CLOUGH ON DEFENSIVE WOES AND LOOK FORWARD TO FACUP
Nigel Clough told iFollow Stags, Mon 21 Nov 2022:
on the defeat at Harrogate:
"Our defending was unbelievably poor for the three goals."
"I don't think we've got the balance right so far this season, between playing and stopping the opposition playing.
"I think with the ball we're very good, but we need a little more emphasis on stopping the opposition.
"What was lacking on Saturday was an ability to make contact with the opposition.
"We had no Hewitt available to start the game, he pulled out of training on Wednesday and he couldn't do anything at all on Friday. So it would have been a huge risk to start him.
"Harbottle, who is probably our quickest defender, is out.
"And our most combative player on the staff is Ollie Clarke who was missing as well.
"But that's no excuse for the players coming in not doing it.
"And we still have enough out there to compete better than we did on Saturday defensively.
"Lewis Page looked a little bit rusty for 30 minutes on Saturday, he hasn't played since March. But he didn't do much wrong. And the quality we've seen in training, he's going to be a good addition for us."
"We've got three cup games coming up and we can do some good work in terms of re-building confidence.
"We get the chance to go and play at Hillsborough. I know the Stags played there in 2014, but it will still be a wonderful experience for the players and supporters.
"And we've got a couple of big Sheffield Wednesday fans in the camp, George Maris and David Waldie our fitness lad.
"I think the opposite to that, whatever the opposite is, is Stephen Quinn, who spent quite a lot of years at Sheffield United.
"Stephen McLaughlin and Riley Harbottle are the main doubts. McLaughlin might do a bit of training this week. But the main thing is we get him right for the next 5 months. If all goes well, they might feature against Everton.
"We're hoping Ollie Clarke's knock on his knee will be ok."
transcribed by Martin
Boss: We’ll take ‘belief’ from previous cup wins
Mansfield Town manager Nigel Clough says his side will take the ‘belief’ from producing cup upsets against League One opposition in recent Emirates FA Cup seasons into Saturday as his squad head to Sheffield Wednesday hoping to pull off another scalp.
Over 3,800 Stags supporters will be in attendance at Hillsborough as the club look to progress into the third round of the world’s oldest domestic cup competition for the second successive year.
Mansfield beat Sunderland and Doncaster last season before being edged out by Championship side Middlesbrough in round three.
Speaking to the local media in a news conference on Monday, Nigel said: “[We have] The belief that we can do it [reach the third round].
“When we go and play at [big] stadiums I don’t think it phases us.
“I think the way that we play - we have some big players who can perform at these sorts of venues, but they have to step up and show it on Saturday.
“They have done it at Sunderland a couple of times. At Doncaster was one of our best performances last season and now probably as big as anything is at Hillsborough.
“They’re probably the biggest side left in the competition at this stage so to get them away from home - I’m just glad it’s not too much travelling.
“I’m delighted with the ticket pricing. I think that’s wonderful between the two clubs. A tenner and a fiver to go and see your team at Hillsborough [is fantastic].”
The gaffer continued: “We’ve been up to the Stadium of Light in the last couple of seasons and now it’s another huge League One club and we get the chance to go and play at Hillsborough.
“I think the Stags played there in 2014 or something like that so it wasn’t too long ago [we were last there].
“But still a wonderful experience for the players and the supporters.”
The Stags are looking to bounce back after a 3-0 loss in the league at Harrogate last weekend.
“We’re looking for a point where we can get everybody fit and we can get a settled side and I think we’ll be better for it,” the boss said.
“We’re still in a good position. Saturday was a setback.”
Rhys Oates, the club’s top goalscorer last season, returned to action at EnviroVent Stadium in his first appearance since August after rupturing his pectoral muscle against AFC Wimbledon.
“We didn’t really want to bring him [Oates] on in the context of the game.
“If you’re 2-1 down or 1-0 or something like that then whatever but at 3-0 it was more or less over.
“It was just [about] getting him back on the pitch and for the supporters to get a boost.
“We’re all looking for something to cheer us up a little bit and seeing him back on the pitch was the major one on Saturday.
