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Archived News from January 2022

21st January 2022 19:34

Ultimate test for Mansfield Town at runaway leaders Forest Green Rovers
chad.co.uk, By John Lomas, Monday 17th January 2022

After six successive games at home Mansfield Town hit the road for the first time since the start of December tomorrow night with the ultimate test away at runaway leaders Forest Green Rovers.

That is followed by another gruelling trip to Barrow on Saturday.

But boss Nigel Clough said his side were ready as they aim to equal the club record of seven successive EFL wins.

“We like playing at home where we fancy our chances against anyone, but we'd better get used to playing away now with so many trips to come,” said boss Nigel Clough.

read more at https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/ultimate-test-for-mansfield-town-at-runaway-leaders-forest-green-rovers-3530917

“We've got some treks, especially this week, and we have to get results on the road if we want to maintain our place in the play-offs.

“Taking maximum points from the run of home games has set us up lovely to go on the road. We have put ourselves in a good position.

“We are up and down the country this week - almost one end to the other.

“But we have a large imbalance now with our fixtures with a lot more away games left than we have home games, so we are going to have to do some catching up.

“It seems quite a while now since we played away from home with the postponements over Christmas.

“We have to fit them in, but it's two particularly long and tough trips this week.”

Forest Green are seven points clear, are 13 games unbeaten and are the division's top goalscorers.

“We know we're on a great run and this will be a good measure to see where we are against the top of the league and how close we are to them,” said Clough

“When you're winning you're looking forward to every game.”

Forest Green boss Rob Edwards has paid tribute to predecessor Mark Cooper, who Stags then face on Saturday.

“With playing Barrow on Saturday, it's ironic as Rob Edwards has said he is just continuing all the good work that Mark Cooper over the four or five seasons he was there,” said Clough.

“Mark is now putting those same foundations in at Barrow where we visit on Saturday.

“But we will be going for the victories in both. That's one thing you will have seen in the last few weeks and I think stands out in this run of 15 games - we have had 13 victories, no draws. Just the two losses. We will continue as much as we can in that vein.”

Jamille Matt has netted 15 goals and Matt Stevens 14 already and Clough said: “It's all about their front five - I think they are better than the standard they are playing at at the moment.

“I also think the confidence that is going through the team when you are 10 points clear at the top of the league is a major factor.

“We have to defend well when we need to and try to negate the threat they possess as much as we can, especially in wide areas, and try to stop the service going into the strikers if we can.

“We can't afford to have to fight back from behind like recent home games. When the crowd get behind you, you always fancy yourselves getting back into the game.

“Once we get the first one back the home crowd get behind us. You can't do that away from home.

“We've got to be tight and solid as well as posing an attack threat. But that will be the first order of the day.”

He added: “We've finished with Swindon now and we've finished with Walsall. We are pleased we don't have to play those two game again as they've caused us problems. But we still have to play the league leaders twice.

“Away from home tomorrow night will be the hardest one.

“But we couldn't go into it in much better form at the moment confidence-wise.

“Their current position is just a natural progression from the work that Mark did and if he'd stayed I would have thought they'd have been in the same position.

“You can't forget they were right up there but then lost their main striker, Jamille Matt, for an extended and very important period last season.

“That diminished their chances more than anything. But he is now back and firing on all cylinders, as is their other lad up front, and their front five are a major threat.”

Stags currently have three players out.

“We are hopefully Covid-clear at the moment,” said Clough.

“Ollie Clarke has a tight hamstring so he's a doubt for tomorrow.

“But he and George Lapslie should be fit for Barrow if not.

“Ryan Stirk is a possibility after Covid - he just needs two negative tests. I believe he has had one already, so we will have to wait. We won't be flouting any rules.

“If he gets another negative then he will be in the squad though obviously he hasn't trained for a week. He had very few symptoms though felt a bit rough about a week ago."


Another new face for Mansfield Town by the weekend?
chad.co.uk, By John Lomas, Monday 17th January 2022

Boosted by the permanent signing of John-Joe O'Toole today, Mansfield Town could have yet another new face in by the weekend to face Barrow away.

Boss Nigel Clough is hoping to make two more signings in this January window and will then be happy with his promotion-chasing squad.

“We have a couple of players we are talking to at the moment that we are a little way down the line with - one is a striker and the other more of a utility player,” he said.

“It might not be too straightforward, but we'll try.

read more at https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/another-new-face-for-mansfield-town-by-the-weekend-3531018

“We've only got a couple we're after with everybody getting fit now. We want quality more than quantity.

“There is nothing imminent for tomorrow night at Forest Green but we would hope, if things go well, we might have one in for the Barrow game.

“That would enable us to get a couple more of the younger lads out on loan.

“We have offers for Tyrese Sinclair and James Gale to go out on loan. “If we get another striker in and everyone is going to be close to fitness then we will certainly look at that.”

Another worry for Stags is a possible pending suspension for key man Oli Hawkins.

“Oli Hawkins is on eight bookings now which is quite harsh as every time he touches somebody he seems to get booked at the moment,” said Clough.

