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Interviews

A good point which should have been three - boss

14 February 2021

Although being left ‘disappointed’ with just a point against Colchester, boss Nigel Clough was pleased to see the unbeaten run in Sky Bet League Two stretched to eight games.

An own goal from Tommy Smith and a James Perch effort each preceded equalisers from Callum Harriott and Frank Nouble on a blisteringly cold afternoon in Essex.

The manager says that the Stags perhaps should have taken all three points back to Nottinghamshire after leading twice in the contest.

“We’re disappointed because of the nature of the equaliser – both the timing and the deflection,” he told iFollow Stags. “I thought we played okay today on a very difficult surface.

“We took the lead twice and held it going into the 89th minute. Faz [Farrend Rawson] has thrown himself in for the challenge, it [Nouble shot] has hit the top of his foot and flown in the far top corner.

“First 20 minutes we played well and got the goal, then we sort of lost our way and they get back into the game.

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“I thought for the vast majority of the second-half, it was us who were in the ascendancy.

“One of the things we thought we may have missed from Kellan Gordon’s play was the attacking side, but Perchy pops up with a goal.

“He played a little one-two and Reidy has squared it for him, he’s followed it in and ended up with a tap-in. We want to play with our full-backs going forward and getting goals.

“I thought we should have won the game. When you go ahead twice, I think there is always going to be disappointment when you don’t get the three points.

“We’re more disappointed with the first equaliser as we didn’t get out quick enough to the edge of the box – we should’ve dealt with that much better.

“It’s an absolutely brilliant run [unbeaten in eight league games]. It’s now two defeats in 15, and those two defeats are the only games we haven’t scored in.

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“I think it’s been an exceptionally good run. When you come here [Colchester] and have a battle like today, yes, we could’ve won it, but it’s still a good point in lots of ways. It’s just the lateness of the equaliser.”

Arctic temperatures had a great effect on the Sky Bet League Two schedule this weekend, with the weather also taking its toll on the Colchester pitch on Sunday afternoon.

The U’s and the Stags battled on a tough, recently-thawed surface, leaving the boss satisfied by his side’s ability to still find the net on two occasions.

“It was very difficult for the players to get the ball down and play [on today’s surface], and I think you have two good footballing sides,” he added.

“There are never going to be clear cut chances in games like this and I suppose we got a little lucky with our first goal, the own goal.

“It’s difficult to get the ball down and play – you could see it bobbling around a lot. The good thing is with the two games we’ve had [Walsall and Colchester], there haven’t been any silly challenges from either team.

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“We have two points on the road, which could’ve easily been four after today’s game. But we’ve scored three goals away from home [this week].

“I think we’ll score goals home and away. We’ll look forward to a bit of rain this week and a few more softer pitches now!”

There was also an injury update on defender Kellan Gordon and forward Oli Sarkic, who were both absent from today’s squad through injury.

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“He [Gordon] felt his knee in training this week and there was a bit of swelling at the back. I don’t think it’s a major issue, we’ll see how he is [on] Monday [and] Tuesday.

“He [Sarkic] felt his thigh in training this week, on Wednesday. They will probably be similar [lengths of injuries].

“You’re talking later this week, to the absolute maximum being ten days to two weeks.”

iFollow Stags subscribers can watch the manager’s interview in full on mansfieldtown.net/ifollow later this evening.


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