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16th September 2020 23:45

Stags ‘unlucky’ not to win league opener - manager
mansfieldtown.net, 12 September 2020

Despite feeling as though his side deserved victory this afternoon, manager Graham Coughlan was left pleased by the clean sheet earned by Mansfield Town in their goalless draw with Tranmere Rovers.

The Stags were much the better side at One Call Stadium as the 2020/21 Sky Bet League Two season got under way - over six months since the amber and blue’s last league fixture.

The boss says that the clean sheet earned by the Stags is a ‘foundation to build upon.’

“It was a good, solid start and we created. We were by far the better team and were solid at the back. We kept a clean sheet and we limited them to very little.

“I want to win, but we looked a real danger today. Neither team scored - is it a fair result? I don’t know, but we should’ve won.

“I have to be encouraged by the leadership at the back. We went a little bit long in the second-half, but I like the leadership, the clean sheet and how we moved the ball.

“A couple of times I thought we could’ve passed the ball into midfield, but overall, the work rate, attitude and commitment was really, really pleasing. We were just missing a goal.


“We worked hard on that [pressing from the front] and that’s what happens when you’ve got fit lads. Andy Cook led the line tremendously.

“On another day Jordan [Bowery] would’ve won the game for us with the two chances, but let’s take the point, the clean sheet and put it down as a foundation to build upon.

“Everything I asked of them - I asked them to press high, run hard - our lads put the graft in today and I thought we were unlucky not to win the game.”

The manager says that the amber and blue will continue to work hard on the training ground this week, with a trip to Leyton Orient next Saturday being their next scheduled outing.

“If the crowd were here, they might have felt a little bit of frustration, as the better team didn’t come away with the three points,” he said.

“But fair play to Tranmere, they came here with a game plan to sit in and be solid, and they did that. They go away with a clean sheet, so hats off to them.

“We’re trying to recover from a season of catastrophe last season, so overall, we’re taking the clean sheet and the point as something to build upon.

“We’ll get back on the training ground, work hard and try and turn that little bit of luck. My big saying is ‘the harder you work, the luckier you get,’ so it’s another week of hard work on the training ground.”

Graham Coughlan also handed a league debut to attacking midfielder Tyrese Sinclair, who replaced Harry Charsley in the latter stages of the game.

“He [Sinclair] has been brilliant,” added the boss. “He’s been excellent and if he keeps going how he’s going, he’ll have a few more [league appearances].

“He was very unlucky not to start today. The other dilemma I had was with Alistair Smith, whether to start him.

“I have a dilemma up front with Josh Scott - this is what I’m saying about the young lads coming through.

“Young Maison Campbell was on the bench six months ago against Northampton. We have a few young lads who need a little bit of work, but I’ve been pleased with three or four of them.

“I’ve said it from day one - if you’ve got good seniors, you’ll have good juniors. Let me tell you, we have great seniors.”

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


Coughlan told iFollow Stags:

"I will clip one or two around the ear because we went a little bit long in the second half. And yes they will have a case because Tranmere did bank up, they did sit in from very early in the game.

"Andy Cook, for a player to lose 10lb or 10kg ... yes you'll ask how the hell has he got 10kg on him in the first place ... but that's the issues that we had to delve in to ... we got where we need him ... I thought he was a real handful, he fought and he scrapped for everything.

"The best chance has to be when Jordan (Bowery) goes 1-on-1 with the goallie ... signs of rustyness, yes."


Graham Coughlan praises Mansfield Town’s ‘dominant’ performance against Tranmere Rovers
chad.co.uk, Saturday, 12th September 2020

Graham Coughlan admitted he was 'relatively pleased' with Mansfield Town's opening day draw with Tranmere Rovers.

Neither side could break the deadlock at One Call Stadium as League Two action got underway this afternoon.

However, manager Coughlan believes there were plenty of positives to take from the stalemate.

"(It was) very pleasing. A very pleasing performance," he told BBC Radio Nottingham.


"The lads have done everything we asked of them apart from putting the ball in the net.

"I thought we were the dominant team against a team I spoke of highly. I think the bookies have the two teams in a relatively positive position to maybe achieve something this year.

"Overall when two good teams go head to head, I don't think I could have asked for much more from my players other than putting the ball in the net."

While the Stags carved out chances, it just wasn't there day.

But Coughlan believes more is to come from his newly-assembled squad.

He added: "Yes, lady luck has turned her back on us. On another day we may not play so well and still get a little but of luck.

"But that's football and overall I've got to be reatively pleased with the clean sheet and performance, individually and collectively; the battling spirit, that's amongst them, the character in the dressing room. There were some nice patterns of play and real nice quality shown at times.

"Now we need to grow and push on with that type of performance."

Keeper Marek Stech had a quiet afternoon, which pleased the manager.

"His idea of being funny, he's hung his kit up in the dressing room and told the kit man not to wash it," Coughlan revealed.

"But at the end of the day he's had one save (to make). Everything else was routine.

"But top teams, if you're going to do anything you have to be built on a solid foundation.

"If you're going to achieve anything you have a top goalie in your net. We've got a top goalie."


“The harder you work the luckier you get!” Graham Coughlan challenges Mansfield Town to build on Saturday’s positives ahead of Leyton Orient clash

Graham Coughlan believes his Mansfield Town squad have to make their own luck as they look to build on Saturday's opening day draw.

The Stags just couldn't turn dominance into three points as they were held to a goalless stalemate by Tranmere Rovers at One Call Stadium.

But as Town turn their attention to Saturday's League Two clash at Leyton Orient, Coughlan believes that putting in the hours will pay off.

"The key here is the harder you work the luckier you get," he said.


"We worked really hard (against Tranmere), but if lady luck is going to continue to turn her back on us we need to work harder.

