Mansfield Town boss Nigel Clough was pleased at his side’s ability to ‘find a way to win’ during a hard-fought 2-1 victory against Stevenage this afternoon.
Youngster Ryan Stirk bagged the match winner with his first goal for the club.
The win extends the Stags’ run of victories to four as Mansfield left Hertfordshire with all three points.
“It was [hard-fought] all the way through [the game] today,” the manager said.
“I thought we were excellent in the first-half and should have gone in [to the interval] more than one ahead.
“We had one or two very good situations [to extend the lead further].
“But then we concede, from our point of view [it was] a very poor goal.
“I thought our reaction [after the Stevenage equaliser] was very good and Ryan Stirk’s popped up with the winner and a very good winner as well!”
Stirk’s first goal for the Stags displayed an excellent mixture of balance and skill before he expertly put Mansfield into a second-half lead.
“The composure [Stirk showed in his goal] is exactly what you get from a lad at a Championship club.”
The gaffer continued: “He [Stirk] doesn’t panic. He doesn’t hit defenders’ legs. He shifts the ball a yard or two and side-foots it in.
“He added a little bit [more] quality I thought in the game.”
Stirk’s performance was one of many standouts in a Stags’ shirt at Lamex Stadium. The manager believes his team are benefitting from the return of some key players.
“We [look a better side] because of the players we have now to bring on.
“We lost three players today through injury.
“But we had [Farrend] Rawson, [Ryan] Stirk and [Tyrese] Sinclair to bring on and we haven’t had that squad available [even] five or six weeks ago.”
Mansfield will wait to see the extent of the injuries for those who came off this afternoon.
“Rhys Oates, groin [injury], George Lapslie, shoulder and George Maris’ was his ankle in a blocked tackle.
“Quinny was on his knees [at the end of the game] so maybe another one or two [players could have come off.”
Watch the manager's interview in full here.