Manager Nigel Clough unsure how many points Mansfield Town will need as they go into massive Easter games

Mansfield Town head into a massive Easter still firmly in contention for automatic promotion with boss Nigel Clough admitting he has no idea how many points they will need from the last six games to make the top three.

Thursday, 14th April 2022, 11:40 am

A Good Friday home clash with rivals Sutton United is followed by a long haul to Carlisle United on Easter Monday.

Stags are currently three points adrift with a game in hand on third-placed Port Vale and Clough said: “It's going to be an interesting few weeks, but I think it's impossible to say how many points we will need.

“So we literally have to take it a game at a time and try to get the victory and not rely on anybody else.

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Nigel Clough - we can't rely on anyone else and have to take each game as it comes.

“Usually it's around 80 needed for the top three, but the way that Port Vale and Exeter are going it might be more than that this season.

“If you were fourth in the league with six games to go in other seasons you would be almost guaranteed a play-off spot, bar a complete disaster like losing six on the spin. That's not the case this season as well. It is very tight for the top 10.”

He added: “We have two hugely important games within three days of each other.

“We have to try to ensure a place in the top seven while doing everything we can to challenge for a place in the top three.

“It's a big weekend for us all. If we don't get the results we will drop out of the top seven and if Sutton don't get them they will do the same.

“It's a big weekend for all the teams around us. When you get six points at stake in three days like this when there's only half a dozen games left it's very important.

“We are looking at these two games in isolation now as they are so close together.

“We have to keep everyone's feet on the ground and not get too excited.

“We have to keep focused and make sure in six games time that we are in the top seven at least.”

Sutton arrive in 10th, two points outside the play-offs, and Clough said: “For a team to get promoted, then get to Wembley is an unbelievable achievement – and now they're challenging for promotion as well. What an incredible first season they've had.

“They have come up, acquitted themselves well and are challenging for promotion.

“Once they get a lead they are difficult to break down.

“Sutton are also very strong at set plays and, physically, a very strong side. So the last thing we want to do is go 1-0 down to them.

“So it will be very important we are right defensively and don't concede.”

Stags are currently on a club record-breaking run of 11 successive home league wins.

On Monday's game, he said: “I am never a fan of supporters having to trek all the way to Carlisle on a Bank Holiday Monday. I think that is very unfair for them, especially with the run we've had had.

“On a Bank Holiday Monday public transport is maybe not as regular as it is in normal times, it's a long journey.

“Traditionally we used to play more local games, so I feel for them.

Clough added: “There are no givens within the last six games – even when we play Crawley and Stevenage in two home games in four days. They are all going to be defining games in their own way.”

THE BIG PROMOTION RUN-IN

WHO PLAYS WHO AND WHEN

FOREST GREEN ROVERS

PLAYED 40 - GD 36 – POINTS 79

Good Friday, 15th April - Barrow A

Easter Monday, 18th April - Oldham H

Saturday, 23rd April - Bristol Rovers A

Tuesday, 26th April - Swindon A

Saturday, 30th April – Harrogate H

Saturday, 7th May - Mansfield A

EXETER CITY

PLAYED 40 - GD 22 – POINTS 74

Good Friday, 15th April - Colchester H

Easter Monday, 18th April - Tranmere A

Saturday, 23rd April - Rochdale H

Tuesday, 26th April - Barrow H

Saturday, 30th April – Northampton A

Saturday, 7th May - Port Vale H

PORT VALE

PLAYED 41 - GD 24 – POINTS 72

Good Friday, 15th April - Hartlepool A

Easter Monday, 18th April - Bristol Rovers H

Saturday, 23rd April - Walsall A

Monday, 2nd May – Newport H

Saturday, 7th May - Exeter A

MANSFIELD TOWN

PLAYED 40 - GD 13 – POINTS 69

Good Friday, 15th April - Sutton H

Easter Monday, 18th April - Carlisle A

Saturday, 23rd April - Crawley H

Tuesday, 26th April - Stevenage H

Monday, 2nd May - Salford A

Saturday, 7th May - FGR H

NORTHAMPTON TOWN

PLAYED 41 - GD 13 – POINTS 67

Good Friday, 15th April - Oldham A

Easter Monday, 18th April - Harrogate H

Saturday, 23rd April - Leyton Orient A

Saturday, 30th April – Exeter H

Saturday, 7th May - Barrow A

BRISTOL ROVERS

PLAYED 41 - GD 11 – POINTS 67

Good Friday, 15th April - Salford H

Easter Monday, 18th April - Port Vale A

Saturday, 23rd April - FGR H

Saturday, 30th April – Rochdale A

Saturday, 7th May - Scunthorpe H

NEWPORT COUNTY

PLAYED 41 - GD 13 – POINTS 66

Good Friday, 15th April - Crawley H

Easter Monday, 18th April - Sutton A

Friday, 22nd April - Colchester H

Monday, 2nd May – Port Vale A

Saturday, 7th May - Rochdale H

SALFORD CITY

PLAYED 41 - GD 16 – POINTS 65

Good Friday, 15th April - Bristol Rovers A

Easter Monday, 18th April - Barrow H

Saturday, 23rd April - Oldham A

Monday, 2nd May - Mansfield H

Saturday, 7th May - Stevenage A

TRANMERE ROVERS

PLAYED 41 - GD 10 – POINTS 65

Good Friday, 15th April - Bradford A

Easter Monday, 18th April - Exeter H

Saturday, 23rd April - Stevenage A

Saturday, 30th April – Oldham H

Saturday, 7th May - Leyton Orient A

SUTTON UNITED

PLAYED 40 - GD 13 – POINTS 64

Good Friday, 15th April - Mansfield A

Easter Monday, 18th April - Newport H

Saturday, 23rd April - Barrow A

Tuesday, 26th April - Crawley H

Saturday, 30th April – Bradford H

Saturday, 7th May - Harrogate A

SWINDON TOWN

PLAYED 40 - GD 13 – POINTS 62

Good Friday, 15th April - Harrogate A

Easter Monday, 18th April - Leyton Orient H

Saturday, 23rd April - Hartlepool A

Tuesday, 26th April - FGR H

Saturday, 30th April – Barrow H

Saturday, 7th May - Walsall A