Leaders Crewe Alexandra stand in the way of first back-to-back double for Mansfield Town boss Graham Coughlan

Graham Coughlan is hoping to finally achieve his first back-to-back wins as Mansfield Town manager the hard way when table-topping Crewe Alexandra visit this Saturday.
Danny Rose puts Stags ahead at Sixfields last weekend, picture by Chris Holloway.Danny Rose puts Stags ahead at Sixfields last weekend, picture by Chris Holloway.
Danny Rose puts Stags ahead at Sixfields last weekend, picture by Chris Holloway.

Stags secured a much-needed 2-1 win away at Northampton Town on Saturday to give them much more breathing space at the wrong end of the table.

But Coughlan is well aware of the bigger challenge posed by the in-form Railwaymen this weekend.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“We’ve been here before,” he said. “I’ve been looking for back-to-back wins and I haven’t got it.

“I’ve been here before so I won’t get too excited.

“I look forward to next weekend which will be a different challenge. “Northampton was a physical challenge, but next week will be a technical challenge against Crewe.

“It’s one of the top teams in the division, but we enjoy playing against the top teams.”

Coughlan was delighted to see his team come out on top in a bruising encounter against 10-men Northampton on Saturday.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Stags led from the 12th minute when Danny Rose netted a penalty after Sam Hoskins had been red-carded with Willem Tomlinson securing the points on 74 minutes before Harry Smith's late consolation.

“I don’t think that was football today – I think it was rugby to be quite honest with you,” he said.

“It wasn’t a spectacle, but our players were absolutely magnificent.

“They wore their heart on their sleeves and headed everything. I don’t think there was a Northampton player under six foot and they played for set pieces.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“Our lads were absolutely immense. That was a true Mansfield Town performance – true grit with their hearts on their sleeves.

“If anyone accuses the players of not playing for the badge, just take a look at what those lads did today. They stuck their bodies on the line for this football club today.

“The lads knew what was coming as we’ve played Northampton twice now under my reign. And we were the better team on both occasions.

“I think that was a textbook way to play against Northampton. We had to stand up to it and we were absolutely brilliant today.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

He added: “I thought the three in midfield were different class. I don’t like singling people out when the team wins, but the three in midfield were brilliant.

“The back line as well, they stuck their head on everything. It was a really determined display.”

Coughlan believed Hoskins was unlucky to be sent off and the game might have been a better one had it stayed 11 v 11.

“It was a push in the back, therefore it was a penalty. I personally wouldn’t have sent the lad off, but hey ho, I’m a football manager,” he said.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“I don’t think the lad deserved to be sent off and I wish he hadn’t have been sent off because after it the game just became a farce.

“I didn’t think it was nice to watch, to be quite honest. We did have a degree of control after the sending-off and numerous occasions where we should have put the ball away.

“But I said to the lads inside, if that game had been 1-0 and we conceded late on, we’d be kicking ourselves.

“We have to find a bit of a ruthless streak and a bit of conviction about our play.”