Mansfield Town manager Nigel Clough believes tonight's superb performance in the 1-1 home draw with high-flying Port Vale will renew his players' missing confidence.

Stags have now not win any of their last 13 games but visiting Vale knew they were lucky to escape with a point tonight as Mansfield went up the gears.

“It was a brilliant performance from the first minute to the last and it renews the belief,” said Clough.

“We know we're not a bad team and better than our position in the league but we have to prove that week in, week out.


“That was closest we've been to the early weeks of the season.

“We had Stephen Quinn back on the pitch so it's no coincidence our performance was better with him in the team.

“That's the difference just getting one player back.

“I thought some of our inter-play tonight, especially down the left hand side, was very good indeed with a lot of crosses going into the box.”

He added: “I know we got a penalty in the first half that we missed which I thought was just about one.

“But the one we didn't get in the second half was as blatant a penalty as I've seen all season. It's unfathomable why he didn't give it.”

Stags left the field to a deserved standing ovation.

“The equaliser got everyone revved up, supporters especially, and we did everything we could to find a winner,” said Clough

“The support at the end was unbelievable. It feels like we've not won for 100 games but we got a standing ovation.

“I said to the players, that's what they want to see. That performance that endeavour tonight, that spirit, that desire, that's all we ask of them.

“If we win we win, if we don't you will get a standing ovation with that sort of performance.”


Mansfield Town hoping on George Maris return for tough Exeter City trip
chad.co.uk, By John Lomas, Tuesday 19th October 2021

Mansfield Town manager Nigel Clough is hoping he could have midfielder George Maris back in time for Saturday's long haul down to in-form Exeter City.

Maris has been out with concussion, suffered in the home draw with Oldham on 9th October and joined a crippling list of 10 unavailable players.

But Clough was hugely boosted by the return of Stephen Quinn in Tuesday's excellent 1-1 home draw with Port Vale and said Maris was probably the only one off his missing list that could feature at Exeter, who currently sit in the play-off places.

“George Maris is the most likely. It will probably be a bit too early for Kellan Gordon,” he said.


“If all the protocols are followed and boxes ticked with the concussion for George Maris then he may be available for Saturday.

Striker Rhys Oates is hoping Stags can take Tuesday night's performance into Saturday, saying: “From Tuesday we can take that we can compete against any team in this league.

“Port Vale were the in-form team coming into that game and I think we played them off the park - we out-run and out-worked them. We showed we are capable of beating anyone.

“It's a long trip but I am pretty sure we'll be fine. We are a fit team since pre-season. We will get ourselves right over the next few days and go on to Saturday.”


Spirits lifted after positive display - forward
mansfieldtown.net, Tuesday 19th October 2021

Mansfield Town forward Rhys Oates says the team’s confidence has been lifted following their impressive 1-1 draw with Port Vale at One Call Stadium.

The visitors sat in third place in Sky Bet League Two coming into the game but were restricted to just to just a single shot on target to Mansfield’s six in the game.

Oates led the Stags’ determined performance and won a penalty for his side late in the first-half which was saved by Vale ‘keeper Lucas Covolan.


The 26-year-old felt the team deserved more for their efforts.

"It was a great display from the team all round,” said Oates. “We deserved a lot more than what we got. We deserved a win.

“We went one nil down and we showed [that] we've got the grit and determination to keep fighting.

"It's hard to say [what was missing] really because we [had] been on top for the whole game.

“They've had two shots which were two free-kicks [and] they've scored one of them which you can't do anything about."

The former Hartlepool man claimed a strong performance from the team had been due.

"The dressing room seems a lot happier after that display,” Oates said. “Once you put on a display like that it shows that we are capable of doing it [battling with teams].

“We can do the hard working side of it but also we've shown that we can get on the ball [down] and play.

"It's been coming. We work every day in training [and] we work as hard as we can.

“We've just got to keep going and that's a big confidence boost for us all.

“It's hard when we've not won for ten games and [our] confidence is low but tonight we've done that. We've rallied together and we've worked well as a team."

Oates played his part in Mansfield’s performance, most notably by winning a penalty in the 42nd minute.

"It was good play between me and Quinny [Stephen Quinn], a good one-two. I touched it in front of him (the defender Dan Jones), probably not touched me but the referee gave it. We've had a lot of decisions not go our way this season so to get the penalty I think it's just what we deserved really."

"I think we should have had another penalty in the second half, from the tackle on Quinny.

The summer signing believes the team can take confidence into Saturday’s trip to Exeter.

"We can compete against any team in this league,” Oates said. “Port Vale were the form team coming into this game and I think we've played them off the park. We've showed that we're capable of beating anyone."

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


We deserved more than a point - Mansfield Town’s Rhys Oates
chad.co.uk, By John Lomas, Tuesday 19th October 2021

Mansfield Town striker Rhys Oates believes Mansfield Town deserved more than the point from tonight's impressive 1-1 draw against in-form Port Vale,

“I think it was a great display from the team all round and I think we deserved more than what we get. We deserved a win,” he said.

