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Archived News from November 2022

4th November 2022 23:09

Boss expects ‘different’ Barrow test
mansfieldtown.net, Mon 31 Oct 2022

Mansfield Town manager Nigel Clough says he expects to face a ‘different’ Barrow to the one Stags beat 1-0 earlier this month when his squad travel to Holker Street in the Emirates FA Cup first round on Saturday.

Jordan Bowery’s match-winner separated the two sides in the league but the boss feels the Bluebirds are a stronger outfit now, having won their previous two in Sky Bet League Two.

An admirer of the world’s oldest domestic cup competition, Nigel hopes his side can return to winning ways in the Cup, following the club’s first home league loss since April against Swindon at the weekend.


Speaking in a news conference today at One Call Stadium, the boss said: “I think they’ve [Barrow] won a couple of games since [we last played them].

“They’re in the midst of [good] a run which can happen in this league easily.

“[They had] A very good victory at home to Crewe on Saturday.

“I think it will be a different Barrow team that we face on Saturday.”

The Stags’ manager provided an injury update ahead of the first-round Cup clash.

“[We will be without Hiram] Boateng [who is] suspended,” he said.

“Rhys Oates [as he continues to recover from his pectoral injury].

“[We have] Another couple of knocks from Saturday.

“Everybody else we hope will be in contention.

“If all the protocols go well and he passes all the tests that you have to [Riley Harbottle will be available].”

Mansfield suffered a rare defeat at One Call Stadium at the weekend with Swindon beating the ten-men Stags 5-2.

Reflecting on the encounter, Nigel said: “[There is] Overall disappointment with how we conceded some of the goals.

“[We’re] Disappointed with the decisions we made.

“[We’re] Disappointed with some of the officials' decisions as well.

“I think we have to certainly go back to how we were a few weeks ago in terms of being much harder to score against.

“We’ve conceded eight goals in the two games [against Crawley and Swindon] in a week.

“It’s been an unbelievably bad week for us.

“When you’re seven games unbeaten and you go into a week with three games and get one point out of nine and concede eight, it’s not too pleasant.

“The first three goals [against Swindon] came from throw-ins which is sloppy to say the least.

“I just thought we made some very poor decisions on the ball which led to the goals.”

The amber and blue will take part in a behind-closed-doors friendly against Nottingham Forest on Tuesday.

“The whole squad [will be involved]. Everybody will go; some who [have] played the vast majority of the games.

“Macca [Stephen McLaughlin] with his knee [injury] probably won't [feature].

“Elliott Hewitt has played all the games [and probably won’t feature].

“[The same applies to] Laps [George Lapslie] and Oli Hawkins who have played the majority of games.

“Everyone else will feature.”

Tomorrow evening, Andy Garner, James Perch and Oli Hawkins will be special guests at the club’s fans forum event at One Call Stadium. When asked if the trio are looking forward to it, Nigel said: “Yeah I think so. I hope the supporters are.

“It’ll be a good night for everybody and provide some relief.

“A very light-hearted sort of evening, I hope.

“You’ve got three interesting characters there.”


Nottingham Forest friendly for Mansfield Town ahead of FA Cup trip
chad.co.uk, By John Lomas, Mon 31 Oct 2022

Mansfield Town will play a 60 minute behind-closed-doors friendly at Premier League neighbours Nottingham Forest today ahead of Saturday's FA Cup Round One trip to Barrow.

The session will be used to top up players' fitness and, if concussion protocol allows, to see if young Forest loanee defender Riley Harbottle is ready to return at the weekend.

“We have a friendly at Forest on their training ground,” said Stags boss Nigel Clough.

“Andy Reid phoned us to say they have quite a big squad and asked if we wanted 60 minutes, so we will use that as a good training session and just about everybody will be involved.


“We have players who need a game and some will play 30 minutes and some will play 60 and it will be a really good training session.

“If Riley can have 30 minutes in that then that will be great, depending on how he is feeling.

“Everyone will feature apart from those who have played the vast majority of the games so far.”

George Lapslie, Stephen Mclaughlin and Kellan Gordon will miss out under treatment for injuries.


