Mansfield Town boss calls for improvement in defending of set-pieces

Nigel Clough wants to see a big improvement in how Mansfield Town defend set pieces.

Tuesday, 7th September 2021, 12:53 pm
Updated Tuesday, 7th September 2021, 12:53 pm
Nigel Clough wants to see improved defending.

Stags have conceded four goals from set-plays in their last two home matches, including all three against Harrogate at the weekend.

And the frustrated Stags gaffer says his side must tighten up in order to stop chucking points away.

“All the good things we are doing at the moment are being overshadowed by our defending of set plays,” he said.

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“We have now conceded six goals at home in our last two games, four from set plays.

“It doesn't take a genius to know what we need to improve on.

“It’s very much an individual thing within a team that you have to do your job within set plays and then it’s a collective after that - and we are not doing either.

“We keep working on it and stressing the importance of defending them well. There are so many good things within the performance, but we are just not dealing with the corners and set plays that are coming in.

“All four goals on Saturday came from set plays so it shows the importance.”

Clough revealed he is now considering a switch to zonal defending of set-pieces to help bring about a change in fortunes.

“We will have a good chat about it and see whether we maybe switch to defending zonally or as individuals still.

“I don't mind how we defend them as long as we defend them better.

“We are playing well and creating chances. We are doing a lot right in the final third. but we have to do better at dealing with set pieces because it’s costing us games.

“It is not about a balance. We want to do the good things we are doing, it’s not like we are being exposed at the back and cut to ribbons. We are just causing our own problems by not defending well enough.”