CLOUGH AND NEIL COX REACTION
Stags’ spirits are lifting, says boss
mansfieldtown.net, Tuesday 10th November 2020
Manager Nigel Clough says his players are growing in confidence, after the Stags stretched their unbeaten run to four games with victory over Scunthorpe United this evening.
Mansfield followed up Saturday’s 1-0 Emirates FA Cup win away at Sunderland with a 2-1 victory at the Sands Venue Stadium tonight, with goals coming from defender Ryan Sweeney and striker Jamie Reid.
Nigel Clough, who was officially taking charge of his first Stags’ fixture after his appointment last Friday, says his side could have won by a greater margin against the Iron.
“I was very pleased with the performance and thought we deserved to win by more than the one goal,” he said.
“But their lad has put one in from 25 yards with 15 minutes to go and it’s given them a lift. Aidan Stone made a great save from a corner and kept us in it.
“Over the course of the game, we were very pleased and I thought we should have scored more goals tonight.
“When you have strikers that we have, they rely on the service from wide areas. So let’s get the ball wide, get some good crosses in the box and provide them with some good chances.
“It’ll be tough at Forest Green on Saturday, but to go into it on a four-game unbeaten run, I think it’s great.
“Hopefully you can sense the players’ spirits lifting a bit as they grow in confidence, and [they] really want to take it on from here.”
After fielding a mixed side for Tuesday’s Papa John’s Trophy outing, the boss was full of praise for his younger players.
“It was important for us to see them [players] as well as them getting minutes.
“It was good to get Ollie Clarke back on the pitch as well, as he’s been out for about five weeks. It was lovely to get him back out on the pitch. He’ll be in contention to be back in the squad on Saturday.
“[Tonight] was a good opportunity for the young players, Cooky [Andy Cook] and Reidy [Jamie Reid] needed a game and Ryan Sweeney needed the 90 minutes after two weeks out.
“Generally, I was very pleased. There was a mix of the younger players and the senior ones - you ask them to go and give everything to try and win, and they did that.
“They [younger players] did well. We only brought Ali Smith off because we wanted to put Ollie Clarke on.
“I thought Clarkey [James Clarke] did well at right-back and Jason Law as well.”
Nigel Clough says the management team will also continue to ‘assess’ the Stags in the run-up to the January transfer window.
“We’re going to be assessing them [players] over the next seven weeks ahead of the January window.
“We like the honesty, work rate and work ethic that we’ve seen so far. I think we can improve in certain areas.”
Watch Nigel Clough’s post-match interview in full by logging into mansfieldtown.net/ifollow later this evening.
Clough told BBC Radio Nottingham:
"Lovely to get Ollie Clarke back on the pitch. He's been out for 5 weeks, his second calf injury of the season."
Cox fumes at half time as Iron crash to record eighth successive defeat
Neil Cox admitted strong words were directed at his players at half time as the Iron fell to a record eighth consecutive defeat with a 2-1 reverse to Mansfield Town in the EFL Trophy.
First half goals from Ryan Sweeney and Jamie Reid secured the Stags the prize money and the Iron boss was left fuming at the manner in which the goals were conceded, singling out of Bournemouth loanee Tyler Cordner as a player who must improve.
Cox told BBC Radio Humberside: “Yet again, it’s frustrating because we conceded from a set-play again and then went 2-0 down with bad defending once more, after the opening 30 minutes where I felt we did alright.
“We’ve kept them at bay and then one lad doesn’t want to defend, doesn’t want to help the team out and it cost us the goal and cost us the game.
“Tyler (Cordner) has got to do better. He is 6ft 3”, he’s come from a big club and he’s not going to play any higher if he doesn’t want to defend in League Two.
“I let him have it. He needs to be told. It’s not the first time. He took it really well because I really did lay into him, but his second half performance was miles better. We cant afford to concede rubbish goals and concede like that.”
One positive on another dismal night at the Sands Venue Stadium was Olofela Olomola’s consolation strike late into the second half.
It marked a positive cameo from the former Southampton youngster, who flashed a fierce thirty yard effort past Aidan Stone in the Stags’ goal on just his eight appearance since joining the club in May 2018.
Cox said: “It’s good for us to score a goal. He’s another player I expect more of. Earlier in the season he kept knocking on my door. Now he has got an opportunity he needs to prove it.
“‘Fela needs to play up front with a big man. I want him to run in behind and put people under pressure but he wants to come short and play in the hole. I’ve said listen ‘you either play up the top or run in behind or you sit on the bench or not get in the side’.
“He questioned it, but I said ‘I’m the manager and I will do what I wan’t. I’m sick of you doing what you want, you’re going to do what I want’.
“I told them that at half time that half the time they do what they want.
“I’ve been calm and relaxed but I’m letting people have it at the moment. Sometimes you’ve got to let them have it. At half time we needed to let a few people have it, because they deserved to have it, and thats what I did.”
Olomola looks to build on first Iron goal
After finally breaking his duck on Tuesday night, forward Olufela Olomola is hoping to kick on in an Iron shirt and add more appearances and goals to his tally.
The 23-year-old netted what proved to be a consolation in the Papa John’s Trophy against Mansfield Town in spectacular fashion, rifling home an effort from 25-yards.
Speaking following the game to iFollow Iron, he said: “On a personal note, it was obviously great to get my first goal for the club but ultimately we were disappointed with the result.
“Definitely, in terms of a professional goal, it is my best - 100 per cent.
“It was my second game back since my injury. I’m still trying to get my fitness and match sharpness up, so there’s a lot more to come from me. I thought I made a good impact when I came on. I just need to keep working hard in training and hopefully get more game time. It’s a case of building it up.”
Ollie Clarke @ollieclarke29
Good to be back
Tyrese Sinclair @ty_sinclair27
Great performance from the team last night. also happy to get my first assist as well time to kick on now!
nathan caine @nathancaine3
Great experience and thankful and grateful for all of the opportunities