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Archived News from March 2024

CLOUGH PREVIEWS TRANMERE, PLUS PYM INTERVIEW
15th March 2024 23:25


Boss: Next two games will be as tough as any this season
mansfieldtown.net, Mon 11 Mar 2024

Manager Nigel Clough says Stags’ next two games on the road will be ‘as tough as any this season’ as his men aim to maintain top spot in Sky Bet League Two.

The amber and blue travel to Tranmere tomorrow - rejuvenated since the appointment of Nigel Adkins - followed by a trip to Bradford City, who could make a late surge for the play-offs, on Saturday.

And when asked about whether he has set a points total for the remaining ten games, Nigel said in a news conference at One Call Stadium today: “The next two away games will be as tough as we’ve had all season. We’re just looking at those two, can we stay top after those two games?

https://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/2024/march/boss-next-two-games-will-be-as-tough-as-any-this-season/

“I think they’ll (Tranmere) want to finish the season on a high. Since Nigel Adkins has taken over they’ve had a big up turn in their fortunes and got away from the relegation battle pretty quickly.

“I think they’ll be looking forward to next season and building for next season. All this thing about ‘nothing to play for (is not correct), everybody has (something to play for). You want to finish the season on a high, so no matter the situation, there’ll be no game that we can say ‘that’ll be comfortable’.

“When you’re up there [in first position], you’re there to be shot at and it’s a little scalp for clubs If they can beat the top of the league.”

Elsewhere, the manager spoke for the first time since midfielder Louis Reed penned a new contract until the summer of 2025.

“When we brought him in last January, he got injured very quicky at Bradford. We’re absolutely convinced that we would have made the play-offs had he remained fit that season. We missed out by one goal and he would have made the difference. You’ve seen the difference he’s made this season. He’s been as consistent as anyone and a player - whichever league we’re in - we think will play a major role again.”

In further positive news, defender Elliott Hewitt played his first competitive match last week, completing 45 minutes in a reserve match against Huddersfield Town.

“[He also had] No reaction, which is absolutely brilliant news,” said the manager.

“It was the best news we’ve had for some time. We’ve seen him in training and he’s back in full contact now but to see him in a game at the RH Academy was absolutely brilliant. We have another (reserve game) next week so hopefully he’ll play sixty minutes in that and hopefully be back in contention for the squad.”

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Tough double away test for League Two leaders Mansfield Town
chad.co.uk, by John Lomas, 11 Mar 2024

League Two leaders Mansfield Town begin their final 10-game countdown with the first of two tough away games at Tranmere Rovers tomorrow night (Tuesday, 7.45pm).

It is followed by a game at 'sleeping giants' Bradford City on Saturday and boss Nigel Clough said: “The next two away games will probably be as tough as any away games we've had all season.

“We are just looking to see if we can stay top after those two games.”

Bradford still have an outside hope of the play-offs while Tranmere, having pulled away from the relegation dogfight, can now play with freedom and lack of pressure.

“Tranmere will want to finish the season on a high,” said Clough.

“Since Nigel Adkins has taken over they have had a big upturn in their fortunes and got away from the relegation battle pretty quickly.

“I think they will be looking forward to next season and building for next season, trying to show their supporters that this is what they're going to have when they start again in August.

https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/tough-double-away-test-for-league-two-leaders-mansfield-town-4550937?fbclid=IwAR29dWIvepUrJdppQuaeffo5vHKuCz2hB7gLdx98_WJX9awPs2UJNsNR8dY

“There is all this talk of having nothing to play for but everybody still has something to play for. You are still putting things in place looking ahead.

“You want supporters to renew season tickets and you want to finish the season on a high.”

He added: “No matter what the situation, there will be no game between now and the end of the season which you can say will be comfortable.

“You saw it with Swindon on Saturday. You don't want to lose games but you can certainly go out and have a go, whether it's away at top of the league or wherever you go.

“So I am sure Tranmere will be looking forward to playing us, being in that position tomorrow night.

“At home they are very strong, we've found that out over the last couple of seasons.

“They are, without doubt, one of the teams that, had they had a better start, would now be there or thereabouts in the play-offs.”

Clough was delighted to be top of the tree going into the final 10 games.

“It is a lovely position to be in at this stage.

“Being top is certainly better than chasing, like if we were five points behind and relying on other people all the time. It is very much in our hands.

“When you are up there you're there to be shot at and it's a little bit of a scalp for them if they can beat top of the league.

“I just don't want us to get nervous or anything like that.

“I just want us to keep doing what we are doing and playing like we have for the previous 36 games, which I know is easier said than done.

“It's no fluke when you are top after 36 games. But it counts for nothing if you're not there after another 10.”

Ollie Clarke (knee) and Hiram Boateng (ribs) are among several players with knocks after Saturday's thrilling 3-2 home win over Swindon Town.

“With three games in a week it's inevitable. We will do what we can, patch them up and get them out for the next two,” said Clough.

“It was a pulsating game on Saturday and Swindon certainly played their part - I think there were 40 shots between the two teams.

“The performance was good enough in parts, certainly the quality of the three goals. But it was much closer than it should have been.

“With 11 games to go on the day, it was a little bit too close for comfort at times.

“We have to get back to not conceding as many goals.”

Stags have now hit 25 goals in four home games and Clough added: “It's wonderful for the supporters to come along and see that.

“That is what they pay their money for - to hopefully see us win and also to be entertained.

“We do try to replicate it on the road. After this week five out of the last eight games are at home and it will be absolutely crucial to continue that good form if we are to achieve what we what to come the end of April.”

