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Archived News from October 2022

30th October 2022 10:01

We won’t let one defeat derail us - Boss
mansfieldtown.net, Mon 24 Oct 2022

Mansfield Town manager Nigel Clough says his side must bounce back after Saturday’s 3-2 loss to Crawley and not let the result ‘derail’ the Stags as the squad look to build on their excellent home form in the visit of Newport County tomorrow night.

The weekend’s narrow defeat ended a sequence of seven league matches unbeaten.

Mansfield are hoping to get back to winning ways and extend a run of just one home league loss in over a year when former manager Graham Coughlan brings his recently acquainted Exiles’ squad to One Call Stadium.


Speaking about the club’s superb home form in a news conference today at RH Academy, Nigel said: “We have been [on a great run], it’s not just [been for] a few months now.

“You’re talking about the best part of a year, and I hope that Saturday’s defeat hasn’t damaged us sort of confidence wise.

“Defeats are so different.

“If you get on the bus on Saturday after a 2-2 or a 3-3 then everything keeps bubbling along.

“We can’t let one defeat derail us.

“We’re back at home [and we have] the chance to sort of gain some ground that we lost on Saturday, in the next four or five days.”

Defender Riley Harbottle was withdrawn on Saturday with a head injury and added to the gaffer’s injury list.

“He [Harbottle] was struggling a little bit after the game,” Nigel said.

“[It was] Sort of a delayed thing.

“He passed everything [medically] on the pitch and at half-time but wasn’t quite right [in the second-half].

“I would think he’ll be struggling for tomorrow night.

“Hopefully he [Stephen McLaughlin] will train on Monday afternoon and we’ll see how he is from there.

“[We’re] Not sure if his knee is at 100% yet. He’s had this niggle for a few weeks that he’s been playing with.

“We’re hoping so [that James Perch will be fit to be involved] if he’s recovered from his illness. As long as he’s physically okay and recovered strength wise, then he’ll be back in the squad.

“He’s [Kellan Gordon] not far away.

“This groin [injury] is just sort of niggling him. It’s just the last little bit [of rehabilitation], whipping the ball and crosses which are a major part of his game.

“Once again, I think he’ll be 50/50 for the Newport game.

“He’s [Rhys Oates] coming along very well.

“With us progressing now in the Papa Johns Trophy, the next round is scheduled to be around 22 November so it’s [that date] a target for him.

“It’s something like four weeks away. It’s a target for him to try and be fit for. As long as he hits all of his markers, that’s the game we’ve earmarked to play some game time.”

When asked about the loss in West Sussex, the gaffer said: “I’m disappointed first and foremost with the goals we conceded.

“I’m angry at myself for leaving Riley on when, despite him saying he was okay, we shouldn’t be taking chances with things like that.

“It [the performance] was [uncharacteristic] when we’re seven games unbeaten and we’d been difficult to create against and to score against.

“That wasn’t the case on Saturday which, ultimately, cost us the game.

“To be successful we have to show certain characteristics every week and we didn’t do that on Saturday.”

The Stags welcome Newport to One Call Stadium tomorrow night. The Exiles recently appointed former Mansfield manager Graham Coughlan to the helm.

“At home they’ve struggled so straight away he’s [Coughlan] gone in there and had an impact.

“They were at Crawley the week before and lost 2-1 and were unlucky second-half to lose that game. They had lots of chances.

“He’s gone in and had an impact.

“It’s incredible how the fixtures fall. His first away game and he’s coming back to Mansfield.

“It’s the new manager affect that we have to look out for.”


Fitness worries for Mansfield Town as former boss Graham Coughlan brings his Newport County side to the One Call Stadium
chad.co.uk, By John Lomas, Mon 24 Oct 2022

Former Mansfield Town boss Graham Coughlan returns to his former club as the new Newport County boss tomorrow night to face a potentially depleted Stags side.

Coughlan won his opening game in charge at home to Colchester on Saturday and Mansfield boss Nigel Clough is expecting a tough night as his side bid to quickly recover from Saturdays' unexpected 3-2 surrender at struggling Crawley Town.

“The formation we start with will probably depend on personnel as much as anything tomorrow night. It will be who is fresh and who is fit,” said Clough.

“It would be nice to have a squad of 18-19 to choose from. but the side may pick itself from who is available.”


Riley Harbottle, Stephen McLaughlin, James Perch, Kellan Gordon and John-Joe O'Toole will all face a race against time to be fit while veteran Stephen Quinn is suspended after picking up a fifth booking of the season at Crawley.

“Riley was struggling a bit after Saturday's game - a delayed thing - and I think he will be struggling for tomorrow night. These head injuries are so difficult to diagnose,” said Clough.

