CLOUGH AND RICHIE WELLENS REACTION
‘Outstanding quality’ on show from Stags - manager
mansfieldtown.net, Tuesday 5th January 2021
Boss Nigel Clough was full of pride following a ‘whole team performance’ that saw the Stags secure their third consecutive league victory, by way of a 2-1 win over Salford City.
First-half goals from midfielder George Lapslie and striker Jordan Bowery - his sixth strike in four matches - saw the Stags earn a win that takes them up to 15th in the Sky Bet League Two standings.
The manager discussed his side’s display this evening, describing the first-half performance as the best he has seen during his time with the amber and blue.
“I thought we played well at Scunthorpe and on Saturday, but I thought the first-half eclipsed all of those [performances],” he told iFollow Stags.
“The 2-0 [scoreline] didn’t reflect the dominance or the chances created. The only downside of the whole evening was conceding the goal at the end. I thought we deserved a clean sheet tonight.
“We want to make it a difficult place to come, even without supporters. I thought the quality of the football was outstanding tonight.
“Second-half was a different proposition, we had to fight, scrap and defend at times. When we had opportunities, I thought we were a bit unlucky nothing dropped for us in the second-half.
“We scored two great goals again, and could’ve had more. He [Bowery] had another couple of half opportunities as well, but it’s lovely to see him with a big smile on his face with the goals he’s scoring at the moment.
“We just want to stay the front foot. We’ll do less running that way if we keep working and keep them in their half. Some of the one and two-touch football around their penalty area was brilliant tonight.
“It was a whole team performance. You couldn’t pick a man of the match tonight - there were 11 of them.
“The consistency of performances in the last three games has been great and the different aspects that we showed in the second-half was very pleasing. I thought we showed a lot of maturity in the team.”
Nigel Clough discussed the change in tempo that the second-half brought, but was impressed by how his side saw out an important win.
“They [Salford] started the game trying to play out from the back and we caught them a few times with our energy and pressing.
“In the last five minutes of the first-half, they went more direct. They put the big lad [Tom Elliott] on at half-time and we knew they were going to play it up to him.
“I thought the two centre-halves won 99 percent of their headers tonight and handled that brilliantly.”
A tactical tweak which has coincided with the Stags’ recent upturn in form is midfielder George Maris being deployed in a slightly deeper role, allowing skipper Ollie Clarke to get further up the pitch.
The boss spoke of this change, adding: “I think [George] Maris, [Ollie] Clarke and Laps [George Lapslie] have been brilliant. They controlled the game from their positions.
“George Maris is maybe not as defensively solid as Ollie at times, but he handles the ball a bit better.
“Ollie’s strength in his running and his power comes into play when he can make those forward runs.”
iFollow Stags subscribers can watch the boss’ interview in full by logging into mansfieldtown.net/ifollow later tonight.
REACTION: Mansfield Town 2-1 Salford City
Salford City missed a chance to go fourth in League Two after a 2-1 defeat at Mansfield Town.
Two goals in the first half from George Lapslie and Jordan Bowery were enough for The Stags to record their third win in a row.
Di’Shon Bernard scored an injury time consolation, but ultimately a sub-standard first half cost The Ammies dear.
Even had a late Ibou Touray chance found the back of the net, manager Richie Wellens says he still wouldn’t have been happy.
“It was nowhere near good enough.
“I’d say they played well, they played the pitch well, they obviously know the parts of the pitch that were really poor but that’s no excuse. We tried to play in front of them, we’re telling them all you need to do is put the ball forward, second balls, win your individual battles and we didn’t do any of that in the first half.
“Second half we huffed and puffed and give it a go, and in the end could have nicked a point but if I’m being honest I still wouldn’t have been pleased with that because of our first half performance, it was nowhere near good enough,
“These lads have been great for me but I didn’t see that performance coming.
“I just want to start seeing the things that got us some good results.”
Salford City 'nowhere near good enough' in Mansfield Town defeat - Richie Wellens
Ammies boss says hosts played the ‘poor’ parts of the pitch well...
Salford City manager Richie Wellens branded his side 'nowhere near good enough' following last night's 2-1 defeat at Mansfield Town.
The Ammies boss also claimed the hosts played the 'poor conditions' better than his side.
George Lapslie and Jordan Bowery put the Stags 2-0 up in the opening 45 minutes before Di-Shon Bernard pulled one back for City, who missed out on the opportunity to move into the League Two play-off spots.
"It was nowhere near good enough. I didn't see it coming," Wellens said.
"They played well, they played the pitch well. They obviously know the parts of the pitch that are really poor, but that's no excuse.
"We tell them, all you need to do is put the ball forward, second balls and win your individual battles and we didn't do any of that in the first half.
"Second half we huffed and puffed and gave it a go and, at the end we maybe could have sneaked a point. But if I'm honest, I still wouldn't have been pleased with that because of our first half performance."
Wellens believed his side overplayed, while Mansfield did the opposite in their back line.
He added: "First half, their centre halves at no point took more than one touch. At some times maybe just two, very rarely.
"We're trying to bring balls down which you can't do really in these conditions.
"These conditions are really poor but, in the first 45 minutes, we let every midfielder run.
"It was a big opportunity for us tonight and we were nowhere near good enough."
Ollie Clarke @ollieclarke29
Get in there
Marek Stech @Stechy100
Well done boys,outstanding performance Flexed biceps 3 wins in row @mansfieldtownfc #Stags
Another great result
David Sharpe @DavidSharpe91
3 wins on the bounce!! Performance of the season IMO, lads were brilliant!! Now onto the 3rd round of the cup on Sunday. #UpTheStags