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Archived News from November 2022

10th November 2022 23:31

Gaffer: Stags have made progress in last two years
mansfieldtown.net, Mon 7 Nov 2022

Mansfield Town manager Nigel Clough believes his side has ‘improved as a team’ as he reflects on two years managing the Stags ahead of Tuesday night's encounter with Bradford City.

After progressing to the second round of the FA Cup on Saturday, thanks to a goal from Oli Hawkins at Holker Street. Nigel Clough marked two years as manager of Mansfield Town on Sunday.

The Bantams visit One Call Stadium tomorrow evening as the Stags look to return to winning ways in Sky Bet League Two.

Speaking about his time at the helm to iFollow Stags at a news conference this morning, Nigel said: “It’s gone quickly.

“I hope we’ve made progress. That's what you want to do over a period [of time]. I think we’ve improved as a team.

read more at https://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/2022/november/gaffer-stags-have-made-progress-in-last-two-years/

“I think we were [in the] bottom six when we came in. Despite dipping back down there briefly last season we’ve been in and around the top six. I think that's been the main achievement as well as the re-engagement from the supporters.

“[We had] record season ticket [sales] in the summer. The home record has been outstanding, apart from last week against Swindon.”

When asked about his favourite moment so far, he said: “It’s difficult to have one stand out moment. We’ve won five out of seven in the FA Cup, winning at Sunderland twice [and] the way we played at Doncaster. And even the defeat against Middlesbrough in the third round. The cup has provided some highlights.

“We are trying to achieve consistency now to stay in the top six and challenge for automatic promotion. If we can do that, that would be the best.”

After a hard fought battle, the Stags made it to the second round of the FA Cup following a 1-0 win at Barrow on Saturday thanks to a first-half goal from Oli Hawkins.

“[We were] brilliant, in very tough conditions. It’s as difficult as it could have been, the draw, [against Barrow in the first round of the FA Cup].

“I think we’ve won three times up there in the calendar year which is good going. It took quite a lot out of us because of the conditions and everything.

“The physical side of the game and the amount of balls they put into the box in the last five [to] ten minutes I thought we defended heroically.

“[With] all five subs used with ten minutes to go, if we had another sub or two to use we would’ve put them on [the pitch].”

Nigel provided an injury update ahead of our next game against Bradford City.

“First of all we’ll find out how the lads are feeling [after the Barrow game].

“[We’ll see if there are] any injuries, knocks and things like that. We do have a few players available fresh.

“Will Swan didn't feature [against Barrow]. Hiram Boateng is back from suspension. Ollie Clarke only played 45 [minutes]. Anthony Hartigan the same [as he only played 45 minutes]. They shouldn't be too badly affected.

“It's the ones who were out there for the [full] 98 minutes or whatever, we’ll check on them.

“Training becomes very light in between the two games. I think there will probably be enforced changes [on Tuesday night] because of injury. We’ll count up and see.

“Stephen Quinn came off, Stephen McLaughlin came off both injured. We’ll see how the others are that come off as well.”

“We’re not far off now [from a full squad]

“With Jason Law and James Gale on the bench we managed to fill the bench with the extra subs on Saturday.

“[There’s] only Rhys Oates who isn't too far away [from returning from injury]. Jimmy Knowles is back on the pitch which is great. He may feature in the Papa Johns if not the Notts Senior Cup against Notts County. [It will] be nice to have them all available.”

Mansfield take on the Bantams tomorrow night at One Call Stadium as they look to bounce back from the last league outing against Swindon Town.

Nigel was asked what we could expect to see from Mark Hughes’ men.

“Good quality,” he replied. “When you look at their squad they’ve probably got two and a bit teams they can put out there. [They’re] not absolutely flying at the moment.

“I think the biggest danger tomorrow is their reaction from losing in the cup on Saturday.”


Exertions in muddy cup win at Barrow will probably see Mansfield Town makes changes for Bradford City visit
chad.co.uk, By John Lomas

Nigel Clough admitted Saturday's heroic 1-0 away FA Cup win in awful conditions at Barrow was exhausting for his squad and he may have to make changes for tomorrow night's visit of Bradford City.

“It took quite a bit out of us because of the conditions and the physical side of the game. We defended heroically,” he said.

“Running around in those conditions is very heavy on the legs.