“Hopefully Macca will train and we will see how he is from there. I am not sure if his knee is 100 per cent yet. He has had this niggle for a few weeks that he has been playing with.

“We are hoping to have Perchy back if he has recovered from his illness. “It's been close on a week now since he first went down with it. As long as he is physically okay and has recovered strength-wise he will be back in the squad.

“Kellan is not far away. This groin is just still niggling him, it's that last little bit. It's just the whipping the balls in and the crosses which are a major part of his game. I would think he is 50-50 for the Newport game.

“John-Joe O'Toole finished Saturday's game limping in the last five minutes so we will have to see how he is.”

On Quinn's suspension, Clogh said: “I think most of his five yellow cards have been avoidable.

“To get five bookings at his age is disappointing, You would think at 36 you would learn, but he misses the Newport game.

“He was rested on Saturday with a view to playing on Tuesday as playing Saturday/Tuesday is a big ask for him.

“That was the plan. Now he's not in the team for Tuesday he has to be a doubt for the team on Saturday as well as we have some good options in there with George Maris, Ollie Clarke, Hiram Boateng now back from injury as well as Anthony Hartigan.

“So he will have it all on getting back into the team.”

On Newport, Clough said: “They have struggled at home but Graham has had an impact straight away.

“We watched the game at Crawley when they lost 2-1 the week before and I think they were unlucky to lose the game. They had lots of chances.

“It is incredible how the fixtures fall and his first away game is coming back to Mansfield.

“It's the new manager effect we have to be aware of.

“It will take him several months, up to six months, to have a real impact and put your stamp on things. But they be trying that little bit harder, first of all because Graham is coming back to his old team, and also for a new manager.

“He signed some good players here. Ollie Clarke is still around, George Maris and so on.

“You look at the team he put together at Bristol Rovers, he was very successful there, but it didn't quite work out for him here - that happens in football management sometimes no matter how hard you try.

“But he has got off to a winning start and we expect an unbelievably tough game.”

Newport may be down in 18th, but Clough knows his side cannot afford any complacency.

“We have played the two teams in the bottom two places in the last few weeks - Hartlepool and Crawley - and conceded five goals, which is extremely disappointing,” he said.

“So when you get a team as capable as Newport, you know if you are not at it defensively and all over the pitch then they will turn you over - as any team in League Two will.

“For the best part of a year we have been solid at home and I hope Saturday's defeat has not damaged confidence.

“We can't let one defeat derail us.

“It was uncharacteristic of us. We have been difficult to create chances against and difficult to score against. And I am angry at myself for leaving Riley on. I should not be taking chances with things like that.

“Being back at home is a chance to gain some ground that we lost on Saturday.”


Return date target set for injured key Mansfield Town striker Rhys Oates
chad.co.uk, By John Lomas, Mon 24 Oct 2022

Mansfield Town have set an initial target of 22nd November for injured key striker Rhys Oates to return to action.

Oates has been a big miss since tearing chest muscles on 16th August but has healed quicker than expected after an operation and initial fears of losing last season's top scorer until the New Year have dramatically improved.

Manchester City U21s' win at Derby County last week ensured Stags went through to the Papa John's Trophy Second Round and that game is now seen as perfect for an Oates comeback.

“Rhys is coming along very well,” said boss Nigel Clough.


“With us progressing now in the Papa Johns Trophy I think the next round is scheduled to be around the 22nd November - so that is a target for him.

“It's about four weeks away and it's a target for him to try to be fit for.

“As long as he hits all his markers that is the game we have earmarked for him to get some game time.

“When he first did the injury we all feared the worst. Then we found out what it was.

"The surgeon was absolutely brilliant and did a great job and then said providing he hits these markers he should be training mid to late November.

“He will need some sort of protection on it to begin with and it will be non-contact stuff for him.

"But if it is robust enough and strong enough then 22nd November is the game we hope to get him back involved. If he is not right, he's not right. At least it's a target for him to try to hit.”

The next round of the Papa Johns was set to be the week after, but England play Wales in the World Cup on Tuesday, 29th which clubs want to avoid clashing with.

“Ideally we wouldn't play too many games in the next few weeks until Rhys Oates is fit,” said Clough as Stags face a busy period of five games in less than three weeks.

“I think we have missed him a bit more in recent weeks. Initially we were okay but I think we have missed his pace and dynamism,” he added.

“There are certain games when you need that and I thought Saturday’s defeat at Crawley was one of them. I think he would have caused them a lot of problems in the first half.”


Little movement likely at Mansfield Town in the January window
chad.co.uk, By John Lomas, Mon 24 Oct 2022

Nigel Clough does not expect much movement in the January transfer window, despite having his small squad stretched to its limits at times in recent weeks.

