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Archived News from January 2023

12th January 2023 23:39

Manager assesses Barrow loss
mansfieldtown.net, Sat 7 Jan 2023

Manager Nigel Clough said ‘poor decision making’ proved to be Mansfield’s undoing as Barrow came from behind to win 3-2 at One Call Stadium.

Stags had taken an early lead after Stephen McLaughlin’s powerful ninth minute free-kick broke through the defensive wall to nestle into the right side of goal. Fellow Irishman Stephen Quinn doubled the hosts’ lead 16 minutes later with a smart finish.

However, a misplaced pass by George Maris in stoppage time allowed Billy Waters to half the deficit before Josh Gordon drew level four minutes after the break. An Oli Hawkins own goal completed the Barrow comeback on 77 minutes.


The gaffer felt his side were on course for victory before Waters’ goal at a decisive stage of the game completely altered the contest.

“The whole game changed in that one moment, you could see the way they [Barrow] went off for the half-time break,” he told iFollow Stags.

“At 2-0 you come in at half-time [and] they [Barrow] then have a mountain to climb, but 2-1 and the timing of the goal gives them such a lift. We went 1-0 [down] at Hartlepool and got a goal within a few minutes and then our tails were up. It’s exactly the same [situation]. Then, at 2-2 it’s anyone’s game from there on in.

“We knew they were going to come out with renewed energy having got that lifeline. Then you have to see that through and get to the hour mark, then press yourself and try and get a goal.

“It’s my responsibility. What we can do is keep telling the players when you’re a minute before half-time and 2-0 up, ‘I’m not particularly interested in us playing nice football, I’m interested in us winning the game’.”

The Stags’ chief provided an update on midfielder George Lapslie’s contract situation: “He was offered a new deal the week before Christmas. His representative didn’t acknowledge the deal for in excess of a week on an improved offer. [They] then came back and said, ‘no interest at the level’. It was one of those where [they] didn’t suggest further negotiations so I would think it’s one of those where we’re open to offers [for him] in January.”

“He’s available [to play] for us, that wasn’t the reason he didn’t start today.

The manager finished by providing an update on Stags’ injury list.

“Lucas Akins and Kieran Wallace have got a good chance [of returning to action at home to Crewe next week] which is good news,” he said.

“I think Ollie Clarke and Riley Harbottle will be [back at] the end of the month.

“Anthony Hartigan saw the specialist this morning. [He] needs an operation, so [we’re] pretty much ruling him out for the rest of the season.”


On the formation changes, Clough told iFollow Stags:
"At 2-2 we went back to a 3, to try to get Oatesey up the middle.
"Then we go 3-2 down and you need Hawks back up there to try and get a flick or something. But the balls up to him weren't good enough, Jason Law had a couple where he didn't reach him.
"The subs didn't have too much impact today."


Mansfield Town boss Nigel Clough furious as side again gift opponents a lifeline as Barrow bounce back to win
chad.co.uk, By John Lomas, Sat 7 Jan 2023

Mansfield Town manager Nigel Clough was furious with his side for again giving opposition a way back into a game for the third time in four outings.

And he also said he may lose midfield star George Lapslie in the current transfer window with no sign of him signing a contract extension and out of contract in the summer.

Stags today saw a 2-0 lead evaporate into a 3-2 home defeat by promotion rivals Barrow.


But Barrow looked beaten until they were gifted the ball for a goal against the run of play in first half stoppage time.

A furious Clough said: “George Maris gave the ball away in added time in the first half like Stephen McLaughlin did against Northampton. George did it against Walsall again last week and each time we covered it extensively with the players.

“Until we learn it's going to be tough. All we can do is keep telling the players. You should learn it at 12-13 years of age.

“We should kick the ball out the ground or into the stand.

“But we gave the ball away and Barrow got such a lifeline from it. They should have been dead and buried. At 2-0 you come in at half-time and they have a mountain to climb.”

