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Gaffer praises Stags’ performance

5 April 2022

Mansfield Town manager Nigel Clough says his side were ‘very, very good’ in this evening’s narrow 1-0 loss at league leaders Forest Green Rovers.

The Stags remain 6th, inside the Sky Bet League Two play-off places.

In his post-match interview with the local media, the boss praised Mansfield’s display against the table-toppers.

“I thought we were very, very good tonight for an away side coming to the top of the league,” said the gaffer.

“I thought we started the game brilliantly.

“[In the] First ten, 15 minutes we created a great chance.

“Lucas just screwed one wide; we could’ve changed the game if that had gone in.

“Even right to the end, it was us pressing.

“Bish has had a couple of saves in which he has done very well tonight.

“We take an awful lot of heart out of tonight.

“No points unfortunately, which is what we need at this time of the season.

“I thought we were good tonight.”

Stags’ midfielder George Lapslie was shown a straight red card for a challenge on Ebou Adams on 50 minutes. The boss was displeased with the referee’s decision to dismiss the 24-year-old.

“I didn’t think it [the red card] changed the game because we played well [but] I think it was an incorrect decision,” the manager said.

“You don’t work with many more honest and genuine lads than George Lapslie, you saw his reaction on the pitch.

“He didn’t make contact with the player and the referee is five yards away [from the incident].

“The lad got up, played the rest of the game, and committed maybe five or six fouls and avoided [another] yellow card himself tonight.”

The Stags’ chief withdrew Oli Hawkins at half-time with the versatile defender on a yellow card.

“He’s [Hawkins] on 13 bookings now, two more bookings and he misses three games.

“We’ve got to be careful with that.

“If James Perch had been 100% fit after his illness, [then] the plan was to leave Oli [on the bench] tonight and start Perchy.”

Nigel said his side need to put this evening’s result behind them ahead of another match on the road away at Scunthorpe this Saturday.

“They [Forest Green] are the best team in the league and concede very, very few goals here.

“I thought they were a little bit wary of us.

“It’s important that we bounce back, we certainly don’t want back-to-back defeats at this stage.

“We’ll get an attacking side out [away at Scunthorpe on Saturday] and take the game to Scunthorpe.”

The manager provided an update on the likelihood of absent forwards Rhys Oates and Jamie Murphy returning in time to face the Iron at the weekend.

“[They’re] Doubtful, but we’ll see,” Nigel said.

“One’s [Murphy] got a hamstring [injury], one’s [Oates] got a thigh injury.

“We’re not quite sure yet [if they’ll feature].

“We’ll see how they go.

“We’re not saving them for anything or anybody at this stage of the season, if we can get them out there, we will.”

Watch the manager's interview in full by clicking here.

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