CLOUGH, KEILLOR-DUNN, GRAHAM COUGHLAN REACTION
Manager commends clean sheet in Newport win
mansfieldtown.net, Sat 18 Nov 2023
Manager Nigel Clough says his team’s ‘desire to keep a clean sheet’ was most significant in his side’s 2-0 victory at home to Newport County this afternoon.
Forward Davis Keillor-Dunn netted in either half as Mansfield earned a fifth successive league win.
Stags could have been further ahead earlier in the contest as Rhys Oates saw a penalty saved, though the Amber and Blue had more chances to extend their advantage throughout the encounter.
“It was a good, solid three points and a clean sheet,” said the manager, summing up the victory.
“These are the ones which are very important come the end of the season.
“It wasn’t straight forward today. We gave ourselves a couple of problems, at times, giving the ball away in the first-half, not being quite sharp enough.
“But the penalty miss is a huge point in the game. If we can get that and a two-nil lead after half-an-hour, maybe we would go on to win a bit more comfortably. But the game changes at half-time when they come out and change their tactics, coming at us instead of sitting back.
“They had a couple of moments in the second-half. We had plenty as well, [and] with better finishing it could have been more comfortable. But I was most pleased with a clean sheet today.
“The whole back four, as well as Christy Pym, were excellent. When they had a flurry of situations, the blocks and desire to keep a clean sheet is what has got us a result today.”
Keillor-Dunn took his season’s tally to 11 goals and Nigel said: “Because of the confidence he got from getting a goal last week, I think he went seven without [games without a goal]. It was getting him down a little bit, which it shouldn’t. I said to Andy [Garner, first team coach] I think Davis will score on the back of it. He’s struck two good finishes in, low and hard.”
Mansfield are now 17 games unbeaten in the league, the only team in Sky Bet League Two to remain undefeated and the manager added: “[It’s] Absolutely brilliant as well to be 17 games unbeaten, or 18 back to last season. Two massive games against Swindon and Tranmere [coming up in the League] before we have that ten day break.
“Back-to-back [wins] make a huge difference. We have to do that because Stockport are winning. I know Wrexham slipped up today but they’re on a magnificent run. Notts have won again. If we are going to be keep pace then we have to keep churning out these wins.”
Mansfield Town boss Nigel Clough delighted with clean sheet against Newport County after fifth win in a row sends Stags second
chad.co.uk, By John Lomas, Sat 18 Nov 2023
Mansfield Town boss Nigel Clough was particularly delighted with his side's clean sheet in today's 2-0 home success over Newport County.
The Stags won a fifth game in a row and made it 17 games unbeaten as a Davis Keillor-Dunn brace lifted them up to second in the table.
“To still be unbeaten is brilliant,” he smiled.
“That is 17 games now - or 18 if you include last season.
“That is five wins in a row and we have to do that - if we're going to keep pace with the other sides up there we have to keep churning out the wins.
“After Tuesday at Burton we then have two massive games against Swindon and Tranmere before we have that 10 day break.
“It was a good solid three points and a clean sheet. These are the ones that are very important come the end of the season - and it wasn't straightforward today.
“We caused ourselves problems at times, giving the ball away and not being sharp enough.
“Newport came back out for the second half and changed their tactics. They came at us rather than sitting back and they had a couple of moments in the second half, as did we. So I was most pleased with the clean sheet today.”
Keillor-Dunn put them in front after four minutes, but then Rhys Oates missed a penalty on 21 minutes, Nick Townsend saving his low central kick, before Keillor-Dunn scored agin just after half-time.
“The penalty miss was a huge point in the game as if we'd got the 2-0 lead after half an hour we'd maybe go on and win a bit more comfortably,” said Clough.
“I don't watch penalties. I watched the crowd and turned round straight away and I thought we had a brilliant chance with the rebound.”
He added: “When Newport did have their moments, the blocks and the desire to keep a clean sheet is what got us a result today.
“It would have been nice to have got that third goal at some point to make things a bit easier.”
