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13th November 2021 0:00

Boss praises youngsters in nine goal thriller
mansfieldtown.net, Tuesday 9th November 2021

Manager Nigel Clough praised some of his side’s youthful performers as the Stags notched six goals past Newcastle under-21s in what was a dramatic contest in the Papa John’s Trophy.

A Stags’ side featuring two debutants in Will Forrester and James Gale were 6-3 winners at One Call Stadium this evening.

Speaking to iFollow Stags, Mansfield boss Nigel Clough expressed his pleasure at the attacking display and felt his team could have scored even more.


“It was very enjoyable, whether there’s anything in it or not it was nice to put a good performance in and score some goals," said Clough.

“We could have had double figures tonight.

"If we're being picky, the three goals we conceded weren't good enough.

“The attitude of players not involved in the starting 11 on Saturday and the performance of James Gale was very encouraging.”

Teenager Gale - formerly of Long Eaton United - caught the eye in midfield.

“He’s [Gale] improving each week and each training session.

“He doesn’t look out of place in the first team.

“He made a goal, possibly the most important goal after he made a tackle in the left-wing position so I’m very pleased with him.”

Gale’s assist in the first-half was expertly finished by striker Danny Johnson, ten years Gale’s senior, who finished the evening with an excellent hat-trick.

“I think getting his [Johnson’s] goal against Tranmere a couple of weeks ago was good for him," said the boss.

“We thought [before the game] we’d give him an hour so he stays sharp, [we thought we’d] let him get himself a goal and he’s got three!

“One of the things that pleased me tonight was that after he got his second goal, he got played half clear but played a magnificent reverse pass through to Tyrese Sinclair.

“That shows the quality he has and the unselfishness.”

Youngsters Ryan Stirk and Will Forrester also provided a lasting impression on the manager with positive displays.

“It was great to get Ryan Stirk out on the pitch [after his recent injury].

“Will Forrester as well, it was the first time we’ve seen him [in a Stags’ shirt].

"I think Jason Law out of position at left back acquitted himself very well.

“I think that all three [youngsters, including Gale] did very well tonight.”

Watch the manager's interview in full now on iFollow Stags.


Boss sets his sights on 'decisive' period
mansfieldtown.net, Tuesday 9th November 2021

Mansfield Town manager Nigel Clough believes that the next five games will ‘define’ the Stags’ season.

Speaking to iFollow Stags following his side's 6-3 victory at home to Newcastle United in the Papa John's Trophy on Tuesday, the boss said: “I just feel that they are five very important games.

“There are 12 league points and a place in the FA Cup third round at stake.

“It’s that time of the season before we go into the busy Christmas period [and] we can put ourselves up towards halfway in the league if we have a good run in the next few games.”

When asked if he had an accumulated points target in mind in this batch of fixtures, the manager said: “No ... I don't mean no points! No points total [in mind for the next five games]. We’re going to Stevenage on Saturday and we will be trying our best to win the game. We will go from there.


“I think similarly to us, they [Stevenage] are better than their league position suggests. They’ve got some good players.”

Last Saturday’s excellent 1-0 victory away at Sunderland in the Emirates FA Cup first round was Mansfield’s first away win of the season and the gaffer hopes the win will be a catalyist for an improved run of results on the road in the coming weeks.

“When we talk about those five games [in November], four out of five of those games are on the road.

“[There are] Three long trips [in that period] as well. That is why it is going to be so decisive.”

The Stags could be without several key players for the weekend’s game at the Lamex Stadium. Full-backs Kellan Gordon (injection in knee) and Elliott Hewitt (foot) are both doubts for Saturday.

Forward Rhys Oates is also a possible absentee for the Stevenage fixture due to a sore groin as well as midfielder George Lapslie who has a sore thigh.

To watch the manager's interview in full head over to iFollow Stags.


Nigel Clough preparing Mansfield Town for 'season-defining' spell
CHAD.CO.UK, By Stephen Thirkill, Tuesday 9th November 2021

Nigel Clough believes the next four or five games will define the direction of Mansfield Town’s season.

Stags travel to Stevenage on Saturday with matches against Scunthrope, Sutton United, Crawley and Carlisle United to follow in the League.

Mansfield will also have the chance to win a spot in the FA Cup third round if they can get past Doncaster.

“The next four or five games will define our season,” said Clough. “Those games will go a long way to deciding which way we are going in.


“They are five very important games, we have 12 league points and a place in the fa cup third round at stake.

“It's that time of season before the busy Christmas period with points at stake and we can get halfway up the league with a good run.”

Stags have now won three in a row following a barren spell of 12 games without victory.

But Clough knows there is still work to do before Stags can say they have turned things around.

“Hopefully we have some momentum now with three wins in a row,” he added. “I said to the players that when you do things properly, when you work hard and you pass it, then football is much more enjoyable.