“We went 1-0 down but showed we've got the grit and determination to keep fighting, keep playing the way we were, keep getting on the ball and creating chances and we deserved a lot more.”


He added: “I think that has been coming. We work hard in training and I think that is going to be a big confidence booster for us all.

“As a team we all know the basics is work hard, determination, put everything in and then just get on the ball and be confident.

“It's hard when you've not been winning and confidence is low to try to build yourself up. But we've done that tonight and we have rallied as a team.

“Maybe we've been trying too hard to make things happen when we've just got to play your usual game and do what we know we're good at. Then it will all come together.

“Tonight showed we are all willing to work really hard and individually we are all really good players. We should be a lot higher than we are but results have not gone away.

“A lot of the defeats have been close, tight games we've not deserved to lose.”

Stags have not won for 13 games but Oates said: “The dressing room seems a lot happier after tonight.

“The supporters were great throughout the game. They clapped us off even though we've not won. It shows all they want is the hard work, determination and for us to put everything on the line.”


Darrell Clarke's verdict as Port Vale battle out Mansfield draw
stokesentinel.co.uk, By Michael Baggaley, 19 OCT 2021

Port Vale manager Darrell Clarke said his side were a little fortunate to come away with a point in tonight’s 1-1 draw at Mansfield.

They looked on course for all three when Tom Conlon bent home a free kick on 33 minutes. But Lucas Covolan saved Oli Hawkins’ 43rd -minute penalty before home pressure paid off when George Lapslie levelled on 66 minutes.

The result means Vale drop a place to fourth while Mansfield, who have been struggling with injuries, move up to fourth bottom.

Clarke said: “Full credit to Mansfield, I thought they were outstanding on the night. We were nowhere near the standards we have probably set for the majority of the season.

“But you have nights like that where you are not quite at it and you have to make sure you get something in the bag - and we have managed to nick a point.

“They have one or two back and Mansfield are in a false position for me. They have good, talented players and a good, talented manager. We have played them on a night when their fans have got behind them. We were a little bit fortunate for the point but we’ll take it.”

Vale who are at home to Colchester on Saturday, came closest to a winner when Conlon curled a 79th -minute free kick against the bar.

Clarke added: “He has that individual brilliance, but probably it was a four or five out of ten performance from a lot of my players. But I am not going to be too critical of them or too harsh on them. They have been tremendous but tonight we just didn’t really get anything going.

“We just take it in the chin, it’s League Two football. We address it, we analyse it and then we have a home game on Saturday so we can turn it into a really positive week.

“You’re not going to keep winning and winning, sometimes you have to dig in for that ugly point.”



Ex-Mansfield Town star Darrell Clarke tips former club to challenge for top seven
chad.co.uk, By John Lomas, Tuesday 19th October 2021

Former Mansfield Town star Darrell Clarke watched his struggling old club hold his high-flying Port Vale side 1-1 tonight and immediately tipped them to challenge at the other end of the table.

Clarke admitted Vale, who had won six of their previous seven games, were lucky to escape with a draw at a club without a win in 13 outings and said: “Mansfield will finish in the top 10, top seven, mark my words.

“This is a tough place to come. They were one of the favourites for a reason. They've been on a bad run but they will finish top 10.


“They have come back and found their form tonight.

“Full credit to Mansfield - I thought they were outstanding on the night.

“We were nowhere near the standards we've set for the majority of the season, but you have nights like that when you're not quite at it and you need to get something in the bag and we managed to nick a point.”

He added: “Mansfield are in a false position for me. They have got good, talented players and a good, talented manager.

“We have played them at night, the fans have got behind them and we were a little bit fortunate for the point. But we will take it.”

Skipper Tom Conlon scored their only goal with a superb free kick and hit the bar with another.

“He has that individual brilliance and nearly got another one but, to a man, it was probably a four or five out of 10 performance by a lot of my players tonight,” said Clarke.

“But I am not going to be to harsh on them. Their form has been tremendous.

“You just take it on the chin - it's League Two football.

“We have a home game on Saturday and we can turn this into a positive week. You are not going to keep winning and winning and sometimes you've just got to dig in for that ugly point like we did today.”

Clarke also saw keeper Lucas Covolan save a penalty.

“The keeper was asked a question on Saturday and I think he's answered it today,” said Clarke.

“I don't think it was a penalty by any stretch of the imagination, I think it was a soft one. But he has produced the save.

“Maybe we could have held on for the three points but Mansfield were strong second half and it would have been a bit of an injustice.”


John Radford

Superb performance tonight, full of heart and endeavour; the type of response we all desired.
Our fans - as you have been all season - were magnificent; positive, encouraging and raucous in your support of our players.
Tonight shows that we remain united, even during an adverse run of results. This is the true measure of a club.
Let’s hope that this performance kick starts our campaign.



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