Nigel Clough keen for Mansfield Town to hit the ground running
Nigel Clough is keen for Mansfield Town to get off to a flying start.
Stags open up the new League Two campaign against Bristol Rovers on Saturday in front of a packed One Call Stadium.
And Clough is desperate to avoid last season’s poor start which eventually cost Graham Coughlan his job.
“It's important to get off to a good start,” said Clough. “We were up against it last season and we could never realistically challenge the top seven over a long enough period.
“You can't win it in the first few months but you can give yourself too much to do. If you get off to a good start the crowd gets behind you.
“We want to carry on where we left off last season. We played some great football and scored some great goals.
“We want our play to be of the same standard. We are looking forward to the whole season and are all excited.
“There's plenty to be excited about. We have been encouraged by how we have played in the last two week.
“We got what we wanted out of pre-season.”
Stags start with one of the tougher matches of the season against a Rovers side who are also gunning for promotion.
“We saw Bristol Rovers last Saturday and they changed their formation at half-time, so it is difficult to read into what they will do,” added Clough.
“It is good to be at home against one of the promotion favourites in the first game. They will be very strong and they will be up there. They will be a good gauge of where we are at.”
The Stags chief now wants his side to hit the ground running and give the returning plenty to cheer about.
“The fans have got a big part to play, but we have to give them something to get behind us,” said Clough.
“There will be a lot of excitement, but that can easily dwindle. The team has to give the crowd something.
“We got a taste of the atmosphere against Coventry and it will be great to walk out to the noise.
“Bristol Rovers will sell out their allocation, which makes for a good atmosphere. We had forgotten what it was like to play in front of crowds and it was a nice reminder against Coventry.”