Clough was pleased to see Keillor-Dunn net twice after his goal at Salford City last weekend.
“I said to Andy Garner in training because of the confidence he got in scoring last week, after seven games without one, I felt he would score today on the back of that,” said Clough.
“It had been getting him down a bit - which it shouldn't. They were two good finishes.”
Stags welcomed back injured pair Lucas Akins and Stephen Quinn and both came off the bench late I the game.
“Neither could have started today but it was brilliant to get them back on the pitch, though we have to be careful with them,” said Clough.
Clough told BBC Radio Nottingham:
"I thought George Maris and Aaron Lewis didn't have as much impact on the game as normal today, and they both needed a breather with 10 or 15 minutes to go.
"So it wasn't ideal putting Quinny on, but needs must.
"He'll start at Burton and hopefully get 45 minutes under his belt.
"John-Joe O'Toole will be back in the squad at Burton, we're hoping to get him 20 minutes at the end of the game, it depends how it works out."
DKD: Teammates 'fantastic' in Newport win
mansfieldtown.net, Sat 18 Nov 2023
Attacker Davis Keillor-Dunn credited his ‘fantastic’ teammates for giving him the platform to go on and score a brace in Mansfield’s professional 2-0 league victory at home to Newport County.
The 26-year-old netted his tenth league goal of the season on four minutes to get Stags up and running.
Seven minutes after the break, midfielder George Maris impressively picked out Keillor-Dunn’s darting run into the box before the forward coolly converted.
Stags now sit second in Sky Bet League Two and Keillor-Dunn says his confidence has been buoyed in recent weeks by the consistent quality provided by his teammates.
Speaking to iFollow Stags after the match, he said: “I really enjoyed it. I was over the moon with the lads’ performances. The lads at the back were fantastic.
“[The key to victory was] Staying solid at the back and taking our chances.
“You’ve got to keep balls out of your [own] net, it’s as simple as that. The lads have been unbelievable. It means defending from the front as well, it’s not just the boys at the back, it’s the full team working as a unit.
“It’s lovely seeing Flinty [Aden Flint] head everything. All the lads across the back [line] are great. I’ve got to give massive props to Pymy [Christy Pym] as well. he’s been unbelievable this season. We’ve just got to continue doing it.”
The Stags’ number 40 was delighted to net his tenth and eleventh of the season and felt he could have had even more.
“The first one, if the ball breaks you’ve just got to be there and I nipped in front of my man and kept it [the finish] low,” he said.
“The second one, it was one of those where I meant to go across the ‘keeper and I just opened up my foot [and struck it in].
“Oatesy [Rhys Oates] was unlucky with the penalty and I probably should have scored the follow up.
“I think it was a little bit of me being sloppy. Some of my chances I should’ve taken an extra touch or found the corner. At the end of the day it’s the three points that matter.”
The former Burton man is relishing his role at the Stags since joining the club in January 2023.
“I think I’m playing in a position I thrive in” he said. “We’ve got quality in abundance up top. We’ve got lads who can really change the game and it’s really nice to play in the hole and feed off those guys.
“That’s why I came to the club. The gaffer demands of me all the time [that] I’ve got to score and I’ve got to create. It’s going well for me at the minute and long may it continue. Just playing with these boys, playing me into dangerous areas is really good for myself and my confidence.
“My target is always to get into double figures [for goals]. If I can get into double figures for assists as well then even better.”
on the first goal, Keillor-Dunn acknowledged after the game “the keeper probably should have done a bit better”.
on the second goal, Keillor-Dunn admitted: “I didn’t actually mean to put it in at the near post, I meant to go across the keeper, but it went in and (laughing) I’m going to take that as giving the keeper the eyes!”
Davis Keillor-Dunn delighted to get back on the Mansfield Town goals trail
chad.co.uk, By John Lomas, Sat 18 Nov 2023
Davis Keillor-Dunn pledged not to take his foot off the gas after a brace took his season's tally to 11 in today's 2-0 home win over Newport County.