"I think you can see what we're about and what type of quality we've got, the type of football we play - the pressing, the hard work.

"Rome wasn't built in a day. First game, lots of positives."

After laying the foundations, Coughlan wants more from his players.

He added: "Let's keep working hard. You won't get any prizes in October but you can put things in place and build.

"I think there was plenty to build upon and plenty of hope and confidence going forward in the changing room.

"I'm pretty sure the more weeks we have on the training ground, youll see them get a little bit better and sharper."


Striker reflects on 'dominant' Stags' display
mansfieldtown.net, 12 September 2020

Striker Andy Cook believes only a goal was missing from a ‘dominant’ Mansfield Town display against Tranmere Rovers on Saturday afternoon.

The Stags were relentless in large spells of their Sky Bet League Two curtain-raiser but were unable to break the deadlock throughout.

Striking the woodwork in the early exchanges and substitute Tyrese Sinclair almost netting late on bookended a convincing performance for the amber and blue at One Call Stadium.

Cook, however, referred to the frustration of being unable to find a winner despite keeping a clean sheet at the first time of asking.

“I thought we were dominant but all we needed was that goal. I think the three points would have been fair for us,” the 29-year-old declared to iFollow Stags.

“We kept a clean sheet, so that’s a start. We pressed from the start, all over the park, just need to take the chances that come our way.

“I think everyone’s worked hard, we’ve had a hard pre-season and showed the fitness levels there.


“The only thing is that we didn’t win the game but it’s also a positive that we didn’t get beaten - it’s a start and a point on the table.”

The No.11 - who was on loan at Tranmere last season - then offered his thoughts regarding Mansfield’s 2020/21 squad and their style of play.

“That’s how the gaffer [Graham Coughlan] wants us to play: [pressing from the front] to force mistakes.

“They [Tranmere] made it hard for us. They put their bodies on the line every time they were blocking the chances we had. To be fair, they had [James] Vaughan up top who also made it hard for us.

“We’ve been working on it every day in pre-season. It’s a good dressing room, everyone gets on with everyone and I think that’s what you need.

“Hopefully we all stick together and push on next week. When we start scoring goals I’d back us to win plenty of games.”

The ex-Walsall frontman also explained his new-found fitness levels after returning to action from a nationwide lockdown.

“In lockdown I got myself out doing stuff,” he detailed. “Last season was a frustrating year for myself. I went on loan to Tranmere and I just wanted to come back and play for Mansfield.

“I’m contracted for Mansfield so that’s all I wanted to do, score goals and do well.

“I feel good. Last year I think I only started 10 league games and that was frustrating but now I’d back myself not to blow up and I think I’ve proved that out their today.”

iFollow Stags subscribers can watch Andy Cook's interview in full by logging into mansfieldtown.net/ifollow later today.


David Sharpe @DavidSharpe91

Very solid and positive performance yesterday which included 8 league debuts for the #Stags. Plenty to build on and take into next weekend!


Jackson praises defensive resilience as Rovers earn opening-day point


Tranmere Rovers manager Mike Jackson praised his side’s defensive display having earned a hard-fought point away to Mansfield Town.

The Whites’ Sky Bet League Two opener resulted in a share of the spoils as both sides cancelled each other out at The One Call Stadium.

Rovers have now kept two clean sheets in their previous two outings, with Port Vale also unable to find a breakthrough.

Jackson delivered a positive assessment of Tranmere’s display, though conceded there remains room for improvement.

He said: “When you go away from home, the least you want to take is a point. We’re happy in the sense that we have picked up a point and got a clean sheet, but I still think there are things we need to keep improving on. It’s a good point, but we want to be better than that as a team.

“It took 20 or 25 minutes to actually settle down and I think sometimes you get that with the first day of the season. We didn’t seem to settle; we seemed a little bit scared but settled down in the last 15 minutes of the half and made some good passes.

“At the start of the second-half, we didn’t start it very well. I thought there were too many crosses coming in and Vaughany was a little bit detached from us. We had to change it to try and become more solid, with the way the game was going. We tried to get the ball more to Vaughany with Kieron, and Otis starting getting some joy down this left side for us.

“It seems to be the little things at the moment that’s happening: it’s that final pass, final ball. But we need to get better, improve and the group knows that. It’s not a blaming thing, it’s about everyone getting better and improving.”


Ridehalgh content with Stags shutout as Tranmere earn 'fair result'


Tranmere defender Liam Ridehalgh had no complaints with Rovers’ 0-0 draw away to Mansfield Town on Saturday afternoon as Mike Jackson’s men got their Sky Bet League Two campaign underway.

Defending against former Tranmere striker Andy Cook and the hosts' other attacking options, Ridehalgh took pride in shutting out the Stags as he reflected on proceedings at the full-time whistle.

He said: “We’re very happy with the clean sheet, but disappointed we haven’t won the game in the end. I think it was a fair result.

“It’s relentless and keeps coming, he added on the pressure being applied by Mansfield in the first-half.” “They’ve got big Andy Cook up top and Jordan Bowery is a handful as well. They looked to utilise them by getting it out wide and crossing into the box. The whole 90 minutes we dealt with that very well.”

Although unable to claim an opening-day victory, the Whites’ left-back believe it’s simply a matter of time before complete performances arrive- a process that will be fast-tracked as a result of competition for places within the team.

“The pitch was very dry and bobbly, so we couldn’t really get our forward play going in the way we would have liked. That will definitely come, you can tell with the talent we’ve brought in and you can see it in training all the time.

“Competition is good, it brings the best out of people. If everyone is absolutely on it, it brings a difficult decision for the gaffer to make. That’s what he wants, he wants people fighting for places,” concluded Ridehalgh.