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Archived News from August 2023

17th August 2023 21:07

Boss: We want to maintain high standards
mansfieldtown.net, Mon 14 Aug 2023

Manager Nigel Clough says his men have set high standards in their opening three performances as Stags aim to continue their good start to the season away at Doncaster Rovers tomorrow night.

The Stags’ chief has presided over three impressive displays this month, yielding seven goals and some scintillating football.

The amber and blue gained a point on the opening day of the Sky Bet League Two season at Crewe and have since earned victories against Grimsby, in the Carabao Cup, and Morecambe at One Call Stadium

Summing up the start to the campaign, the manager said at a news conference this afternoon: “[We’ve had] Two clean sheets in the week, both at home. After the disappointment of conceding two at Crewe, it’s very important.

“I think we’ve been very pleased generally with the three performances we’ve had this season.


“We played well in a few games in pre-season but it’s nice to continue it into the season when the points are at stake. We’ve just got to keep it going.

"We've had 65 shots in the first 3 matches. We should maybe be scoring every 6 or 7 chances, something like that. But the clean sheet was as important as anything for us.

“It’s early days but the first three have provided us with a level of encouragement and the way we’re trying to play.

“We had over six-hundred passes on Saturday, so that’s two games running for a League Two side and that’s encouraging.”

"One of the good stats is the xG, it tells you if you're creating chances."

And the boss says his men have set an early benchmark with their performances. “The challenge is to keep the level and standards high,” he said.

“It’s good when it starts like this and it’s easy to say to the players ‘this is how we want to play, you know it and have done it in the first three games. Keep it going’.

“There are always things we need to tidy up on and we’re doing that with the players.”

Speaking ahead of tomorrow’s trip to south Yorkshire, Nigel said: “We’ll be trying to replicate the home form on the road as much as we can.

“Doncaster are a good side. They’ve improved from last season and haven’t had a break in the first two league games so it makes it a dangerous one.

“The league shows there are only three teams who have won both games. There aren’t too many leagues like that around and it shows how competitive it is going to be.

“It’s two games out of forty-six, so there’s plenty of time for every team to change their fortunes at this stage.”

When asked about team news, the manager added: “Will Swan, he has a chance. Hopefully he’ll join in training and we’ll see how he goes. George Williams will probably [join in] towards the weekend.”

Meanwhile, George Maris - whose partner gave birth to a girl yesterday - may be available for tomorrow after missing Saturday’s win over Morecambe.

On McLaughlin: "Macca's doing ok. No set time for him to come back at the moment, a month or two maybe."

In other news, the manager confirmed that loan enquiries have been made for midfielder Anthony Hartigan and defender George Cooper.


Mansfield Town midfielder Anthony Hartigan set for loan deal
chad.co.uk, By John Lomas, Mon 14 Aug 2023

Mansfield Town look set to allow midfielder Anthony Hartigan out on loan.

And boss Nigel Clough also confirmed he is not expecting to add any players to his squad in this transfer window.

Hartigan has fallen down the pecking order since missing a chunk of last season with a dislocated shoulder and Clough said:

“We have had some enquiries for Anthony Hartigan to go out on loan so there is a possibility of that - George Cooper as well.

“So there is a possibility of those two going out to get some games.


On Cooper, Clough said: “We would probably do it until January to the National League North, so I think we can then review that every 28 days if he (George Cooper) goes to that level.

“But we won't be bringing anybody else in unless we get a few injuries. We are very happy with the squad and the balance of it.

“Everything is going reasonably well and everyone has flexibility to play different positions.

“Aiden Flint was the last one.”

The acquisition of the commanding 6ft 6ins Pinxton-born centre half was a surprise to fans after his loan spell at Sheffield Wednesday from Cardiff City ended this summer.

“The chance to sign him just popped up about 10 days ago,” said Clough. “I think there is always room for one and we are delighted the owners let us have that one.

“His experience will be important. There is room for that one and when you have had such a career as he has I think he will be a good addition for us in League Two.

“He only trained about half a day with us before the season started at Crewe. So he has missed all the pre season. That may well catch up with him in the coming weeks. But at the moment, with Calum Macdonald suspended he is needed.”


In-form Mansfield Town chase first away win of season at bottom side Doncaster Rovers
chad.co.uk, By John Lomas, Mon 14 Aug 2023

After two very convincing home wins, Mansfield Town are aiming for a first away victory of the season at Doncaster Rovers tomorrow night.

The home side sit bottom without a win after two games, but Stags boss Nigel Clough believes they are unlikely to be down there for long.

“We will try to replicate our home form on the road as much as we can,” he said.

“But I a bit concerned that Doncaster are a good side, as they proved last season, and haven't had a break in their two league games, so it makes it a dangerous one.


“I read nothing into them being bottom after only two games played.

“The league shows only three teams have won both games - I don't think there's too many leagues around like that. It just shows how competitive it's going to be.

“We are aware of the pace Doncaster have in wide areas and the quality they have. I think they have three very good strikers - as good as anything in the league.

“So if you give them time and space - and the wide men as well - they will cause you problems.”

He continued: “Only one team can be attacking at any one time, and if it's us it reduces the opposition's opportunities.

“We just have to be careful we don't commit too many players forward at times as teams are dangerous on the break, none more so than Doncaster.

“It's early days but the first three games have provided us with a level of encouragement in the way we're trying to play.

“I think we made over 600 passes on Saturday for the second game running which, for a League Two side, is encouraging.

“One of the good stats this year has been the XG - the expected goals.

“It tells you if you are just keeping the ball for the sake of it in your own half on the edge of your own box or if you're actually doing something positive with it and creating chances.

“All three of our strikers have scored - one or two could have had five or six goals each already - and Will Swan has said he can't wait to get an opportunity in this team as we are creating so many chances.”

Despite left back Calum Macdonald's suspension after the red card on the opening day at Crewe, Stags' reshuffled back line has now kept two clean sheets in a row.

“Two clean sheets at home after the disappointment of conceding two at Crewe were very important,” said Clough.

“I have been generally pleased with the three performances we've had this season. Now we have to keep it going.

“We have had 65 shots in the first three matches and scored seven goals. We should be scoring every six or seven chances ideally.

“But I am sure there will be times this season when we get three or four shots, get a goal and hopefully win 1-0.

“We didn't envisage Aden Flint would be playing two games this week. We thought it would take him two or three weeks to get up to speed.

“But because of Calum's sending off he's been pressed into action and done extremely well.

“Baily Cargill has filled in at left back, as has Jordan Bowery. But I think the fact we have kept the ball reasonably well sort of helps as it reduces the number of attacks from the opposition.”

Clough hopes to welcome striker Swan and midfielder George Maris back into the squad tomorrow.

“Will has a chance. Hopefully he is going to join in training and see how he goes,” he said.

“With George Maris we will have to see how things are. Hopefully he might be back on the bench as well. His girlfriend had a baby girl yesterday.

“I think it was a long labour but hopefully everything is okay.

“George Williams will probably be back towards the weekend and Calum Macdonald will be available again for the weekend.

“But James Gale might be a little longer than we first thought.”



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