Keillor-Dunn had gone seven games without a goal before netting at Salford City last week and today could have finished the game with three or four to his name as his confidence soared.
“The main thing today was the three points, but scoring two goals was nice after a few games without a goal before last weekend at Salford,” he smiled.
“The boys kept reminding me it had been a while since I scored every time I went into training, so it was nice to get back off the mark last week and then to follow it up with two today.
“I almost got a hat-trick from another great pass by George Maris. But it was just a bit tight and I couldn't quite squeeze it in.
“I always like to get into double figures and to get there is good. But I can't now take my foot off the gas.”
Stags are now 17 games unbeaten, have chalked up five successive wins and are up to second.
“It is an impressive run, but we have to put it to the back of our minds and focus on each game as it comes,” said Keillor-Dunn.
“We have to keep building and go from strength to strength.
“Getting clean sheets in football is a massive advantage as we have lads in the team who can score goals.
“Our defence have been unbelievable. The goals against us this season just speaks for itself.”
He added: “The fans really have been our 12th man. They sometimes suck the ball into the net they're so loud. It is incredible to play in front of and it's why I came to this club.”
Davis Keillor-Dunn: Mansfield Town must 'keep building' in promotion bid
Forward Davis Keillor-Dunn says unbeaten Mansfield Town have to keep improving on their high-flying League Two efforts if they want to earn promotion this season.
Keillor-Dunn scored both goals in Saturday's 2-0 win over Newport, which lifted the Stags up to second.
Victory also meant they extended the only remaining unbeaten start in League Two to 17 games.
"We've got to keep building, simple as that," Keillor-Dunn said.
"There has to be (more to come). It's all good where we are in the league now, and unbeaten, but I think you have got to keep going from strength to strength and keep performing like that," he told BBC Radio Nottingham.
Keillor-Dunn, who is Mansfield's top goalscorer so far this season with 11 goals, said the Stags should be looking to translate their fine form into more dominant performances.
They have earned nine League Two wins this season but have also notched up a division-high eight draws.
"It's about being ruthless in this league," said Keillor-Dunn.
"You just need to keep going and when you get a couple [of goals] don't come off it, because there are good teams in this league - there are no easy games," added the forward.
Against Newport, Mansfield boss Clough said his side failed to reach the "spectacular" heights he felt they hit against Salford City seven days earlier, but stressed that the three points was "all that matters".
He added: "It was a dangerous game for us when you are in the midst of a great unbeaten run.
"You have to keep winning in order to maintain pace with the top two or three in the league.
"And it will be the same at Swindon next week, you have to keep churning these results out."
Graham Coughlan: "The better team won..."
newport-county.co.uk, Sat 18 Nov 2023
Manager Graham Coughlan admitted his side were second best after Newport County were defeated 2-0 against Mansfield Town at One Call Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
A brace from Davis Keillor-Dunn ensured the Stags secured all three points on home turf as Nigel Clough’s men continued their impressive unbeaten start in Sky Bet League Two.
“The better team won, I don’t think anyone can argue with that”, began Coughlan.
“We weren’t very good, we were poor with the ball and we didn’t ask enough questions. We had a little bit of momentum in the second half, we changed our system a little bit and that was the moment that we needed to really score a goal and we didn't.
“We had the ball for both goals so that’s the disappointing part of the afternoon. We had good possession of the ball at them points but we turned the ball over far too quickly and too easily. When you do that against top sides you get pushed and that’s exactly what happened to us today.
“Overall, they deserved the win as they were the better team on the day. They were clinical, took their chances when they came, but we didn’t take our chances at the other end."
Seb Palmer-Houlden and James Clarke were both included in the Exiles' matchday squad once again following their midweek EFL Trophy exit to Bristol Rovers, and Coughlan was pleased that the duo gained further minutes on their road to recovery.
