CLOUGH ON RETAINED LIST, LOAN PLAYERS & PRE-SEASON
Nigel Clough interview on iFollow, Fri 12 May 2023:
"We've got Kieran Wallace and Jason Law probably who would benefit from going and playing regular football somewhere, so we've left it an open fluid situation with those two and we'll keep chatting in the next few weeks.
Q: Are any of the 3 loan players likely to return?
"Yes, we're hopeful. But we have to wait until the respective clubs finish their seasons, and find out which league they're going to be in because that may well affect their decisions, financially may have an impact as well. So until Peterborough are done in the play-offs, and Forest secure their status, there's not an awful lot we can do."
"We're off up to Scotland again for a few days. We haven't got a game up there yet, so we might be playing one on the training facilities there we're not sure. We were hoping to play Dundee, with the contact with Gary Bowyer, but he's just left so I don't think we'll be doing that now.
"We go to Retford first, we go to Alfreton, we've got Rotherham coming to our place, and one or two others in place, that will be coming out very shortly.
"The lads will be back Saturday 1st July. So we'll have a proper pre-season and the lads will be working unbelievably hard. Last season was very disrupted from losing the play-off final, the devastation of that, just a short break, and an early start to the season, it was far from ideal, and it might have contributed to the injuries a little bit even though they've been a little bit random. We'll be a lot stronger and a lot fitter come the start of the season."
Mansfield Town boss Nigel Clough happy with retained list as he starts strengthening his squad
chad.co.uk, By John Lomas
With just strikers Danny Johnson and Jimmy Knowles released in Mansfield Town's retained list, boss Nigel Clough is delighted to have kept the majority of his squad for next season.
And he has already made contact with the players he believes can get Stags over the promotion line next time around.
“We were quite relaxed going into the summer as most of the squad are under contract,” he said.
“David (Sharpe CEO) has worked hard and you do a lot of your business throughout the season and make sure those you need are tied down on contracts, which they all are.
“Then it's just the others. Perchy (James Perch) and Quinny (Stephen Quinn) at 37 - we're not giving them three year contracts! But hopefully we can get something sorted for those two to stay around.
“Then we've got Kieran Wallace and Jason Law, who probably will really benefit from going and playing regular football somewhere. So we have left it an open, fluid situation with those two and we will keep chatting in the next few weeks.”
Lucas Akins, Hiram Boateng, Jordan Bowery, Ollie Clarke, James Gale, Anthony Hartigan, Elliott Hewitt, Callum Johnson, Davis Keillor-Dunn, Alfie Kilgour, George Maris, Owen Mason, Stephen McLaughlin, Rhys Oates, John-Joe O’Toole and Louis Reed were all retained under contract and options triggered to keep youngster Taylor Anderson and experienced back-up keeper Scott Flinders while talks continue with young defender George Cooper.
Loan spells for Riley Harbottle, Will Swan and Christy Pym have expired so they return to their parent clubs though that does not rule out Stags making a summer move for any of them.
“We have identified the players we want in the usual two lists we have,” said Clough.
“We are working on them and have already made contact with their agents and, where possible, their clubs as some are under contract and some aren't. So there is a bit of negotiating to do.
“It will be defenders in the main. That's where we have our injuries with Elliott Hewitt not back until well in the New Year and Macca (Stephen McLaughlin) missing the pre-season and start of the season. So we have to address that and it's made it a little bit more urgent and probably increased the recruitment numbers by one or two that we will need in that area.
“But we have conceded too many goals and we need to sort that out. If we do I don't think we'll be too far away. If there was another Alfie Kilgour out there we'd be looking for him.
“But we have identified our targets. We certainly need a left back coming in to challenge Macca. It was so difficult last season with him being so good the season before. You don't think he's going to miss over half the season.
“He contributed to nearly 20 goals that season but I think he's got one goal and one assist this season and been dogged by injury. He needs to get fit for September/October but we need someone to come in - and a centre half or two as well.
“We are okay in midfield really though if something crops up we'll look at it depending on Stephen Quinn's situation.
“But we have people like Louis Reed and Anthony Hartigan coming back onto the pitch now. I think people have forgotten about Anthony Hartigan. He was very good in the first half of the season but then needed his shoulder operation. It was lovely to see him back on the pitch at Colchester.
“Then you've got Louis Reed - it's two good footballers back on the pitch.
“Then we've got Hiram Boateng, Ollie Clarke, Quinny if he stays, George Maris - we're pretty okay in there.”
He continued: “Up front we would love Will Swan to return in some capacity. Add to that you've got Davis Keillor-Dunn, Lucas Akins, who has had a great season, Oatesy had been stop-start with injury, George Maris can go up there. And I think the emergence of James Gale encouraged us all as well
“It means we don't have to go out and get another young striker as, from what we've seen, he is as likely to get goals at this level as anybody. He has improved this season and I think he will improve further with a good pre-season under his belt.
“We've also got Jordan (Bowery) who has turned into Mr Utility Man for us and plays similar to what Lucas used to do for us at Burton in every position, filling in and has played a lot of games this season.”
On the loan players, he added: “We are hopeful but we have to wait until their respective clubs finish their seasons and find out which league they are going to be in as that may well affect their decisions and financially it may have an impact as well.
“So until Peterborough are done in the play-offs one or way or another and Forest secure their status then there is not an awful lot we can do.
“I don't think it does any harm to get two or three players in on loan. You can see the benefit we've had in the last couple of seasons. It's a good way of getting youngsters from Premier League clubs into the building.
“You can see how well Will Swan and Riley Harbottle have done and you can use it to get an experienced goalkeeper like Christy Pym in as well. It is absolutely vital for clubs in League Two and League One to be able to use the loan market.”
Scotland return as pre-season is sorted for Mansfield Town
chad.co.uk, By John Lomas
Mansfield Town will once again start a tough pre-season with a training camp in Scotland - and pre-season fixtures are set to be announced.
“I think we are about done for pre-season,” said boss Nigel Clough. “We've got some good games. “We're off up to Scotland again for a few days, though we've not got a game fixed for up there as yet.
“We were hoping to play Dundee with the contact with Gary Bowyer, but he's just left so that probably won't happen now. It's incredible they can get rid of him after he has just got them promoted. I think we are going to Retford first and Alfreton. I think we've got Rotherham coming to our place as well and one or two others in place. That will all be coming out very shortly.”
He added: “The lads will be coming back on 1st July. That gives us five weeks and we are going to have a good old proper pre-season.
“So they're going to be working unbelievably hard.
“Last season was very disruptive from the devastation of losing the play-off final to having just a short break and an early start to the season - it was all far from ideal.
“In some was, although it's been random, it probably contributed to the injuries a little bit. We will be a lot stronger and a lot fitter come the start of the season.”
Clough was also happy to sign a new contract.
“We didn't want to go anywhere,” he said. “I don't really like the term 'unfinished business' but we feel as though we're close - and we have been for two seasons.”
Latest | May 2023