Mansfield Town can build on platform of two fine draws says boss Nigel Clough

Mansfield Town boss Nigel Clough has urged his side to build on two excellent draws as they go into three home games in eight days with the visit of Barrow on Saturday.

Thursday, 30th September 2021, 11:36 am
Mansfield Town manager Nigel Clough reflects on his team's performance during the Sky Bet League Two match against Leyton Orient at the Breyer Group Stadium Photo : Chris Holloway/The Bigger Picture.media.

A run of four defeats was halted by a draw with Rochdale before a first clean sheet of the campaign at Leyton Orient and Clough said: “It was a big one against Rochdale - not losing after losing the previous two.

“We want to win our home games but to get a point in the circumstances was good.

“Now we've followed it up with a point and a clean sheet on the road, we want three points and a clean sheet on Saturday.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

“It's nice to be back at home on the back of two positive results.

“We go into it in good heart, despite the absentees.”

He added: “We will need that sort of defensive resilience and determination we showed at Orient on Saturday and then go and play our football on top.

“After the two draws, we have got to take it on. It's laid a platform for us now and we have to take it on and get some wins.

“These players can defend. The goals we have conceded have been from isolated incidents.

“There is a stat that we have conceded the most goals from the least number of chances created by the opposition.”

After Orient's tactics of launching the ball into the box, Stags expect Mark Cooper's Barrow to play much more football and Clough said: “We have seen them a few times recently and Mark Cooper's influence is starting to show through.

“When you have such a long period as he did at Forest Green and did so well, give him some time and it will really shine through at Barrow. “I thought he was a brilliant appointment for them and it will be an unbelievably tough game.

“They were one down at the weekend but came back and won so they will be full of confidence.

“They are a similar sort of shape to Rochdale with three defenders.”

Clough wants to see the same level of determination to keep a clean sheet as last weekend.

He said: “It was a first clean sheet and the one thing that stuck out was how hard the opposition had to work for their chances, which hasn't been the case in many games this season with the goals we have given away. We've conceded far too many too easily.

“Saturday was the sort of attitude we need to have going into games. Let's keep that clean sheet, then we know we can play our football on top.

“They didn't carve us open from open play. Any chances or situations they got were from long balls into the box. We were well organised and they didn't pass through us.

“We had to work unbelievably hard for it - but you have to for clean sheets and wins. Hopefully they're coming soon.

“But no one is going to give you a clean sheet – you have 11 players desperately trying to score against you. You have to do your jobs.”

Stags will again be without at least seven key players with youngster George Cooper likely to fill the last space on a depleted bench.

On bolstering the squad with free agents, he said: “There are one or two names we have under discussion at the moment which we will chat about later in the week.

“It will depend on the news on Kellan Gordon and Ryan Stirk and how long they are going to be out.”