Mansfield Town boss Nigel Clough disappointed by opening day defeat at Salford City

Nigel Clough has expressed his disappointment at Stags’ opening day defeat at Salford City on Saturday.

First-half goals from Callum Hendry and Brandon Thomas-Asante secured the points for City, with Mansfield unable to break the hosts down in the second-half.

And Clough was frustrated by the poor start to the campaign.

He said: “The result was extremely poor and the performance not much better.

Nigel Clough speaks to the media after Saturday's game. Photo - Chris Holloway/The Bigger Picture.media

“The two goals we conceded were schoolboy goals, I would call them.

“We’ve had opportunities to get back into the game and we didn’t manage to take at least one of them.

“We played more long balls in the first 20 minutes than we have done in three weeks [of pre-season].

“We didn’t get on the ball enough; we gave it away in silly areas.”

On the sloppy goals conceded in the first-half, Clough said: “[It was] Just poor playing.

“George Maris thought he was fouled for the second one. I don’t know if he was but he should’ve passed the ball long before the challenge came in.

“We did some very, very frustrating, and strange things today.

“I think our top goalscorer from last season, Rhys Oates, didn’t play very well today. He’s not alone in that.

“Salford had two shots and scored two goals.”

Mansfield’s journey to the play-off final in May meant a shorter pre-season and Clough said that hadn’t help his side get up to speed in time for today’s game.

He said: “I didn’t expect us to be sharp, I just expect us to be better.

“It will take us a month or two to get up to speed because of the late finish last season and the shortened pre-season.

“I think we need the games which are coming thick and fast to really get us up to speed.”