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Archived News from March 2024

CLOUGH PREVIEWS COLCHESTER,+KEILLOR-DUNN INTERVIEW
23rd March 2024 0:16


Boss: Home record will be significant in run-in
mansfieldtown.net, Tue 19 Mar 2024

Nigel Clough is encouraged to have the backing of the home fans in five of the remaining eight games of the season as the race for promotion hots up in Sky Bet League Two.

Stags face Colchester this Saturday at One Call Stadium in a televised Sky Sports fixture which will kick-off at 12.30pm.

The amber and blue will also host Accrington, Crawley, Forest Green and Gillingham as part of the regular home schedule.

“I think it could be really important that we have got five out of eight matches at home,” said the manager at a news conference this morning.

https://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/2024/march/boss-home-record-will-be-significant-in-run-in/

“We’re in a position where if we win the majority of the home games, we’re nearly there.

“I think we’re just completely focused on the last eight games which starts with Saturday.

“We’ll try and beat Colchester and see what happens.”

Stags head into Saturday’s fixture following a 5-1 rout at Bradford. Reflecting on the day, the manager said: “On Saturday, to take over 2,500 fans up to Bradford [was great].

“They seemed jubilant afterwards - I don’t think they’re getting carried away, hopefully they’re enjoying what they’re seeing.

“They realise we’re not there yet. We’ve still got a bit of work to do but you have to celebrate the individual successes as we did on Saturday with a fantastic win and performance.

“We don’t over celebrate - we don’t go mad - we just want to acknowledge and share it with them.

“We’ve walked off at One Call Stadium at times where we’ve lost the game and at Tranmere the other night, and we’ll still go to the supporters and applaud them so we share the losses and we certainly share the wins with them.”

Colchester head to One Call Stadium vying to climb further away from the bottom two and the manager warned of their physical threats in particular.

“We’ve seen them two or three times recently and they’ve been very unlucky not to come away with three points.

“They have drawn games they should have won and maybe lost games they should’ve drawn.

“Just a few more points would have seen them clear so they’re going to be a threat.

“They’re a big side, they’ll put the ball in the box and we have to deal with it.”

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Leaders Mansfield Town not taking struggling Colchester United for granted in live TV game on Saturday
chad.co.uk, by John Lomas, Tue 19 Mar 2024

Mansfield Town boss Nigel Clough warned his side were taking nothing for granted on Saturday as his table-toppers host a visit from relegation-battling Colchester United.

The game is live on Sky Sport at 12.30pm and Stags go into it four points clear at the top and buzzing from last weekend's 5-1 away thrashing of Bradford City with opponents Colchester only out the bottom two on goal difference and without a win in seven games.

Mansfield have eight games left to clinch promotion, five at home, but Clough said: “We need to stay totally focused on us.

“The players are intelligent enough to do that and pay no regard to the league table whatsoever.

https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/leaders-mansfield-town-not-taking-struggling-colchester-united-for-granted-in-live-tv-game-on-saturday-4560630

“We realise we are in a reasonable position, but there is still nothing taken for granted at all in any shape or form.

“There are still 24 points to play for and anything can happen. But we're happy to get over that 70 point mark again with eight games to go and we go into them in reasonably good form and reasonably confident.

“We know if we perform then teams will find it difficult against us.

“However, if we dip slightly as we have done in a couple of games, then any team can beat us at any time - including Colchester.

“This league is so strong and equal in so many ways that the teams in the bottom six are as likely to beat you as the teams in the top six.

“If you have Forest Green and Sutton United in the bottom two you are in a pretty strong league as they are two good teams.

“We have seen Colchester a couple of times recently and they've been very unlucky not to come away with the three points.

“They have drawn a few games they should have won and with a couple more wins they would be nearly clear of trouble by now.

“They will be a threat. They are a big side who put the ball into the box and we will have to deal with it.

“Danny (Cowley) is a very experienced manager and he will give them the best possible chance of staying up. His teams are never easy to play against.”

Clough continued: “It's great we have five of the last eight games at home.

