Nigel Clough – delight for Mansfield Town boss after fourth win a row, but he insists ‘we’re not getting carried away’

Mansfield Town boss Nigel Clough was delighted to watch his side see out a crucial 2-1 victory at Stevenage this afternoon for a fourth win a row.

By John Lomas
Saturday, 13th November 2021, 6:10 pm
Mansfield Town forward Rhys Oates makes a break down the wing at Stevenage. Pucture by Chris Holloway/The Bigger
Mansfield Town forward Rhys Oates makes a break down the wing at Stevenage. Pucture by Chris Holloway/The Bigger

But, coming on the back of that awful 14-game run without victory, Clough said there was still a lot of work to do to get the season properly back on course.

“I know we weren't at our best today, nowhere near what we can be, but we found a way to win and scored two good goals,” he said.

“The last seven minutes was a long time but we kept the ball well down their end. We're learning how to see games out.

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“I think everyone sensed it was coming when we got that first win and now we've got to keep it going.

“I am not even looking at the table yet or getting carried away. We're still playing catch-up for the run we had and there is a lot of work to do.”

He continued: “It was hard-fought all the way through today.

“I thought we were good first half like we were at Sunderland and should have gone in more than one ahead. We had two or three very good situations.

“But then we conceded, from our point of view, a very poor goal, right from the build-up to it, with Nathan Bishop conceding a needless corner and then Oli Hawkins losing Scott Cuthbert.

“The reaction after that was very, very good and Ryan Stirk has popped up with the winner – and a very good winner as well.

“He showed us exactly what we've been missing the eight weeks he's been out. He showed the bit of composure you get from a lad at a Championship club. He doesn't panic.”

Rhys Oates (groin), George Lapslie (shoulder) and George Maris (ankle) all had to go off injured, but Clough is happy to finally have some quality as his disposal on the bench.

“With the players we now have to bring on, when we lose three players through injury, we are bring Rawson on, Stirk on and Sinclair on – we haven't had that squad available for five or six weeks,” he said.

“So when you do get pegged back and lose another three players through injury, you have good enough players to come on and get a result.”

Clough had particular praise for John-Joe O'Toole, who signed a short term deal two weeks ago.

“I though O'Toole was very good. He scored a good goal, his second in a week for us. He's played two and a half games and won all three.

“When we win corners and free kicks, it's important we do have a threat in there. It was a brilliant header at the far post.

“It is testament to the way he's looked after himself, considering he's not played for six months.

“Ironically, Alex Revell (Stevenage manager) actually recommended him as he'd been here for a couple of weeks training.

“He told me he'd been absolutely magnificent in training and if he could take him he would, but he wasn't able to, so we stepped in.”