Nigel Clough preparing Mansfield Town for 'season-defining' spell

Nigel Clough believes the next four or five games will define the direction of Mansfield Town’s season.

Wednesday, 10th November 2021, 7:26 am
Mansfield celebrate a Danny Johnson goal against Newcastle U21's. Photo: Chris HOLLOWAY / The Bigger Picture.media

Stags travel to Stevenage on Saturday with matches against Scunthrope, Sutton United, Crawley and Carlisle United to follow in the League.

Mansfield will also have the chance to win a spot in the FA Cup third round if they can get past Doncaster.

“The next four or five games will define our season,” said Clough. “Those games will go a long way to deciding which way we are going in.

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“They are five very important games, we have 12 league points and a place in the fa cup third round at stake.

“It's that time of season before the busy Christmas period with points at stake and we can get halfway up the league with a good run.”

Stags have now won three in a row following a barren spell of 12 games without victory.

But Clough knows there is still work to do before Stags can say they have turned things around.

“Hopefully we have some momentum now with three wins in a row,” he added. “I said to the players that when you do things properly, when you work hard and you pass it, then football is much more enjoyable.

“The last five performances could easily have led to five wins. We were at our rock bottom after Northampton.

“We have three wins in a row. We are not getting ahead of ourselves - but hopefully we are coming out of that bad patch.”

“We will try and beat Stevenage and then go from there. We are not setting any targets

“They are better than their league positions suggest and are a good home side.

“We now have to improve our away record.”

Stags will travel to Stevenage in great form after the 6-3 victory over Newcastle U21’s in the Papa Johns Trophy on Tuesday night.

The match was 2-2 at the break before Mansfield turned on the style in the second half, with Danny Johnson bagging a hat-trick in the win.

There were also goals for John-Joe O’Toole, Tyrese Sinclair and Nathan Caine.

“It was very enjoyable and nice to put in a good performance and score goals,” said Clough.

“We should have scored more goals, we had enough chances to score double figures.

“I was pleased with the attitude of the players who weren't in the starting side last Saturday.

“James gale was a standout and it was great to have Will Forrester and Ryan Stirk back on the pitch.

“Gale is improving each week with each training session and doesn't look out of place with the first team.

“He's got an eye for goal and has a good nuisance value, he's a big unit. I’m very pleased with him.

“It was good for Danny Johnson to get an hour and to tick over and stay sharp. He got three and they were all good finishes. You can't ignore it when strikers get a hat-trick.”

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