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Archived News from April 2022

16th April 2022 22:17

Gaffer hails ‘real bond’ between supporters and squad
mansfieldtown.net, Tuesday 12th April 2022

Mansfield Town manager Nigel Clough has spoken highly of the ‘connection’ and ‘real bond’ between the squad and the Stags’ supporters, describing it as ‘one of the highlights of the season’.

After putting four past Scunthorpe in front of a sold out away end on Saturday, another bumper crowd is expected at One Call Stadium as the Stags host Sutton United on Easter Friday as Nigel Clough’s side look to tighten their grip on the promotion race in Sky Bet League Two.

Speaking to the local media at a news conference today, the boss said: “It’s [the relationship with the supporters] been one of the highlights [of the season].


“That connection [between fans and players] has been reignited and you see a real bond.

“One of our jobs is to put a team on the pitch that reflects the values of the supporters and also a team that they want to watch and enjoy watching.

“We feel that responsibility of putting on a performance for them.

“It’s a football town. The football club is at the heart of it [the town].

“It’s nice that they [the fans] are coming back to the club, willingly and enjoyingly and hopefully being part of something special this season.”

The boss says Friday’s fixture will be a challenging one against a ‘very accomplished side’.

“It’s a big weekend for us all. It’s a big weekend for all the teams around the top seven,” he said.

“When you get six points at stake in the next sort of three days like there is, with half a dozen games left, then it’s important [to pick up points].

“That’s how good they [Sutton] are. Rotherham needed a late goal in normal time just to take it to extra-time.

“They’re a very accomplished side. They’ve come up and have acquitted themselves well and are challenging for promotion.

“I think that momentum has been absolutely crucial.

“Once they get a lead, they’re difficult to break down. They’re very strong at set plays and they’re physically a strong side.

“The last thing we want to be doing is going 1-0 down to them.

“Orient had something like 70% possession [on Saturday against Sutton] and couldn’t break them down.

“It’ll be very important that defensively we’re right and we don’t concede.”

With Mansfield approaching the final six games of the season, sitting in fourth position, the boss is looking no further than the Easter weekend.

“Let’s try and get some points on the board [over the Easter weekend] starting with Sutton,” said Nigel.

“We’re literally not looking at the six [fixtures remaining in their totality].

“We know there is six to go but we’re looking at Sutton and Carlisle, let’s get those two out the way and see where we are again.

“[We need to] Try and keep everybody’s feet on the ground, not get too excited.

“We understand that other people in the town are buzzing.

“You see the reaction on Saturday from the 2,000 fans at Scunthorpe; we’ve just got to keep focussed and make sure that in six games’ time, at the very least, we’re in the top seven.”

The manager previously spoke about his desire to have a competitive, condensed squad for the remainder of the campaign. With injuries increasing, the boss still believes the personnel available provide the right blend of quality and versatility.

“We put these 19 outfield [players] in place [after January] and we thought that would be enough to cover us.

“I think now we’re facing four or five injuries [so] it makes it a little bit difficult, but we’ve still got enough [quality] within that, I think.

“The versatility within that 19 makes things a little bit easier.”

The boss provided an update on the injury situation of some of his absent squad members.

“[Jamie] Murphy and [Rhys] Oates are coming on well. They shouldn’t be too far off [a return].

“We’ll see how close they are for [the game against Sutton on] Friday.

“Ollie Clarke is recovering well from the small procedure he had on his groin.

“[Then there is] Just Stephen McLaughlin who we lost on Saturday we’ll see how he is, but I think he’ll be a doubt at the moment for Friday, but you never know.

“He didn’t sort of pull his hamstring it was just a strain, and they can be nervy sort of things.”

Watch the gaffer's news conference in full by clicking here.


Mansfield Town await news on key injured trio ahead of big Easter games
chad.co.uk, By John Lomas, Tuesday 12th April 2022

Promotion-chasing Mansfield Town are hoping for better news on three key injured players ahead of their crucial Easter programme at home to Sutton United (Friday) and away to Carlisle United (Monday).

Stephen McLaughlin (hamstring) last weekend joined Rhys Oates (thigh) and Jamie Murphy (hamstring) on the treatment table and boss Nigel Clough said; “We are getting an update from the physio almost daily.

“We lost Stephen McLaughlin on Saturday and we will have to see how he is, but he will be a doubt at the moment for Friday. You never know.

