CLOUGH, JAMES GALE, GRAHAM COUGHLAN REACTION
Boss hails ‘incredible effort’ from players in ‘magnificent performance’
mansfieldtown.net, Tues 18 Apr 2023
Mansfield Town manager Nigel Clough has hailed his side’s ‘incredible effort’ to defeat Newport County 2-1 at Rodney Parade last night.
Stags made it eight matches without defeat courtesy of goals from Hiram Boateng and James Gale.
Speaking to iFollow Stags post-match, the gaffer said: “I thought it was a magnificent performance in everything that we needed to do.
“I thought we played [well] enough, I thought we scored two good goals, especially the second one, and [we] defended as though our lives depended on it.
“It’s an incredible effort from the players.”
Young forward James Gale netted an outstanding first league goal for the club to extend Mansfield’s lead in the 73rd minute.
“His first touch flicked it over the lad and then [he] cut inside the defender and curled it in,” Nigel said.
“That’s the one that we see in training almost every day when he’s putting it in.
“That will give him a huge shot of confidence that he can do it in the Football League.
“Don’t forget, he’s not long out of non-league from Long Eaton so he’s still making his way.
“Everybody is absolutely thrilled for him.”
Midfield maestro Hiram Boateng continued his rich vein of form with a goal and assist in south Wales.
“Three goals in four games - important goals [too].
“He was our outstanding player in pre-season and early season and got injured and had a bit of a stop-start [campaign] since then.
“If he comes good for the last ten games or so [then] brilliant.”
The manager went on to highlight the significance of Stags’ display amidst the squad’s current injury concerns.
“I think they [the supporters] appreciate exactly how much effort has gone in tonight,” he said.
“It was incredible from the players.
“The same starting eleven as Saturday, they freshened it up with four or five new faces; we couldn’t do that.”
The boss then provided further detail on the injury front.
“We’ve lost Jordan [Bowery] through injury and then Macca [Stephen McLaughlin] comes on and comes off again.
“Despite all that, we’ve got the three points, but I thought we deserved them for our pure effort alone.
“Jordan Bowery [has a] tight hamstring. This is the thing when you’re playing every single minute of every single game.
“[With] Stephen McLaughlin it’s not his ankle, that’s the good news. The bad news is it’s his knee but we’re not sure how serious [it is]. He’s in a fair bit of discomfort.
“Rhys Oates [is] maybe 50/50 for the bench [on Saturday].
“Danny Johnson had a tight hamstring.
“Louis Reed hasn’t trained but has done a little bit of ball work.
“Will Swan, I think they’ve [Forest] said maybe to come back at the start of next week - we’re going to ask the question if he can maybe come back on Friday.”
Mansfield Town boss Nigel Clough hails ‘magnificent performance’ at Stags pull off vital win at Newport County
chad.co.uk, Tues 18 Apr 2023
Manager Nigel Clough described his threadbare side's 2-1 win at Newport County last night as 'a magnificent performance' as Stags stayed in the play-off hunt.
He was also delighted to see James Gale score his first EFL goal, which proved to be the winner.
With eight players out, Stags lost Jordan Bowery and Stephen McLaughlin during the game but held on for all three points and Clough beamed: “I thought it was a magnificent performance in everything we needed to do.
“I thought we played enough, scored two good goals - especially the second one - and defended as though our lives depended on it.
“I think the supporters appreciated exactly how much effort went into tonight.
“We had the same starting XI as Saturday while Newport freshened up with four or five new faces. “We couldn't do that. We had to take James Perch off at half-time, then we lost Jordan Bowery injured and Stephen McLaughlin came on and then off inside 10 minutes injured.
“But we got the three points and I thought we deserved them for our pure effort alone which was typified by Lucas Akins up front who ran his socks off up front.
“Put under the pressure that Newport produce with long throws, free kicks and everything, we stood up to it to protect Christy Pym who had to make one brilliant save. They thought they had scored. Otherwise we protected him superbly.
“We got the second goal on a break and with what we had, and what we lost during the game, it was an incredible effort from the players.”
Stags went ahead through Hiram Boateng and Clough said: “He has scored three in four games now and they are important goals.
