{ the news }
An independent supporters' website dedicated to Mansfield Town FC
Archived News from August 2022

26th August 2022 23:45

Stags to step up striker search after Oates injury - boss
mansfieldtown.net, Tuesday 23rd August 2022

Mansfield Town manager Nigel Clough says the club will step up their search for an additional forward after learning the extent of striker Rhys Oates’ pectoral injury.

Last season’s top scorer ruptured his pectoral muscle in last Tuesday’s 5-2 victory at home to AFC Wimbledon, with the gaffer today confirming the former Hartlepool man will be out for ‘a few months’.

With Lucas Akins and Oli Hawkins also suffering from muscular injuries in recent weeks, Nigel hopes to welcome a new recruit to his playing squad to fill the missing attacking void left by Oates before the end of the window.


Speaking in a news conference at RH Academy today, the manager said: “He’s [Rhys Oates] got what’s classed as a ruptured pectoral muscle where it’s come away from the bone a little bit.

“He’ll have an operation to repair it.

“We’re not going to put a time limit on how long he’ll be out, but it was better news than we anticipated.

“He’ll have the operation I hope this week if not next week.

“The best guy in the country [is who] we’ve got on it. He was very positive when he saw the scans and said: ‘you’ll be up and playing again in a few months.’”

When asked if the club would enter the transfer market to provide cover for Oates, Nigel said: “We could do with one [forward] coming in now as cover - certainly until Christmas on loan.

“We’ve got another week or so of the window being open so we’ll step up that search and see if we can get some cover.

“We’ve got a squad of 19 that we’re working with so it’s just a sort of temporary replacement for Rhys.”

The weekend’s victory over Stockport marked the boss’ 100th game in charge of Mansfield.

“It’s nice to get 100 [matches in charge],” he said.

“A lot of managers don’t get that.

“It’s been a hell of a ride. We’ve had some ups and downs but, overall, we’ve made a lot of progress, there’s been some positive things and we’ve enjoyed it.”

After almost 25 years as a manager, Nigel provided an insight into the mindset of having vast amounts of experience as a coach.

“I think it [the fire to win] increases and heightens,” said the gaffer.

“When you’re starting out, you’re a little bit more patient.

“Here, you want to do things quicker.

“Certainly, the intensity or the fire increases.

“We’ve been settled [here at Mansfield].

“From the day we walked in, it’s felt comfortable.

“Everybody here has made us feel that way.

“The way the supporters have got on board with us, home and away [has been excellent].

“They seem to be enjoying the way that we’re playing, and we hope that this season we can achieve our aim.”

Saturday’s opponents, Sutton United, were the only team last campaign to beat the Stags home and away.

“It was them and Harrogate last season that we had the most problems with,” said Nigel.

“They’re just a very difficult and awkward team.

“They’ve come up from the Conference and kept the way that they played in the Conference.

“They’re difficult to break down.

“It’s not just us, a lot of teams found that - especially down at their place.

“I hope we have better fortunes this year.”

Ahead of this weekend’s encounter, the gaffer provided the latest on his squad’s injury list.

“Lucas [Akins] should train this week, Hiram Boateng should train this week.

“Stephen Quinn, we hope, was only [out for] sort of a week with his hip.

“Obviously, Rhys Oates is out for a little while and Oli Hawkins came on for five minutes or so.

“As long as he’s [Hawkins] had no reaction, he’ll train this week.

“Lucas was a groin [injury] and Hiram was a hamstring [injury] so we’re a little bit more cautious with them and Oli Hawkins also.

“If they have a good week’s training, they should be available.”

Watch the boss' news conference in full now by clicking here.


Loss of goal ace Rhys Oates with freak injury is a big blow for Mansfield Town
chad.co.uk, By John Lomas, Tuesday 23rd August 2022

Mansfield Town are looking to bring in a loan striker before the summer window shuts after learning they will be without goal ace Rhys Oates for a few months following a freak injury.

Oates took a late tumble last Tuesday against AFC Wimbledon that saw him tear a pectoral muscle, which are four large paired muscles that cover the front of the ribcage and serve to draw the forelimbs towards the chest.

“It is a ruptured pectoral muscle, it has come away from the bone a little bit and he will need a small operation to repair it,” said boss Nigel Clough

“It is an injury I have never heard of in 50-odd years of being around football. “Usually I think that sort of thing is a rugby injury. It was just a case of extreme bad luck.


“Rhys saw the specialist on Monday and will have an operation this week or next.

“We have the best guy in the country on it and he was very positive when he saw the scans. He said he will be up and playing again in a few months.

“We won't put a time limit on it but he will be a few months, we're not quite sure how long. But it was better news than we anticipated.”

