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Stags’ squad has ‘good balance’ - manager

1 September 2021

Following yesterday’s closure of the transfer window, boss Nigel Clough says the ‘balance is good’ within the Mansfield Town squad.

The Stags made two first team acquisitions on deadline day, bringing in defenders Will Forrester and Richard Nartey, on loan from Stoke City and Burnley, respectively.

With the transfer window now closed, the boss discussed the ‘options’ he has available within the ranks at Mansfield Town.

“I think numbers-wise, it [squad] is good,” he told iFollow Stags. “It’s good where we are. We’d have still liked that experience at the back, but that’s something we’ll have to get through.

“There are one or two free agents out there that we’re looking at for some more experience back there, so we’ll see how that goes in the next week or so.

“I’m happy generally [with the squad]. I’m happy with our goalkeepers, which is a very important department. George Shelvey got 90 minutes under his belt last night [at Harrogate] and Nathan Bishop has been brilliant.


“Defensively, we need a little bit more. [In] midfield, we’re happy. We missed Ryan Stirk when he was unavailable, certainly, but we’re happy with the options in there.

“We know we have four or five forward options as well. The balance is good within the squad.”

Speaking more on his deadline day signings, the boss says his two new players will give the Stags ‘much-needed cover’ in the defensive area.

“They [Forrester and Nartey] will give us some much-needed cover. They’ll also be vying for a starting place. We definitely needed to strengthen in that area.

“He [Nartey] did very well [at Burton Albion], coming out for his first loan from Chelsea. Being at Chelsea as a youngster, you know he’s had a good football upbringing.

“He came out and did really well for us at Burton in League One. He’s ended up at Burnley, where most importantly, he’s trained with the first team.


“Anyone who has been around Burnley’s first team with the way they play and train [has had good experience]. I spoke to Sean Dyche [Burnley manager] about him and they really like him.

“He’s certainly in with a shout [of starting]. We’re going to find out what games he’s played and see how he looks in training today and Friday.

On Forrester, the boss added: “He’s had it [injury] since pre-season, so we’ll be very much guided by Stoke. He’s going to stay there to do his rehab until he’s ready to join in [training] sessions.

“The deal is structured so we don’t start paying until he’s fit. He’s another good, young centre-half, who has played a couple of times for Stoke’s first team. We think he’s got a lot of potential.

“He’s another one who will come in, be around the squad and challenge for a place.”

The boss also reflected on a ‘frustrating’ week on the pitch for his players, with consecutive defeats against Swindon Town and Harrogate Town.


“[It’s been] a bit frustrating [on the pitch this week]. Certainly on Saturday at Swindon, as we controlled large parts of the game.

“We created the vast majority of chances and had seven chances to their none. Then we end up unlucky losing the game.

“We didn’t make the most of our chances and situations certainly, but we’re not being helped. I think we’ve had one or two major decisions go against us in each of the last four games now.

Looking ahead to the weekend’s home match against Harrogate Town, who currently occupy second place in Sky Bet League Two, the boss said: “I think they [Harrogate] will play different personnel than last night.

“They’ll play with that tenacity and intensity that they play with. Having found their footing in the league last year, they have improved and strengthened for a reason. They’re up there for a reason.

“They’re the sort of team you don’t want to go 1-0 down against, because they are difficult to break down and create chances against. We have to be mindful of that.

“That [clean sheet] would be great as we haven’t had one for I don’t know how long. There will be an emphasis on that, but I don’t want it to be at the expense of our attacking play.”

iFollow Stags subscribers can watch the manager’s interview in full by logging into

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