Mansfield boss Nigel Clough says the Stags will be ‘as positive as we can’ in tomorrow night’s home match against Harrogate Town, as the amber and blue look to make it seven matches unbeaten in all competitions.
The manager spoke to iFollow Stags and the local media at The RH Academy on Monday morning, ahead of Tuesday evening’s fixture against the Sky Bet League Two newcomers.
The boss drew parallels between his former club, Burton, and Tuesday evening’s opponents, who earned their Football League status for the first time via the National League play-offs last term.
Nigel Clough also previewed the upcoming fixture between the Stags and Harrogate.
“They [Harrogate] are a similar size of club [to Burton] and I think it’s brilliant for the Football League to have this fresh blood coming in,” he told iFollow Stags.
“[Teams] getting into the League for the first time is wonderful for football. They had an incredible start [to the season], but I think things are naturally levelling off for them now.
“To get up those leagues and steadily build, it’s lovely to see. They’re very competitive [this season].
“I think they’ve dipped a little in the last week or two, but that’s inevitable – everyone in the league will have those sorts of dips.
“They’re very competitive and very strong on set plays. They bring a good aerial threat and that’s something we’ll have to deal with.
“We’ll be as positive as we can. We’re at home, so we’ll try to take the game to Harrogate and create as many chances as we can.
“Hopefully we can keep a clean sheet, [make] no mistakes, and take our chances.”
Reflecting on Friday evening’s 1-1 draw against promotion hopefuls Colchester United, the boss says that although the Stags are ‘slowly improving,’ he believes more could have been made of the ‘situations’ his side created in the match.
“We got within five or ten minutes of beating another top six side. We showed solidity at the back to restrict Colchester to very few chances.
“The fact that we contributed to conceding the goal, it’s easy to put your finger on why we didn’t get the three points.
“I thought we could have done a little more to get that second goal, but I thought we had situations and opportunities [to do that].
“I think we’re slowly improving, but it’s going to be a long job. You see the likes of Forest Green and Colchester, and how comfortable they are in possession, they’re better on the ball than we are at the moment – but we’ll improve.”
There was also an injury update from the boss, who revealed the Stags will have just two absentees for Tuesday’s clash with Harrogate.
“Everyone else [aside from George Maris and Joe Riley] made it through Friday night, so it should be about the same squad [for the Harrogate match].”
iFollow Stags subscribers can watch Nigel Clough’s interview in full by logging into mansfieldtown.net/ifollow later today.
Match passes are available for Tuesday evening’s game against Harrogate Town for just £10. To purchase your match pass, click here.