COUGHLAN PREVIEWS OLDHAM GAME
Build on big win, says boss
mansfieldtown.net, Monday, 27th January 2020
Manager Graham Coughlan has emphasised the importance of ‘consistency’ as his side look for their second win in three days tomorrow night away at Oldham Athletic.
The boss’ comments follow Saturday’s resounding 3-0 victory over promotion-chasing Bradford City, in which strikers Danny Rose, Nicky Maynard and Andy Cook scored a goal apiece.
Speaking in Monday afternoon’s news conference at One Call Stadium, the manager says that the key to producing consistent performances is to ‘maintain standards.’
“I don’t know whether it [Bradford win] was the best performance [under me], but it was certainly the best result,” he told iFollow Stags. “Performance-wise we have been good, but the results haven’t been coming.
“I thought Saturday was very pleasing all-round. Naturally, Monday [today] has been a light [training session] because they covered a lot of mileage on Saturday.
“There is a good mood in the camp - the place is buzzing. But it’s now a case of consistency. The football club has been inconsistent over the last 12 months so it’s about finding consistency.
“We’ve set those standards so we have to maintain them now. I’ve said to the changing room: ‘don’t come off it.’ If anyone comes off it, they’ll pay a price.
“Stay on top of your own game, your own professionalism, your own standards. A lot of the onus is on the players to show why they’re professional footballers.
“We’re trying to create an honest, hard-working environment. Our first line of defence will always be our strikers and that epitomised our performance on Saturday.
“Saturday was a high point. Let’s continue that and carry that on. Let’s not get into a habit where we have one day on, one day off. I’m looking for more of the same on Tuesday night [away at Oldham].”
Looking ahead to Tuesday evening’s Sky Bet League Two match away at Oldham, the 45-year-old added: “They [Oldham] are a really tough opponent. They’re in the same region of the league as ourselves, so naturally we’ll be feeling the same about our seasons.
“They’ll be looking for improvements. They’ve had some okay results previously, whereas we’ve had some bad results, so they might be feeling confident.
“But given the weekend, we should be okay. But Oldham, traditionally, is a really tough one. They’re a physical team and we’ll leave no stone unturned in our preparation.”
There was also an update on potential incomings and outgoings from the boss, as the January transfer window nears its conclusion.
“We’re actively looking and actively seeking, but it will always have to be the right player for us,” he added. “They will have to fit into our ethos of being honest and hard-working. If we could get something done by the weekend, that would be great.
“I’ve said from the time I’ve come in, I’m more than happy to work with the players I have here.
“The owners [John and Carolyn Radford] have been supportive and allowed us to get two players through the door.
“The owners are very supportive so I’m sure, if I felt I needed one or two more, that the owners would back us.
“But the group here have bought into what we wanted and they are working hard. They are improving all the time.
“If players are not in the squad, by all means, come and have a chat with me and we can help the players out.
“But as professional players, if you’re not playing regularly, you would want to play football week-in, week-out [elsewhere]. There’s no one banging on my door asking to leave, but there are one or two available.”
The Stags’ manager also spoke of currently injured players Hayden White, Kellan Gordon and Jordan Graham.
“All three [White, Gordon and Graham] are still on the treatment table, but Hayden is coming along well.
“All three will be absent tomorrow evening [against Oldham]. Hayden’s on the grass with the sports scientists so fingers crossed, that won’t be longer term.
“He should be back maybe later this week, if not early next week, so that’s a plus point as well.”
iFollow Stags subscribers can watch the boss’ interview in full by logging into mansfieldtown.net/ifollow later today.
No ‘After The Lord Mayor’s Show’ at Oldham Athletic warns Mansfield Town boss Graham Coughlan
chad.co.uk, By John Lomas, Monday, 27th January 2020
Mansfield Town boss Graham Coughlan warned his players not to let standards slip at Oldham Athletic tomorrow night after Saturday's sparkling 3-0 victory over Bradford City.
After so many disappointments, Stags finally hit top gear and Coughlan is keen to avoid any 'After The Lord Mayor's Show' display at Boundary Park against fellow strugglers.
“Saturday was a high point so let's carry that on and not get into a habit of one day on and one day off. I want more of the same at Oldham,” he said.
“Sometimes in football you get an 'After The Lord Mayor's Show' and Oldham away is traditionally a really tough game - especially on a cold, wet Tuesday night.
“They have a fair size, good presence and they are a physical team.
“We may need to show a different side of our character there and a different skill set. It might have to be a fight.
