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Gaffer pleased with ‘competitive’ Matlock workout

13 July 2022

Mansfield Town manager Nigel Clough says the ‘honest’ and ‘competitive’ nature of last night’s pre-season encounter away at Matlock Town was ‘ideal’ for his side’s 2022/23 preparations.

Hiram Boateng’s well-taken finish on 27 minutes was enough to secure a second successive pre-season win for the boss’ squad.

The Stags’ chief used the test in the Derbyshire Dales to get more minutes into several of his first team players.

Speaking to iFollow Stags after the game, Nigel said: “We’ve been coming here for 15 years and never had an easy game.

“That’s why we come [here] because it’s a good, honest [and] competitive game.

“[There are] Beautiful surroundings and [it’s] ideal for this stage of the preparation.”

Hiram Boateng impressed on the night. The former Crystal Palace man combined well with Lucas Akins before slotting Mansfield into the lead.

“I thought it was a lovely goal. I thought we put some good moves together today,” said the gaffer.

“We created a few chances but, obviously, it was a step up from Saturday [against Retford].

“It was a good goal and once Hiram gets into that position you fancy him to score.”

Forward Will Swan, who signed on a season-long loan deal from Nottingham Forest last Saturday, was also singled out by the boss for an encouraging display so early on into his Stags’ career.

“I thought Will Swan played well tonight.

“I thought he was unlucky not to get a goal. It was interesting seeing him upfront with Oatesy [Rhys Oates].

“We’ll probably have a look at a different pairing on Saturday [at home to Rotherham].”

The boss provided an injury update on some of his first team absentees.

“Kieran Wallace we’re probably looking at about four weeks.

“Kellan Gordon has got a chance for Saturday; we’re hoping he’s going to train on Thursday or Friday.

“Elliott Hewitt is probably [going to return closer] towards Oldham.”

The club announced the signing of Christy Pym on loan from Peterborough United on Tuesday evening. Fellow summer signing Scott Flinders played the entirety of the friendly in the Stags’ goal, keeping a hard-fought clean sheet.

“I thought Scott Flinders did very well,” Nigel said.

“When they [Matlock] did get in [on goal] he stood up and kept our clean sheet intact.

“We’re delighted with the two goalkeepers we’ve brought in and to work with young Owen Mason as well who will be the third choice and probably go out on loan.

“Christy has come in to play so we’ll have a look at him on Saturday.

“It’s like any other position; yes, we can start with a number one in mind but depending on form and things like that it’s not a guarantee to keep your place.

“If he [Pym] does well [then] he’ll keep his place.

“We did bring Scott in to challenge who [else] we brought in, but I think he’s done well enough in pre-season to suggest he can have the number one shirt if we needed it.”

With four summer recruits through the door already, the manager says the club are not yet finished in the transfer market.

“We’re still trying to get another loan in if we can and [then] one more player.

“I think that would complete the squad.

“You see tonight, once you do get a couple of injuries that we would struggle to field an 18 [man squad] on a Saturday apart from [the inclusion of the young lads.

“We’ve got another six weeks of the window [remaining].

“There’s always something that pops up in the last week or two – a loan or something like that.

“We always like to leave room for that.”

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