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Stags produced dominant second-half display - boss

26 March 2022

Club News

Stags produced dominant second-half display - boss

26 March 2022

Mansfield Town manager Nigel Clough says his side ‘dominated’ and created ‘more than enough chances to win the game’ in a dramatic, second-half comeback victory away at Oldham.

The Stags were 2-1 winners at Boundary Park in a superb showing after the interval.

The gaffer’s squad have now won 19 matches out of their previous 26 in all competitions.

Speaking to the local media post-match, the boss said: “Right from the first minute of the second-half, we pretty much dominated and created more than enough chances to win the game.

“[There were] Two things that we were pleased about: getting in [with the score] 1-0 at half-time and then kicking towards our supporters [in the second-half].

“We knew if we got one [that] they would suck another goal in. They did that in the end.”

Striker Rhys Oates impressed against the Latics this afternoon. The former Hartlepool man scored Mansfield’s equaliser before creating George Lapslie’s winner.

“Oatesy [Rhys Oates] had two unbelievable strikes [his goal and the effort that cannoned off the post which led to Lapslie’s winner],” the boss said.

“I think he’d had three shots in the first 15-20 minutes of the game.

“He must’ve had eight or ten shots today.

“For one striker, that’s unbelievable.

“He’s [Oates] got a hammer of a shot.”

“I thought we [as a team] created more than enough chances in the second-half but we were quite wasteful in front of goal.

The boss made one change to the side that beat Rochdale 1-0 in midweek as Kieran Wallace slotted into the midfield in place of Ryan Stirk.

“[We wanted] Fresh legs, and we’re certainly going to be looking at that for Tuesday night as well,” he said.

“[There were] A lot of tired players out there, mentally, and physically.

“They’ve played a lot of football recently and we need to start utilising the strength of the bench.”

The significance of George Lapslie’s 95th minute winner will become clear in the next ten games. The manager praised his side for the character shown to beat a relegation-battling team.

“It [the last-minute winner] feels pretty important at the moment, I thought we were a little bit fortunate today,” the gaffer said.

“It’s incredible how the league table can define those moments.

“When you’re fighting at the bottom, things [don’t go for you].

“We hit the post in the 95th minute, it’s an incredible strike, and then Laps [George Lapslie] is following in and we get the [decisive] goal.

“When you’re down the bottom things like that just don’t go for you.”

The boss felt that periods of this afternoon’s encounter were challenging.

“I thought we started the game well today.

“I thought in the first 20 minutes we were in control but, again, we have to do more to get the first goal.

“They pop up with a goal and then for the rest of the first-half they played very well indeed.

“For 25 minutes we just wanted to get in at half-time [with the scoreline] at 1-0.”

Versatile forward Lucas Akins returned to the matchday squad after a two-game absence with a hamstring injury.

“We didn’t think he’d be back until Tuesday at the earliest,” said Nigel.

“He trained yesterday with no ill-affects.

Whether he starts Tuesday [or not] I’m not sure.

“Just George Maris (hamstring) and Ollie Clarke (groin) are the two missing at the moment.”

The Stags have scored in their previous four outings on the road.

“We try to be positive,” the manager said.

“We try to win games, even at Tranmere we go 2-2 and we don’t shut-up-shop we go for the win and end up losing it.

“At Port Vale we try to win the game and we end up making a mistake and losing.

“I think that was the difference in the last two away games, we haven’t made any mistakes.

“Stick with us and we’ll have an interesting last ten games.

“I think the run [is] in the last 26 games in all competitions, won 19, drawn three and lost four.

“[It is] Quite remarkable.”

Watch the gaffer’s interview on iFollow Stags now by clicking here.

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