ANDY GARNER, OLLIE CLARKE, KEITH HILL REACTION
Coach highlights midfield as key to victory
mansfieldtown.net, Saturday 20th November 2021
Mansfield Town first team coach, Andy Garner, singled out the Stags’ five-man midfield as ‘fantastic’ in the 3-1 victory at home to Scunthorpe United.
The victory was Mansfield’s fifth in as many games.
Garner highlighted the Stags’ engine room as a deciding factor in ensuring the winning run continued.
“I thought we were outstanding in midfield,” he said.
“When you revert back to the 4-5-1 system, you get a lot of quality in there.
“We trust [having] a lot of them in there and it enables us to get it [the ball] down and play."
Stags’ captain and scorer of Mansfield’s first and third goal, Ollie Clarke, stood out in an excellent display.
“I thought Ollie Clarke was fantastic today, he has been for the last couple of games," said Garner.
“We’ve got a lot of energy in there [the midfield]. We’ve got a lot of skill in there and people that will get in the box.
“Ollie’s got a couple of goals today. I thought everybody was fantastic but we were very strong in midfield.”
When asked if the side should have had more goals today, he said: “Totally. I think there was opportunity there for us to get a few more goals as a team.
“But when there’s ten minutes to go and we’re 3-1 up, we’re saying we’ll take 3-1.
“We want three points, it’s really important. [So] We’ll take the three goals.
“We look confident now. We’re getting on the ball and scoring goals.”
The Mansfield midfield will take the plaudits from the match but Garner was keen to highlight striker Jordan Bowery’s contribution after scoring on his return to the team.
“Jordan’s been a little bit frustrated at times [at not playing in recent weeks]. Oatsey’s (Rhys Oates) come in [to the team] and done really well.
“After the injury to Oatsey he’s got a chance today. I’m delighted that he got a goal. I’m delighted because when he hit the post [in the first-half] I thought he should have scored.
“Getting in the box and getting a tap-in. You can’t beat them.”
The praise-worthy performances from Stags’ players in recent weeks has pleased the first team coach.
“We’re delighted with the efforts of the players," he added. "They put in a lot of hard work when we got a reality check.
“Hopefully now we’ve put that behind us.
“We’re winning football matches and long may it continue.”
To watch Andy Garner's interview in full click here.
Coach Andy Garner told BBC Radio Nottingham:
"Oatesey (Rhys Oates) is feeling it a bit (his groin injury). There is a possibility he could be involved in the Crawley game (next Saturday).
"Laps (George Lapslie) might have a possibility to be involved on Tuesday (at Sutton). It depends how it feels (his shoulder) over the next 48 hours but we'll assess that on Monday".
Mansfield Town coach Andy Garner delighted as Stags avoid banana skin against bottom club
chad.co.uk, By John Lomas, Saturday 20th November 2021
Mansfield Town clinically avoided a potential banana skin by beating bottom club Scunthorpe United 3-1 today.
And first team coach Andy Garner admitted: “We had to make sure we were right at 3pm.
“Playing against bottom of the league but we know Keith Hill very well from over the years and we knew he'd make it hard for us today.
“You could take things too casually against bottom of the league, but we've worked hard all week and put it into practice today.
“We started well but they scored from the penalty. Then we showed good character to come back and I think we thoroughly deserved the win.
“We were outstanding in midfield. Reverting back to 4-5-1, we have a lot of quality in there and we trust them all. It enables us to get it down and play.
“Ollie Clarke was fantastic today as he has been for the last couple of games.”
It was a fifth win in a row after a dreadful spell of 14 games without victory and Garner said: “We don't want to go back to how it was a month ago - that was probably one of the worst times I've had in football to be quite honest.
“We've tried to put it right and once you get that first win you get a bit of confidence and belief back. Now we've taken it to the fifth win and we look confident now.
“We have two really hard games coming up so we will see where we are after next Saturday.”
Stags are on the up - Clarke
mansfieldtown.net, Saturday 20th November 2021
Mansfield Town captain Ollie Clarke says his Stags teammates have regained their ‘buzz’ following a 3-1 victory over Scunthorpe United in which the skipper netted a brace.
The Stags’ high-energy triumph at One Call Stadium was their fifth consecutive win in all competitions.
Clarke bagged Mansfield’s first of the game, a powered left-footed strike into the bottom right corner. His second put the Stags 3-1 up on the hour mark, having dispossessed a Scunthorpe defender thanks to Mansfield’s high pressing system.
The 29-year-old felt Mansfield’s plan worked perfectly in overcoming the Iron.
