Mansfield Town boss Nigel Clough has called for ‘consistency’ from his side over the course of the 12 remaining matches this season.
The Stags were left frustrated by a 1-0 defeat to Crawley at the weekend, a result that followed a superb win and performance against league leaders Cheltenham just days prior.
The manager, looking ahead to the next fixture - at home to Carlisle - says the Stags must aim to get the ‘winning feeling’ back.
“To lose in the last minute [at Crawley], is unbelievably demoralising,” he told iFollow Stags. “But to lose it in the manner that we did, with us contributing again to our own downfall, it just makes it worse.
“The consistency element is certainly something that’s been lacking. I think we’ve got enough in the last 12 games to get us over that line and be safe, then we’re looking to put a squad in place to produce more consistency week in, week out.
“We have the same [intent against Carlisle] than we did against Cheltenham, Morecambe, Cambridge, Bolton.
“Even in those two defeats, we were happy with the performance. And that’s what we want.
“We’re trying to replicate that away from home as well. We’re not setting up any differently [away from home], but for some reason at the moment, we’re creating more at home and putting our chances away at home.
“We’re delighted to be at home [for the next three games]. We fancy our chances against anybody at our place.
“We’ve had a couple of long trips in the last week, from one end of the country to the other, with Barrow and Crawley.
“When you’ve lost, they are long trips back. We just want that winning feeling for everybody, because it improves your life.”
Mansfield and Carlisle, who will clash at One Call Stadium on Tuesday evening, were both subject to enforced breaks earlier this season, due to reasons such as inclement weather and COVID-19 outbreaks.
The boss discussed the impact that these prolonged breaks had on both clubs, who have since struggled to regain their past momentum.
“They [Carlisle] had some great momentum building and went top of the league. Then they had the break put upon themselves, like we did,” he added.
“It just completely disrupts your momentum, and as days go by and you’re training every day, things just drop a little, no matter what you do.
“You can’t maintain that momentum [without playing games], and then you’re looking to pick it up again.
“They still have games in hand and are still right in the mix.”
There was also an injury update from the boss, as well as a word on skipper Ollie Clarke, who could be rested for Tuesday’s clash with Carlisle.
“We have the usual ones [absentees], George Maris and George Lapslie, who are both doubts for tomorrow night [Carlisle].
“We’re missing them at the moment, and with Ollie Clarke being a little below par as well, they were our three first choice midfielders a few weeks ago.
“We’ll probably be without those three. Ollie is feeling the effects of no pre-season – he had two calf injuries at the start of the season.
“With so many games in such a short period of time, it’s really caught up with him. He’s such an honest, genuine lad, and he wants to be out there. He’s doing everything he can to influence the game.
“But sometimes, physically, if you can’t do it, you just have to have a breather. With the amount of effort he puts in, we’re not talking about a player who just sits there in midfield. He charges around, up and down the pitch, and he’s that sort of ‘all-action’ player.
“He [Aidan Stone] is okay. He did the warm-up [on Saturday] and has done some training, so hopefully he’ll be back in contention for tomorrow night.”
iFollow Stags subscribers can watch the manager’s interview in full by logging into mansfieldtown.net/ifollow.