He continued: “It is such an unusual injury. With knee injuries and hamstrings you can usually pin a time on them. I don't think you can with this sort of thing.

“It was just an innocuous tangle with Alex Pearce - there was no fault on his part in any way. Rhys just fell awkwardly.

“Everyone is a little bit devastated here first and foremost but we will get him back on the pitch as soon as possible and look after him in the meantime - and we are going to miss him.

“He was our top scorer last season so he will be a loss.”

So Clough is back in the transfer market for a last minute move - one which is likely to be a loan.

“We are certainly going to step up our search to bring one in as a replacement, maybe a loan until Christmas, to cover us. We have another week or so of the window being open,” he said.

“We were very heartened by the display of Will Swan on Saturday.

“Also we had George Lapslie playing up there with him, who was involved in both goals again. Against Wimbledon he scored one, won a penalty and made one.

“Lucas Akins is back training this week. We still have other option as well. Oli Hawkins is an option to go up top, as is Jordan Bowery.

“We still have a bit of flexibility there, but we could still do with another striker just to get us through to Christmas.

“If it is a permanent then it's a permanent, but Rhys is only going to be out for a few months and we have a squad of 19 we're working with, so this is just a temporary replacement for Rhys.”


twitter Rhys oates @OatesRhys
I’ll be back fitter and stronger


Mansfield Town boss Nigel Clough delighted to reach his 100th game in charge
chad.co.uk, By John Lomas, Tuesday 23rd August 2022

Saturday's win over Stockport County marked Mansfield Town boss Nigel Clough 100th game in charge of the club - and he admitted at one time he doubted he would reach that figure.

Clough and his team have won 45, drawn 23, and lost 32 of the games, giving him a win ratio of 45 per cent.

His league game win ratio is 44.2 per cent - the seventh best managerial record in the club's history.

“I am pleased we have lasted that long first of all,” he smiled.


“I think there was a time just over a year ago when we didn't think we were going to make that.

“So it's nice to get to 100 - there are a lot of managers who don't get that opportunity these days.

“It has been enjoyable generally and a hell of a ride with some ups and downs.

“Overall we've made a lot of progress and there have been a lot of positive things.

“In that first season, when we had no supporters in the ground, it was about getting safe and laying the foundations for how we were going to play the season after.

“Then we had a rollercoaster season last year where we had a good start, an incredibly poor period, and then went on a hell of a run to get to Wembley.

“So there have been a lot of positives and we've won over 40 per cent of our games. Also, our home form has been quite remarkable.

“There have been so many high points, especially at home with the comeback wins, but even the defeats - the Middlesbrough game in the FA Cup. I thought that was one of our best games and best performances.

“Unfortunately we lost in the 94th minute with an own goal, but we deserved more on the day and, with the quality of the opposition, that was one of the best performances.

“Winning at Northampton away was special as it got us to Wembley.

“Another that stand out is Port Vale at home towards the end of that bad run. After the Northampton away game, when we were so poor, we produced a cracking performance that got us back on track.”

Clough has seen the club improve on and off the field

“The club started changing a couple of years ago when David Sharpe came in and took over things. I think he has had a very positive influence,” he said.

“As a manager when you come in you want to improve the playing side and I think we now have a good squad.

“The budget is around the same but we have improved on and off the pitch.”

Clough said his enthusiasm to succeed had increased over his career.

“The main thing my dad always said was to get three points on a Saturday and it shuts everybody up. That hasn't changed down the years,” he said.

“I think the fire and enthusiasm increases and heightens. You realise you haven't got as long left as when you're starting out and you're a bit more patient.

“I have been settled here from the day we walked in. It has felt comfortable.

“The supporters have got on board with us home and away and seem to be enjoying the way we're playing and we hope this season we can achieve our aim.”


Mansfield Town target first away point and revenge over Sutton United
chad.co.uk, By John Lomas, Tuesday 23rd August 2022

Manager Nigel Clough knows that anything Mansfield Town can gain at Sutton United on Saturday will have to be earned the hard way.

The EFL new boys did the double over his side last season but Stags head there on the back of two homes wins in a week.

“Sutton beat us home and away and are a very difficult and awkward team,” said Clough.

“They came up from the Conference and kept the way that they played in that league.


“It's not just us. A lot of teams found them difficult to break down, especially at their place. So hopefully we have better fortunes this year.

“They are organised, big and strong, and they put the ball into your penalty area from set plays and cause you a problem - nothing wrong with that at all.

“First season in League Two and the Football League and they were very close to the play-offs, so great credit to them.

“We need to deal with whatever they throw at you and then get the ball down and play as we did at Salford second half and as we did at Orient. That is our strength and we have to concentrate on that.”