“Two more bookings he will miss two games which will be a blow for us.”


Mansfield Town await Stoke City decision over Will Forrester’s future
chad.co.uk, By John Lomas

The future of injured Stoke City loanee defender Will Forrester remains up in the air - but Mansfield Town hope they can keep hold of him.

Having arrived at Mansfield with one injury to recover from, the unlucky Forrester returned to Stoke early with a new injury.

Stags boss Nigel Clough has still asked to keep him for the rest of the season but doesn't know if it will happen, despite Stoke signing two new centre halves last week.

“We're not sure. We've had a chat with Stoke but it's very much in their hands,” said Clough.


“We'd like him to come back and I think he'd like to come back. But it's very much up to Stoke what they want to do with him.

“We have had a conversation with them along those lines but I think there are other clubs also interested in Will. So he may have other options.

“What Stoke said was that he's such a good lad to have around the place and they haven't got the numbers they used to have. So he's probably one of the last ones that they will look to get out if at all.”


Stags set for league leaders test - boss
mansfieldtown.net, Monday 17th January 2022

Manager Nigel Clough says that Mansfield’s mouth-watering clash with Forest Green tomorrow night will be a good opportunity for the Stags to ‘see where they are’ in comparison to the league leaders.

The boss believes that his side’s midweek trip to Gloucestershire will be a good ‘measure’ of how far the squad has progressed during their recent run of scintillating form which has seen Mansfield record their sixth successive victory in the Football League for the first time since 1991.

The boss says his squad are in positive spirits ahead of facing a Forest Green team who are unbeaten in Sky Bet League Two since 09 October 2021.


“We’re looking forward to going to the league leaders tomorrow,” Clough told iFollow Stags. “When you are winning, you’re looking forward to every game.

“It is a test. It’ll be a good measure to see where we are against the [team] top of the league and how close we are to them.

“We’ve got to defend well when we need to. [We need to] try and negate their [attacking] threat as much as we can and try to stop the service from going into the strikers.

“We’ve got to be tight. We’ve got to be solid as well as opposing an attacking threat.”

Mansfield’s defence will be bolstered by the news that commanding centre-back John-Joe O’Toole has renewed his Stags contract, keeping him at One Call Stadium until the summer of 2024.

“We’re very pleased that we’ve got it sorted eventually,” he said. “It’s brilliant news for the Stags’ fans.

“Mr and Mrs Radford have worked extremely hard on this, along with David Sharpe, and we’ve eventually got it over the line.

“[He signed the contract for] footballing reasons. He thinks that we’ve got a chance [of promotion] and the rest of the squad are feeling the same.

“Obviously, since he came into the squad we’ve been in a good run [of form] and he’s been a big part of that. He’s probably in the best shape that he’s been in for a few seasons.

“I think all of the players recognised straight away his abilities and also that they wanted him in our team.”

The manager may also be boosted by the return of midfielder Ryan Stirk, who is set to come back into the matchday squad having recently contracted Covid-19.

On Stirk, the boss said: “He’s a possibility [for returning tomorrow night]. We’re just waiting on [him completing] two negative tests, he’s already had one. Providing that he [returns] another negative [test], he’ll be in the squad.”

On Ollie Clarke’s withdrawal due to injury in the 2-0 victory over Walsall on Saturday, Nigel said: “It was just precautionary. Anything like that we try to get them off as soon as possible.

“It was the same with George Lapslie, but he’s back doing a little bit [of training work] and he shouldn’t be too long [until fully fit].”

To watch the gaffer's interview in full, click here.


Rob Edwards interview:

from https://www.gloucestershirelive.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/january-window-still-quiet-how-6507257

What are your thoughts on Nigel Clough’s playing and management career?

He clearly had an amazing playing career. He was a top player for the biggest clubs, and he got international recognition as well. Managerial wise, he’s somebody who has done hundreds of games, has won promotions and is very experienced. Funnily enough, our paths very nearly crossed. Before I joined Norwich on loan, I nearly joined Derby and I’d spoken to Nigel, who was the manager, so I could have worked under him, but that never happened unfortunately. I remember coming off the bench for Norwich against Derby that season, and he had a joke with me as I was coming on and he said; “See, you should have come to us, shouldn’t you? You’re on the bench at Norwich!”. I’ve got a lot of respect for him. He’s had an incredible career and he’s given a lot to football, so it’s a privilege for me to go up against somebody like that.

What do you expect from Mansfield?

They’re a really intense team who work really hard. Once they lose it, their reactions are incredible. They press, press, press, run in-behind and they’re a look forward, play forward, run forward team. They’ve got lots of energy and they’ve found a winning formula with nine wins from their last 10 league games, so they’ve been really good for the last couple of months. We’re going to have to be at it and we need to more than match that running and intensity. The tactical side of it will be interesting because we will both give certain areas away, but we will both be very strong in certain areas too. We need to make sure we know the strengths and possible weaknesses of our shape and how we play, but it’s the same with them as well. It makes for a really good game. Both teams are in good form, both will want to win and I’m sure the best team will.



Latest | January 2022