Nigel Clough rues Mansfield Town’s luck over tough FA Cup draw

Nigel Clough was left rueing more bad luck for Mansfield Town as they were handed the same draw as last year for the FA Cup first round – a daunting away trip to League One title hopefuls Sunderland.

Tuesday, 19th October 2021, 9:55 am
Mansfield Town manager Nigel Clough - Pic Chris Holloway

Stags pulled off a shock 1-0 win behind closed doors at the Stadium of Light a year ago, but Stags boss Clough knows it will be a very different proposition this time.“It is quite staggering to draw the same team at the same stage two years’ running, away from home as well,” he said.“I think they are only one point off the top, with a couple of games in hand.

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“So when they win one of those it is, technically, the hardest draw any team could get in the first round, which just about sums up how things are going at the moment.“It is an opportunity to play at the Stadium of Light and try to repeat last year's performance, but I think they are a completely different animal at this stage to what they were 12 months ago.”Clough – whose famous father Brian starred as a striker for Sunderland in the early 1960s – said it will be nice to have fans inside the ground.He said: “I remember going up there last season and it was quite eerie as the Stadium of Light is one of those stadiums when, with 20,000-30,000 in there, it's a special place to play football.“With them doing very well with a great start in the league under Lee Johnson – and I am delighted for them – I think there will still be a decent crowd for the FA Cup.”