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We performed well but must take chances - gaffer

13 August 2022

Mansfield Town manager Nigel Clough says his side should have taken something from this afternoon’s 1-0 loss at Leyton Orient.

Charlie Kelman’s strike on 63 minutes was the difference as Mansfield were made to rue several golden opportunities in East London.

Stephen McLaughlin’s penalty inside the first minute, combined with a catalogue of other near misses, left the Stags’ chief wanting more from the game.

Speaking to iFollow Stags post-match, Nigel said: “Definitely [we should’ve got something from the game].

“To have at least three one-on-ones in the game, miss a penalty after 30 seconds of the game [and] situations that we had throughout [and not score is disappointing].

“We’ve conceded a relatively soft goal again.

“[The goal was] Good football from their point of view but I think we have to defend it a little bit better.

“Ultimately, that’s the game.

“Performance wise, we were very good coming away from home.

“I thought it was a very good performance.”

Forward Rhys Oates had the lion’s share of Stags’ chances. Last season’s top scorer was denied well by Lawrence Vigouroux on four occasions.

“He’s won the penalty which should be in the back of the net and then he’s gone clear at least three other times and hit the goalkeeper each time.

“One of these days they’ll go under him [the goalkeeper], through his legs or something like that.

“We just need a little break [of the ball] at the moment but [our] general performance and stuff like that was very, very pleasing.”

The boss switched his side’s formation in the opening 45 minutes.

“We went to a back four [in the first-half],” he said.

“We’re not set in stone with one formation.

“I didn’t think [the switch] was to our detriment and I didn’t think it was anything negative.”

Tuesday night’s goalscorer Oli Hawkins was not named in the matchday squad.

“[He felt his] Hamstring yesterday in training,” Nigel said.

“It’s difficult coming here at the best of times especially when there’s no Hawkins, Akins, Bowery and you lose arguably your best player, Hiram Boateng, before half-time.”

Hiram Boateng’s withdrawal from proceedings in the 45th minute added to Stags’ injury list.

“[He has a] Tight hamstring.

“They’re putting an awful lot of effort in.

“It’ll take us a few weeks to get up to speed but we could do without injuries because it’s putting a strain on the others.”

When asked if any of his absent players will return for Tuesday evening’s match at home to AFC Wimbledon, the gaffer said: “Jordan Bowery is available [after suspension] I can tell you that,” he smiled.

“I’m not sure about Oli Hawkins, Lucas and Hiram.”

“Two hamstrings [injuries] and a groin.

“Unlikely [that they’ll be fit], but we’ll see.”

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