“He didn't pull his hamstring. It was just a strain and it can be a sort of neural, nervy thing.


“He definitely felt something as he would normally leave it until half-time with only two or three minutes to go.”

He added: “Murphy and Oates are coming on well and shouldn't be too far off - we will have to see how close they are for Friday. They are in with a shout.

“But then we have the dilemma whether we put them back out there, as important as it is, then risk possibly losing them for the last four or five games.

"We will take Tom (Whittamore) the physio's guidance and what he thinks and the players' themselves.

“We will leave them until the last minute.”

On two longer term injuries, he added: “Ollie Clarke is recovering well from the small procedure he had on his groin.

“We would hope he will be back before the end of the season.

“Kellan Gordon is also back on the grass doing one to one work. He's not too far off joining in. So we are hoping towards the end of season we will have everybody available if it does go to the play-offs.”

Clough thinned his squad down in January and last weekend was one substitute short - and he admits he could be two short this weekend at worst.

But he said: “We should still have enough though we are conscious we can't afford any more injuries.

“You can't cover all the bases. You just hope that by putting the squad of 19 players or so in place we did, it would be enough to cover us.

“Now we are facing four or five injuries it makes it a little bit difficult, but we've still got enough within that I think. And the quality and versatility within that 19 makes it a little bit easier.”


Significant season already says Mansfield Town boss Nigel Clough after bond is firmly re-established with supporters in a ‘football town’
chad.co.uk, By John Lomas, Tuesday 12th April 2022

Even if Mansfield Town should falter in their promotion push, boss Nigel Clough said it will go down as a significant season as bridges have finally been firmly built between club and supporters.

Stags have massively increased their home gates and built a superb and often huge away following and, in contrast to previous seasons, those fans stayed behind their side during the bad times, which ended up being 14 games without a win.

“People say the town is buzzing,” said Clough.

“We feel it in the away support and the home support - the 6,500 we're getting at home games now I believe would be more like 3,500 if we were going nowhere in the league.


“It has been one of the highlights of the last year or so. There is a real bond there now.

“Not being in the town we only real sense the buzz on matchdays, but I said when we went out to the supporters after the game on Saturday, if nothing happens this season, then we have made a connection between the team and the supporters.

“That has been reignited this season, even through the bad run. That is one of the biggest achievements we've made for everybody.”

Clough believes one of the main reasons is the honest hard-working squad he has put together.

“One of our main jobs is to put a team on the pitch that reflects the values of the supporters and also a team they want to watch and enjoy watching,” he said.

“When you get 2,000 paying good money to go to Scunthorpe or Bradford or wherever, you feel that responsibility to put a performance on.

“This is a football town - the club is at the heart of it. There are not too many other sports here, certainly at a professional level.

“It is nice the fans are coming back to the club willingly and enjoying it and hopefully being part of something special this season.

“One of the things the owner pointed out when he came over in the summer was that Mansfield has its football club as the absolute centre of the town and community.

“A lot of towns have other sports. Mansfield had a football team and it means a lot to people.”


chad.co.uk, By John Lomas, Tuesday 12th April 2022


Manager Nigel Clough on Stephen Quinn: “His performances against Northampton and Scunthorpe have been outstanding.

“Quinny is one that drives people forward. He drives his team mates forward and 99 per cent of the time he does the right thing on a football pitch.

“His enthusiasm and desire are unquestionable.

“Our experienced players have been instrumental in getting us to this point, though Quinny contributed to that bad run by getting himself a six game ban.

“Stats show we very rarely win when he's not in the team.

“In the last six games we are really going to need their experience to help the younger lads through it and keep everyone calm before kick off.”


Sky TV switch for Salford showdown will pile the pressure on admits Mansfield Town boss Nigel Clough
chad.co.uk, By John Lomas, Tuesday 12th April 2022

Mansfield Town boss Nigel Clough admitted the live Sky TV cameras as their rearranged trip to promotion rivals Salford City will pile the pressure on his top three-chasing side.

And he said switching it to May Bank Holiday Monday (2nd May) at 12.30pm has also thrown their travel planning into disarray.

But Clough said they would simply get on with things and his players would focus on the job in hand come kick-off.

“We are in the hands of the television and the league aren't we? We will play whenever,” he said.


“Our last two fixtures are Salford away and Forest Green at home - they couldn't be two tougher fixtures.