“It's a good advantage and if we can win the majority of those home games it nearly gets you over the line, which is an incentive in itself.

“I think Colchester may sit back and look for a set play or a goal on the break. I don't see them coming out and being too expansive.

“But you never know what their approach will be, so we will just concentrate on ourselves and how we are going to play.

“Following the last 38 games we know we can cause teams problems if we do it well.

“Colchester still have games in hand and we know after drawing at home to Sutton, who were bottom of the league, how tough these opponents can be.”

Stags were in dazzling form at Bradford and Clough said: “We were going into last Saturday on the back of two defeats out of three, so we were a little bit worried as, at this time of season, you don't want an extended losing run by any means.

“So it was good to get back on it in terms of scoreline and performance.

“The all-round performance was probably as good as we've played for some time.

“We go for wins in games, which is probably why we're up there, so we're not going to change our approach at this stage. We still know it's in our hands.

“We are picking up a few injuries now, I think we had seven out on Saturday, three or four long term. But it's important to keep the squad as fit as we can for the run-in.

“With six games in 20-odd days it will be tested and the squad will be stretched.”

Stags are hoping for third time lucky after just missing out on promotion in the last two seasons.

“The Port Vale one a couple of seasons ago was very difficult,” said Clough.

“To lose at Wembley in the manner we did. It takes everyone a long time to get over.

“You don't turn up for pre-season four or five weeks later and everyone is fine. It takes a bit of time to recover.

“It was similar to a relegation. There is always a hangover when you lose a play-off.

“However, to get so close last season with the injuries that we had was not a bad achievement really.

“It wasn't a bad season and we knew where we had to improve.

“The players had a good break in the summer and we said from the first day you come back, be ready as we are going for it. They have all taken that on board.”

Stags also have one eye on the title, second-placed Stockport dropping two points when Crawley scored late to hold them to a 1-1 draw last night and now four points adrift with one game in hand on Mansfield.

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Attacker motivated by outstanding goal involvements numbers
mansfieldtown.net, Tue 19 Mar 2024

Mansfield Town attacker Davis Keillor-Dunn says he’s always wanting ‘to get more’ ahead of this weekend’s match at home to Colchester after acquiring his 19th goal and ninth assist of the season last Saturday at Bradford.

The 26-year-old has the joint most combined goals and assists in Sky Bet League Two with 28 and has become one of the division’s standout performers in 2023/24.

The visit of Colchester to One Call Stadium on Saturday provides Stags the opportunity to tighten Mansfield’s grip on top spot - heading into an exciting run-in.

Speaking to the local media in a news conference this morning, he said: “I’m just trying to get double figures for goals and assists and it has been going well.

“It’s really funny, I keep thinking ‘it would be nice to get to that and then I get to that and I’m not happy with that’ so it’s little milestones and I think the key to it is not get comfortable with what you’re getting.

https://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/2024/march/attacker-motivated-by-outstanding-goal-involvements-numbers/

“I always want to get more and that’s the way I look at things.

“The lads need me out there and likewise I need them. It’s been going well.

“I just want to try and score and assist in every game.

“If I don’t, I’m frustrated with myself. There’s no [personal] number [target] on it [for the end of the campaign] but in each game I want to produce.

“I’m playing with good players and the gaffer is giving me freedom to perform so I can only thank the people that I am working with for helping me and putting me in these positions.

“I’ve just got to keep doing it each week and chipping in with goals and assists.”

On his season so far, Stags’ number 40 added: “It’s going really well.

“It’s good to go into games really confident.

“When we get goals early it’s nice but there’s eight [games] to go and they’re huge games.

“We’ve got to keep doing the things we’ve been doing and implementing the same things.”

Manager Nigel Clough had previously called for the former Oldham Athletic man to replicate his dazzling home form on the road.

Playing behind a front two of Lucas Akins and Will Swan, Davis added two more goal involvements (one goal, one assist) to his respective totals at the University of Bradford Stadium last Saturday.

“It’s a good way of being,” he said.

“He [the gaffer] demands high standards, that’s the way he is.

