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Excellent away support was ‘boost’ in Bradford win - manager

26 February 2022

Mansfield Town manager Nigel Clough praised the added ‘boost’ of having over 2,000 Stags’ fans backing his side’s superb 2-0 victory away at Bradford this afternoon.

The gaffer’s side are now unbeaten in Sky Bet League Two in three successive months after ending December, January, and February without league defeats.

 

Speaking to the media post-match, the boss said: “[The supporters were] Absolutely unbelievable.

 

“You’d have thought the home side had scored when Oatesy’s goal went in, such was the noise.

 

“When Matty Longstaff’s [goal] rolls in in front of them, [it ensured it was] another day out for them to enjoy.

 

“It’s a massive boost [to have such an away following].

 

“You don’t want to let them down; I’m pleased to say we didn’t today.”

 

The game was newly-appointed Bradford manager, Mark Hughes’ first game in charge. The Stags’ chief feels his players dealt well with the occasion amidst a bumper crowd in west Yorkshire. 

 

“[It was] A tough day, but a brilliant day,” he said.

 

“It was an unbelievably hard game today with the crowd and the new manager, I thought they played very well and put us under pressure for a few little spells. 

 

“I thought we had enough situations, especially in the first 20 minutes, to get a goal [earlier in the contest].”

 

Mansfield eventually took the lead just before half-time courtesy of a superb Rhys Oates goal in the forward’s return to the side after injury. 

 

“It was a wonderful goal,” the gaffer said.

“With Rhys Oates that’s what you miss [when he’s not in the squad]. 

 

“That sort of threat, when he’s one on one with the defender and he finishes like that with his left foot as well, [what a] brilliant goal.

 

“[The goal was] Worth it for all the fans that came to see it.”

 

With suspensions to defenders Oli Hawkins and John-Joe O’Toole the manager praised his defenders for keeping a clean sheet.

 

“[They did] Very well,” he said.

 

“Lucas (Akins) you see how invaluable he is.

“In the last few games, he’s played left back at Bristol Rovers and kept a clean sheet, he’s played centre forward at Newport and then gone to right-back today.

 

“Very few players in the country at any level can do that and keep the consistency that he does. 

 

“Faz Rawson came back in [and did] brilliantly, he competed with Cooky (Andy Cook) and got his blocks in and won his headers. 

 

“Elliott Hewitt is another one who can move across the back four. 

 

“I thought Stephen McLaughlin was very good today.

 

“He was captain for the day, and I thought he played very well.”

 

The victory ends a spell of three successive away matches and the boss took pleasure in how few opportunities this afternoon’s opponents created.

 

“I think in the first 20 minutes we dealt with it [the large crowd at Utilita Energy Stadium] brilliantly. 

 

“They had a little spell after that. They had a little ten or 15 minutes in each half [where they had possession] but that was all.

 

“It’s nice [to get an away victory] when you’ve had a couple of draws on the road.”

 

Watch the gaffer's interview in full now by clicking here.


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