“He was our outstanding player in pre-season and got injured. His season has been a bit stop-start since then but if he is coming good for the last 10 games or so then brilliant.”
Clough then had high praise for the second from James Gale.
“His first touch saw him flick it over the lad, then cut inside from the defender and curled it in,” he said.
“That's the one we see in training almost every day. That will give him a huge shot of confidence that he can do it in the Football League.
“And don't forget he is not long out of non-league from Long Eaton. He is still making his way and I am absolutely thrilled for him.
“He actually headed clear from the corner we broke from too.
“He was also probably an inch away from scoring what could have been a goal of the season contender too. If that had gone in it would have made it more comfortable for us. But it was an incredible strike.
“It hit the inside of the post but a bit more good fortune an inch to the right and it's a brilliant goal.”
Stags are in eighth place, outside the play-offs only on goal difference with a game in hand and four games to go, and now have three home games in eight days, starting with Stevenage on Saturday.
“With four games left it's in our own hands, so let's make it count,” said Clough.
“Stevenage have had an impressive season from fighting relegation last year to challenging for automatic. As always Steve Evans' teams will be competitive and at it and very difficult to play against.
“We have three home games in a week. I hope fans get behind us as they did tonight and appreciate the effort you've seen the players give.
“I think they understand the quality of the players we're missing at the moment but still battling away and getting results which speaks volumes for the squad.”
Clough is trying to persuade Forest to allow loanee Will Swan back for the weekend after shaking off his ankle injury.
“We are pushing to get him back,” said Clough.
“He is doing some work on the grass at Forest, twisting and turning - it's in their hands as he is their player.
“I think they have a standard time they want them back training before they send them back to their loan club. But we will ask them, with the state of our season, maybe could they cut that a bit short and get him back with us.
“I think they have said maybe the start of next week but we're going to ask if he can come back Friday.”
Boss Nigel Clough hails 'incredible' win at Newport
Boss Nigel Clough says Mansfield Town have to keep their eight-game unbeaten run going until the end of the season if they are to challenge for promotion.
Tuesday's 2-1 victory at Newport ensured the Stags remain firmly in the play-off race, despite dropping outside the top seven on goal difference.
Salford's win against Hartlepool edged them into the play-off spots ahead of Mansfield, who have a game in hand.
"The effort was absolutely incredible," Clough told BBC Radio Nottingham.
"We are eight unbeaten now and we almost have to stay unbeaten now for the last four games."
Clough said his injury-depleted squad was physically "shattered" by the end of the win at Newport.
"The way we achieved it, we are down to our bare bones, lost players throughout the game and hung on," Clough said.
The Stags boss said he "would have to count up" how many fit players he has available when they return from a few days off on Friday as they prepare for Saturday's home game against third-placed Stevenage.
While Boro are in the automatic promotion spots, they remain only seven points clear of the Stags.
Clough said midfielder Stephen McLaughlin, who only recently returned from an ankle injury, "doesn't look too good" having been forced off with a knee injury after coming off the bench at Rodney Parade.
Jordan Bowery also came off with a hamstring injury, and while Rhys Oates is nearing a comeback he is only considered "50-50 at best for the bench" this weekend.
Gale ecstatic after Newport match-winner
mansfieldtown.net, Tues 18 Apr 2023
James Gale says he is ‘over the moon’ after netting Mansfield’s match-winning goal in Stags’ crucial 2-1 away victory over Newport County.
The 21-year-old forward came off the bench before rifling home a venomous right-footed strike on 73 minutes.
The Stags had taken a first-half lead through Hiram Boateng’s third goal in four game on 24 minutes. Aaron Wilding converted an 86th minute consolation goal for the hosts, but Nigel Clough’s men defended their one-goal lead resolutely.
Gale’s notch secured all three points for Mansfield in south Wales, and the 21-year-old was delighted when speaking to iFollow Stags post-match.
“[I’m] over the moon [and] really pleased,” he said. “I need to watch it back. It’s something I’m very proud of.
“[I] just want to keep getting more [goals] and [to] help the team out where I can.”
