{ the news }
An independent supporters' website dedicated to Mansfield Town FC
Archived News from February 2020

18th February 2020 19:43

Boss analyses Morecambe result
mansfieldtown.net, Monday 10th February 2020

In Monday afternoon’s news conference, manager Graham Coughlan offered his thoughts on Saturday’s 1-1 with Morecambe, while also speaking about Tuesday’s game against Leyton Orient, first team injuries and his approach to the rest of the season.

Mansfield conceded a frustrating late equaliser last time out against the Shrimps, a game which the manager says his side ‘controlled’ for the majority.

The boss says that it is just ‘little bits and pieces’ that are ‘hurting’ his side at present.

“It’s a game we should have won [against Morecambe] and a game we should have got a clean sheet in,” the manager told iFollow Stags. “But where have we heard that before? For fear of repeating myself, I asked Joe [Dunne, assistant manager] to deal with the media on Saturday.

“I was really annoyed and frustrated that we didn’t see the game through as we were in total control of it.

“There was a little lack of concentration at the back which has cost us the game. Those are the small little details of frustration that we’re going through.


“On the whole, we were again the better team and controlled large periods of the game. But it’s those little bits and pieces late on in the game that are hurting us.

“To go away from home in a tough, tense, nervy affair, I thought we controlled the game really well. We defended anything that was chucked at us really well, but again, it is just that killer moment where we switch off.

“I can see a lot of progress and development. If we can tidy up those one or two little incidents, it should all come good for us.

“I look back at the video and we played some good stuff in testing conditions. We managed the game really well and got into some lovely areas.

“It wasn’t a spectacle, but we did a really professional job for around 85 or 86 minutes.”

The boss says that, despite having a rough 50-point target, his side will be maintaining their ‘game-by-game’ approach for the rest of the season.

“I’ve taken a few bumps and bruises since I’ve come in but I’m still smiling and working hard to fix it,” he added.

“Like I said last week, I have every confidence in this club and team to correct this and put something together.

“I keep mentioning the fans week-in, week-out, but to back the boys like they did at Morecambe, it bodes well at this football club.

“We have a good group of professionals here and they’ve taken on board what we’ve said.

“It [approach] has to be game-by-game. When I came in, we didn’t set a points target, but I would have to say that 50 to 52 points is the main goal.

“You’re looking to reach that as quickly as possible and then you can adjust and realign. But I just want to win the next game, that’s the way we’re built.

“The results are not quite there, but I can assure you that they will come. The work rate and commitment that this group is showing, that will be rewarded at some stage.

“I have to look at the positives. Yes, we are a work in progress, but I do think we are making progress on and off the pitch.”

Looking ahead to Tuesday’s Sky Bet League Two game away at Leyton Orient, the boss added: “They [Leyton Orient] have been similar to ourselves. They’ll have probably found it a bit frustrating as they would want to be a little higher.

“On Saturday they got done late on, so we’re not the only club that concede late on in games - it’s part and parcel of the game.

“It [preparation] is 90 percent ourselves and ten percent them. I wouldn’t like to go overboard on Leyton Orient - we know what we know about them.”

The 45-year-old also revealed that ‘a couple of seniors’ will feature in tomorrow’s reserve fixture away at Doncaster Rovers, a 1pm kick-off at Cantley Park.

“There will be a couple of seniors who are not quite featuring in our first team squad or coming back from injury.

“I like to have some seniors around the juniors, because if you have good seniors, you’ll have good juniors.”

There was also an injury update from the boss ahead of Tuesday evening’s game in London.

“He [Harry Charsley] suffered a nasty one [against Morecambe], which should have been dealt with by the referee. We felt really aggrieved on Saturday as it was a bad challenge.

“It was an elbow to the face and that was unsavoury. He’s a tough lad and he’ll get on with it.

“Macca [Alex MacDonald] is coming on well. He’s back out on the grass so fingers crossed, he won’t be too far off.

“As we expected with a grade one [hamstring] tear, it was always going to be two or three weeks - but he’s making good progress.

“Hayden [White] is a lot closer [to return] than Kellan [Gordon]. It’s frustrating that we haven’t seen young Kellan play either.

“Hopefully we can get him out on the grass soon and have a look at him, he deserves that opportunity and chance.

“Hayden is not far off and Macca is not far off. The injuries and bits and pieces we’ve picked up in my time here are nothing too serious and long may that continue.”

iFollow Stags subscribers can watch the manager’s interview in full by logging into mansfieldtown.net/ifollow later today.


Mansfield Town boss Graham Coughlan furious over challenge on Harry Charsley at Morecambe
chad.co.uk, By John Lomas, Monday 10th February 2020

Mansfield Town midfielder Harry Charsley should be fine to face the trip to Leyton Orient tomorrow night - but boss Graham Coughlan is furious over the elbow the youngster took to his face at Morecambe on Saturday.

Charsley was left with a bloody nose after a bang in the face during the 1-1 draw and Coughlan said: “It was a nasty one which should have been dealt with by the referee at the time.

“We felt really, really aggrieved. It was a bad challenge - it was an elbow to the face.

“I have been in the game a long time and I know when there is a decent challenge, a tough challenge, or an unlucky challenge. That was unsavoury on Saturday.

“I am pretty sure if it was a Mansfield player administering that treatment to a Morecambe player it would have been dealt with.”