“It's not something we're used to as you don't play in those conditions. There is not a lot of mud around in modern day football - but we saw some on Saturday.

read more at https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/exertions-in-muddy-cup-win-at-barrow-will-probably-see-mansfield-town-makes-changes-for-bradford-city-visit-3909097

“So we will see how everyone is. We do have a few players fresh. Will Swan didn't feature and Hiram Boateng is back from suspension.

“Ollie Clarke and Anthony Hartigan only played 45 minutes too, so they shouldn't be too badly affected. It is the people who were out there for the full 98-100 minutes that we normally play these days.”

He continued: “Training becomes very light between the two games.

“Ideally you would want a clear week after a game like that to recover properly. We don't have that luxury so let's crack on and have a go at Bradford on Tuesday.

“I think there will be enforced changes due to injuries.

“Stephen Quinn and Stephen McLaughlin both came off injured. They are probably 50-50 at the moment.

“But I don't think we have a weakened side when we change it, just a different side.

“I think the squad is very evenly balanced in terms of ability.”

Bradford lost 1-0 at home to Harrogate Town in their FA Cup clash on Saturday and, after a win at Salford City, have drawn their last three League Two games, sitting sixth, three places above Stags but only ahead of Clough's men on goal difference - as are Carlisle and Salford.

“Bradford have good quality,” said Clough.

“You talk about squads, look at the strength of their squad. They probably have two and a bit teams they can put out.

“They're not absolutely flying at the moment. I think the biggest danger tomorrow is their reaction from losing at home in the FA Cup on Saturday.”

Clough said two ex-Stags strikers could pose the biggest threat.

“Andy Cook and Vadaine Oliver are big threats in the air and neither started on Saturday,” he added.

“They are a good side with a good manager and they will have a big following there as well.

“There is always big expectations with Bradford with the size of club they are and the following they have. It makes it difficult.

“But they are trying to play football and not just smash it up to the big lads so it will be an interesting game.”


Midfielder highlights gaffer’s strengths
mansfieldtown.net, Mon 7 Nov 2022

Midfielder Kieran Wallace says Nigel Clough’s ‘simplicity’ is one of his greatest strengths as a manager as well as his ability to ‘build a good squad of good players’.

The 27-year-old has played under the boss at Sheffield United, Burton Albion and now Mansfield - where the gaffer yesterday marked two years in charge.

The Nottingham-born midfielder is looking to return to full fitness and fight for a starting shirt at One Call Stadium after his spell at the club has thus far been punctured by time on the sideline.

Speaking to iFollow Stags at a news conference this morning, Kieran was asked about the manager’s strengths and said: “The way he talks about the game and his training methods are simple. Sometimes managers overcomplicate the game, but the way he talks and the way he wants you to play is simple.

“He builds a good squad of players. The lads want to perform for him and that’s how he gets the best out of the players. I certainly know where I stand with him.


“He’s obviously been very good for me and my career. He’s helped me a lot.

“[He’s] shown a lot of faith in me as a player and I think my game suits the way he wants to play as well.

“He’s straight to the point. He was a very good player and a very good manager.”

Wallace came on at half-time for Stephen Quinn in Saturday’s 1-0 FA Cup first round victory at Barrow.

When asked about the cup tie, Kieran said: “It was hard fought. They’re on a good run of form and they’re doing well in the league.

“It was tough to come on too. I felt like I was running in mud at some stages, literally mud.

“I thought we saw the game out pretty well in the end.”

Wallace joined the Stags on 28 January 2022 on a free transfer and summed up his time so far at the club.

“It’s been very stop-start for me [at Mansfield], very frustrating,” he said.

“Off the pitch I’ve settled in quite well but on the pitch it has been a little bit frustrating.

“When I joined in January I knew it would be quite tough ‘cause I joined a team that was playing really well.

“In the summer I really thought I could kick on and push through. I missed pre-season through an injury so it’s been quite frustrating.

“I’ve had to make a lot of appearances from the bench [and] I’m just trying to build my fitness up as much as I can. [I’ll] obviously try and get as much game time [as possible] when I'm called upon.

“I’m the sort of player who needs regular training, regular game time. I’m not naturally the fittest. I think anyone who watches me play can probably tell that [with] the way I run and the way I move. There's no secret about that.

“I’m really trying to get that base fitness to kick on and show what I’m about.”

Stags take on the Bantams tomorrow in a League Two encounter as they look to bounce back at One Call Stadium following a 5-2 defeat against Swindon in the last outing.

