Stags star Clucas wants to get off ‘unlucky 13’ goals tally

Sam Clucas
Sam Clucas

Sam Clucas is desperate to get move on from his ‘unlucky 13’ goals tally, and end the season in the first team.

The youngster was the star turn of the first half of the season before injury ruled him out.

Then, after winning his place back in the side, he was ill for the trip to Northampton on 15th March and found himself sidelined as the team forged a good run until his recall on Monday.

“I can’t seem to get off ‘unlucky 13’ for goals. But I will push on for the Torquay game now and see what happens,” he said.

“I was ill on the bus on the way to Northampton and I can’t criticise the gaffer for not getting back in since as the team were winning games and getting points.

“I had to sit on the bench, trying to impress when I have come on in games.

“Everyone has been champing at the bit to get a game.”

Clucas was disappointed his first season at League level hadn’t ended in glory as Monday’s 2-0 home loss to Cheltenham killed off Stags’ play-off hopes.

Clucas said: “If we had got into the play-offs I think we would have got promoted. You look back at so many games when we should have got more points. We lost five points to Accrington in stoppage time which is ridiculous.

“But you can’t keep mulling over those games, you have to look forward.”

He said it had been an enjoyable first year at this level during which he has played on the wing, as a central striker and in the hole behind the strikers.

“I have played in a few different positions, I have moved back home which I’ve enjoyed and I have enjoyed playing for Mansfield and can’t wait for next year,” he smiled.

Clucas was also named in the Sky Bet League Two Player of the Year top 10 and added: “I didn’t know until someone tweeted me so I read up on it and it was a nice surprise. But this is a team game and I couldn’t have done it without the rest of the squad here.

“It has to be play-offs next season. I can’t say we want mid-table. Our target has to be automatic promotion. So if we set our sights on the play-offs and are in and around there, then we have a chance.”

Clucas now wants to end the season on a high as Stags face two games inn which they could feasibly relegate both Torquay and Bristol Rovers in the last two games.

“The play-offs are out of sight now but we do want to finish on a high.

“Torquay and Bristol Rovers will be big games as both are fighting to stay in the League,” he said.

“There is going to be a good atmosphere. We just want to push on and finish as high as we can.

“It is good for us that there is something at stake in the games. If teams are just playing out the season, it may feel like a reserve game or a pre-season friendly.

“We need to show Monday was just a blip. We have been playing well and got out of trouble, so everyone is very disappointed about Monday. It was just an off day. The whole team as a group had a poor game.”