He added: “For 45 and a half minutes it was as good a performance as we have put in until that one moment of poor decision has cost us.

“We needed to then see out the first 15-20 minutes of the second half as we knew they were going to come out with renewed energy.

“You get to the hour mark, then press yourself and try to get another goal.

“The whole game changed in that one moment.

“They came out a different team in the second half.

“At 2-2 they then got a break and we didn't.

“Second half we had enough to go and get a goal. I thought we got into some great positions but didn't get in a cross.”

On Lapslie he said: “He was offered a new deal a week or so before Christmas. His representative actually didn't even acknowledge the deal - an improved offer - for in excess of a week.

“Then he came back and said no interest at that level. It is one of those where he didn't suggest any further negotiations, so I would think it's one of those we could be open to offers in January.

“He is available for us and that wasn't the reason he didn't start today. I didn't think he played very well at Walsall last week and I wanted the three up top today.”

With more bad news, Clough added: “Anthony Hartigan saw a specialist this morning and does need an operation, pretty much ruling him out for the rest of the season.”


We’re back in business says Barrow boss Pete Wild after poor run ends with comeback win at rivals Mansfield Town
chad.co.uk, By John Lomas, Sat 7 Jan 2023

Barrow manager Pete Wild said today's 3-2 comeback win at rivals Mansfield Town should give his side renewed confidence to make the play-offs.

Trailing 2-0, they hit back to win and replace Stags in the top seven places.

“Two mistakes saw us 2-0 down as we again gave a team a head start. I thought we were dead and buried and it was going to be a long afternoon,” he said.

“But Billy Waters getting that goal out of absolutely nothing gave us a foothold to try to push on.


“Over the last few weeks I have been trying to find a way to get us going again. I have been trying all sorts of things.

“The funny thing is the answer has smashed me in the face - go back to being us. I have learned a valuable lesson today.

“Second half I thought we were outstanding and had a real tempo. We were back to our brilliant best like we were at the start of the season.”

He continued: “I started 3-5-2 to try to stop what Mansfield are good at. Mansfield are a top team and will certainly be in and around the play-offs where we want to be too.

“But we just didn't look like us. We were too slow and needed some urgency. As a manager you're damned if you do and damned if you don't.

“So we changed it at half-time, not just going 3-2 ahead but how we managed and controlled that last 15 minutes.”

It was a first win in five for Barrow after some recent stutters and he said: “That dressing room is full of character and belief. We have looked nervy in recent weeks - you do when you're not in the best run of form.

“That result today gives that dressing room so much confidence and belief coming into the second half of the season that they can really push on,

“To come away from home, where we've not been great, and come from two behind to win against such a top team speaks volumes for the dressing room and I couldn't be more pleased for them.”


Pete Wild on BBC Radio Cumbria:
interviewer: "I gather there was an article of Hawkins describing himself as the best footballer in League Two in both penalty areas, which was a talking point amongst the players."
Wild: "He is fantastic in both boxes. But he did an article this week and anything like that is fuel for the fire. I'm always looking in the media what the opposition are saying and can I use any of it to my advantage? And that one dropped in my lap this week which was dead pleasing."


Barrow striker Josh Gordon talks about Mansfield victory

SUPER sub Josh Gordon gave his thoughts after Barrow battled back from 2-0 against Mansfield to claim victory.


"We changed formation, changed a few personnel and that was us in the second half. In the last few games, we have been struggling to get goals and we got three goals today so I'm happy," he said.

"My game is trying to link up play, I've got to get in the box. I've done it all season - this is my eleventh goal now. I've taken my chances - there's been a couple of games since I've had a real good chance and when I do get a chance I score and that's what I did - so I was buzzing."

However, once Barrow got their goals, Mansfield did not make it easy for them.

"They changed shape, they put bodies up the pitch. Credit to the lads at the back and at the front trying to put pressure on them. That's what we've been all season, we've been strong and solid," he said.



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