He added: “Sutton are very difficult to beat and to break down - especially at home.

“When we went down there last season we said whatever we do don't concede free kicks early and we did.

“They got a goal start and they are difficult to break down once they get ahead.

“It was the same here. I think Faz Rawson gave the goal away at Easter which gave them that impetus and something to hang onto.

“That was our only home league defeat in an awful lot of games now.

“We would like to play the same offensively but try to finish a chance.

“When you get 6,500-7,000 fans in at home, it's sometimes easier to score in those situations with the crowd behind you than it is away from home.

“But we have to find a way to get a goal on the road and certainly try to keep a clean sheet as well as we have only had the one against Tranmere.

“Sutton and Harrogate we had the most problems with last year.”

Saturday will be Mansfield's third attempt to get a point on the road.

“It was important we got points from the two home games and we managed to get all six, said Clough.

“We have had three good performances in a row, starting with the game at Leyton Orient where we should have got something.

“It's a bit galling, even at this stage, to see them at the top of the league and think we've just gone down there, had 16 shots and missed a penalty and really should have had a point.

“But we bounced back with two home wins and two performances, having to come from behind on both occasions.

“Considering the five players that arguably would have started, who were missing, it was an unbelievable, fantastic result.

“You look at anything over the 100 games we've been in charge and that pleased us as much as anything on Saturday.”


Unselfish Bowery happy to play anywhere for the team
mansfieldtown.net, Tuesday 23rd August 2022

Mansfield Town’s versatile performer Jordan Bowery says he’s happy to play anywhere to help the team as the Stags prepare for an encounter away at Sutton United on Saturday.

A striker by trade, the 31-year-old has operated at both wing-back and centre-back this campaign.

Despite not performing in his natural position this season, the former MK Dons man says he’s ‘enjoying’ life in his new roles.


Speaking at a news conference at RH Academy today, Bowery said: “As a lot of people will know I’m not a selfish player.

“I don’t care about getting the limelight, I’m happy to play anywhere as long as I’m contributing and helping the team.

“Since I’ve been here, I’ve loved it.

“The gaffer and his staff have put a lot of faith in me.

“I’m happy to play anywhere the manager puts me.

“I feel comfortable in most positions.

“I’ve got the [number] nine on my back but it doesn’t mean anything. I’m playing right wing-back at the minute and I’m enjoying it.”

On the Stags’ start to the new campaign, he said: “It’s been a reasonable start.

“Obviously, it’s been the games at home where we’ve had the wins, it’s just the away form that we need to tinker a bit.

“Even a point away will help [at times]. We just need to sort that away form.

“That will come, it’s still early days.

“I don’t see why we can’t go away and play exactly like we do at home.

“Watching the game against Orient, the lads played well there and were unlucky not to get a win.

“That’s positive to take as well.

“Hopefully, we can go to Sutton and get a win.”

Mansfield’s game at VBS Community Stadium this Saturday will provide an opportunity for the Stags to beat the only side that took maximum points from them during the 2021/22 season.

“They’ve been our bogey team,” said Bowery.

“It’s a new season, and [hopefully] we can get three points from them.

“I’m a big lad and I don’t mind the physical side, but I like the ball down.

“As a team, we’re a good footballing team.

“I think we’ve grown up a bit [as a team since last season]. We’ve adapted to it [direct styles of play] and we’ve got the players for it.

“We’re working harder every day in training.”

The forward provided an insight on exactly how he’s had to alter his game, playing as a defender.

“I know that I’m not going to be on the end of crosses much, so I need to be trying to deliver [them].

“I’ve got more responsibility defensive wise as well - tracking back.

“It’s more [about] all-round [play] than trying to get goals or assist when you’ve got your back to goal.

“It’s not too different to playing right wing but obviously I’ve got to track back more and be more defensive at times.”

Bowery provided a delightful cross for George Lapslie to head home in the Stags’ 5-2 win over AFC Wimbledon last Tuesday - showcasing the quality that has seen Nigel Clough select him as a wing-back in every league match he’s been available so far this campaign.

“It was a good cross.

“I could’ve got a couple more [assists].

“The first two crosses were terrible”, he said smiling. "I feel like I redeemed myself with that one."

When asked if he’s missing playing as a striker, Bowery said: “Yeah and no.

“I’ve always played as a striker, it’s nice to get those goals, but as long as someone else is up there, getting the goals and we’re winning - I don’t really mind.

“I’m just happy to see the team win.

“The lads are always saying the day before training ‘I wonder where you’ll play tomorrow’.

“No one knows, but I’m happy.”

On filling in as a defender, Bowery said: "I think I read the game well enough apart from that silly mistake against Derby."



Latest | August 2022