Mansfield Town youngster James Clarke enjoys ‘learning curve battle’ with Oldham Athletic powerhouse

Young Mansfield Town defender James Clarke enjoyed his learning curve battle with the powerful Dylan Bahamboula in today's home 0-0 draw with Oldham Athletic.

Saturday, 9th October 2021, 6:35 pm
Mansfield Town defender James Clarke looks to make the cross during the Sky Bet League 2 match against Oldham Athletic AFC at the One Call Stadium Photo: Chris Holloway/The Bigger

Clarke was proud to be made captain for the midweek Papa John's Trophy game and even happier to be called into the first team today where he did well against a highly talented player.

“He is a great player, very strong with great feet, and it's one of those things that I am going to have to deal with in my career as I grow it,” said Clarke.

“It was a great learning curve today and I am glad I got the chance to do it. Hopefully I can use the experience today and build on it.”

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Stags are without a win in 11 games and he said: “It's tough at the minute but the lads are sticking together. We are a tight knit group.

“It was a very well-earned point and clean sheet. I thought we defended immensely as a team and dealt with the pressure put on us with the long throws and aerial threats.”

He continued: “The gaffer showed great trust in me, giving me the armband on Tuesday – I was delighted with that. And I was obviously pleased to get the call up today with the injuries that are going on.

“I've just got to try to keep a steady head, keep doing what I am doing and not get too ahead of myself. Obviously we've got Kellan injured and back soon, so I will have to battle with him.”

On working under Clough he said: “He works us very hard as a team and training is intense. We all know our jobs.

“It's a real joy for me so early in my career to be able to experience it and I am really enjoying it.”