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This is the ‘best place for me’ – O’Toole

26 January 2022

Club News

This is the ‘best place for me’ – O’Toole

26 January 2022

Mansfield Town defender John-Joe O’Toole says that boss Nigel Clough and the club's 'setup' were key factors in extending his contract last week.

Since the 33-year-old’s arrival, Mansfield have catapulted  into the play-off places, after sitting as low as 23rd in the league earlier in the season.

Speaking to the media, O’Toole expressed his reasons for staying with the Stags and signing a two-and-a-half-year deal.

“The manager and the way things are going here [confirmed my decision to stay], the set up we’ve got here [is excellent],” he said.

“Everything about the club has been really good.

“All in all, this was the best place for me."

Since the former Burton man’s arrival, Mansfield have gone on a run of 13 victories from 15 matches, a key factor in the defender extending his previous short-term deal.

“I was desperate to get in anywhere when I first signed,” he said.

“Coming here and getting the opportunity to play [has been great] and it seems to have really clicked.

“We’ve really gone up the league [since O’Toole’s arrival] and we’ve got a real chance now of really making something of this season.

“I enjoy coming in every day. I obviously know the manager from my time at Burton and Garns [Andy Garner] and Cros [Gary Crosby], they’re brilliant to work with.

“It’s great. We’re doing well, and we’ve just got to make sure we carry it [the excellent run of form] on now.

“As good as it is winning seven [league games] on the bounce, it’s not going to count for much if we just go backwards.

“We’ve got to keep the performances going and make sure we’re up there [in the top seven] come the end of the season.”

The Stags’ number 35 has formed an excellent relationship with the fans during his time at One Call Stadium.

“There seems to be a buzz about the place,” said O’Toole.

“When the fans are right behind you [it helps the players].

“They [the Mansfield supporters] have been brilliant, certainly since I’ve been here.

“They’ve been right behind the team, and it shows.

“When they’re right behind you it just helps, especially when you’re going to places like Barrow and they’re cheering every kick.”

Saturday’s heroic, ten-man victory away at Barrow equalled a club record of seven league victories, aiding the Stags’ push for promotion.

“We don’t want to get ahead of ourselves,” O’Toole said.

“We’ve got to keep our feet firmly on the ground but it’s clear from the second I walked in that there’s everything here [to succeed].

“There’s a great changing room, you need hard-work [to get promoted], you need people to finish [off chances].

“You need a bit of everything and I think that’s in that dressing room.

“We’ve got a great manager and coaching staff.

“Out of everyone we’ve played this year, there’s been no one that has blown me away or had me thinking; ‘they’re probably the best team in this league’.”

“I haven’t really seen that [from another side] and I think that’s down to us more than them.”

Watch JJ’s interview in full now by clicking here.

Purchase tickets for this weekend's clash with Leyton Orient by clicking here.

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