“I don't think it will make too much difference though I don't like the early kick-offs when you're away from home.

“That messes with your preparation. When do you eat and do you go overnight? It's not ideal as an away side.

“But we have to accept it and get on with it. It's a very important game.”

He continued: “It is added pressure for the players knowing they are live on television and I think Salford will still be in with a shout as well by that point which is why it's been chosen - two promotion-chasing teams.

“But you have to put the TV out of your mind and it doesn't matter.

“The two sides that went on the pitch on Sunday - Manchester City and Liverpool - they were all aware of the importance of the game and that millions around the world watching.

“But when that game kicks off that goes out your mind as well as the crowd. You are totally focused on the game as those two teams were on Sunday.”


Home advantage in promotion run-in could be key for Mansfield Town’s destiny
chad.co.uk, By John Lomas, Tuesday 12th April 2022

Manager Nigel Clough believes having four of the last big six games at home will be a massive help to his side's automatic promotion chase.

After a series of postponements left them with an unlucky and gruelling run of 10 away games out of 12, Stags are still in a position to challenge for the top three ahead of the Easter games at home to Sutton United tomorrow (Good Friday) and away at Carlisle United on Easter Monday.

And they are on a club record run of 11 successive home league wins.

“It would be nice to get some points on the board this weekend to set us up nicely for the last four,” he said.


“But it is important that four of the last six are at home. They are entitled to be after the run we've had, travelling all over.”

“That's one of the best things after this run of away games - seven out of the last eight or 10 out of 12 - to be in the position we are is brilliant.

“It's a great achievement and we now have to capitalise on it with four home games from the six.

“We have been good at home most of the season and we need to continue that as I think that is key to what we achieve now.”

It was a tough run of away trips for Mansfield and Clough is very satisfied how they have coped.

“We would have liked another point or two on the board obviously,” he said.

“But to be in fourth position in the league with six games to go is very good after that run.”

Clough has enjoyed past promotions and can't wait to taste that feeling again.

“It's the result of a lot of hard work over a season,” he said.

“Whatever league you get out of the feeling is the same.

“It's brilliant that we are in this position here after only 18 months. I thought maybe it would be next season.

“To come from fighting relegation when we first arrived and being second from bottom only a few months ago, to be in this position now is brilliant.”


Manager Nigel Clough unsure how many points Mansfield Town will need as they go into massive Easter games
chad.co.uk, By John Lomas, Tuesday 12th April 2022

Mansfield Town head into a massive Easter still firmly in contention for automatic promotion with boss Nigel Clough admitting he has no idea how many points they will need from the last six games to make the top three.

A Good Friday home clash with rivals Sutton United is followed by a long haul to Carlisle United on Easter Monday.

Stags are currently three points adrift with a game in hand on third-placed Port Vale and Clough said: “It's going to be an interesting few weeks, but I think it's impossible to say how many points we will need.

“So we literally have to take it a game at a time and try to get the victory and not rely on anybody else.


“Usually it's around 80 needed for the top three, but the way that Port Vale and Exeter are going it might be more than that this season.

“If you were fourth in the league with six games to go in other seasons you would be almost guaranteed a play-off spot, bar a complete disaster like losing six on the spin. That's not the case this season as well. It is very tight for the top 10.”

He added: “We have two hugely important games within three days of each other.

“We have to try to ensure a place in the top seven while doing everything we can to challenge for a place in the top three.

“It's a big weekend for us all. If we don't get the results we will drop out of the top seven and if Sutton don't get them they will do the same.

“It's a big weekend for all the teams around us. When you get six points at stake in three days like this when there's only half a dozen games left it's very important.

“We are looking at these two games in isolation now as they are so close together.

“We have to keep everyone's feet on the ground and not get too excited.

“We have to keep focused and make sure in six games time that we are in the top seven at least.”

Sutton arrive in 10th, two points outside the play-offs, and Clough said: “For a team to get promoted, then get to Wembley is an unbelievable achievement - and now they're challenging for promotion as well. What an incredible first season they've had.

“They have come up, acquitted themselves well and are challenging for promotion.

“Once they get a lead they are difficult to break down.

“Sutton are also very strong at set plays and, physically, a very strong side. So the last thing we want to do is go 1-0 down to them.

“So it will be very important we are right defensively and don't concede.”

