CLOUGH, HAWKINS, PETE WILD REACTION
We showed excellent character - Gaffer
mansfieldtown.net, Sat 5 Nov 2022
Mansfield Town manager Nigel Clough has lauded his side’s ‘character’ to see out a 1-0 win at Barrow and progress into the second round of this season's Emirates FA Cup.
Stags delivered a well-fought response to losing 5-2 at home to Swindon Town last weekend.
The amber and blue battled the elements to beat the Bluebirds for a third time in 2022.
Speaking to iFollow Stags post-match, Nigel said: “I’m delighted.
“The character that we’ve shown today [was superb].
“The only way that we were going to get anything from the game at all was by showing an immense amount of character.
“They’ve scored something like six goals here in the last couple of games.
“You have to defend as though your life depends upon it and I thought we did that in the second-half.
“They [Barrow] throw the ball in the box and they cause you problems and that’s why they are where they are in the league.
“I couldn’t think of a tougher draw for us coming somewhere like this in these conditions.
“I thought it was two very honest teams going at it.”
The conditions had an impact on proceedings with puddles on the surface at times dictating the flow of the game.
“We were a little bit direct that we normally are,” the boss said.
“It wasn’t ideal conditions to play through midfield.
“We tried to keep two up there to get that second goal but it was about sensible play today.”
Oli Hawkins scored the match-winner and helped keep a clean sheet in an excellent display.
“I thought, first of all, he was outstanding in his defensive play.
“Then, he’s popped up towards the end of the first-half and he’s swivelled and put it in.
“He’s a very important player in both penalty areas for us as he proved today.”
Nigel made two changes at the break. Stephen Quinn and Anthony Hartigan were replaced by Ollie Clarke and Kieran Wallace.
“Stephen Quinn was injured,” he said.
“He got a whack on the back of the knee so he couldn’t continue.
“I would think he’d be a doubt for Tuesday [at home to Bradford City].
“Anthony Hartigan had been booked and was on a yellow card; we’d gone down to ten men in the previous two games.
“We didn’t want any problems again in that area.
“With the conditions today, it’s one slip or mistimed challenge and he could find himself with a second yellow.
“Ollie Clarke didn’t start because his knee has been a bit sore this week.
“I thought him and Kieran [Wallace] did very well when they came on.”
When asked who the boss wants to draw in the next round of the Cup, Nigel said: “Just please be at home.
“230 odd supporters came up today.
“They deserve a home draw as much as anybody.
“We’ve been on the road too much.
“Five out of seven in the Cup draws [have been away].
“It would be nice to get somebody at home and give us a chance of getting into the third round.”
Nigel Clough praises character after Mansfield Town's FA Cup win at Barrow
Nigel Clough praised Mansfield Town’s character after their battling 1-0 FA Cup win at Barrow.
Oli Hawkins hit the winner just before half-time with Stags fighting hard in the dying stages to protect their lead.
It left Clough delighted by the fight on show following a tough week for Mansfield.
“We couldn't have had a tougher draw when you look at the conditions,” he said.
“It's been a long time since people have seen mud on a pitch like we saw today, it was just about playable.
“If it had rained more in the game it might have been in doubt, it’s good to get it out of the way.
“We showed great character and it’s great to get in the hat. We had to have character on a day like this or you go under.
“You have to really dig in here and be ready for the onslaught that is coming if you’re going to win the game.
“It is very difficult to stop the ball coming into your box. All you can do is deal with it. It was a real throwback to cup ties from the 1970’s.
“It is brilliant to win a game, it’s brilliant to be in the hat and good to get a win before we face Bradford.”
Match-winner proud of Stags in cup win
mansfieldtown.net, Sat 5 Nov 2022
Defender Oli Hawkins declared his pride in Stags’ performance as Mansfield battled hard to beat Barrow 1-0 in the Emirates FA Cup first round.
The ex-Ipswich man’s first-half strike was enough to book Mansfield’s passage into the next round of the competition.
And like in previous visits to Holker Street, Stags had to pull out the stops to emerge victorious.
