Mansfield Town so happy to be back home for visit of Tranmere Rovers

After a record-breaking home campaign last season, Mansfield Town can't wait to return to the One Call Stadium this Saturday for their first home game against Tranmere Rovers.

Thursday, 4th August 2022, 6:00 am

Stags lost their opener 2-0 at Salford City last week but boss Nigel Clough says his players can't wait to be back out in front of their growing home support with a club record of almost 4,500 season tickets having been sold.

“The players feel very comfortable playing at home and that's what we're trying to replicate away from home as much as we can,” he said.

“The crowd play such a significant part at home. They really get behind us and urge us forward and it's a massive boost. They get us on the front foot.

Mansfield Town action against Tranmere last season.

“I wish we could play every game at home – if we did we'd win the league. But you can't do that.

“It is one of those grounds, even though it only has three sides, it does feel there's a lot more in there than there is.

“Five or six thousand in the One Call really does feel like there is double that amount with the noise they make and a lot of the lads remark on it. It's a great atmosphere.

“It puts even more responsibility on us to entertain them for spending their hard-earned money on season tickets.”

He added: “You always look at who you're playing in your first home game when the fixture list comes out and, ideally, you always want to be going into it with a point or three. But we didn't get that.

“But it will be a good game against Tranmere

“Tranmere are difficult to judge while they're just settling down. But they have lost a couple of players.

“One of our ex-players up front, Kane Hemmings, will be a major threat. Supporters will know all about him, and I think their front two are as dangerous as anybody.

“They are a good, solid, big club with a good manager and again they will be there or thereabouts this season. They just missed out last year but they will certainly be challenging again.”

Clough said there were some positives to take out of the Salford defeat into the weekend.

“It was fine margins and we had some very good situations we didn't make the most of,” he said.

“We had 60-odd per cent of possession, more shots than them, more corners than them.

“So if that was us at our worst and we can still do that away from home then that's the only bright spot to come out of it.

“We know we can do so much better. But even when we're off the pace, as we were, we still have the ability to control the game away from home as we did in the second half.

“I think that was our eighth loss since October so we've not done too badly over the last 10 months. We don't want that feeling too often. It was a wake up call.

“What hits you most is when you don't see it coming – nobody did – when we'd had a good three weeks pre-season. We fell below our standards and that was the surprising thing.

“If we play like we did in pre-season and how we played last season we are a force to be reckoned with. We are a very good team when we do that.”

James Perch and Kieran Wallace miss out with injury on Saturday but Stags will welcome back Oli Hawkins from a one game ban.