Stags are currently on a club record-breaking run of 11 successive home league wins.

On Monday's game, he said: “I am never a fan of supporters having to trek all the way to Carlisle on a Bank Holiday Monday. I think that is very unfair for them, especially with the run we've had had.

“On a Bank Holiday Monday public transport is maybe not as regular as it is in normal times, it's a long journey.

“Traditionally we used to play more local games, so I feel for them.

Clough added: “There are no givens within the last six games - even when we play Crawley and Stevenage in two home games in four days. They are all going to be defining games in their own way.”


Nigel Clough: Mansfield Town has 'reignited' connection with fans, says boss

Mansfield Town boss Nigel Clough says "reigniting" the love affair between supporters and the club has been the highlight of their push for promotion from League Two.

Stags fans spilled on to the pitch and celebrated with players after Saturday's 4-0 victory at Scunthorpe.

Victory moved Mansfield up to fourth in the table and to within three points of the automatic promotion spots.

"Hopefully they are part of something special this season," Clough said.


"One of the highlights of the past year has been that connection has been reignited."

The jubilation as Mansfield fans joined Stags players on the pitch was in stark contrast to scenes during the game, as Scunthorpe supporters invaded the pitch with 15 minutes to go to protest at their club's relegation plight.

The 2,000 Mansfield fans at Glanford Park then returned to the stands after the match to continue to celebrate.

Clough, in his first full season in charge at Field Mill, is looking to guide Mansfield to promotion to the third division for the first time in 19 years.

After going 14 games without a win between August and October they have surged up the table and into promotion contention with 18 league victories. That run includes a club record 11 straight home wins, which they hope to extend against Sutton on Friday.

"It's a football town and the football club is at the heart of it," Clough told BBC Radio Nottingham.

"One of our main jobs is to put a team on the pitch that reflects the values of the supporters, and also a team that they want to watch and enjoy watching.

"You feel that responsibility to put a performance on for them."


Gaffer will not allow complacency - midfielder
mansfieldtown.net, Tuesday 12th April 2022

Experienced midfielder Stephen Quinn says that manager Nigel Clough will not allow any complacency in the squad as the Stags head into the final six games of the season.

The amber and blue were victorious on the road once more as they recorded a 4-0 victory over Scunthorpe United last weekend to move up to fourth place in Sky Bet League Two.

And Quinn , who has worked with the gaffer previously, said: “The lads here won’t do that [get complacent] especially with a manager that has seen it and done it all before.

“After the early parts of the season, the lads won’t get too carried away. We are a good hard-working group so I have no doubt it will be hard work for these next few weeks.


“We cannot rely on anybody so we have to focus on ourselves. We’ve had a few injuries and niggles so we have to get everyone involved and that even goes to the fans to back us in these next six games because it is a mammoth effort we need.”

The 36-year-old spoke about how the fans have spurred on the players this term.

“I think the relationship between the fans and the players and the staff all season has just grown,” he said.

“You need that in football as we are all on this journey together so it is really important that everyone sticks together through the good and bad times and they did just that when we looked to be down and out but they galvanised us to keep going, especially at home.

“It is a special time at the moment and I love watching the fans celebrate.”

Ahead of Good Friday’s mouth-watering match at home to promotion rivals Sutton United, Quinn said: “It is massive [to be back at home]. Over the last couple of months, it just feels like we are constantly away from home with the fans travelling all over the country to watch us play.

“We know how strong we are at home and backed by the fans we have made it [One Call Stadium] a fortress this season.

“It’s the business end of the season and it is where minds and bodies are tired but we just need one big effort with everyone looking after their bodies and staying focused on the job at hand.”


Mansfield Town talisman Stephen Quinn hoping he has now fully made amends for his early season red card as Stags chase promotion
chad.co.uk, By John Lomas, Tuesday 12th April 2022

Veteran Mansfield Town star Stephen Quinn is hoping he has now made full amends to the club after serving a six game ban when the red mist descended last September.

Quinn was sent off at the One Call Stadium for felling Harrogate's Josh Falkingham and given a three-game ban for the original offence, and a further three games for a subsequent incident as Stags then went 14 games without a win.

But since his return he has been immaculate as Stags bounced back to hit the promotion trail.

“I did apologise after that as I shouldn't have reacted how I did,” he said.


“But I guess that was the fire inside and I find it hard to accept anything going against us or not winning games.

