CLOUGH AND PAUL TAIT REACTION
Boss pleased with attitude and endeavour in Trophy tie
mansfieldtown.net, Tues 7 Nov 2023
Manager Nigel Clough was pleased with his side’s attitude and work rate in their narrow 1-0 defeat at home to Everton U21 in the Bristol Street Motors Trophy.
The two sides had matched each other closely for much of the contest before Youssef Chermiti converted a 91st minute penalty to seal the result.
The gaffer was encouraged by the endeavour he saw from his players.
“I was pleased with [the team’s] efforts,” he told iFollow Stags after the match.
“People needed minutes tonight and got them. We didn’t want Macca [Stephen McLaughlin] to come off quite so early, he needed another ten minutes but he felt his groin. That was the only down side.
“Hiram [Boateng] Got a good 90 minutes under his belt, [James] Gale and [Will] Swan too.
“I was pleased with everybody. It’s always about the attitude as much as anything. We wasted a couple of crosses and we can play a little bit better at times but it’s all about the attitude and the work rate. I thought that was spot on again.
“We didn’t want to lose the game. Scott [Flinders] made a couple of good saves, George Cooper made a couple of great blocks and how we haven’t scored at this end [I don’t know]. I think James Gale had one deflected just inches past the post. We’re not particularly bothered about the competition, it’s more about keeping players fit.”
The Stags fielded a 4-3-3 formation, with McKeal Abdullah and James Gale to the left and right of striker Will Swan.
Nigel said: “[We played a] 4-3-3. We didn’t have anyone natural in the line-up to go behind the front two, something Gale, Swan and young McKeal [Adbullah] aren’t suited to so you saw a little bit more width.
“We’re short of midfield players as you saw from the midfield we lined up with tonight, three lefties in there as well which isn’t great for balance. “Two defenders in Baily [Cargill] and Macca [Stephen McLaughlin] who did a job in there too. [It] Was good for their fitness to get a runaround.”
Mansfield are back in league action this Saturday with a trip to 13th placed Salford.
Nigel provided an update on the squad’s fitness: “We’ll have a count up and see how Macca [McLaughlin] is after tonight. [Mclaughlin] Just felt it [his groin] during a pass he played wide. So just precautionary, we took him straight off.
“Louis Reed hasn’t trained so far this week, [nor has] Davis Keillor-Dunn.
”Lucas Akins, we don’t think will be available. So we’ll see what we’ve got after that.
“[Ollie Clarke] had a scan and I think he’s going to be a few weeks [until he is fit to play].
“It’s important now to make sure that we totally focus on the league and we maintain that unbeaten run for as long as we can.”
Nigel Clough's injury round-up after the Everton U21 game:
Keillor-Dunn, Reed, Lewis and Oates were rested. Keillor-Dunn and Reed were exhausted after the previous week and also didn't train on Monday. Clough said that Oates needed a breather after he did 80 minutes against Wrexham and also came on against Port Vale, returning earlier than expected. "He did enough on Saturday", said Clough.
Nigel Clough said after the game that Ollie Clarke is going to be out for a few weeks after he had a scan on his thigh strain.
Akins remains out, and will hopefully be back a week on Saturday against Newport. See details in the Stagsnet Wrexham report.
Nigel Clough said about the return of O'Toole and Quinn that they are both scheduled to return against Burton in the EFL Trophy in 2 weeks. O'Toole is back running. And Clough said if all goes well with Quinn next week, he will get 45 minutes against Burton.
Owen Mason is back from his loan in Ireland with their season now finished, but under the terms of the loan, can't play again in England until January.
Injury news from the game against Everton U21 is that McLaughlin felt his groin and "it was precautionary that he came off straight away, we will see how he is after tonight", said Clough.
No Wonder Everyone Up In Arms - Mansfield Boss Slams Key Decision In Everton U21s Clash
insidefutbol.com, Tues 7 Nov 2023
Mansfield Town manager Nigel Clough is of the view that Everton Under-21s should not have been awarded a last-minute penalty against his side in the EFL Trophy match on Tuesday.