On his feeling immediately after netting Stags’ winner, Gale said: “It was just shock. I didn’t know what to do. The lads composed me and got me started again.
“[Manager Nigel Clough] said ‘well done’. The lads have applauded me at the end and made me feel really good about it.”
The Mansfield number-21 made an instant impact from the substitutes’ bench, having netted just five minutes after replacing Jordan Bowery.
Gale said: “Bowery came off and I stepped up and came on. Hiram [Boateng] played the ball out wide. I ran at my guy, got past him, cut inside and stuck it in the corner.
“I think it was just the sprinting to get ahead of the man [that made the opportunity]. I felt like after that, I was flying. It definitely gave me a lot of confidence to keep working hard and keep running.
“I backed out [of taking the shot on my left foot] at the last minute, seeing that he [the defender] was going to block it. So, I quickly shuffled it to my right and put it into the corner.”
The former Long Eaton United striker was heartened by the Stags’ performance in a tough fixture at a crucial stage of the season.
“I thought we were in control for a lot of it [the game],” he said.
“The last 10 or 15 minutes we were on the back foot a bit but it’s an away game. We just worked hard and stuck on it to get it over the line.
“They’ve got a very good home support. It’s quite pressuring when you come on. But we delivered and got the three points.
“It was well deserved. The lads have worked really hard today. We just gave it our all and left everything on the pitch.
“The next four games we’re just going to keep it going and keep rolling. [I] just [want] to be available as much as I can [and] to work hard. If I’m called upon I’ll be ready for the opportunity.”
Mansfield Town matchwinner James Gale savours first ever league goal as Stags win at Newport County
chad.co.uk, Tues 18 Apr 2023
Hero James Gale will long remember his first league goal as he netted Mansfield Town's winner in the 2-1 victory at Newport County tonight.
The substitute striker doubled Stags' lead after Hiram Boateng's first half opener then, after hitting a post, helped the visitors hang on to what they had after the Exiles pulled one back late on and upped the pressure.
On his goal Gale said: “I couldn't really believe it to be fair.
“I just ran at the guy, cut inside and put it in the corner.
“It was a bit of a short pass from Hiram so I just dinked it over their man and kept going and got the goal.
“I was shocked and surprised when it went in, but happy. But I am more happy that we got the three points and got it over the line.
“I was unfortunate to then hit a post. On another day it goes in.
“I gave it my all. The boys helped me out and I helped them out - it was a really good team performance.
“I think I was playing right wing back at one point near the end. But whatever I can do I will help out.”
Stags are outside the play-offs only on goal difference with a game in hand with four games to go and Gale said: “We are going to give it our best and go for it.
“We're eight unbeaten and if we can keep this run going we will be in a good place by the end of the season.
“They were just lumping balls in there at the end but we dealt with everything that came our way.
“The last two years they have really helped me develop at the club and I am just listening and trying to do my best when I come on.”
Boss Nigel Clough said: “On the back of the two draws it was important we won tonight, though I thought the point at Grimsby was a good one.
“We are eight unbeaten and I think we have now got to stay almost unbeaten for the last four games.”
Stags injury problems once again look to have worsened again.
“The lads are absolutely shattered. They will have a couple of days off now and then come in Friday morning and we'll have a count up to see who is any good,” he added.
“Stephen McLaughlin got a whack on the side of his knee now, which is very sore indeed. Just 10 minutes and one tackle again. We feared it was his ankle so it could have been worse.
“Jordan Bowery also came off with a hamstring.
“Oatesy (Rhys Oates) is 50-50 at best for the bench and Louis Reed might do a little bit on Friday morning but hasn't joined in for a long time.
“Danny Johnson had a tight hamstring after the game at Grimsby - seven or eight hours on a bus doesn't help that but hopefully he will be okay.”
Stags now face three big home tests in eight days starting with the visit of high-flying Stevenage on Saturday and then table-toppers Leyton Orient on Tuesday before bogey side Harrogate Town visit a a week on Saturday.
Newport County boss Coughlan fumes at ref after Mansfield loss
southwalesargus.co.uk, By Chris Kirwan, Tues 18 Apr 2023
NEWPORT County AFC manager Graham Coughlan was livid at being denied a last-gasp penalty in the 2-1 defeat to Mansfield Town - and accused the officials of showing “arrogance and disrespect” to his players.