“The last five performances could easily have led to five wins. We were at our rock bottom after Northampton.

“We have three wins in a row. We are not getting ahead of ourselves - but hopefully we are coming out of that bad patch.”

“We will try and beat Stevenage and then go from there. We are not setting any targets

“They are better than their league positions suggest and are a good home side.

“We now have to improve our away record.”

Stags will travel to Stevenage in great form after the 6-3 victory over Newcastle U21’s in the Papa Johns Trophy on Tuesday night.

The match was 2-2 at the break before Mansfield turned on the style in the second half, with Danny Johnson bagging a hat-trick in the win.

There were also goals for John-Joe O’Toole, Tyrese Sinclair and Nathan Caine.

“It was very enjoyable and nice to put in a good performance and score goals,” said Clough.

“We should have scored more goals, we had enough chances to score double figures.

“I was pleased with the attitude of the players who weren't in the starting side last Saturday.

“James Gale was a standout and it was great to have Will Forrester and Ryan Stirk back on the pitch.

“Gale is improving each week with each training session and doesn't look out of place with the first team.

“He's got an eye for goal and has a good nuisance value, he's a big unit. I’m very pleased with him.

“It was good for Danny Johnson to get an hour and to tick over and stay sharp. He got three and they were all good finishes. You can't ignore it when strikers get a hat-trick.”


Striker hopes hat-trick will kick-start season
mansfieldtown.net, Tuesday 9th November 2021

Mansfield Town striker Danny Johnson says his hat-trick against Newcastle under-21s in midweek can give him the confidence to kick-start his season and goalscoring form.

The summer signing netted three times in the Stags’ ruthless 6-3 victory in the Papa John’s Trophy group stage match at One Call Stadium on Tuesday night.

The 28-year-old hopes to carry his goalscoring spree into an important month for Mansfield, where they will play several teams around them in the Sky Bet League Two table.

That batch of fixtures starts with a 118-mile journey south to face 21st placed Stevenage at the Lamex Stadium this Saturday.


On which of his three goals were his favourite in mid-week, Johnson said: “The penalty.

“[Especially] after the last penalty that I took [against Tranmere]. I’ve got no idea what happened with that one! I [stepped] up to take the penalty tonight [so] the third one meant a lot more.”

The striker admitted confidence has a big influence on his in-game performances.

“When I’m confident I’m scoring goals,” said Johnson.

“Last year when I was scoring week-in week-out, I knew going into games that I was going to turn up and score goals. This year I’ve still got that belief but it’s been hard to keep going.

“The last few games I’ve started I’ve scored in, so hopefully I can keep that going. It was only a matter of time [if I] keep patient those chances will come.”

The former Leyton Orient marksman said that his 2021/22 goalscoring record hasn’t yet lived up to the standards he sets for himself.

“When I said that I was coming here to score goals, I’ve been a bit disappointed with the start of my season,” Johnson said. “For whatever reason it hasn’t quite clicked.

“Sometimes these things happen in football.

“I’ve been very disappointed with my goal return up until now. I put pressure on myself to get goals and I feel I should score every shot I have to be honest. That’s the type of person I am.

“When I go home and I haven’t scored I kick myself.

“There’s been a few times I’ve been hoping that my season’s been about to kick-start and it’s not, so hopefully tonight is the kick-start to my season.

“I want to go into the next game and score again, and the next one and the next one. [I] want to continue that momentum through the season and hopefully we start picking up results.”

Johnson will hope to do just that as the Stags face Stevenage, Scunthorpe United, Sutton United and Crawley Town all in a season-defining month of November.

On Mansfield’s upcoming run, Johnson said: “You look at the fixtures this month and we’ve got four teams in and around us.

“If we really want to do anything with our season we need to get results and kick on from there.

“We don’t want to be down there come Christmas.

“We need to stick together, get a few results and dig in.”

You can watch the striker's full interview on iFollow Stags here.


Mansfield Town striker Danny Johnson hoping hat-trick against Newcastle United U21s can finally kick-start his season
CHAD.CO.UK, By John Lomas, Tuesday 9th November 2021

Mansfield Town striker Danny Johnson is hoping his Papa John's Trophy hat-trick last night will open the floodgates for him to get on the goals trail.

And he underlined how important a month November will be for the Stags' season.

Johnson netted three times in last night's entertaining 6-3 home win over Newcastle United U21s and is now hoping for a start at Stevenage in League Two action on Saturday.

“When you go out on the pitch you want to prove a point and stake a claim to be starting so I hope that will be on Saturday,” he said.


“If I start I will give my all, and if I come on I will give my all.

“We were delighted to get a win. I know tonight there wasn't really anything on it, but every time you go out there you play to get into the team and I was delighted to get my goals.”

Johnson, top scorer at Leyton Orient last season, has been desperate to get his season going following his summer move.