“I’m happy to take that on board and improve and add to my game and perform away from home.”

Stags have eight matches remaining, but the attacker says the squad aren’t letting the club’s current league position get to their heads.

“We’ve put ourselves in a good position, but you can’t get ahead of yourselves,” said Davis.

“There are still eight games to go and loads of points to play for.

“That’s the main thing - just make sure you’re at it for the last eight and really finish the season strong.”

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Davis Keillor-Dunn's mum sets Mansfield Town goal hero a tough target
chad.co.uk, by John Lomas, Tue 19 Mar 2024

Mansfield Town star Davis Keillor-Dunn is now just one away from a 20-goal milestone, but admits it won't be enough to please his mum.

Keillor-Dunn has been the star man this season, though Will Swan and Lucas Akins are also now in double figures as Stags chase promotion.

The former Oldham Athletic man said he always sets moveable targets and is enjoying the freedom of his role at the tip of a diamond formation.

“I always try to get double figures, goals and assists, and chip in. But it's been going really well,” he said.

https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/davis-keillor-dunns-mum-sets-mansfield-town-goal-hero-a-tough-target-4560767

“I always think it would be nice to get to 'that'. Then I get to 'that' and I'm not happy. You set yourself little milestones.

“The key to it is not being comfortable with what you get - you always want to get more.

“But at the start of the season my mum said she wanted me to get 30 goals this season!

“She comes to every home game and most of the away games.

“My dad's there too and my brother and my missus, so my support has been brilliant. And the support from the fans has been unbelievable. It gives you that extra bit you need.

“But I am just trying to get as many as I can and influence games as much as I can.

“The lads need me out there and, likewise, I need them too.”

He added: “Hopefully there's a few more to come before the end of the season.

“I want to score and assist in every game and, if I don't, I get frustrated with myself.

“I have no set number on how many I want to score, but every game I want to produce.

“I am playing with good players as well and the gaffer has given me freedom to go out there and perform.

“So I can only thank the people I am working with for helping me and putting me in these positions.”

Stags had five different scorers at Bradford on Saturday and Keillor-Dunn said: “The biggest thing is everyone has got to chip in with goals, and we are really good at that.

“I know a few of the midfielders have got goals as well.

“You've got boys from all over the pitch popping up with a goal.

“Baily Cargill has scored a few - and we're still waiting for Aden Flint to score us a few headers.

“Swanny coming into form at this stage of the season is like signing a new player. He has been excellent.

“We have to keep going now, everyone together.”

Keillor-Dunn netted twice in the opening game at Crewe and said Stags' fine pre-season form was a big factor in their great season to date.

“The season is going really well and I am really enjoying it,” he said.

“We had a really good pre-season and worked on everything we wanted to do as soon as the season started. The manager just told us to take that into the season.

“I felt comfortable in that position in the first game - it was second nature.

“Luckily for me I got off to a good start with a brace at Crewe which put me in good stead for the full season ahead.”

Despite the player's goal heroics, boss Nigel Clough recently urged Keillor-Dunn to produce more away from home.

“The gaffer wasn't shy in telling me that and you have to take it on board and try to show a reaction,” he said.

“You have to get on with it and not get your head down.

“He demands high standards - that's the way it is and I am happy to keep improving and adding to my game.”

Mansfield have eight games left to clinch promotion and Keillor-Dunn said: “We have put ourselves in a good position, but we can only think about the next game and we can only control the controllables.

“We can't get ahead of ourselves with eight games to go and loads of points to play for.

“We need to turn up and be 100 per cent for every game. That's the main thing. Make sure you're at it for the last eight and finish the season strongly.

“It's good going into games feeling confident, knowing when the lads are at it and we start games really fast and get goals early, it is comfortable.

“There are eight huge games to go and we just have to keep doing the same things we've been doing and implement the same things.

“If we collectively want to achieve our aims this season we can't let up. We can't have days off.

“We've bounced back from our losses really well this season. I don't think we've lost two on the bounce this season which shows we are a good side.”

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