Mansfield Town manager Nigel Clough says midfielder Stephen Quinn was a ‘shining example of what we wanted to do today’ in a thumping 4-0 win at Scunthorpe this afternoon.
The 36-year-old maestro shone as he bagged his first Sky Bet League Two goal of the season at Sands Venue Stadium.
The boss praised the Irishman’s display in a performance that helped the Stags tighten their grip on the play-off positions.
Speaking to the local media post-match, the gaffer said: “I thought Stephen Quinn was a shining example of what we wanted to do today.
“I’ve just said to the three young midfielders we’ve got in there [the dressing room] in Jason Law, Matty Longstaff and Ryan Stirk, ‘if you’re thinking about having a career in football, look at him’.
“He [Quinn] was the driving force, he got us the victory almost on his own today.”
Quinn’s display seemed to reflect onto one of his midfield partners, Ryan Stirk. The 22-year-old was also on the scoresheet after a fine run and finish in the first-half.
“[It was] About time he [Stirk] got one,” said the manager.
“I think Stevenage was when he scored last (in November).
“[He showed] A little bit of quality, darting into the box and then tucking it away into the bottom corner.
“We got the goals at good times.”
The contest at Sands Venue Stadium was an entertaining one. The boss felt his side were clinical, but slightly fortunate to have a three-goal advantage at the interval.
“It [the game] pretty much [had] a bit of everything,” Nigel said.
“In the first 45 minutes, I thought we were a bit fortunate.
“I didn’t think it was a 3-0 first-half.
“We were fortunate with a couple of goals, I thought we played better in the second-half.”
After this afternoon’s victory, Mansfield move up to fourth in Sky Bet League Two, just three points off the automatics having played a game less.
“We don’t know how many victories we need to make the play-offs or even challenge the top three, but we’ll take them [the fixtures] one at a time,” the Stags’ chief said.
“To finish the run of seven [away matches] out of eight [league games], as we’ve just had, it sets us up nicely for the last six games.”
Top scorer Rhys Oates was again not included in the matchday squad due to a thigh problem.
The boss provided an update on his squad’s injury list.
“He’s [Rhys Oates] here today having a bit of treatment.
“He’s had a little jog yesterday but that’s all.
“We’ll just see how him and Jamie Murphy are [as we get closer] towards Friday [against Sutton].
“I would think Rhys Oates is more doubtful [to feature in the Easter weekend fixtures against Sutton and Carlisle] than Jamie Murphy.”
Full-back and scorer of the Stags’ second, Stephen McLaughlin was withdrawn on 45 minutes.
“That was a blow. [It was a] Tight hamstring, we’re not sure of the extent of it at this stage but that was an injury as well,” said the boss.
“With Laps [George Lapslie] being out suspended [and] Ollie Clarke out (groin), we can’t afford too many more [missing matches].”
Mansfield were backed by 2,028 Stags’ supporters this afternoon. Nigel was pleased the away faithful were able to witness a superb result.
“It was nice to see them all here. Enjoy the victory, enjoy the night.
“If nothing else, I think the connection between the team and the supporters has really been strengthened.”
Watch the boss' news conference now by clicking here.