“It was good to have them back again", he added
“We know at the moment we can only have them for a limited amount of time but hopefully over the next few weeks now we can build their match-day minutes up"
Coughlan: Mansfield good value for Newport County win
southwalesargus.co.uk, Sat 18 Nov 2023
MANAGER Graham Coughlan was frustrated that Newport County AFC failed to ‘ask enough questions’ in attack when they fired a blank for a third game on the spin against promotion-chasing Mansfield.
The Exiles failed to become the first team to beat the second-placed Stags in League Two this season after a 2-0 loss at Field Mill.
Davis Keillor-Dunn struck early on after a defensive error by Scot Bennett and then, after Rhys Oates missed a penalty, doubled the lead early in the second half.
County have failed to score in their last three games after a 0-0 draw with MK Dons and a 1-0 EFL Trophy defeat to Bristol Rovers.
In fact, they have scored in open play just twice in their last seven games - Shane McLoughlin's double against Oldham in the FA Cup - and Coughlan wants to be more of a threat in the final third.
“The better team won, we don’t have any arguments with that,” he said. “Fair play to them - we weren’t very good.
“We were poor with the ball and didn’t ask enough questions. We got a little bit of momentum in the second half, having changed our system a bit. That was the time we needed to score a goal and we didn’t.
“Probably the most disappointing thing is that we had the ball for both of their goals. We had good possession, but gave it away and turned it over too easily and quickly.
“When you do that against good teams you get punished - and we did get punished.
“I would have liked to see us pick up a goal and make it a nervy last 15 to 20 minutes.”
Mansfield are second behind Stockport and made it nine wins and eight draws in their 17 league fixtures.
“It was a good solid three points and a clean sheet,” said boss Nigel Clough. “These are the ones that are very important come the end of the season - and it wasn’t straightforward today.
“The Rhys Oates penalty miss was a huge point in the game as if we’d got the 2-0 lead after half an hour we’d maybe go on and win a bit more comfortably.
“They came back out for the second half and changed their tactics. They came at us rather than sitting back and they had a couple of moments in the second half as did we, so I was most pleased with the clean sheet.”
The better team won said Newport Town boss Graham Couglan on his losing return to in-form Mansfield Town
chad.co.uk, By John Lomas, Sat 18 Nov 2023
Newport County manage Graham Coughlan had no complaints as his former club Mansfield Town took the points in today's 2-0 victory at the One Call Stadium.
A Davis Keillor-Dunn brace saw Stags to a 17th game unbeaten and fifth win in a row, Rhys Oates also seeing a penalty saved.
Coughlan said: “The better team won. We don't have any arguments with that. Fair play to them - we weren't very good.
“We were poor with the ball and didn't ask enough questions.
“We got a little bit of momentum in the second half, having changed our system a bit. That was the time we needed to score a goal and we didn't.
“Probably the most disappointing things is that we had the ball for both of their goals. We had good possession but gave it away and turned it over too easily and quickly.
“When you do that against good teams you get punished - and we did get punished.”
He added: “We had one or two dubious decisions against us today too which we thought were unjust. I don't think we got a fair crack of the whip from the officials today but I don't want that to come across as sour grapes as Mansfield were the better team and deserved the victory.
“They are up there for a reason and have a good team and a really solid squad.
“They were clinical and took their chances and we did not open them up enough or take our chances when they came along.
“I would have liked to see us pick up a goal and make it a nervy last 15-20 minutes. It might have been a different last part of the season.”
Newport County manager Graham Coughlan said:
"Probably the better team won, I don't think we've any arguments with that. We weren't very good - we were poor with the ball and we didn't ask enough questions.
"We had the ball for both goals which is probably the disappointing part of the afternoon - we had good possession of the ball and we gave it away and turned it over too quickly.
"We had a little bit of momentum in the second half. We changed our system a little bit and that was the moment that we needed to really to score a goal and we didn't."
Aaron Lewis @aaronjameslewis
Another 3 points at home, fans amazing again, enjoy your weekend. Up the stagZ!!!
John Radford @JRadfordMTFC
Another deserved victory to extend our unbeaten league run to 17 games this season.
Well done to Nigel and the boys.