Stags went 12 games without victory and plummeted into the League Two relegation places after injuries, controversial decisions and bad luck hit hard.
The former Forest and Liverpool star will mark 12 months at the One Call Stadium on Saturday.
“It has gone very quick,” reflected Clough. “It’s been interesting and enjoyable for the most part.
“The last six-eight weeks have been as challenging as anything we have had in the last 23 years, but generally it has been enjoyable.
“We thought Covid and the pandemic were challenging, and it was. It was very difficult for a lot of people in football, without fans in the ground, and obviously difficult for the fans to deal with as well.
“What's struck us is just how many good people there are at the club. The potential of the club struck us, we have great owners and a great chief executive.
“There are so many good things in pace at the club to give us a chance to go forward.”
And Clough has his attention fully on providing a team to match that potential and the faith of the supporters.
“We just need a settled good team on the pitch that matches the supporters aspirations and emotions.
“I always think they want to see a team one the pitch that mirrors how they would play if they had the chance, that is one that gives their all as well as playing good football.
“I hope they have seen enough over the last 12 months to see how we want to play.”
Asked to pick out his top moments, Clough was quick to remember his first win as Stags boss at Forest Green and the final day win at Port Vale last season.
“The first win at Forest Green was an important milestone,” he added. “I think we have had many enjoyable moments with some good performances such as the win at Port Vale on the last day of last season.
“Going into pre-season and the early season was a real highlight.
“We started so well and with such optimism, even in the defeats we were still playing well and to lose as many players as we did is still a major blow.”
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