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Stags' latest on striker search

30 August 2022

Mansfield Town manager Nigel Clough has provided an update on Stags’ hunt for a striker before Thursday’s summer transfer window deadline of 11pm.

The boss saw his side stage a fightback to overcome Manchester City under-21s 3-2 in the Papa Johns Trophy tonight at One Call Stadium.

Despite the experienced Lucas Akins and the youthful James Gale both notching on the night, the gaffer says the club have identified potential forward targets to fill the void left by the injured Rhys Oates.

Speaking after the game, Nigel said: “Ideally, we would just like one to cover for Rhys to get us through.

“If we don't get one [in] you've seen James Gale is more than capable of stepping in, but we could probably do with someone a bit more established.

“There is no direct Rhys Oates replacement out there with his direct play, so we just need someone who can run around, cause a problem and nick us the odd goal.

“I think we have enquired for probably about 30 players in the last few weeks but for whatever reason, they have either gone to a higher level or financially it can't be done, we are still looking.

“We are down to about four or five [targets] now so we will keep chasing them.

“We have had a couple of enquiries from elsewhere for our players, but we're not interested in letting anyone go.”


The manager spoke after an action-packed Papa Johns Trophy thriller against a strong City squad.

“I think we looked at the clock on about 14 minutes and it could have been 3-3 with the chances, and I think that continued throughout,” said the boss.

“We got away with it in added time when Scott Flinders made a great save with his legs, and they hit the bar as well. It was that sort of game and [the score] could have been anything.

“There were that many chances, and I thought we had as many of them throughout the course of the game.

“The only disappointing thing was that we conceded from two long balls.

“The first was a mix-up between Scott Flinders and Kellan Gordon who both thought the other was going for it and we thought the other was a yard offside over Macca's head [Stephen McLaughlin].”

“That's the thing, as much as they passed, passed, passed and got in, they can also hit you with that long ball as well and it was very reminiscent of watching their first team.

“It causes you just so many problems.

“You can see they play just like the first team, so many things are similar.

“I would have liked to have just watched it and not been involved with it as I am sure for those watching it, it must have been a very good game.

“I just said to the ref, you must have enjoyed watching it, and he said it was tough physically with the pace of the game.”

The gaffer believes this evening’s game came at a perfect time ahead of an away contest at Doncaster Rovers this Saturday as Stags look for their first points of the season on the road.

“After Saturday's disappointment, to be back at home makes a huge difference,” he said.

“That is 24 consecutive games we've scored in at home, and not just the odd goal here or there.

“We've scored a lot here and you can see the confidence just flowing through us.

“We now need to fix the away form and the home form takes care of itself.

“It's nice to win a game straight after losing and we will go to Doncaster now on Saturday in a better frame of mind than if we'd had a clear week and some people have got minutes in their legs that they needed.”

The boss provided the latest update on injuries.

“Hiram [Boateng] is not quite right with his hamstring so another four days will benefit him.

“John-Joe O’Toole injured his foot on Saturday. He’s a doubt for Doncaster.

“Oli Hawkins [has an] illness. It’s a bug so it all depends how he is [before Saturday]. We’ll just have to see how he is in the next few days.”

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