CLOUGH AND MATT GRAY REACTION
Manager encouraged despite Sutton loss
mansfieldtown.net, Tuesday 23rd November 2021
Mansfield Town manager Nigel Clough felt his side’s 2-0 defeat to Sutton United was down to ‘small details’.
The loss is the Stags’ first in seven outings after a recent run of five successive victories followed a 1-1 draw at home to Port Vale.
The boss felt his side could have taken more from the Sky Bet League Two contest had chances gone Mansfield’s way.
“I’m not too disappointed with the performance [but] certainly the result,” he said.
“I thought we had more than enough situations tonight to get a goal.
“I think Nathan [Bishop] has picked the ball out of the net twice and had one cleared off the line but apart from that he didn’t have much else to do.
“I don’t think that we played badly. At 1-0 l I thought if we get a goal at any time the least we’ll get out of the game is a point.
“[We were] A little bit unlucky when it [the ball] came in and landed at the lad’s feet. He finished it well but we shouldn’t have given away the free-kick in the first place.”
The manager was pleased with his side’s perseverance to find a goal after going behind.
“I don’t think our heads dropped particularly,” said Clough. “I thought we kept playing and created situations right until the end.”
“It wasn’t through lack of effort tonight it was just through a lack of thought and care in and around the penalty area.
“He [Tyrese Sinclair] had two or three [chances] when he came on and didn’t convert any of them which is our problem when we’re missing Rhys Oates and Danny Johnson, our two best goal scorers. That showed tonight.
“We got away with that on Saturday but it showed up tonight.”
On Rhys Oates’ injury the gaffer said: “[He’s] Not too far away, we’ll see how he is. He hasn’t joined in training yet so we hope he will before the end of the week.
“Kellan Gordon got a slight knock on his knee in training yesterday that’s why he wasn’t with us.
“It was good to get Laps [George Lapslie] back on the pitch [today].
“He [Stephen Quinn] wasn’t right tonight. We took a little bit of a gamble and we put the same team out which you can understand when we’ve won five on the spin.
“We wanted to get that same team but it wasn’t right so at half time we got him [Quinn] off and hopefully he’ll be alright for Saturday.”
The Stags face another important test in South London on Saturday as they face Crawley Town.
“We’ve had a great run of five [victories] on the spin but all that matters now is Crawley.
“Effort wise [there was] no problem tonight, [it was] just those little details and that’s all it was.
“We’re going home tonight and then we’ll have a bit of rest and get ready for Crawley on Saturday.
“It’s a tough week for everybody travelling wise and we’ll make sure that we’re on it come 3pm on Saturday.”
You can watch the interview in full on iFollow Stags by clicking here.
We should have got something out of that game - Stags boss Nigel Clough
chad.co.uk, Tuesday 23rd November 2021
Nigel Clough believes Mansfield Town could have come away with something from tonight's 2-0 setback at Sutton United with more care in the final third.
A five game winning run was halted, but the Stags boss said: “I am not too disappointed with the performance, but I am with the result.
“I thought we had more than enough situations tonight to get a goal.
“Nathan Bishop has had to pick the ball out the net twice with one kicked off the line but, apart from that, he's not had an awful lot to do.
“I don't think we played badly - just in and around their penalty area.
“I thought at 1-0 if we could have scored a goal at any time the least we'd have got out of the game is a point.”
Tyrese Sinclair livened matters up when he came on but again failed to find the net.
“Tyrese has had chances again, but didn't convert any of them them which is our problem,” said Clough.
“We are missing Rhys Oates and Danny Johnson - our two best goalscorers. We got away with it on Saturday but it showed up tonight.”
Mansfield failed to recover from conceding a fourth minute goal as Sutton caught them cold.
“I was very disappointed with the opening goal,” said Clough.
“We talked about trying to keep the ball out the box and not giving away free kicks and Elliott Hewitt gave two away in the first few minutes, which led to the goal.
“We were a little bit unlucky with it as we challenged for it and it just dropped at the lad's feet, though he finished it well.
“We knew they put that ball in the box and put you under pressure, especially early, so we said let's get through the first 10-15 minutes of the game and then get the ball down and play. We did that but we were 1-0 down by then.”
Having been treated for an injury since Saturday, Stags had to take off star man Stephen Quinn just after half-time and Clough admitted: “Stephen Quinn wasn't right tonight.
“We took a bit of a gamble. We wanted to put the same team out, which you can understand after winning five on the spin and a good performance on Saturday.
“Maybe we forced that issue a little bit tonight. But if we hadn't and we were sitting here and we'd lost we'd say why didn't we put the same team out?
“We got him off and hopefully he will be all right for Saturday. He wasn't quite his usual self and he is such an influential player for us.
“Also I don't think George Maris had any positive impact on the game at all tonight and he is your main playmaker with Quinn. We're going to struggle if they're not on it.
“I took Oli Hawkins off too as he has a bad back, he was one foul away from being sent off and he gave a goal away with an uncharacteristic mistake, but something you can't afford to do here. The second goal killed the game.”
Clough continued: “Sutton are a good, hard-working side - typical of a club coming out the Conference.
“We've played against them over the years and know exactly what they're like. And when you have a night game it's even more difficult under the lights.
“Our heads didn't drop. We kept playing and created situations right to the end.
“It wasn't through lack of effort tonight, just lack of care and thought in and around the penalty area.
“Sutton had the run of the ball and the referee made a couple of errors and said 'that was my mistake' - but it always seems to be against us. It's those little things.
“We've had a great run of five on the spin and the only thing that matters now is Crawley on Saturday.
“It's a tough week for everyone travelling wise and we must make sure we are on it come 3pm on Saturday.”
Stags had a small, noisy following at Sutton and Clough said: “Our fans were absolutely brilliant tonight. It's a long old trip, especially for a night match, getting hiome in the early hours and then having to go to work next day. We appreciate them.”
Stags hope that Rhys Oates may join in training before the end of the week as he bids to return from injury.
But Kellan Gordon, only just back from injury, got a slight knock on his knee in training on Monday and missed out tonight.
Matt Gray told SUTV:
"It certainly wasn't the prettiest in spells.
"A clean sheet. A great start from us. But it was a very scrappy game. No real flow to it.
"A bitty, not great first half. Second half a little bit better. I felt we was always in control in the second half and the team most likely to score.
"I'm pleased for Omar with a great strike to see the game out for us.
"Ricky had a great chance, I think it was cleared off the line.
"And I felt we saw the game out quite well as well."
"There's many ways to win a football match and we've scrapped and ground one out."