The Exiles were edged out in an engrossing encounter at Rodney Parade after conceding the opener to Hiram Boateng after 23 minutes and a counter-attack strike by James Gale after 72.
Aaron Wildig’s header gave them a lifeline with five minutes to go and they should have had the chance to level from the spot in added time.
Thomas Kirk waved away their appeals but it was the manner of the referee’s communication that angered Coughlan.
“I don’t think any player deserves to be spoken to like the way mine were by the officials. We will have to address that and put something in writing but we won’t get much back,” said the manager, who felt James Perch should have been dismissed in the first half.
“We had a stonewall red card and a stonewall penalty, we just have to live with these decisions and that frustration.”
When pressed on what he meant on Mr Kirk’s manner, Coughlan replied: “Arrogance and disrespect. The way the officials conducted themselves was really poor.
“I’ve been in the game a long, long time. I know I’m not the best on the sidelines with them - that’s passion - but I don’t disrespect them and speak to people like that.
“You can’t miss the red card and you can’t miss the penalty. There are no excuses for missing those incidents because they can be defining moments.
“Mansfield acted, they realised what was going on and took the player [Perch] off at half-time, which is always an indication.
“We were on the wrong end of the decisions, we will just have to dust ourselves down, smile and move on, but it’s not just one game, it’s every week and the standard of refereeing needs to improve for the good of the game.”
Coughlan hailed the performance of his team and that of his old club Mansfield, who actually dropped out of the top seven on goal difference.
“I don’t expect my players to be spoken to like that, but I don’t want the officials to overshadow the performance from two really good teams,” he said.
“We weren’t far off but two moments of madness cost us the game - we were very open from our own set pieces, which I didn’t like, and we didn’t deal with a throw in.
“Overall it was a really good game between two really good teams, we’ve come out the wrong end of it and that was our own doing because our defending wasn’t great for the two goals.
“We gave two sloppy goals away but other than that we were really, really good. Our performance was excellent to push a top team.
“It was a really good game and advert for League Two. The table might show there is a bit of distance between them and us but our performance and the way the game went shows that we are not far off.”
Coughlan: I had to make Newport County changes to avoid injury
southwalesargus.co.uk, By Chris Kirwan, Tues 18 Apr 2023
NEWPORT COUNTY AFC manager Graham Coughlan changed a winning team for the clash with Mansfield to avoid long-term injuries as the end of the season nears.
The Exiles beat Hartlepool 2-0 on Saturday but the boss made four changes to his XI for the 2-1 loss to the Stags in League Two on Tuesday.
He brought Priestley Farquharson, James Waite, Nathan Moriah-Welsh and Calum Kavanagh into the team for Matt Baker, Aaron Wildig, Aaron Lewis and Omar Bogle.
Coughlan stuck with a settled team for the start of his reign after being appointed in mid-October but feels rotation is a necessity at the end of a draining campaign.
“It would have been running the risk of injury had I asked the same three or four lads to go again versus Mansfield,” he said.
“It was a little bit of rotation to try and get some freshness into the team and I thought that James Waite and Nathan Moriah-Welsh did well in there.
“The two lads were lively up front, particularly in the first half running down the sides.
“The last thing that we want at this stage of the season is muscular injuries, we want to be strong for the remaining fixtures and it was just a case of trying to protect them because we have had a lot of games, a lot of travel.
“We go to Doncaster this weekend, we’ve got another game here against Harrogate on Tuesday and then it’s away to Gillingham. I am just trying to protect the lads and energise the team.”
Coughlan’s point was backed up by hamstring twinges for Declan Drysdale and Scot Bennett while Farquharson, who has been nursed through recent weeks, was also replaced.
County are already without Adam Lewis (hamstring), Offrande Zanzala (knee) and James Clarke (hamstring) and will be stretched for the run-in.
“You do run the risk of injury with a small squad,” said Coughlan. “The lads weren’t conditioned as well as I would have liked when I got hold of them. I just hope that’s the last of muscle injuries between now and the end of the season.”
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