“You see the influence that Hiram Boateng is having in games now.
“We’ve been without them for a long time - two of our most influential players.
“You miss your captain on Saturday [Ollie Clarke],[Riley] Harbottle and [Elliott] Hewitt.
“It’s no excuses but to achieve the level of consistency [we require] we need a consistent team out there as well.
“It’s been chopping and changing, not through choice, through necessity.”
Nigel added the injury latest ahead of the weekend’s clash.
“We’re hoping that pretty much all of them [recently injured players will train this week],” he said.
“Stephen McLaughlin and Riley Harbottle, I’m not sure about. They’re the main doubts.
“We’re hoping Ollie Clarke’s knock on his knee will be okay.
“Stephen McLaughlin might do a little bit of training this week, but the main thing is that we get him right for the next five months.”
Senior Cup quarter-final preview: Notts v Stags
mansfieldtown.net, Mon 21 Nov 2022
A Mansfield Town XI will face a Notts County XI in the quarter-final of the Notts Senior Cup at Meadow Lane tomorrow night (7pm kick-off).
Stags beat Selston 6-0 in the previous round thanks to a James Gale hat-trick and goals from Jack Deakin and Jakub Kruszynski.
Ahead of Tuesday night's clash, manager Nigel Clough told iFollow Stags who would feature in the game: “[Scott] Flinders, [Kellan] Gordon, [Lewis] Page, [George] Cooper, [John-Joe] O’Toole, Charlie Carter out [of] the Academy, Kieran Wallace, Jason Law, Will Swan, Rhys Oates, James Gale. And then five players from the Academy on the bench.
“When you have a result like Saturday [a 3-0 loss at Harrogate], everybody is in the frame to be selected.
"You would hope the lads who didn't start on Saturday or [the players who are] on the fringes [of the squad] first of all put a good week's training in and then they have an opportunity against Notts County to shine."
Ticket prices for Tuesday evening's game at Meadow Lane are as follows:
Concession (65+ and under-21): £3
Under-16 (accompanied by an adult): FREE
Tickets can only be purchased at the turnstiles - in the Derek Pavis Stand - on the night of the game .
Venue: Meadow Lane, Nottingham, NG2 3HJ
Nigel Clough eager to see injured players return as Mansfield Town look to get back on track
Nigel Clough expects Mansfield Town to pick up the points once again when players return to fitness.
Stags have picked up just four points in their last six League Two matches following a big dip in form with injuries not helping matters.
Top scorer Rhys Oates returned off the bench during the weekend defeat at Harrogate, with Clough hoping it signals a change of luck.
“You see the influence Hiram Boateng is having on games,” he said. “Oates is our leading scorer and we have missed these players, two of our most influential players, for a long time.
“We have also had injuries. We had our captain missing at Harrogate as well as (Elliott) Hewitt and (Riley) Harbottle.
“It is no excuse but to achieve a level of consistency we have to have a consistent team selection and it’s been chopping and changing, not through choice, for the first three months of the season.
“We are looking forward to getting to the point where we have everyone fit and a settled side and we will be better for it.
“We are still in a good position, Saturday was a setback but it’s three points.
“We have a break in the league now before Colchester and I think we can do some good work in the cup games to build confidence.”
That starts with a trip to face Sheffield Wednesday in FA Cup second round on Saturday with Clough relishing the tie.
“It's a wonderful experience for the players and the fans,” said Clough. “We have a couple of big Sheff Wed fans in the camp as well.
“Stephen Quinn spent a lot of time at Sheffield United and he's looking forward to it for a different reason.
“We have the belief that we can win. When we play at these stadiums it doesn't phase us. We have very good players who can perform in these venues and they have to step up and show it.
“They are the biggest side in the competition at this stage and I’m pleased with the ticket pricing and that it's not too far to go.
“We want to make it a real good occasion and we will try our best to reward the supporters.”
Harbottle and Stephen McLlaughlin are doubts for the fixture though hopes are high that Ollie Clarke will be fit again.