“I stepped too far over the line that day. Since I've come back I have got my head down.

“I knew what I needed to do to make it right, especially to the lads for missing those six game and not being able to help the team was disappointing.

“I had to reflect and reassess myself. That's the highs and lows of the game. But I came through that and we went on a magnificent run and hopefully I haven't let them down since.

“I want to stay fit for the last six games and be involved in them if I can.

“I am really excited for these next few weeks.”


Mansfield Town promotion push has rejuvenated me says evergreen veteran Stephen Quinn
chad.co.uk, By John Lomas, Tuesday 12th April 2022

Veteran Mansfield Town midfielder Stephen Quinn believes joining Mansfield Town has rejuvenated his career - and winning promotion with Stags would mean as much as any past glory to the former Irish international.

At 36, Quinn continues to defy age with his energy and enthusiasm.

“I do feel it after games I know that! But I am enjoying it,” he smiled.

“Obviously I am coming towards the end of my career and when it's slipping away from you, you start to appreciate it a little bit more.

“Since I have come here I have been regenerated or something. The club, the set-up of the club, the club's ambitions and everything else, it's just driven me on even more.


“There are a lot of young lads here and they're a great bunch. I just want to do well for this club and hopefully get a promotion.

“I just try my best every time I go out there - in training or games and I have a strong desire to win.”

He added: “I suppose if other lads can look up to me and I can be a bit of a role model or inspiration to anyone all well and good. But I have had that base of hard working from when I was young and I won't stop that until they drag me off the pitch.

“Probably one of my best attributes is my passing. I am not the fastest player but I like to get the ball back into play and play quickly, and maybe at this level I can say to the lads to do that with quick throw-ins and speed of thought, that's how you can open up defences in this league.

“If the lads can get something from me from all my years of experience then that's good.”

Quinn said that despite his years and past glories in the game, promotion this season would mean as much as anything to him.

“I have hit the heights in the game and also many lows with injuries and stuff like any professional,” he said.

“This is massively important to me as we're in the here and now. I never really look back on all the achievements I've had, I will probably do that at the end of my career.

“The here and the now is the most important and we will just be judged on what we do this season.

“It's all well and good playing games and winning against Scunthorpe, but this club needs to be promoted. It has the infrastructure and drive behind it. We have to go and do it now in these last six games. We need a mammoth effort now from everyone to get us over the line.

“Every game is a cup final now. Exeter and Port Vale keep on winning while Forest Green have been up there all season and can afford the odd hiccup here and there. We can't rely on anyone else. We must focus on ourselves.

“Everybody involved, including the fans as well, are needed over these six games.”

He continued: “Having four of the last six at home is massive two. This last month or two is seems we were constantly away from home with fans travelling all over the country watching us.

“We know how strong we are at home and with the backing of the fans it could make it a fortress for us as it has been most of the season. It will help the lads.

“It is as much a mental thing now as a physical thing. It's the business end where minds and bodies are tired and you need just one big effort. If we do our best that's all you can ask for and we will see where are at.

“Complacency will not become an issue with the boys here, especially with the manager who has seen and done it all before and can keep a lid on it and keep players grounded.

“This group of lads have that earthiness about them and won't get carried away, we are a good, hard-working group.”

Quinn was delighted to finally bag his first league goal of the season in Saturday's 4-0 win at Scunthorpe United - and said it was down to assistant boss Gary Crosby.

“Last week, Gaz the assistant manager, mentioned to us that we needed to score more goals, and he was right,” he said.

“It hit a bit of a nerve with me in training to be honest. So after that I thought I'd better start striking a few more. So I will probably put that down to Gaz last weekend.”

He added: “It was a sweet one - especially in front of the Mansfield away fans and then watching them all go berserk - it was a great feeling.

“It was an incredible moment this season for me. The fans were so good on Saturday, it's great to see.

“I first came out on the pitch and was running over to the side, thinking it was just the corner we had. Then I actually looked behind the goal and we had that whole end as well, so it was magnificent support.

“The relationship between the fans and the staff and players has grown all season. You need that in football.

“We are joining together and it's important we all stick together through good times and bad. They've done that this season, especially in the early parts when we pretty much down and out to be honest.

“They stuck by us. There was pressure on us but they got behind us and galvanised us, especially at home. It's a special time at the moment.”



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