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After Louis Reed deal sealed, Mansfield Town boss Nigel Clough in talks to extend contracts for more players
chad.co.uk, by John Lomas, 11 Mar 2024

After extending the contract of Louis Reed last week, Mansfield Town boss Nigel Clough intends to do the same with two or three others before the season ends.

Reed is now tied to the Stags until June 2025 and Clough said: “We are in negotiations with one or two at the moment, but we are pretty relaxed about the situation generally.

“I think those who need tying on a contract have got it.

“But there are one or two that, when you don't know which league you will be playing in, you've got to be certain that whatever league you're in you want the players around.

https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/after-louis-reed-deal-sealed-mansfield-town-boss-nigel-clough-in-talks-to-extend-contracts-for-more-players-4551785

“I think we will probably do two or three more before the end of the season.”

On securing midfield ace Reed he said: “When we brought him in last January he got injured very quickly at Bradford.

“We are absolutely convinced that had he stayed fit for the majority of the end of that season then we would have made the play-offs.

“We missed out by one goal and he would have made that difference.

“You have seen the difference he has made this season. He has been as consistent as anyone we've had out there and is a player that next season, whichever league we are in, will play a major role again.

“He is a good player who is probably coming to his peak now at his age.

“He has good experience of this league and the league above. The way we play suits him - we get him on the ball as much as possible.

“What often goes under the radar are his defensive abilities - the number of times he intercepts something or he's back in his own penalty area making challenges or blocks. He is a very good all-round midfielder.

“On the ball he looks to create and we think he is as good as there is in this league at doing those dual roles.”

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Mansfield Town boss Nigel Clough tells his league leaders to hold their nerve in the big run-in
chad.co.uk, by John Lomas, 11 Mar 2024

Mansfield Town boss Nigel Clough has told his League Two leaders to hold their nerve as they approach the final 10 games of a thrilling campaign.

Ahead of tonight's tough trip to Tranmere Rovers and Saturday’s equally tough game at Bradford City, Clough said: “It is a lovely position to be in at this stage.

“Being top is certainly better than chasing, like if we were five points behind and relying on other people all the time. It is very much in our hands.

“I just don't want us to get nervous or anything like that.

“I just want us to keep doing what we are doing and playing like we have for the previous 36 games, which I know is easier said than done. It's no fluke when you are top after 36 games. But it counts for nothing if you're not there after another 10.”

Stags won a thriller 3-2 against Swindon on Saturday and Clough added: “It was a pulsating game and Swindon certainly played their part - I think there were 40 shots between the two teams.

https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town-boss-nigel-clough-tells-his-league-leaders-to-hold-their-nerve-in-the-big-run-in-4551694

“The performance was good enough in parts, certainly the quality of the three goals. But it was much closer than it should have been.

“We have to get back to not conceding as many goals.”

In contrast, Mansfield have now scored 18 goals in the last four home games which have seen 25 goals in total and he added: “It's wonderful for the supporters to come along and see that.

“That is what they pay their money for - to hopefully see us win and also to be entertained.

“We do try to replicate it on the road. After this week five out of the last eight games are at home and it will be absolutely crucial to continue that good form if we are to achieve what we want to come the end of April.”

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Our experience can see us home to promotion believes Mansfield Town keeper Christy Pym
chad.co.uk, by John Lomas, 11 Mar 2024

Mansfield Town goalkeeper Christy Pym believes the vast experience in the dressing room will be vital in seeing Stags over the promotion line.

And in the meantime the experienced stopper is also taking his first step on a future coaching career with the launch of the Christy Pym Goalkeeping Academy next month.

Pym won promotion to the Championship with Peterborough United and belives the current Stags dressing room is even better equipped.

“There are a lot of lads in the team with promotions under their belt who've been there and done that,” he said.

https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/our-experience-can-see-us-home-to-promotion-believes-mansfield-town-keeper-christy-pym-4551794

“That will stand us in good stead for those edgy games towards the end of the season, keeping a calm mentality and keeping the performances coming.

“It was a bit edgy towards the end of the promotion season at Peterborough and we nearly threw it away.

“It's about staying calm and treating every game as just a game of football, not allowing any outside noise in.

“Outside the fans are getting excited, but you have to keep your focus and your mind set on doing your job.”

He added: “I'm very confident we can do it.

“I think I am playing with one of the best back lines I have played with, technically, tactically, physically and the mental side of it as well with the experience there.

“I think this squad has more experience of gaining promotions than my previous one. Hopefully we can help the youngsters in the final stages of the season.”

On his new coaching venture, he said: “It will start in April and it is exciting.

“I have always wanted to get into coaching and I want to give a bit back to the community.

“The young fans here have been brilliant, very enthusiastic, and I want to try to give my experience back to them and help them going forward.

“It would be a thrill to coach a kid and see it come off and see them improve.

“Coaching is something I have always enjoyed and thought about it in the long term after I finish.

“It's been great to see a mascot come out here every week in a goalkeeper's jersey.

“I definitely want to go into coaching after I finish, and maybe management. It would all depend on circumstances.”

Asked for a vital tip for a young keeper, he said: “Be brave. Don't be afraid to make a mistake as you will then end up making more.”

The Christy Pym Goalkeeping Academy begins on 4th April at the RH Academy every Thursday night from 5-6pm for boys and girls aged six to 16.

Cost is £14.50 for one session or a block of eight for £100 - see Instagram, Facebook or Class For Kids to book.

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Latest | March 2024