James Perch looking to make FA Cup memories as Mansfield Town look to shock Sheffield Wednesday
chad.co.uk, By Stephen Thirkill
James Perch is looking to make more FA Cup memories with Mansfield this weekend.
The veteran defender - who lost in the 2014 semi-final with Wigan - has fond memories of the competition, both as a boy and as a player.
“Scoring the winner for Wigan at Man City is a great memory,” he said.
“It was a good day. We played really well and it was good to get through.
“My earliest memory is Eric Cantona's goal against Liverpool in the 1996 final.
“We used to watch it as kids, it used to be a tradition and I have fond memories of the cup.
“The FA cup has lost it a bit with the bigger clubs losing interest, but I’d like to see the magic come back to what it used to be.
“It's always good to see the upsets and hopefully we can get one. It is good for the fans.”
Stags will be backed by 3,000 fans making the short trip to Hillsborough.
And having seen their side beat Sunderand away in the last two competitions, they will travel with confidence.
“It is always a good game in the FA Cup and it is nice to have a break from the league,” added Perch.
“We will take a few thousand fans and hopefully have a good day. The fans have been brilliant since I have been here and the numbers don't surprise me.
“We can take the experience of Sunderland and the big grounds and realise that we can compete against good teams and that we can win. We can take confidence.”
Perch hails ‘brilliant’ Stags’ backing
Mansfield Town defender James Perch says the ‘brilliant’ travelling support expected at Hillsborough on Saturday ‘doesn’t surprise’ him with the club expected to take approximately 4,000 fans to Sheffield Wednesday for the Emirates FA Cup second round.
The veteran defender, who has an FA Cup semi-final on his CV with former club Wigan Athletic, says the squad will take the experience of winning at ‘big places’ in recent years into the match.
Born in Mansfield, Perch hopes his hometown’s fanbase can ‘enjoy the day’ and the club’s superb following will leave Sheffield with a third round tie to look forward to.
Speaking to the local media in a news conference at RH Academy this week, he said: “It’s always a good game in the FA Cup.
“It’s a little break from the league. It’s been tough recently [in Sky Bet League Two] so to go to Hillsborough and take a few thousand fans will hopefully [give us the opportunity to] enjoy the day.
“It’s brilliant [the supporters’ backing]. It doesn’t surprise me the numbers going to Hillsborough.
“We can take the experience that we’ve had in previous years of going to big places and big grounds.
“We know we can compete against good teams. We know we can win.
“We’ll take confidence going there.
“I think we can relax a little bit instead of being the favourites.
“We can be the underdogs and play our stuff.”
The 37-year-old has fond memories of the world’s oldest domestic cup competition.
“I scored the winner to get us [Wigan] to the semi-final [in 2014] so the FA Cup [for me] has been alright yeah,” he said joking.
“We lost in the semis to Arsenal but it’s good memories.
“It was a good day [personally], they were a good side at the time [Man City] and luckily we got through.”
Despite Stags’ form fluctuating in recent months, Perch believes the club will soon be back on track. With Saturday providing an opportunity to build confidence.
“It’s been a very up and down season so far but we’re still within touch of the play-offs,” he said.
“We’d like to be higher [in the league table] but there is still a long way to go.
“We’ve been disappointed at times but then had some good results which has picked us back up.”
Introducing the Sheffield Wednesday-supporting Mansfield Town man who puts Hillsborough up there with Wembley
The Star Sheffield, By Alex Miller, Fri 25 Nov 2022
There was a moment a few weeks back in which Mansfield Town’s strength and conditioning coach wandered up to a couple of players practising free-kicks at the end of a training session.
Standing 30 yards back from the goal and asking a teammate to roll it back to him half-pace, David Waldie flicked the ball up to hit it on the volley and aimed for the bottom corner in the style of one of his childhood heroes John Sheridan - and his iconic goal at Luton Town in September 1991.
“I was trying to demonstrate that to them but I had to just show them on YouTube in the end,” he laughed in conversation with The Star. “They’ve not quite tried it yet but you never know - maybe Saturday is the one!”
The 39-year-old will be proudly wearing the badge of Mansfield Town on his chest come 3pm Saturday when The Stags arrive at Hillsborough with around 4,000 supporters and dreams of an FA Cup second round upset over Sheffield Wednesday.