But Coughlan believes Charsley will be ready for selection tomorrow.

“He is a tough lad,” he said. “I have taken many elbows to the face in my career and you get up and get on with it.

“He's had a bloody nose - a bit of claret - but he dusted himself down and got back onto the pitch on Saturday.”

Stags are also hopeful that defender Joe Riley will be fit enough to play after limping off on Saturday.

Hayden White and Jordan Graham are both expected to continue their injury comebacks tomorrow in an afternoon reserve game at Doncaster.


Mansfield Town aiming to heap more home misery on fellow strugglers Leyton Orient
chad.co.uk, By John Lomas, Monday 10th February 2020

Mansfield Town head to London tomorrow to take on a Leyton Orient side also suffering a season of poor home form.

Like Stags, the O's have only won three League Two games at home all season and have only won one there since early October.

“They have been similar to ourselves and have probably found it a little bit frustrating,” said manager Graham Coughlan.

“They would want to be higher in the division and achieving a little bit more.

“On Saturday they got done late on so we're not the only that concede goals in the latter stages of the game. It's part and parcel of the game.


“It's been a frustrating season there by all accounts. We know what we know about them - the system of play and personnel.

“We played them in November with Bristol Rovers so we know all about them.”

With bottom side Stevenage losing, Saturday's 1-1 draw at Morecambe actually pulled Stags further away from trouble, despite conceding late, as they opened a 10-point gap to the bottom.

But Coughlan said: “It's four points over the last two games we've let slip. So let's call a spade a spade and be honest.

“I am disappointed with those two results. I would have liked to have won them as we had the games in the palms of our hands.

“At the same time one or two players came off the pitch and said to me they might have lost those games previously.

“I have to be positive. I can't do anything about those games now.

“I have to look forward and think long term. We are a work in progress and I do think we are making progress on and off the pitch.”

The high winds and torrential ran, followed by heavy snow, has seen the weather hamper preparations for the trip south.

“You look out of the window and see the training ground is under water,” said Coughlan.

“Getting anything done on Sunday was nigh on impossible.

“It's impossible trying to keep bibs, balls and cones in one place. They just blow all over the place.

“It does affect you preparations, trying to get your messages across to players in a gale-force wind with the rain lashing in your face is difficult.

“We have had to do a bit more classroom-based work with DVDs, so there is ways and means around it.

“We did a debrief on Saturday. You look back on the video and we played some good stuff in very testing conditions.

“It has affected us but we're not the only club up and down the country that will be affected.”

On Saturday Orient were held 1-1 at home by Macclesfield, leaving them 19th in the League Two table, on 35 points, three ahead of the Stags, who would leapfrog them on goal difference if they could secure a win tomorrow night.

Orient have won seven of their last 10 EFL games against Stags including coming back from 2-0 down to win 3-2 at the one Call Stadium earlier this season.


Mansfield Town chasing points safety target
chad.co.uk, By John Lomas

Mansfield Town boss Graham Coughlan is hoping his side can edge closer to the safety of the 50/52-point mark at Leyton Orient tonight.

Although Stags are already 10 points clear of the single relegation place, currently occupied by Stevenage, with 14 games to go, and have 32 points, no one is taking safety for granted with so many games still to go.

“It has to be game by game but I do believe every manager will do the same and, when the season kicks off, will set a 50-52 points marker,” said Coughlan.

“Every dressing room will do that. The quicker you get to that mark the better.


“When we came in we didn't set any targets. But that 50-52 target would still be the main goal.

“Once you get there you can adjust and realign.

“But I just want to win the next game - that's how I am built.”


Big future still possible at Mansfield Town for Craig Davies
chad.co.uk, By John Lomas

Mansfield Town boss Graham Coughlan believes experienced striker Craig Davies can still play a big part in the club's future as he seeks to end an injury nightmare.

The 34-year-old spent much of last season on the sidelines with ankle problems and has only recently got back as far as the bench, making just three appearances as a substitute this season.

But, ahead of Saturday's home clash with Newport County, Coughlan said Davies was finally getting closer to a start.

“Craig is one of the players who has really worked his socks off to be fair,” he said.

“I have to take my hat off to him - his weight, his fitness levels - from the time we walked through the door, everything is pointing in the right direction for him.


“He is great with the young lads too.

“Craig is desperate for game time and getting back on the pitch to kickstart his career as he's missed so much of it in the last 18 months.

“Craig will play a part in our plans going forward.

“He is a great lad. He sets the tempo, he is good to have around the dressing room and around the club.

“He's a good pro with a lot of experience and I am looking forward to getting him out on the grass into a jersey. We are looking forward to working with him.”

With Davies and young Jordan Graham returning from long term injuries, Stags may have enough in the forward department to get by.

But, with the transfer deadline gone, Coughlan is monitoring the availability of free agents if needed.

“There is nothing in the pipeline but we are actively looking,” he said.

“If someone becomes available we could take them, have a look at them, and coach them up.

“They could get some game time in the reserves. Then we could possibly do something with them between now and the end of the season.

“It's all about getting the right ones. We could go out tomorrow and flood the club full of new players, but we need ones with the right mindset and the right mentality.

“And, of course, there is a reason why people would be free at this stage of the season. So there are a lot of things to look at and weigh up.”



Latest | February 2020