Few changes as Mansfield Town aim to see off Championship side Preston North End in Carabao Cup

Nigel Clough has promised full respect to the Caraboa Cup and insists he wants to progress as far as possible ahead of tonight's first round opener at home to Championship club Preston North End.

By John Lomas
Tuesday, 10th August 2021, 5:08 pm
Opening day action from Stags' win over Bristol Rovers.
Opening day action from Stags' win over Bristol Rovers.

Stags saw off Bristol Rovers 2-1 with a last gasp winner on Saturday while Preston crashed 4-1 at home to Hull City.

“We will make a few changes but we will approach it the same as Saturday and try to win it,” said manager Clough.

“We won't make too many changes – they will be based on knocks and things.

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“We have a couple of lads absolutely champing at the bit to get a game, George Lapslie being one of them. He is definitely starting.”

Clough has no idea how strong a side the visitors will turn out.

“It'd difficult to tell after Saturday. It was a very surprising result, losing at home to Hull,” he said.

“But we do expect a reaction from them. They will want to win a game and get that out of their system from Saturday.

“I hope we have an even share of the ball. That's one of our strengths – our ability on the ball.

“We saw from the Championship clubs we played pre-season that when we've got it we can cause problems.”

On the competition, he added: “I love cup competitions – especially those that finish at Wembley and you have the chance of making a few quid by drawing a big team, but you have to get through these early rounds.

“We were brought up with the philosophy that the League Cup wasn't more important than the FA Cup. It's another cup competition you try to win.”

He added: “I think we can play better than Saturday but I think we were a bit nervous.

“First day nerves can take your breath away and you're gasping for oxygen at times.

“But we found a way to win and restricted a very good team to few opportunities.”

Elliott Hewitt and Harry Charsley are both unlikely to be fit enough to figure tonight.

“They are getting there – maybe another week, but we don't want to risk them with the niggling injuries they have,” said the manager.

On adding a defender as a last summer signing, Clough said: “It's not quite straightforward.

“But we are making progress. We have three weeks before the window shuts and are looking to get it tie it up as quickly as we can.”