The Stags played the young Toffees in the EFL Trophy and the League Two side were beaten by them 1-0 through a late Youssef Chermiti penalty.
The Premier League 2 side won their first EFL Trophy match in the process and Clough believes that the decision to award them the late penalty was wrong.
The Stags boss stressed that his side have not got decisions all season in similar situations in matches and insisted that they were on the end of an unfortunate decision which cost them the match.
Clough believes it is no surprise that managers are so unhappy with decisions being made by officials.
“Yes, soft is an understatement, not a penalty, end of story”, Clough told the Stags in-house media.
“Unfortunately, we are at the mercy of these decisions.
“And even in games like this they are result changing and result deciding decisions
“I have watched in the last few weeks especially, but all-season Aiden Flint from corners, people not looking at the ball, holding him, wrestling him and everything and then that’s given for a penalty tonight!
“It’s no wonder that everybody is up in arms at the moment, it really isn’t.”
Mansfield Town boss Nigel Clough upset over penalty decision that cost them defeat against Everton U21s tonight
chad.co.uk, By John Lomas, Tues 7 Nov 2023
Mansfield Town boss Nigel Clough was upset by the soft penalty decision that cost his side in tonight's 1-0 home defeat by Everton U21s in their latest Bristol Street Motors Trophy group game.
Young defender George Cooper was adjudged to have fouled Portuguese star Youseff Chermiti in added time at the end of an entertaining game and Chermiti buried the spot kick.
After exits in both the Carabao Cup and FA Cup this week, tonight's result was the least of Stags' concerns as they played largely a second string ahead of Saturday's big league trip to Salford City.
But Clough said: “We didn't want to lose the game - and we didn't deserve to lose in the manner we did.
“For the referee to give that penalty, I am not surprised there are so many people in football commenting and saying the things they are when you see it at this level tonight in this sort of game, which you see it decided on a decision like that.
“But I am not too disappointed with the cup performances, despite losing the games.
“We have lost three games by the odd goal here this week but all could easily have been different results.
“We haven't done much wrong in the games and we have kept our standards and consistency high - and that is what we're going to need in the next five months.”
Clough made nine changes and said: “A lot of lads needed the minutes tonight and it was a good 90 minutes for the likes of Will Swan and James Gale.
“George Cooper got 90 minutes and was very good, George Williams had been ill at the weekend but got through 90 minutes, though was struggling by the end. Everybody got what they needed.”
Everton played a strong side and Clough said: “You could see the speed of them on the break.
“They had some Premier League squad players out there and you could see the difference - the athleticism and the pace.
“The lad who came on on the right hand side was absolutely catching pigeons out there.
“Scott Flinders made two very good saves, especially the one going to his right when he stuck his left hand out. Competition is good with our keepers and it was good for him to keep his hand in tonight.
“I was pleased with everybody tonight. It's all about the attitude and work rate and I thought they were spot on tonight.”
There was a worry for Stags when Stephen McLaughlin had to come off just after half-time after impressing on his first start after injury.
“Stephen McLaughlin just felt his groin tonight. I am not sure how bad it is but it was precautionary bringing him straight off,” said Clough.
There was no place tonight for strikr Rhys Oates, also coming back from injury, who impressed and scored against Wrexham on Saturday.
“Rhys was not involved against Everton but did enough on Saturday so needed the breather tonight looking towards the weekend,” said the Stags boss.
Injury worries for Mansfield Town ahead of trip to Salford City
chad.co.uk, By John Lomas, Tues 7 Nov 2023
Mansfield Town could be struggling for midfield players as they try to keep their unbeaten league record in Saturday's tough trip to Salford City.
Once their most powerful department, Stags have doubts over Ollie Clarke after losing three home cup games in eight days. They may also be without striker Lucas Akins and left back Stephen McLaughlin, who played well in midfield on his comeback from injury against Everton U21s last night before feeling his groin tighten.
“We will have to see how Macca is,” said boss Nigel Clough.
“Louis Reed hasn't trained this week, nor Keillor-Dunn.