“It might have to be rolling your sleeves up, weathering the storm and heading or kicking anything that comes into your box. It might be tin helmets and a battle rather than a spectacle.”
He continued: “They are in the same region of the league as ourselves so naturally they will be feeling the same as us about the season.
“They look very similar seasons and their manager would also probably use the word inconsistent.
“They will be looking for improvements and think they can take us tomorrow night. They have had some okay results recently while we were having bad results.
“But, given the weekend, we should be okay. We will leave no stone unturned in terms of our preparation.”
The Oldham game is the first of three in a row against fellow strugglers placed below them with Coughlan knowing the table could look a whole lot better within the next two weeks.
But he warned: “We are only looking at it one game at a time. I have said since we came in, let's crawl, walk then run.
“We need to build a foundation and get on a little run.
“Yes the table could look a hell of a lot different. But if they don't perform like we did on Saturday and get punished, all of a sudden, we can take a step back. It's fine margins in football.”
The win over Bradford gave Coughlan his first clean sheet in his eight games in charge
“I don't know if it was the best performance but it was certainly the best result. I think it had been coming,” he smiled.
“Performances had been good and we'd been getting a lot of plaudits and pats on the back - but results hadn't been coming.
“So it was nice to combine performance, result and clean sheet. We were chuffed with that.
“But, as I said on Saturday, one swallow does not make a summer and it's now a case of finding consistency.
“This football club has been inconsistent over the last 12 months. Now we've set those standards we have to maintain them.”
He added: “If anybody comes off it they will pay a price. Football does kick you where it hurts if you come off it. If you come off it by an inch, you lose miles.
“A lot of the onus is on the players, not me, showing why they are professional footballers. If I smell it or see it I will certainly stamp it out if they take a step back.”
Stags hope to complete at least one more signing ahead of Friday's January deadline, though he said: “If we can get another player in then great.
“If we don't it's not an issue. I won't lose any sleep. I will work with what I've got as they are working hard and buying into what we want.”
Out-of-favour Mansfield Town players urged to find football elsewhere before Friday’s deadline
chad.co.uk, By John Lomas
Mansfield Town boss Graham Coughlan has urged players not in his plans to get out and get some football elsewhere ahead of Friday night's January transfer deadline.
Midfielder Jacob Mellis is the only one mentioned by name so far, by Coughlan said there were others aware their futures lay elsewhere and he he warned them football is a short career and they should want to be playing.
“Ideally some may go out by Friday,” he said. “If you're a professional footballer and you are not in the squad, not playing and not part of the group, you'd want to move on.
“That's up to the players themselves. You should have enough about you to want to play football week in, week out.
“They are far better off playing as a football career is short. I would want to be playing and I just hope they share the same desire and passion for the game as me.
“There will be one or two that will have suitors out there looking to take them.”
He added: “If they're not in the squad then by all means come along, have a chat with us, and we'll help the players as best we can.
“As of yet none of them have been banging on my door telling me they want to move. But there are one or two available.
“It has been quiet but the last week is normally hectic and my phone should be ringing off the hook.”
Coughlan has already signed three players - Ex-Everton midfielder Harry Charsley, former Plymouth right back Joe Riley and young Newcastle United centre half Kell Watts - while letting Conrad Logan go out on loan.
The manager said he may bring in another signing by the deadline but would be happy to go with what he's got if nothing transpires.
The versatility of Riley and Watts will allow him cover across the back and midfield and his strikers have been scoring goals regularly in recent weeks.
The transfer window slams shut at 11pm on Friday.
Big chance for young Mansfield Town keeper Aidan Stone
chad.co.uk, By John Lomas
With Conrad Logan now out on loan, young goalkeeper Aidan Stone now has a massive opportunity to make an impression at Mansfield Town.
The former Burnley youngster has had limited opportunities since he arrived last summer with Logan and current No.1 Bobby Olejnik ahead of him in the pecking order.
But that has now changed and manager Graham Coughlan said: “Aidan has impressed us in training and the games he's played.
“He will come into our thoughts and I am hoping to get him some game time between now and the end of the season to see what he's got and what he's made of.”
So far 20-year-old Stone has only started one first team game - the home Leasing.com trophy clash with Everton U21s in August - as well as reserve outings.
“We have taken on board Jimmy Knowles as well. So there is a couple of young lads to work with there,” added Coughlan.
“There is plenty of energy and enthusiasm among the youngsters and any club I have been at we've tried to develop the young lads and bring them on. That's where the energy comes from for the club.
“I will look to develop Aidan and get him on the pitch - he is one of many. The kids give you an honest and hard-working shift.”
Latest | January 2020