FA Cup return to Barrow will be much tougher proposition warns Mansfield Town boss Nigel Clough
chad.co.uk, By John Lomas

Mansfield Town are expecting Saturday's FA Cup First Round trip to Barrow to be a much tougher proposition then their 1-0 League Two win there a month ago.

Stags have hit a few bumps recently, only taking one point from the last nine available while the Bluebirds have taken seven from the last three.

“It will be a different game to last month as they have won a couple of games since then and are in the midst of a run, which can easily happen in this league,” said Stags boss Nigel Clough.

“They had a very good win at home to Crewe on Saturday, so I think they will be a very different sort of Barrow team.


“They were struggling but it just shows how fragile it all is at this level, the same with us.

“We know how tough it will be. I used to go to Barrow with Burton in the Northern Premier and I have never had anything other than that - the stadium, the atmosphere, the crowd all make it a tough place to go. And it's a long way to get there as we know.

“It's a tough old draw for us on the pitch and a tough old draw for supporters off it.”

He added: “In lots of ways it couldn't have been a much tougher draw for us in the first round.

“When you go away to the League One sides, as we have done previously at Sunderland and Doncaster, it is easier in some ways as the pressure is on them and we can go and play. Nobody really expects anything. Which is different on Barrow on Saturday.

“But I am a big fan of the tradition of the FA Cup and we want to stay in the competition.

“It is important financially for every club, especially in the current climate, to get through a round or two. So we will be trying to do that.

“When we were in non-league with Burton you wanted to get into the first round proper you might get a very big League One side.

“When you are a League club you are looking to get to the third round as that's when it really kicks in and the big boys come in. It is tough to get to that point when you get Barrow away, but we will try.

“It is a good opportunity to end the run of two out of three defeats we've had and at the very least get them back here to the One Call Stadium.”

Stags have been drawn away at Sunderland in the first round the last two years and Clough said: “The proportion of away draws we have had in the cup since we came here has been incredible.

“Even the youth team were drawn away in the FA Youth Cup last week with one of the most difficult draws they could have had.

“But when you're not doing well in the league, as we haven't this last week, the cup can give you a good lift as we found at Sheffield United and can improve your form going into the league games.

“It won't do us any harm to play a cup game instead of a league game this weekend ahead of the Bradford City game in the league on Tuesday.

“Despite all the hours of travel on the bus, which won't be ideal, with the size of the crowd and the size of game it is on Tuesday, we will be up for Bradford no matter what.”


Fine first two years for Nigel Clough as Mansfield Town boss as they edge closer to ultimate aim
chad.co.uk, By John Lomas

Nigel Clough racks up two years as Mansfield Town manager this weekend, having already managed one of the best win records in the club's history.

“It has gone very quickly,” he smiled.

“As you get older life does seem to go a lot quicker, but the last two years certainly seem to have sped along.

“There have been a lot of changes and though we haven't achieved our aim yet of getting the club back into League One, which we've not been in for many years, I think we are getting close.


“The main thing is we've gone from being a bottom six side to being a top six or seven side in that time and viewed as one of the best sides in the league. We have got to then turn that into our ultimate aim.

“We have good players, good recruitment and one of the most important factors is the connection we have with our supporters. It has brought us all together as one club.

“We see it here and with our travelling support and it's that which can make the difference.

“We try to play as entertainingly as we can. We try to go forward and score goals. That has been our intention for the last couple of years and I think is our best route to success.”

Clough now wants to get back to winning ways after only one point from the last nine in League Two as Stags return from Saturday's FA Cup trip to Barrow to face rivals Bradford City on Tuesday.

“It would be nice to go into it in the hat for the next round,” he said.

“It will be close to a full house. It's the one that was cancelled after the sad death of the Queen and is one that gives us an opportunity to get back to playing and getting that home form back.

“We're not far off. You saw on Saturday, to be ahead twice playing one of the best sides in the league and for an hour 11 v 11 I thought it was a cracking game. We were right in the mix.

“We created as much as them if not more and I would have fancied us to get a goal back in the last half hour the way the game was going had we not gone down to 10 men.

“It was that sort of crazy game. It could have been 4-4.”



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