Boss Graham Coughlan calls on Mansfield Town players to give him his first clean sheet

Mansfield Town boss Graham Coughlan is desperate for his new charges to produce their first clean sheet for him.

By John Lomas
Thursday, 16th January 2020, 12:25 pm
Updated Thursday, 16th January 2020, 12:25 pm
Mansfield Town v Forest Green Rovers action
Mansfield Town v Forest Green Rovers action

Stags have conceded in all six games since he took over and as he heads back to his former club Plymouth on Saturday he said: “I would like to start from a solid base and start keeping clean sheets and that might give us a foundation to move this club forward.

“A clean sheet on Saturday would be a start. I got a really positive reaction on the training ground on Monday. But that's no good if you don't produce on a Saturday.”

Coughlan was horrified to see his side lose 4-3 to a stoppage time winner against Forest Green Rovers last weekend, caught out at the death when pushing forward for a winner having levelled the game on 90 minutes.

But, on reflection, he said he was delighted by his side's first half efforts in which they led 2-0 and could have been out of sight.

After harsh words following the final whistle he spoke again after reflecting more on the game, saying: “On review was I a little bit harsh in my assessment after the game? Were my emotions raw?“I thought that was the best 45 minutes in the last six games, though some of them said the best this season. I was really pleased how they went about their work and it's the way I'd like to take the club forward.

“We played against one of the best footballing teams in the division who pass teams off the park, and they couldn't make a pass.

“We were in their face, we made it uncomfortable for them, we forced mistakes, we hit the post and had a goal disallowed for Nicky Maynard so could have been 4-0 up.

“The first half belonged to us and it should have been a game that was dead and buried. We should not allow opposition back into it.

“Then when we got back to 3-3 we should have enough nous and enough leadership and experience to take our point, take our medicine, lick our wounds and move on.

“But we kept going all guns blazing going forward and conceded. So there is a vulnerability, a mentality and mindset that needs to be changed.”

He added: “Lady Luck has certainly turned her back on us in the last few weeks, certainly under my tenure to be honest. I don't think we have deserved to lose the games we have lost.”