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Record-breaking Stags’ performance was ‘remarkable’ – boss

29 January 2022

Mansfield Town manager Nigel Clough believes his side’s ability to not only set a new club record of eight successive victories, but to do so at a gusty One Call Stadium, was ‘remarkable’.

The Stags’ latest victory, a battling 2-0 home win over Leyton Orient this afternoon, is Mansfield’s 14th win in 16 matches across all competitions.

Speaking to the media on a historical afternoon, the boss said: “I think it’s remarkable, to do it in the [windy] conditions of today [was especially impressive].

“I defy any team in the country to play [their usual game] today, with the wind and the pitch. The wind makes it [the pitch] bobbly and dries it out.

“Ideally, we wanted a nice calm day – a bit of rain – but it was the exact opposite.

“Despite all that, we still managed to dig a result out.

“I think it’s one of our best clean sheets of the season in terms of restricting the opposition to so few efforts.

“At any level, anywhere [the record is exceptional].

“It’s 14 [victories] out of 16 [games] now [in all competitions].

“One of those losses was the Middlesbrough game.

“[They are] A confident bunch of lads.

“When you look round today at the bench and you see James Perch, Lucas Akins, Kieran Wallace, Richard Nartey, Jason Law and Danny Johnson – that gives us a lot of comfort as well.”

The Stags nullified Orient to limited chances, despite the weather difficulties.

“You worry about a long throw-in or a corner, but we managed to stop them even getting those,” the manager said.

“We would’ve been happy to get in at half-time at 0-0, so the goal was a big bonus.

“I thought we would play better in the second-half with the wind against us and we did.

“We got it down and we played much better at times when we could. “

The Stags’ opener from Jordan Bowery raised controversy from the O’s, who felt the forward handled the ball before smartly finishing.

“I just saw it go in,” said the Stags’ boss.

“I couldn’t see if it hit Jordan’s arm or not.

“The referee is looking at it [the Bowery goal], the linesman is looking at it.

“I haven’t watched it back so I couldn’t tell you one way or another [if it was handball].

“If it has caught his hand, [then] from the first four, five months of the season we’re certainly due a few to go our way.”

The second goal came courtesy of returning skipper, Ollie Clarke, who powered an excellent finish into the bottom corner on 72 minutes, much to the delight of the Stags’ chief.

“It was the perfect game for him to come back into. It was a heading, tackling, running, closing down, sort of game on a difficult surface.

“He’s as good with his left foot as his right at times and he does really strike it well.

“Once he kept it down, it was in.

“It was a lovely strike.

“We won a lot of games by one-goal margins, it’s nice to now win them by two-goal margins.”

Defender James Perch was brought on by the manager in the closing stages for his first appearance since fracturing his skull in mid-August.

“It wasn’t for sentimental reasons. It was to try and see the game out,” said the manager.

“We needed someone in there to sit in front of the back four and head it.

“To get him a few minutes was ideal.”

The gaffer provided an update on potential incomings and outgoings before the transfer deadline of Monday.

“Maybe [there will be] one in one out. We’ll see how it goes,” he said.

“Were under no pressure to get anybody out now.

“[We’re] Still not quite sure what Richard Nartey’s situation is yet with regards to Burnley.

“We’re ok in terms of numbers, as long as we can keep them fit.”

Watch the manager's interview in full here.

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