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Stags unity central to club record – skipper

29 January 2022

Mansfield Town captain Ollie Clarke says the squad’s togetherness has contributed to the team’s club record breaking run of eight consecutive victories, following Stags’ impressive 2-0 victory over Leyton Orient.

The midfielder says the team have become a ‘close unit’ since the beginning of their incredible run in late October. 

The number eight netted Mansfield’s second of the game, having linked up well with Stephen McLaughlin before powering the ball home from range. 

The skipper was impressed with the way his teammates dug in to overcome a dogged Leyton Orient side.  

“We’ve come away with a win and it’s an enjoyable feeling,” he said.  

“The defensive unit won their headers. We had [Oli] Hawkins dealing with [Harry] Smith up top. We won the majority of our headers back there. 

“As a front line we pressed until the final minute, and we kept making them pass back to the goalie. I think it forced errors into their play and that’s what won us the game in the end. That’s how we want to play.”  

Clarke netted his fourth league goal of the season on 72 minutes, a well taken 20-yard drive that beat Orient ‘keeper Lawrence Vigouroux. 

“Macca [Stephen McLaughlin] is trying to claim that he brought it down for me,” said Clarke.  

“It bobbled off his foot to the left, onto my left foot and I’ve just struck it cleanly. I thought I’d try and strike it low and hard, and it went past everyone into the bottom corner. 

“It was a great feeling walking off the pitch. 

“It’s a good place to be, the fans [were] absolutely bouncing.” 

The 29-year-old credited the close-knit feeling amongst the Stags players in breaking the club record for consecutive league victories. 

“We had our Christmas do in November and since then I think we’ve won every game [in the league],” said Clarke. “It’s brought everyone closer together.  

“I think the lads are really fighting for each other and digging in deep. That’s what we want to see. 

“We knew we had it within ourselves to go on a good run. 

“Obviously to set a record of eight consecutive wins is massive and long may that continue for us. We’ve got to just keep ticking games off as they come. We’re not looking any further ahead than Harrogate on Tuesday night and that’s when the hard work starts again.” 

Watch Ollie's interview in full by cliking here.


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