Mansfield Town may yet strengthen further with free agents

Mansfield Town may yet strengthen further, despite the transfer window closing yesterday, with the possibility of bringing in free agents.

Wednesday, 1st September 2021, 4:11 pm
Stags boss Nigel Clough - looking at free agents. Pic Chris Holloway

Manager Nigel Clough brought in two back-up defenders late on yesterday after missing out on his two more experienced targets.

But with a large number of players still without a club, Clough is hoping he can still find what he is looking for.

“I think numbers-wise it's good where we are,” he said.

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“We'd have still liked that experience at the back, even more so after losing James Perch. But that's something we'll have to get through.

“But there is still that option of free agents. There are one or two out there that we are looking at at the moment for some more experience back there, so we will have to see how that goes in the next week or so.”

Clough said the Covid crisis may have even strengthened the hand of those free agent players.

“The pandemic has left a lot of players without clubs, so there are quite a few. It's just getting one good one among those,” he said.

“As a player you always used to think you had to get fixed up before the window.

“Now you are not in too bad a position if the window shuts and you are still a free agent. You are in a stronger position in some ways.

“People know that they can't sign anyone other than free agents – they can't get loans, they can't sign permanents in.

“So all of a sudden this pool, if anyone gets an injury in the next week or two or, if like us, they are looking for some experience, then that is the only pool you can pick from.”

Clough said there were no solid bids for his own players in the end before the window closed.

“There were possibles but nothing firm in the end,” he said.

“We had one or two early in the window which we turned down as we wanted to keep the squad intact and try to add to it if possible.

“We then heard one or two slight rumours but there was nothing firm.”

He added: “I am happy generally – I think the balance is good.”