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Fans have inspired us - gaffer

10 May 2022

Mansfield Town manager Nigel Clough has stated that his squad has been ‘inspired’ by the fans’ support this season as the Stags’ chief previewed this Saturday’s mouth-watering play-off semi-final first leg against Northampton at One Call Stadium.

The amber and blue finished seventh in the league, securing a play-off spot on the final day of the campaign with a 2-2 home draw against league winners Forest Green Rovers.

After sitting in a relegation spot after 14 games, Clough’s men shot up the table, breaking the club record of consecutive wins this season.

Speaking to the local media in his news conference this morning, the boss said: “The players are excited, and I think most of the supporters are.

“We’ve been inspired by them all season.

“We keep referring back to this poor run we had, and it was really during that time we felt it the most. The supporters didn’t turn on us, they stuck with us.

“I think they understood what was happening with the injuries we had, the suspensions we had and everything going against us.

“The One Call has been electric at times and I hope we’ve entertained them. We’ve scored quite a few goals and had some really good games.”

The first play-off tie will see the Stags face the Cobblers at One Call Stadium this Saturday in a 7:45pm kick-off.

“We haven’t got long to prepare in the week, but it is exciting to get here.

“I think there will be nerves around the place certainly, but I think they [the fans] will go into it with the same amount of optimism that we will.

“I think over the two games things can work either way, so we’ve got to try and not go into the second tie behind, that’s the priority.

“We’re four unbeaten and we’ve scored a few goals in the last four games so confidence is high. Injuries are not too bad at the moment, so I think all those things will help.”

Northampton are in the play-offs after a dramatic final day at the top of the table that saw the Cobblers win 3-1 away from home at Barrow but failed to gain an automatic promotion spot after a remarkable 7-0 win from Bristol Rovers sealed Northampton’s fate.

“They [Northampton Town] will have a renewed determination to not let that freakish final day ruin the season.

“It’s very hard to deal with, for an hour of the game you think you’re going up, you’re 3-0 up and with a seven or eight-goal swing you must be thinking you’re going up.

“You have to get your head around it, deal with it and move on to Saturday and I think we’ll be ready for it.”


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