Stags’ boss Nigel Clough says he wants to see more creativity from his side in Saturday afternoon’s clash at home to Southend United.
Mansfield face a Southend side who have picked up form after a slow start to the campaign, winning back-to-back games this week.
The manager has challenged his side to ‘play on the front foot’ and ‘create chances’ in the weekend’s match at One Call Stadium.
“We have to perform ourselves – but the fact that they [Southend] have just won back-to-back and have been playing pretty well recently, it does have an effect on the game,” he told iFollow Stags.
“It will be the same as we approach any game. When we play at home, we expect to win. When we’re at home, we want to be on the front foot and we want to create chances.
“I think they [Southend] had a hangover from last season. It’s just a process that you can go through [after relegation].
“Prior to the two good results this week, I think they’ve put on improved performances and have been unlucky.
“It’s similar to what we’re doing – our performances have been very good and of a consistent standard. As long as we keep maintaining that standard, the results will come.
“We’re hoping to see that little bit of quality. It’s all about who puts their chances away and who doesn’t make the mistakes.
“The less mistakes you make, the better chance you have at winning the game. But we also need to start creating chances and when we do, we have to start finishing them.”
Nigel Clough also offered his final thoughts on Tuesday evening’s 1-0 defeat away at Carlisle United.
“I think the standard of the performance wasn’t too bad at all, going to third in the league. That one bit of quality in the first-half separated the two sides.
“When you look at the stats, sometimes they can be a bit misleading. They had a few shots but most of them were from distance and comfortably dealt with, apart from the one that Ryan Sweeney cleared off the line.
“They didn’t create too much, but we didn’t either, and that was the biggest disappointment on the night.
“For the good play that we had, we lacked a little bit of creativity in and around their penalty area. Ultimately, that didn’t lead to too many clear-cut opportunities to get an equaliser.”
There was an injury update from the manager on striker Nicky Maynard and defender James Perch, who were both absent for the midweek match at Brunton Park.
“They have both [Maynard and Perch] had a week’s training, albeit on an individual basis.
“They’ll join in [training] this morning, and if they get through that, they’ll both be back in contention for Saturday [against Southend].”
iFollow Stags subscribers can watch the boss’ interview in full by logging into mansfieldtown.net/ifollow.