“I think we dominated the majority of the game,” he said. “We created good chances [and] probably should have had a couple more [goals].
“I think the way we prepared and the way we set up [were key to victory]. We were [always] going to press and try and run all over them and that’s how we got our goals.
“We looked at their strengths and weaknesses and we pinpointed how we could control the game. I think we did that for the vast majority.
“I don’t think they really got in at all. The penalty was a lucky ricochet through to the attacker. We dealt with the set back and came back strong.”
Clarke’s goal from outside the box came as no surprise to the skipper.
“I’ve actually done a couple [like that] in training this week,” he said. “[I] brought it onto my left [foot] and shot back across goal.
“As soon as I hit it I saw it going towards the bottom corner and I was just hoping the goalie didn’t get down to it. It’s always nice to see the net ripple.”
The midfielder’s second of the game came after he had dispossessed Scunthorpe defender Alex Perry outside the visitors’ box.
“It was a good bit of pressing on our behalf.
“I managed to nick it off him 10, 15 yards outside the box. [I] managed to dribble it into the box and slide it under the goalie which is a nice feeling.
“I should’ve had a hat trick but I’ll take two and keep moving forwards.”
Mansfield face two trips to south London in the coming week against sides within six points of them in the Sky Bet League Two Table, Sutton United and Crawley Town. The Mansfield skipper says the Stags now have the confidence to perform at their potential.
“Everyone’s positive,” said Clarke. “Everyone’s really happy and that’s what you want to see when you come in after a game.
“It’s nice to have a buzz around the place again.
“I had no doubt in my mind that we were going to put on a strong performance after the way we’ve been playing recently. Today we came in and everyone had a little spring in their step and we performed well despite a setback.
“It’s going to be a tough week on the road but we’ll prepare right. We’ll get ourselves rested up and we’ll travel down on Monday.
“You always get these sort of weeks in football where you’ve got a lot of travelling to do, but we’ve got a nice bit of rest afterwards.
“It’s nice to get three points (today) and keep moving forwards, especially here in front of the Stags fans.
“Our confidence is now building and we’re trying to move ourselves up the league.“
Watch the midfielder's interview in full by clicking here.
Ollie Clarke told BBC Radio Nottingham:
"Teams will fear us because of our players and the way that we play; we're high pressing and we're energetic. It's nice to see the way that we're playing at the moment."
Mansfield Town skipper Ollie Clarke prepares for two long hauls south after two-goal display today
chad.co.uk, By John Lomas, Saturday 20th November 2021
Mansfield Town skipper Ollie Clarke knows how strength-sapping the week ahead will be with long hauls south to Sutton United and Crawley Town inside five days.
But after beating bottom club Scunthorpe for a fifth win in a row today, he said: “We are improving, we are getting fitter and stronger. It's nice to have a bit of continuity after all the injuries.
“We know it's going to be a tough week on the road.
“But we will rest up, get on the bus and travel down Monday for Sutton.
“Then we head back down again on Friday for Crawley. “It is what it is. You always have one of these weeks in football where it's like the 'death' week with so much travelling to do.
“But everyone is positive and happy in there, the tunes are flying - it's nice to have a buzz around the place again.
“We are going into games thinking we're going to win now. Everyone has a spring in their step.”
On the game itself, he added: “We dominated the majority of the game with a couple of scares at our end.
“But we created the majority of the chances and should probably have had a couple more in the grand scheme of things.
“We ran the midfield today.”
Clarke bagged a brace with one for Jordan Bowery.
On his first, he said: “I have scored a couple of those in training this week.
“As soon as I hit it I saw it was going towards the bottom corner and I was hoping the goalie wasn't going to get down in time. It's always nice to see the net ripple.
“The second was good pressing on our behalf and I just managed to nick it off their player 10-15 yards outside the box and drive into the box and slide under the goalie.”
Hill speaks following Mansfield away
First team manager Keith Hill provided his reaction to iFollow Iron after United’s 3-1 defeat at Mansfield Town.
The new manager began by speaking about his take on the game: “We’re disappointed with the result. It’s something that I had to acknowledge could happen as the trend has been a losing trend and it’s difficult to reboot and change the mentality.
“When you go 1-0 up, you’re optimistic, and I’ve been optimistic all week and since I came to this football club. However, we can’t afford to make the mistakes that we’re making individually, and as units. If we expect to win football matches, then we have to be strong enough and good enough as a group to win that 1-0 irrespective of how good the opponents are.
