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Coach highlights midfield as key to victory

20 November 2021

Mansfield Town first team coach, Andy Garner, singled out the Stags’ five-man midfield as ‘fantastic’ in the 3-1 victory at home to Scunthorpe United.

The victory was Mansfield’s fifth in as many games.

Garner highlighted the Stags’ engine room as a deciding factor in ensuring the winning run continued.

“I thought we were outstanding in midfield,” he said.

“When you revert back to the 4-5-1 system, you get a lot of quality in there.

“We trust [having] a lot of them in there and it enables us to get it [the ball] down and play."

Stags’ captain and scorer of Mansfield’s first and third goal, Ollie Clarke, stood out in an excellent display.

“I thought Ollie Clarke was fantastic today, he has been for the last couple of games," said Garner.

“We’ve got a lot of energy in there [the midfield]. We’ve got a lot of skill in there and people that will get in the box.

“Ollie’s got a couple of goals today. I thought everybody was fantastic but we were very strong in midfield.”

When asked if the side should have had more goals today, he said: “Totally. I think there was opportunity there for us to get a few more goals as a team.

“But when there’s ten minutes to go and we’re 3-1 up, we’re saying we’ll take 3-1.

“We want three points, it’s really important. [So] We’ll take the three goals.

“We look confident now. We’re getting on the ball and scoring goals.”

The Mansfield midfield will take the plaudits from the match but Garner was keen to highlight striker Jordan Bowery’s contribution after scoring on his return to the team.

“Jordan’s been a little bit frustrated at times [at not playing in recent weeks]. Oatsey’s (Rhys Oates) come in [to the team] and done really well.

“After the injury to Oatsey he’s got a chance today. I’m delighted that he got a goal. I’m delighted because when he hit the post [in the first-half] I thought he should have scored.

“Getting in the box and getting a tap-in. You can’t beat them.”

The praise-worthy performances from Stags’ players in recent weeks has pleased the first team coach.

“We’re delighted with the efforts of the players," he added. "They put in a lot of hard work when we got a reality check.

“Hopefully now we’ve put that behind us.

“We’re winning football matches and long may it continue.”

To watch Andy Garner's interview in full click here.

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