Nigel Clough still searching for perfect Mansfield Town starting XI - but clean sheet pleases Stags boss ahead of Newport County clash
Tyrese Sinclair impresses on first start...
Nigel Clough isn't convinced he'll find the perfect Mansfield Town starting XI this season - but he believes his side will be in a stronger position to face Newport County after shutting out play-off chasing Exeter City.
The Stags and Grecians couldn't be separated as they played out a goalless draw, but Clough was taking the positives with him ahead of Friday's arrival of the seventh-placed Exiles.
Following Good Friday's defeat to Leyton Orient at One Call Stadium, Clough made four changes for the Easter Monday contest as he continues to look for the perfect blend from one to 11.
"I don't think we're going to find that between now and the end of the season, we hope to be somewhere closer to it come August," said Clough.
"We didn't want back-to-back defeats. Although we haven't scored in the last couple we certainly created chances in those two games.
"Now we've got Newport on Friday. It's important not to keep getting defeat after defeat, so we've stopped that with a clean sheet and now we're looking forward to Newport on Friday."
The four changes saw Stephen McLaughlin, Ryan Sweeney, Ollie Clarke and Tyrese Sinclair replace Mal Benning, Kellan Gordon, Jason Law and Jamie Reid.Sinclair made his first start for the club and got the thumbs up from the manager, while others were dropped due to their performances against Orient.
"I'm very pleased. He's just had little cameos, the occasional 10-15 minutes here and there," Clough said of the young striker.
"I thought he was very good. I didn't realise it was his first league starts, so good another player coming through into the first team.
"Reidy needed a rest and also, as a consequence for his error on Friday.
"It was good to see Ollie Clarke back starting again and somewhere, not quite back to how he was, but somewhere near.
"Kellan made two errors and he made two of late. Players have to understand there's a consequence for mistakes they make."
MORE STAGS: Clough believes Mansfield should have had ‘stonewall’ penalty – news
MORE STAGS: Taylor says both sides ‘lacked quality’ in draw – news
MORE STAGS: Exeter 0 Mansfield 0 – report