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Boss sets sights on cup upset

2 November 2021

Stags’ manager Nigel Clough has called for his team to cause an upset against League One Sunderland when they head to The Stadium of Light this Saturday in the Emirates FA Cup first round.

The tie will mark the gaffer’s one-year anniversary in charge of the club. 

The weekend's match will see Stags face the Black Cats away from home for the second season in succession, following a dramatic 1-0 victory for Mansfield last year.

“I think we’re encountering a different Sunderland side [compared to last year],” the manager said, speaking to iFollow Stags.

“I think they’ve improved immensely over the last 12 months under Lee [Johnson] and they have a better squad

“They took half a team down to [Championship side] QPR last week and got through to the Carabao Cup quarter-finals. For a League One side that is an incredible achievement.”

Stags face a Sunderland side who sit in fifth place in Sky Bet League One, however, the manager said he is determined last year's triumph.

“We won’t be putting half a team out. We will be going there to win. 

“We just need to keep playing as we have in recent weeks. [In] Our last three performances we deserved to have seven points rather than four from nine.” 

The Stags head to the north east following an impressive 2-0 victory at home to Tranmere last weekend. 

“Hopefully we can relax and play off the back of a victory. Seeing the likes of [George] Maris and [Stephen] Quinn playing together helps. 

“We want to continue playing well, not just for the FA Cup but after that as well.” 

Reflecting on his impending one year anniversary as Stags’ boss, Nigel said: “It’s gone quick. It’s been enjoyable. The last few weeks have been challenging but there are so many great people at the club; the owners, the chief executive and now we need to make sure the team performs to the supporters’ aspirations. 

When asked about injury news ahead of the weekend, the gaffer explained: “I would say he [Stephen McLaughlin] is a doubt. As much as the team will be full strength, we don’t want to risk him in the FA Cup. 

“Ryan Stirk will be the next one back [that has not featured recently]. Nartey isn’t too far away and Lapslie will be back for Saturday.

Despite limping off against Tranmere at the weekend, the manager revealed Rhys Oates was taken off as a precaution and should feature at Sunderland. 

“He [Oates] should be fine, it was lovely to see him score and win a penalty. People forget that it takes a long time to settle and there is definitely more to come [from him].” 


To watch the manager's full interview login to iFollow Stags


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