Clough believes the 19 outfield players he already has can bring success to the club, although he said he may bring in a left-sided player as additional cover.

“If everyone is fit we have enough,” he said.

“James Gale has been a bit of bonus for us.


"He was outside the 19 outfield we had, but he has featured and done well for us. We have needed him.

“I still think the Rhys Oates injury was a major blow for us and it seems to have been illness as much as injury that has hampered us.

“But, touch wood, we have no other long term injuries which is good. They all seem to be a week away so it's just about being patient.”

He added: “We may just need a little bit of cover down the left side in January. When Macca (Stephen McLaughlin) is out we don't have an awful lot down there.

“But he has been so consistent for us with his appearances and his form that it wasn't an area we thought we'd need cover.

“We expected him to play 90 per cent of the games and just fill in down there with Jordan Bowery down there or whatever when we need to.

“We will just have to see if everyone is fit.”

On outgoing players in January, he said: “Jason Law has a lot of competition in the midfield area at the moment so it might be a possibility of him going out and getting some games at the right club at the right time, certainly not at at the moment though. We will look at that again in January.”

Following Tuesday's night's scheduled visit of Graham Coughlan's Newport County, Stags are at home again on Saturday against rivals Swindon Town who, like Stags, came so close to promotion last season.

“Swindon had a change of manager in the summer but are going well again,” said Clough.

“I think they're one of those clubs that are in a routine, a groove, of whoever the manager is they're playing in a similar sort of way.

"And they have continued in the same vein as last season.

“They lost their play-off semi-final to Port Vale last season, so like ourselves, they were very close to getting promoted.

“I think they got a nice financial windfall as well which has enabled them to settle a few things and strengthen their squad and they are as good as anybody in the league on their day.”

Mansfield Town's youngsters have a tough tie in the First Round of the prestigious FA Youth Cup as they face Crewe Alexandra away tomorrow (Wednesday, 26th October, 7pm).

On Saturday they beat visiting Bradford City 2-0 through Oli Wilson and a first goal for the club for Ben Whelan.


Stags fans are 'unreal' - Lapslie
mansfieldtown.net, Mon 24 Oct 2022

Midfielder George Lapslie has lauded the Stags’ fans as ‘unreal’ and the atmosphere at One Call Stadium ‘incredible’ ahead of Mansfield’s Sky Bet League Two encounter tomorrow night at home to Newport County.

The 25-year-old has been an integral part of the Mansfield squad that currently sits fourth in Sky Bet League Two, scoring six times in all competitions so far this campaign.

The London-born midfielder will come up against Graham Coughlan’s side tomorrow evening, the manager who brought him to the Stags in 2020 prior to the appointment of Nigel Clough.

And speaking to iFollow Stags at a news conference this morning, George can’t wait to be playing in front of the Mansfield faithful: “The fans are unreal and the atmosphere is incredible,” said Lapslie. “I’m so grateful to them.

“Hopefully they will stick with us.

“We have two big games now, Tuesday-Saturday. These two will be huge for us.”


When asked about his performances so far this season, the ex-Charlton man said: “I think I’ve done alright.

“I think the team is playing well.

“I’m getting a lot of opportunities to create and score goals.

“It’s a team game so I wouldn’t say I’m doing amazing.

“I’d say the boys are getting me into good positions and I'm managing to put them away.”

Stags’ unbeaten away run of four league games came to an end on Saturday as they were defeated 3-2 by Crawley at Broadfield Stadium.

“[It’s] frustrating obviously.'' said Lapslie.

“Going away from home you want to come back with something.

“We obviously haven't started sharp enough.

“They’ve had two goals which we’ve done relatively little to stop.

“It is frustrating for the whole team to go 2-0 down that early on.

“It’s the whole team not just individuals [at fault for the goals].

“We showed good character to bounce back and should’ve gone in at half-time winning the game.”

“We were saying to each other on the pitch, ‘just try and get one [goal]’.

“Then once we got one [goal]… just try and get in at half-time drawing.

“Obviously we’ve come in at half-time and they’ve scored straight away [in the second-half].”

“It is what it is and we’ve got a chance to put it right tomorrow night.”

Lapslie netted the equalising goal after Jordan Bowery converted from the penalty spot.

“I don’t think I could’ve missed, Ell [Elliott Hewitt] put it on a plate for me.

“[He did that] a few weeks back as well against [Manchester] City.

“He does that well when he drives down the right [hand-side of the pitch] and obviously just puts in a great cross.

“He did the same against Walsall the other day.”

Tomorrow evening the amber and blue welcome Newport to One Call Stadium as they look to bounce back from Saturday’s defeat.

“You want a game straight after a loss,” said Lapslie.

“We can hopefully get back to winning ways tomorrow.”