“We have to make sure we defend through our strikers and attack through our goalkeeper on a regular basis, as well as supporting one another better and making better decisions individually. We’ve made mistakes today that have led to their goals and they’re a good side but I’m not too despondent as you want to know what the mentality of the players is, how good they can be, and how much they’re going to give you on a regular basis. Then we can make the most of the group and the players that are willing to do everything for the cause of avoiding relegation.”
On losing after going ahead, he said: “The first goal was a poor goal to concede, but when we scored there seem to be more fear in the way that we played, where we didn’t seem to know what to do. We had to go and score the second goal and we had the opportunity to go and score the second goal, but we make mistakes. (Ryan) Loft missed the target and should have scored, and also had a great opportunity in the second half.
“In the same way you forgive the strikers, you have to forgive the defenders or midfield players for the mistakes they make. Hopefully, forgiveness will result in us getting better and more confident and capable. The timing of the second goal we conceded was so poor but again what really infuriates me is the first one. The distance the player travels just to get a left footed shot off - we have to engage.
“I talk about ones vs ones all over the pitch. Football is simple and you have to deal with the opponent in front of you. I don’t think we did today and there was three or four really good performances but as a manager you’re looking for seven or eight really good performances (to win). We have to improve that and turn it around, and the mentality has to change. We have to stimulate the players to be brave enough to express themselves without the fear of losing football matches because we’re losing anyway.”
The manager also spoke about Rory Watson's injury which meant Kieran O’Hara being brought in on a seven-day emergency loan: “Watson has a slight hamstring tear and we have been given permission from the EFL to bring Kieran in and I think he had a good performance. He shouldn’t be conceding three goals today and I thought his performance was very good. Today was the first time we met him, and he hasn’t yet had the opportunity to train with us, but in this moment in time he will be with us for at least a week."
The boss finished by speaking about the two home games coming up this week against Leyton Orient and Bradford City, adding: “The good thing about football is you always get a chance. We have to break the opinion of all the other league teams in League Two and change the mentality of our opponents and show we are a strong side, a good side, and a side that’s going to hurt teams.
“We have to do that, and the group have to do that because there’s a mindset of the opponents that we’re a pushover, and we’re not. We have to be strong every day in training to improve our opportunities to play. I do thank the supporters for turning up today and staying and supporting - we will become stronger for them.”
Hard work ahead for new boss Keith Hill as Mansfield defeat keeps Scunthorpe United bottom
chad.co.uk, By John Lomas, Saturday 20th November 2021
Scunthorpe United manager Keith Hill learned more about his new charges as they stayed bottom of League Two after today's 3-1 defeat at Mansfield Town.
The Iron even took the lead, but were well beaten in the end as Stags made it five wins in a row.
“I am absolutely gutted - we're never going to win football matches with the mistakes we've made,” said Hill.
“But it's indicative of the mentality of a losing side.
“There was too much fear, even though we went 1-0 and could have gone 2-0 up.
“They're all good lads but they have to become better competitors and understand how to win.
“I have seen first hand now what the bigger problems are.
“We didn't settle into the type of rhythm I expected.”
He added: “I want them to play with no fear and express themselves, but there is scar tissue in the squad in the performances because they are losing games.
“They have to release themselves from the mental shackles and just perform. There is no magic cure.
“They are trying their best but we have to show more football intelligence.
“We have games coming thick and fast and we have to pick the players up and go again.”
On Mansfield Town, Hill said: “They are a good side, Cloughie has been here for a while now and they're well versed on what is expected and the style they play with.
“Before the season started, if you are a bettering man you were putting your money on Mansfield for promotion.
“That is a combination of the manager, the budget and the players. Get those three ingredients correct and you've got a chance.”
Reaction from the boss
“When you go 1-0 up, you’re optimistic, and I’ve been optimistic all week and since I came to this football club," Hill told the club site.
"However, we can’t afford to make the mistakes that we’re making individually, and as units. If we expect to win football matches, then we have to be strong enough and good enough as a group to win that 1-0 irrespective of how good the opponents are.
“We have to make sure we defend through our strikers and attack through our goalkeeper on a regular basis, as well as supporting one another better and making better decisions individually.
"We’ve made mistakes today that have led to their goals and they’re a good side but I’m not too despondent as you want to know what the mentality of the players is, how good they can be, and how much they’re going to give you on a regular basis.
"Then we can make the most of the group and the players that are willing to do everything for the cause of avoiding relegation.”
Another well-deserved three points.
Well done to Nigel, his players and staff for their perservance and endeavour, not only today, but for the past few weeks that have seen us spark our revival.
Onwards and upwards. COYS!!!
Nice to be back in and around it. Three lovely points