And for Wednesdayite Waldie, the draw represents a career highlight he puts up there with any other - including Mansfield’s heartbreaking trip to Wembley for the League Two play-off final last season.
The sports science guru, who around a decade in the RAF started out life in the game at Sheffield United of all clubs as well as short stints at Notts County, Lincoln City and Carlisle United, remembers growing up in Doncaster in the halcyon years of the early 1990s - those years when many a Wednesdayite was made.
Having fallen in love with the game during the 1990 World Cup, a young Waldie turned not in the way of Rovers but towards S6. His first game came in the iconic 1990/91 season, his tenth birthday party was held at Hillsborough and the rest fell into place from there.
“Growing up Sheffield Wednesday were always Premier League and Donny were in the Conference,” he said. “You split your loyalties a bit - I went to some Donny games - but my family weren’t hugely into football really and when you’re a kid you go for the bigger crowds and stuff, don’t you? There was no comparison.
“There were so many heroes. David Hirst was the first one but then Paul Warhurst, it was so exciting when he converted from defence to heading up front and I remember all that very clearly. Chris Waddle is still the best player I’ve ever seen and my favourite goal was the United goal at Wembley. I remember watching on my grandad’s telly. Unbelievable.
“I was the right sort of age for that sweet spot in the early 90s; Hirst, Sheridan, Waddle, all those guys. It was a great time to be a kid growing into loving football.”
Such is the relatively close proximity between Sheffield and Mansfield, it’s no surprise that there are several football links to the city in the Stags’ changing room.
Manager Nigel Clough is a former Sheffield United boss and midfielder Stephen Quinn a former Blade of 238 appearances. Number 10 George Maris is a Wednesdayite, as is veteran goalkeeper Scott Flinders.
And then there’s Waldie, who watched the draw live and gave his partner something of a shock when his employers were drawn to play at Hillsborough.
“The missus was up giving the little one a bath so I flicked the telly on to watch it.
“I celebrated, gave it a “Yes!” and punched the air a bit. She wondered what was going on!
“There’s a few Wednesdayites knocking about but we tend to keep ourselves to ourselves when it comes to Wednesday, to be fair,” he chuckled. “We talk about the results and what-not, but when you work in football you’re so immersed in the team you’re working for I suppose.
“We do talk about how they’re getting on or whatever and the gaffer and Quinny give us some grief if we lose, but it’s all in good spirits.”
A career highlight up with even an afternoon under the Wembley arch Saturday will be for Waldie, but there will be absolutely no split loyalty or mixed emotion when the whistle is blown to start the tie.
Mansfield have scalped Sunderland twice in back-to-back FA Cup runs and have got the taste for knocking out the bigger boys in League One football, with Clough having admitted there is none bigger than the Owls at this stage of the competition.
With 4,000 or more Stags supporters set to pack out the away end, everyone connected to Mansfield are looking forward to the clash. None though, perhaps, more than Waldie.
“I’ve never worked at Hillsborough and it’s going to be good to experience that,” he said. “It’s the only game I’ve ever wanted Wednesday to lose.
“There’s no mixed feelings at all unfortunately. We all spend every working hour trying to make this team better and it’s such a good group of lads, the club is brilliant.
“I 100 per cent want to go to Hillsborough and win.
“We went to Wembley last season and that was incredible, but for me it’ll be exactly the same, maybe even better, getting to work at Hillsborough. It’ll be a great experience but I’m 100 per cent about winning.”
With Chris Waddle among the Owls legends expected at Hillsborough on Saturday, Waldie may be tempted indulge himself in a couple of photo opportunities - but only, of course, once a job is done.
The 39-year-old admitted one of his career regrets was a near-miss in which he arrived at Carlisle just weeks after John Sheridan had been given the boot as manager.
Is Hillsborough the place for, say, George Maris to attempt the Shez free-kick routine rather dodgily re-enacted by his strength and conditioning coach those few weeks ago?
It would be a bit of an iconic moment, wouldn’t it?