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Quality of goals impress boss in Blades win

20 July 2022

Stags’ manager Nigel Clough praised ‘three very good goals’ in an excellent work out as his side beat Sheffield United 3-0 at One Call Stadium last night.

The gaffer was impressed with the way his squad approached the encounter in challenging, humid conditions against strong opposition.

Hiram Boateng scored a brace and Rhys Oates got on the scoresheet as Mansfield emerged as victors in the behind-closed-doors friendly.

Speaking to iFollow Stags after the match, Nigel said: “We scored three very good goals.

“[I am] Very pleased with ten days to go until the start of the season.

“We hung on in there and when we got the ball, I think we did ok with it tonight.”

Hiram Boateng was again a standout performer for the Stags and the gaffer was praiseworthy of the third goal on the night from the former MK Dons midfielder.

“It was a brilliant goal that stuck out because of the quality of the finish.

“I think it is a contender for goal of the season already.

“All three were [good] in terms of build ups.”

When asked what impressed Nigel the most, he said: “We restricted them to very few opportunities.

“[There were] Not too many scares [from Sheffield United].

“I thought we were a threat going the other way [too].

“The [3-5-2] system is working well at the moment, but [it’s] certainly not set in stone.”

Several changes to personnel throughout the contest allowed the manager to see some of his players operate in different positions. Forward Jordan Bowery played in the middle of a back three for parts of the match.

“[I see Jordan playing] Everywhere,” said the boss.

“He will probably get in the team every week where we need him.

“[His versatility is] Absolutely invaluable.

“Because of his good attributes, he can slot in everywhere.”

With the temperature during the day reaching 39 degrees Celsius, frequent substitutions were made throughout the contest to deal with the challenging demands of the evening humidity.

“We [the Stags’ coaching staff] felt that 60 minutes, which is the maximum any player did tonight, was the equivalent to 70/80 minutes in normal conditions,” said Nigel.

“We jigged it around, splitting the game into three thirds.

“It took some working out.

“People playing in different positions was another important factor tonight.

“We might need that throughout the season.”

The manager provided an update on the squad’s absent players.

“We had it all worked out [team selection] then we lost Will Swan this afternoon who felt his groin tighten up yesterday after training, it is nothing serious.

“[Kieran] Wallace is out for a few weeks as with his knee.

“Macca [Stephen McLaughlin] was out tonight with a tight Achilles.

“[Because of this,] We had to rip it all up and start again.”

With Swan not involved, the manager included transfer listed Danny Johnson in his playing squad.

“We were short of bodies tonight.

“Ideally, we didn’t want to risk him [Johnson] getting injured.

“It was good for him to get 45 minutes or so under his belt.

“He [Johnson] has never been a problem, ever since day one.

“In a footballing sense it has just not quite worked out.”

The boss also provided the latest regarding the club’s transfer activity as he hopes to bring in another forward player.

“We’ve had a few bids rejected in the last few weeks.

“There’s a possibility of one on loan.

“We’ve got a few plates spinning as the saying goes at the moment.”

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