In a rain-soaked Cumbria, Hawkins dealt the decisive blow when his stabbed effort flew beyond a crowd of bodies and into the net after 39 minutes.
And speaking to iFollow Stags following the game, a beaming Hawkins said: “Everyone dug in deep to grind out a great result.
“We knew we had to battle hard and win first and second balls, get up the pitch as quick as we can. We know we’re capable of nicking a goal.
“It was never going to be a passing game, especially with the conditions.
“We knew we had to bide our time.
“We were able to get a goal from a set piece and battled hard to not let them score.
“We held on well and defended well for 90% of the game.
“We knew once we went 1-0 up that they would put a load of players in the box, kick it forward, get crosses in. We knew we had to stay strong, win first and second balls, and we did that.”
Stags beat Barrow on their own patch for the third time this calendar year.
And - like the previous two encounters - Hawkins knew it would be a real tug of war this afternoon.
“It’s my type of game; balls in the box, try and head it as much as you can, winning tackles, defending and keeping a clean sheet. Today I loved it.
“It was tough conditions. It was a tough place to come in the FA Cup. We’ve come here before so we know what to expect.”
On his crucial goal before half-time from George Maris’ free-kick, Hawkins said: “I jumped up with a couple of their players.
“Neither of us got our head on it. I read that it was going to bounce and reacted quickest and was able to kick the ball towards goal as I was falling to the ground, shut my eyes and hoped to hear the net rustle. Luckily it did.”
On his mistake at the other end, Hawkins said: "It was tough conditions out there. Everyone was shouting at me for giving the ball away. It was a silly mistake from me, I couldn't get the ball out from my feet, and it was like that everywhere, the ball kept on stopping and starting and I'm glad they didn't capitalise."
Comparing it to the Swindon game, Hawkins said: "It was my type of game, balls in the box, try and head as much as I can and clear it. I suppose you see in the Swindon game where they had a lot of ball-players, and quick players in and out and in behind, maybe not my kind of game, and it shows a little bit."
Barrow AFC boss Wild scathing as penalty shouts waved away
North-West Mail, By Neil Goulding
BARROW boss Pete Wild was once again left bewildered by how his side weren’t given at least one penalty against Mansfield after being dumped out of the FA Cup in the first round.
Wild was scathing in his assessment of the officials when the two sides in League Two action a month ago.
And Wild was again left less than impressed after penalty shouts were waved away in both halves by Andy Haines at Holker Street.
“I’ve got to be honest, there’s one if not two pens in there,” insisted Wild. “For some reason they don’t give them against Mansfield.
“There’s a pen first half and a pen second half and that’s what’s winding me up at the end of the game.
“They have all the skullduggery they come with and there’s not a referee strong enough at this level to deal with that.
“Some days you don’t get what you deserve and one of those is today.”
The Bluebirds crashed out at the first hurdle for the second time in three years as Ollie Hawkins bundled home the only goal of the game in the first half.
Barrow huffed and puffed and had some great chances to at least earn a replay.
But Wild was full of praise for his side’s performance despite coming away with nothing.
He said: “I thought we played really well, I was really pleased with the way we played. We dominated the game and spent the whole of the second half in their half.
“The only disappointing thing was conceding from a set piece. Other than that I thought the lads were brilliant.
“In recent weeks we’ve been taken those chances, unfortunately we didn’t take them.
“We had seven or eight really good chances. I spoke to the players before the game and said I wanted to know how far we’ve come in the last month and on that display we’ve come a long way.
“On another day we take those chances. They defended their box well and they deserve credit for that, they were really resolute and some very last-ditch defending.”
The most pleasing aspect for Wild was the way in which the Bluebirds dominated the game despite having nothing to show for their efforts, especially after how the league fixture went down last time.
He added: “There was a massive contrast with when we played them in the league.
“Mansfield controlled us without the ball in the last game. There wasn’t a lot in that game, but they controlled us.
“We completely dominated proceedings. Some days things just don’t go your way and unfortunately this is one of those.
“We’re playing well, we’re doing well and certainly progressing as a football club.”
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