“They lost on Saturday in the FA Cup but they’re in good form,” said Wallace, speaking about Bradford.

“They’ve overtaken us in the league. Obviously they’re a big club as well with a well-known manager. They’ll be looking to come and get a good result. They won’t sit back and let us dictate [the match].

“It’ll be a really tough game and a good night I think.


Frustrated Kieran Wallace targets regular starts for Mansfield Town
chad.co.uk, By John Lomas

Mansfield Town utility man Kieran Wallace is hoping to put a string of injuries behind him in recent years and nail down a place in Mansfield Town's starting line up.

Wallace, who has worked with boss Nigel Clough before at both Sheffield United and Burton Albion, has suffered a series of career setbacks from an anterior cruciate ligament injury to a dislocated shoulder and concussion.

And he admits the only way to get fully fit and show his quality is by playing regularly.

Since arriving in January he has so far he has only started four league games for Mansfield but come on as a sub in 21 others.


“It's been very stop-start for me. I feel off the pitch I have settled in quite well but on the pitch has been a bit frustrating,” he said.

“I knew it would be tough to get starts when I joined in January as I had joined a team that was playing really well.

“I was just coming back from injury when I joined too, so I knew I had a bit of catching up to do.

“In the summer I really though I could kick on and push for a place in the team. But then I missed pre-season through an injury.

“So it's been frustrating and I have had to make a lot of appearances from the bench. I am just trying to build my fitness up as much as I can and get as much game time as I can when called upon.

“I was building it up then I got a clash of heads in the Derby game. I was seeing stars for a week or two so I was sat at home de-conditioning again.”

He continued: “I am the sort of player that needs regular training and regular games to get my fitness. I am not naturally the fittest - I think anyone that watches me play can tell that by the way I run and move. It's no secret I need game time and a lot of minutes to get going.

“The last couple of weeks I have got some minutes under my belt and I am really trying to get that base fitness to kick on and show what I am about.

“I have had to battle injuries most of my career - it's not just started here.

“But I am more understanding about coming back from them now which is helping. When I was younger it was more annoying. I understand what I am about now and how to implement that. Injuries are part and parcel of football.”

Wallace knows his ability to play several positions is sometimes a hindrance to being picked regularly.

“I have always played in a number of positions at every club,” he said.

“Sometimes that works for me and sometimes against me. It means I can be a good squad player but when everyone is fit and I look where there is a position for me, you can slip out the back door a bit.

“I will just keep working hard and try to nail down a spot.

“I don't mind where I play. The qualities I possess probably suits midfield the most.

“I am a bit of an inbetweener as a central midfielder and a centre half really. I am better facing the play. When you are at the back the game is in front of you which suits me a bit more.

“But I don't have a lot of pace and I am not the tallest to be centre half, especially in this league. When I was playing there in League One for Burton it probably suited me a bit more at the back.

“We have some fantastic footballers in our midfield at Mansfield - definitely the best in this league. They could play at a higher level. But when I go in there I think I can offer something a little bit different - maybe a bit more physicality.”

Wallace is grateful to Clough for the faith shown in him during his three spells with him.

“He is very straight to the point,” he said.

“I certainly know where I stand with him and he has been very good for me and my career.

“He was obviously a very good player, became a very good manager, and has helped me a lot and shown a lot of faith in me.

“I think my game suits the way he wants to play.

“At Sheffield United he signed me from Ilkeston along with Che Adams, then when I joined Burton I was on trial at another club but dislocated my shoulder playing cricket.

“I asked if I could go in and train with them and I went in for a couple of months to get my fitness up again and ended up signing a short term deal to help out as they were short and it snowballed from there, so that was obviously a big break for me. He repayed the loyalty for me turning up every day for no pay and working as hard as I could.

“Sometimes managers can overcomplicate the game, but he makes it very simple how he wants you to play which suits me. Players want to perform for him and that's how he gets the best out of them and gets results.

“The ultimate goal this season is promotion though on a personal note I want to get as many minutes as possible and try to earn another contract.”

Wallace played the second half of Saturday's 1-0 FA Cup win in the mudbath at Barrow and said: “It was a hard-fought win, especially with the weather conditions, and we did well to hang on in the end.

“We were on the back foot a lot but I thought we defended well.

“It was a tough game to come on into. I felt like I was literally running in mud - quicksand at times. But I thought we saw it out pretty well in the end.”



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