Mansfield Town manager Nigel Clough says his squad have played ‘five good games’ this pre-season as his side prepare for next Saturday’s 2022/23 season opener at Salford City.
Across those five matches, the Stags scored 14 times — conceding just once.
This afternoon’s 3-0 victory at Oldham ensured Mansfield ended their pre-season campaign unbeaten after a draw against Rotherham and victories over Retford, Matlock and Sheffield United.
Speaking to iFollow Stags pitchside after a dominant display at Boundary Park, the gaffer said: “We’ve had five good games.
“We’re very pleased defensively with the fact we’ve only conceded the one goal, a corner against Rotherham.
“We’ve got away with a couple [of missed opportunities]. We did against Sheffield United, and we did again today.”
The boss, again, used the entirety of his outfield matchday squad as his players gained further match fitness.
“I thought we were a little bit lethargic today [at times],” he said.
“We’ve had a tough week against Rotherham and Sheffield United.
“A few lads are catching up [on match fitness] and it looked like that.
“We kept a clean sheet again and I thought we scored three very good goals.
“The main chances they [Oldham] had came through our mistakes - a little bit through fatigue - but good to get the final one [pre-season match] out the way.”
This afternoon saw the boss’ injury list possibly extend. The Stags’ chief provided the latest on his squad’s absentees.
“Jason Law, first of all, he had a dead leg last week and he got another whack on it. He was the first one to come off.
“JJ [O’Toole] has got a whack on his knee so we’ll have to see how that settles.
“Riley [Harbottle] is okay. He was coming off anyway, he got poked in the eye.
“George Lapslie felt his thigh after training yesterday - just tight. There was no point in risking him.
“Quinny with his hip, he got a whack against Sheffield United [and] trained yesterday but was a little bit uncomfortable [afterwards].
Again, there’s no point in risking him.
“We think there will be no Wallace [for the Salford fixture next week].”
Mansfield have signed five players this summer. The gaffer is pleased at how his latest additions are settling in.
“Will Swan looked very good today,” said Nigel.
“Hiram Boateng, again, was excellent.
“[As did] Christy Pym.
“The players that we’ve brought in have improved us and that’s the aim.”
Striker Danny Johnson joined Walsall on loan until 15 January 2023 this afternoon.
“Danny has gone out to Walsall so it leaves us with a space [in the squad] if we can fill it,” said the boss.
“We’re pleased with James Gale in the last week or so.
“He struggled a bit [in the] early pre-season but I think he’s done well in the games as of late.
“If we don’t get another forward player in, it might be that we’ll be using him which is absolutely fine.
“Whoever we bring in has to be better than him.
“We’ve had some bids turned down in the last couple of weeks.
“There’s a chance of one in and one out [before the Salford match].
“Maybe a couple of ins, we’ll see.
“We’ve got that space with Danny going out.”
Ahead of next weekend’s 2022/23 curtain raiser at Salford, the manager outlined his hopes for the campaign.
“[The aim is] To improve on last season’s achievements, that’s it,” he said.
“We made the play-off getting from second from bottom [to Wembley].
“Hopefully, we won’t have that extended poor run and we’ll be there or there abouts.
“I think we’ve got the squad to do that.”