“I said I was going to come here and score goals, so I have been a bit disappointed with the start of my season,” he said.

“For whatever reason it hasn't quite clicked. There have been a few times that I have thought my season is going to kick-start, but it hasn't, so hopefully tonight was the start of my season.

“Sometimes these things happen in football and I have been very disappointed with my goals return up to now. I put pressure on myself to get those goals and, after tonight, hopefully I can look back and kick on.

“I feel as though I should score every shot to be honest. That's the type of person I am. When I go home and I haven't scored I kick myself. So I am delighted with tonight.”

He added: “It's all about confidence. When I am confident I am scoring goals.

“Last season when I was scoring week in week out I knew I was going to turn up and score goals.

“This year I still have that belief but it's been a bit harder to keep going.

“But the last few games I've started I have scored in, so I hope now I can keep that going.

“I have been scoring in training so it was only a matter of time

“I knew I had to keep patient and the goals would come. I now want to go into the next game and score and the next one and the next one.”The win was Mansfield's third in a row after the miserable run of 14 games without a win, and he said: “You look at the fixtures this month and I think we've got four teams in and around us.

“So if we want to do anything with our season we really need to get results over the next few weeks. We don't want to be down there come Christmas.

“We need to stick together, get a few results and dig in.

“But it's been tough trying to get a squad together. You might get one back but then lose another one.

“But we're starting to get players back and we have a good nucleus of the squad to kick on now.”

Johnson was impressed with both Stags' youngsters, who played alongside him, and those of the visiting Newcastle team last night.

He said: “This is what the competition is for, for those young lads to come up against professionals. And I thought they did well. They got three goals - some good ones as well - and it was a good contest.

“We had to match them. Young lads are going to come, run round and put up a fight.

“But we have good young lads here too.

“Obviously they've not had the game time at the start of the season as we've not done well.

“But you saw tonight and against Sheffield Wednesday they have held their own and proved a point.”


'Sloppy' second-half Newcastle United's downfall in heavy defeat says Elliott Dickman
The Magpies U21's coach has given his verdict on tonight's defeat against Mansfield Town

chroniclelive.co.uk, By Matty Hewitt, 9 NOV 2021

Elliott Dickman was largely pleased with his sides first-half performance against Mansfield Town but has criticised a "sloppy" second-half display.

The Magpies went into the break with the scores level at 2-2 after a cool finish from Dylan Stephenson and a brilliant solo effort from Joe White.

However, a second-half collapse saw the Stags run out 6-3 winners in the final group stage game in the Papa John's Trophy.

Dickman said: "I thought first half we were good we've been working a lot on on distances as units - back four, midfield and staying connected and I thought first half we did that quite well.


"We scored two good goals and I'm really pleased with that aspect but we gave a goal away right on half-time, the timing wasn't great but there were plenty of positives first-half and we should've gone in 2-1 up.

"When you make silly mistakes it costs you."

Despite the heavy defeat, Dickman believes the competition gives the young Magpies a great opportunity to develop.

He added: "There's no other game platform for our team the U23's or 21's to play against a team like this. It's a great opportunity to play against senior sides and it's a great opportunity to come to grounds like this.

"It's a great opportunity to develop within that but we've got to make sure we do things right. As much as we're pleased with a lot of the first-half, in the second-half we were back to being a little casual and sloppy.

"We've given four really poor goals away and we've got to stop that. We've got to work really, really hard together.

"Regardless of whether we're playing Mansfield or an Under-23's side. The basics of defending, that we're tight and compact and hard to play against is really important."

Joe White was one of the standout players for Newcastle U21's at Field Mill and was at the heart of the majority of Newcastle's offensive play.

His brilliant goal was one of the standout moments of the game and the young playmaker went close to doubling his tally for the afternoon with a strike just after half-time that rattled the crossbar.

"I thought he was good," said Dickman. "I thought his free-kick was excellent, he was unlucky with that. He showed little glimpses of some really good quality but we probably need to try and get him in the game a lot more.

"There's bits of his role out of possession that he's got to get a bit better at but in general he showed a lot that was good. His goal was really good so I'm pleased for him in that aspect.

"But, like all young players they've got a lot of learning to do and development."



Buzzing after making my professional debut last night! Good team effort from the lads to get the win and delighted to get 90 and an assist #godsplan #ballersingod


Nathan Caine @nathancaine3
Eventful 20 mins but made up to score my first pro goal and get the W

Will Forrester @forrester_will6
A solid win the other night and it felt amazing to finally play for @mansfieldtownfc after a tough couple of months out with injury

Tyrese Sinclair @ty_sinclair27
Crazy game another win! happy to finally be back on the scoresheet

Richard Cooper @coops0927
Excellent performances from all our players tonight. Some superb goals. Ended the game with 5 Academy graduates on the pitch. Absolutely delighted for everyone