Clough sympathy as gruelling week looms for Mansfield Town supporters with two long hauls south
Mansfield Town know only the most diehard fans will be present to back them in person for the long hauls south to Sutton United (tomorrow, Tuesday) and Crawley Town on Saturday.
But boss Nigel Clough told supporters who will struggle with time off work and a very late night tomorrow to watch on iFollow instead.
“These are long trips for us and any support we can get will be gratefully appreciated, but we understand if you can't get there,” he said.
“We love the away support but fully understand if supporters can't go.
“I know people want to get to every game, but sometimes it's just not possible, especially when we have two in four days like we have.
“Save your money for the Doncaster game. The Christmas games coming up are very important as well.”
He added: “Long trips like this on a Tuesday night are exactly what iFollow was set up for.
“For people who have to take time off work and then not get back until the early hours, iFollow is brilliant for that.”
Stags will be aiming to make it six wins in a row in their first ever meeting with EFL new boys Sutton tomorrow.
But it will be a very tough task against a side smarting from a 4-1 defeat at Leyton Orient on Saturday that kept Sutton outside the play-off spots.
They had won four of their five previous matches but have also lost their last two home league games.
“They are a physical side, but not in an over the top way,” said Clough.
“You have to be that way to have a chance of being promoted out the Conference.
“It's interesting that in the last couple of season, for all the money that's been throw at it by certain Conference clubs, your Hartlepools have come up, your Suttons have come up, your Barrows, your Harrogates and people like that, where they have this real team ethic. I think Sutton fit perfectly into that category.”
He added: “We have to go down overnight as these games are too far to travel on the day, especially when you have the M1 and M25 involved.
“We will go down Monday, have a training session on Tuesday morning, get back after the game in the early hours of the morning, as will the supporters.”
Stags look set to again be without injured duo Rhys Oates and George Lapslie.
“Both are doubts for this week, certainly for tomorrow night,” said Clough.
“We will see how they are and try to get them involved in some way in training, though it could be on their own.
“Stephen Quinn and Jordan Bowery are also doubts from Saturday - both came off with muscle niggles and it's not much of a turnaround between Saturday and Tuesday, especially with four or five hours on the bus coming up.”
Also on the treatment table are Richard Nartey and Danny Johnson.
“They are coming on well,” said Clough.
“We hope Richard will be back to joining in this week. It is probably too early to involved him on Wednesday night in the Notts Senior Cup (Rainworth away, 7.45).
“We have a game against Sunderland U23s in a couple of weeks time and he will probably play in that – that will be his target.
“Danny is just coming on as expected and it will probably be a couple of weeks for him.”