"We don't think Lucas Akins will be available after the operation on his face, though we are hoping for the week after.
“Ollie Clarke has had a scan and is probably going to be a few weeks with a slight thigh strain too.”
Stags lost both game to Salford last season and are yet to win at the Peninsula Stadium, twice losing 2-0 though picking up a 2-2 draw in May 2022.
“Salford have made a bit of a slow start to the season but are getting some good results now and they beat us twice last season, so we know from those games how dangerous they are,” said Clough.
“They play a certain way and it's difficult to combat, especially with big Matt Smith up front.
“That is three cup defeats for us this week, though the Everton one doesn't matter too much.
“So it is important now to make sure we totally focus on the league and keep that unbeaten run going for as long as we can.
“It will be tested as much as any time on Saturday at Salford.
“There is usually goals in the games when we played them and they can cause teams problems. We will have to defend very well first and foremost and then be better in front of goal than we have in the last few games.”
Despite the disappointment of going out of two cup competitions, Clough believes it could be beneficial down the line as games come thick and fast.
“I think we will get the benefit about February/March time and we may have a clear weekend on 2nd December,” he said.
“I am not surprised to hear a lot of managers at the weekend saying the last thing they needed was an FA Cup replay with the injuries they have.”
TAIT ON IMPACT OF ‘INSPIRATION’ COLEMAN
evertonfc.com, Tues 7 Nov 2023
Everton Under-21s Head Coach Paul Tait recognises the “golden” impact of Seamus Coleman on his young side.
Club captain Coleman, who played 45 minutes for the Under-21s on Saturday, took another promising step in his recovery from a medial knee ligament injury on Tuesday evening, featuring in 66 minutes for the young Blues.
They earned a 1-0 away victory over Mansfield Town in the EFL Trophy, with Youssef Chermiti netting a 91st-minute winner from the penalty spot.
Tait fielded a strong line-up for the contest. Coleman featured from the start, alongside Chermiti, as well as fellow Senior-Team players Joao Virginia and Lewis Dobbin.
Tait, speaking to evertonfc.com after the game, knows his young players will have learned a lot from the Toffees skipper.
“He’s an inspiration,” said Tait. “What he’s done in the game, and what he’s done at Everton. We were lucky to have him for a couple of training sessions and we had him on Saturday for the game.
“It’s the standards he sets, and he’s got real enthusiasm for the game. It’s golden for our lads to be spending time with him, seeing how he prepares and seeing how committed he is. It’s been unbelievable to have him with us.”
Coleman displayed a strong defensive performance, winning five of his six ground duels, while also being involved in a few promising attacking moves in what turned out to be an end-to-end affair at the One Call Stadium.
Tait believes the game will have provided plenty of learnings for his promising team, as they showed their fortitude to keep pushing for a winning goal.
“We started really well, so I was delighted with that,” he said. “We were a threat from the off and created some really good chances that we didn’t take.
“It was a really entertaining game and there were really pleasing factors around it, in terms of keeping going, being resilient.
“It’ll be great for the young players’ development. We’d like more of these games, really, because they’re a good test to play against men’s teams. I thought the lads held themselves really well and there will be a lot of lessons learned tonight. That’ll stand them in good stead.”
Along with the immeasurable impact of Coleman, Tait was delighted with the displays of Chermiti, Dobbin, and Virginia, who all earned valuable minutes for his side.
“Joao was excellent. He made one incredible save to tip it over the bar. He was a really good presence, and his distribution was great. He’s had one training session with us, but I thought he really understood our build-up, while giving us the option to go in behind, as well. It was a really positive performance for him and I think he’ll be happy.
“Youssef has got his first goal for the Club and he’ll be happy with getting 90 minutes under his belt. It was ideal for him to get those minutes and it’s ended up being a really positive night. He kept going and going, won the penalty, and then had the composure to take the penalty himself and slot it in.
“The last time we had Dobbs was pre-season against Tranmere. He was electric and he showed flashes of what he can be tonight. Again, he’ll tell you that he wants minutes, and we were very happy to have him tonight - he really improved our team.”