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Archived News from March 2024

CLOUGH PREVIEWS MK DONS
11th March 2024 11:05


Boss on ‘pivotal’ period in season
mansfieldtown.net, Mon 4 Mar 2024

Mansfield Town boss Nigel Clough says the club’s next four games, in 12 days, are ‘absolutely pivotal’, starting with tomorrow night’s exciting encounter against fellow promotion-chasers MK Dons.

Stags went three points clear of second-placed Stockport and five clear of fourth placed Crewe Alexandra after a hard-fought 1-0 victory at Newport County on Saturday.

Mansfield will look to make it six wins in seven matches when MK Dons visit One Call Stadium tomorrow evening.

On an important upcoming schedule of games, the gaffer said: “We’re 12 [games] to go, [the win at Newport] gave us a little bit of daylight between us and the fourth placed team, but only a little, that can be eroded very, very quickly.

“We still maintain [that] these next four games in the next 12 days [are] absolutely pivotal.”

https://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/2024/march/boss-on-pivotal-period-in-season/

The victory at Newport continued a superb run of form into March after losing just once in the month of February.

“With Newport being such a good team and with it being such a difficult place, you never ever felt comfortable until that final whistle went,” said the boss.

“I thought we played well without being absolutely sparking, I thought we did enough on the day.”

On injuries, the manager added: “We’ll see how he [Will Swan] feels today and take it from there. We hope so [that he can feature tomorrow], but [we’re] not quite sure.

“He’s [Elliott Hewitt] scheduled to play 45 minutes [in a Central League fixture at home to Huddersfield on Wednesday], or less than that or whatever he feels comfortable with.

“He’s looked very good in training, but we all know after that length of time [nine months out] we’re going to be very, very cautious with him.”

Mansfield face Tuesday opponent’s, MK Dons, for the first time this season.

The Dons, who sit fifth in League Two, conceded in the fourth minute of second-half injury time in their 1-0 defeat at rivals AFC Wimbledon on Saturday.

“They’re an extremely good footballing team, very similar to Notts County in the way that they play, very possession based,” Nigel said.

“They’ve got players, [Daniel] Kemp and [Alex] Gilbey and [Jack] Payne, are technically as good as anybody in the league and [they] really belong in the league above.

“We’re expecting as hard a game as we’ve had this season.”

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Mansfield Town manager Nigel Clough believes squad consistency is behind his side's success this season
chad.co.uk, 4 Mar 2024

Proud Stags boss Nigel Clough believes squad consistency is the key behind his promotion-chasers’ current top three place.

Mansfield have turned in some sparkling displays this season, including home demolitions of Harrogate Town and Salford as well big away wins at Forest Green Rovers and Notts County.

And delighted Clough feels it’s a record that his entire squad can take credit for.

“We have shown consistency over the season so far and scored goals in a lot of those games,” he said.

“Our defensive record has been good. It has been good all round solid performances. I don't think we have had outstanding individuals, it's been a very good team and squad effort.”

The versatility of the Stags squad has also been apparent on a number of occasions, with some key players playing in unfamiliar positions throughout the campaign.

Amongst others it has been Baily Cargill making the left back slot his own, with frontman Jordan Bowery also filling in at full-back.

“He (Cargill) has adapted to it very well, he is getting better in the position as each game is played,” said Clough.

https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town-manager-nigel-clough-believes-squad-consistency-is-behind-his-sides-success-this-season-4542475

“It helps when the team is playing well and you are winning games.

“Everyone is confident, when you are at the other end of the table it becomes more of a problem and issue.

“Everyone is happy and pleased to be in the team, it doesn’t matter what position they are in.”

With games coming thick and fast over the next two weeks Clough also believes his promotion-chasers have now entered a key spell in the season.

“This period is significant,” he said. “When we finish the next two weeks we have eight games left and we will know a bit more about what we need and hopefully we can maintain the position we are in now.”

Clough will meet the Stags faithful this month and answer questions during the Fans’ Forum.

“I think the fans have enjoyed this season and most of the last 3.5 years and the way we have tried to play,” said Clough.

“It will be nice to sit down and listen to their views and talk about the wide range of things at the club like the academy.

"The whole club is in a good shape at the moment.”

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Nigel Clough expecting a big test for Stags as MK Dons come to town
chad.co.uk, 4 Mar 2024

Nigel Clough is expecting one of the toughest games of the season as Stags host promotion rivals MK Dons tonight.

Impressive Stags sit top of the table with an eight point cushion on MK, who they still have to face twice.

And focused Clough knows the task ahead against the Dons will be far from easy.

“They are an extremely good footballing team, very similar to Notts County in the way they play and are very possession-based,” he said.

https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/nigel-clough-expecting-a-big-test-for-stags-as-mk-dons-come-to-town-4542713

“They will be frustrated after their defeat at AFC Wimbledon. They are right on our tails and they are important games.

“We are expecting as hard a game as we have had this season, it should be a good game and an interesting one.

“If MK win both games against us they are right behind us. It's an important one and an opportunity for us, we will be giving it everything as always.”

MK Dons’ boss Mike Williamson knows his side face as tougher of a challenge as it gets.

“They have a very experienced manager, with a wealth of talent,” he said.

“We've been watching them, they're probably the most threatening team in terms of the firepower and quality they have in their squad.

“We know the pitch will play a part, but for both teams. Mansfield can mix their game up so well. They can go long, they've got the physicality, they can play through the thirds too, and they have extremely good players too that are always looking to cause problems.

We have to control the controllables.

“We have to turn up tomorrow and understand who we are and what we stand for, how good we can be. We've got to hit our maximum to stand a chance.”

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Chameleon Stags are capable of switching styles when they need to
MK Citizen, By Toby Lock, 4 Mar 2024

League Two leaders Mansfield Town are capable of finding multiple different ways of hurting teams, according to MK Dons head coach Mike Williamson.

Nigel Clough's side are three points clear at the top of the pile, and have won five of their last six games in their march towards automatic promotion. Their home form has been sparkling recently too, scoring 14 goals in their last two games at Field Mill.

https://www.miltonkeynes.co.uk/sport/football/mk-dons/chameleon-stags-are-capable-of-switching-styles-when-they-need-to-4542526

Dons head to Nottinghamshire tonight (Tuesday) for the first clash of the season against the Stags, with Williamson saying his side must be wary of opposition's ability to switch styles if they are to come away with anything from the game.

"Mansfield can mix their game up so well," said Williamson. "They can go long, they've got the physicality, they can play through the thirds too, and they have extremely good players too that are always looking to cause problems.

"They have a very experienced manager, with a wealth of talent. We've been watching them, they're probably the most threatening team in terms of the firepower and quality they have in their squad. We know the pitch will play a part, but for both teams.

"We have to control the controlables. We have to turn up tomorrow and understand who we are and what we stand for, how good we can be. We've got to hit our maximum to stand a chance. "

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Latest | March 2024