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Boss delighted as Stags have lift-off

6 August 2022

Mansfield Town manager Nigel Clough expressed his delight at a ‘very good all-round performance’ as Stags earned a first win of the season by beating Tranmere 1-0 at One Call Stadium this afternoon.

A header from Nottingham Forest loanee Riley Harbottle secured all three points in the Stags' first home game of the season.  

Mansfield could have had more goals following a plethora of chances in the contest.

At the other end, goalkeeper Christy Pym was in fine form, making two smart stops.

Speaking to iFollow Stags after a dominant display, the gaffer said: “We’re up and running, which is the most important thing

“I thought the performance was excellent and the result even better. 

“You can see how we’re going to try and play this season, and all that was missing in the first hour was a goal. 

“Once we got that one, we played a little more and really should have gone on and got a second.

“Our general all-round football was very good indeed. We need a little more creativity and incisiveness, but I thought the chances we created in the second half, we should have got more than one goal.

“Having said that, we needed Christy Pym twice; a sloppy back pass from Jordan [Bowery, meant] he was called into action and then one in the second-half. He did his job and kept the clean sheet intact.

“We conceded two chances in 97 minutes. We’ll take that.”

On the decisive goal, scored by Harbottle in the 60th minute, the manager said:
“I’ve just spoken to him [Riley] and he’s said it’s definitely his. But then JJ said it’s him. If it comes down to a fight, I’d back JJ!

“They’re both adamant they scored, but we don’t really care – if it’s an own goal or anything, it’s one which wins is the game.”

The boss also praised the home debutants, in particular Man of the Match Hiram Boateng. 

“I thought he was an outstanding player on the pitch today. 

“He’s just a lovely player when he gets the ball at his feet, [he] can make things happen. 

“I think there is a lot more to come from him, we’ve just got to get the ball to him as much as we can.” 

The boss also expressed his satisfaction at the new five-substitution rule, saying it played a key role in today’s game. 

“Unfortunately you lose a couple again, Oli Hawkins has come off with a tight hamstring. 

“We’ve said we are going to be playing catch up for the first month or two of the season. 

“[With] the five subs, when you can change half the outfield players as we can do, they are going to be absolutely vital and they played a key role today.”  

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