Goal-happy George Lapslie setting new target at Mansfield Town
chad.co.uk, By John Lomas, Mon 24 Oct 2022

Midfield ace George Lapslie is enjoying his current goalscoring run for Mansfield Town and has re-set his own personal target for the season.

The 25-year-old bagged nine for the Stags two seasons ago and seven last season, but goals in the last two games have already taken him to six this term - the club's top scorer - and it's only October.

“I think I have done all right, but the team are playing well and I am getting a lot of opportunities to create and get goals. It's a team game,” he said.

“The boys are getting me into good positions and I am managing to put them away or set them up.


“We work hard in training on what runs I should make into the penalty area and it is working.

“I will take it. I am back in the team now too. My original target was five by Christmas but when I set that target I thought I was going to be playing a bit deeper.

“So I have re-evaluated my targets with the missus and I just hope the team can keep winning.

“I would rather not have scored on Saturday and won.”

He added: “Playing No.10 behind a striker is probably my preferred position. But I will play wherever the team needs me. I have played all over in my career.

“I have loved my time here so far. It's a great club and I am grateful to Graham Coughlan for bringing me here. I don't think I am at my best yet - I think I can get better.”

Lapslie's latest goal came in Saturday's 3-2 defeat at Crawley and he said: “I don’t think I could’ve missed, Ell (Elliott Hewitt) put it on a plate for me.

“It was perfect and I would probably have found it harder to miss than to hit the target.

“He did that a few weeks back as well against Manchester City.

“He does that well when he drives down the right and obviously just puts in a great cross. He did the same against Walsall.”

However, Stags came away with nothing from Crawley and Lapslie said: “It’s frustrating obviously.

“Going away from home you want to come back with something.

“We obviously haven't started sharp enough and they’ve had two goals which we’ve done relatively little to stop.

“It is frustrating for the whole team to go 2-0 down that early on.

“It’s the whole team not just individuals at fault.

“We showed good character to bounce back and probably should’ve gone in at half-time winning the game.”

“We believed we would go on and win the game.

“Obviously we’ve come in at half-time and they’ve scored straight away in the second-half which was a kick in the teeth. But we still should have done more to win it. We had good chances.”

Despite that result, Stags are firmly in the promotion mix and Lapslie said: “If we keep doing well we are in a good position and leaving ourselves with a chance at the back end of the season.

“We made it quite hard for ourselves to get that chance last season. If you'd given us this position at the start of the season, probably 95 per cent of the people here would probably have said go for it and we will kick on from there.

“If we had the start we've had this season last season then I think it's pretty safe to say we'd have got automatic.

“The fans are unreal and the atmosphere is incredible. I’m so grateful to them.

“Hopefully they will stick with us.”


Graham Coughlan set for Mansfield return with Newport County
southwalesargus.co.uk, By Chris Kirwan

GRAHAM Coughlan is confident that his Newport County AFC squad have the character to stand up to the challenge on his return to Mansfield.

The Irishman got his Rodney Parade reign off to a winning start with a 1-0 home success against fellow League Two strugglers Colchester on Saturday thanks to Will Evans’ early header.

County got from facing a team at the bottom on home soil to tough trips to a pair of clubs likely to be in the promotion mix.

On Saturday they take on third-placed Northampton but first up is a Tuesday night date with fourth-placed Mansfield (kick-off 7.45pm).

Nigel Clough’s side lost 3-2 at Crawley on Saturday but are so far unbeaten at home in the league with four wins and two draws.

It is a return to Field Mill for Coughlan, who was sacked by the Stags in October 2020 after less than a year in charge.

The manager sidestepped the issue of going back to Mansfield, where the home fans are likely to give him some ribbing, but was happy to talk about the test that lies ahead.


“It’s a massive challenge and I am sure it’s one that the players will be up for. We will get them rested up and organise accordingly,” he said.

“With players like Jordan Bowery, Ollie Clarke, George Maris, Stephen McLaughlin, George Lapslie, Mansfield are a very, very strong team.

“They are top-quality players that are the bedrock of the team. They will be tough but are we showed on Saturday, we have a bit of resilience and character about us.”

It is also a return to Mansfield for assistant manager Joe Dunne, whose arrival was confirmed late on Friday evening ahead of the Colchester clash.

The 49-year-old Irishman will work alongside compatriot Coughlan, first-team coach Jarred Harvey and goalkeeping coach Jim Hollman.

The manager is confident that his right-hand man will help the club avoid a brush with relegation with his knowhow and also develop the first-teamers and promising prospects.

“Joe is experienced with good knowledge of the division and good knowledge of the players,” said Coughlan.

“Players will love working with him, he is tactically astute and, similar to me, has a history in development.

“If we can make the players better and develop them, pushing them onto the next level then we will be doing our jobs.”



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