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Club News

Squad is best I’ve been in – defender

16 May 2022

Club News

Squad is best I’ve been in – defender

16 May 2022

Defender Stephen McLaughlin says the current Stags’ squad is the ‘the best I have been in’ ahead of Mansfield’s much-anticipated play-off semi-final second leg at Sixfields, Northampton, on Wednesday.

In a news conference this morning at RH Academy – the club’s training ground – the 31-year-old also spoke about the Stags’ turnaround from the start of the season to seal a top-seven league finish.

The left-back also reflected on last Saturday’s 2-1 victory against Northampton in the play-off semi-final first leg at One Call Stadium.

McLaughlin, who recently scooped four Player of the Season trophies, said: “The dressing room is the best I have been in.

“Everybody works together and we are amazing together.
“On the pitch, when we went on that bad run [that saw the Stags languishing in the bottom two of the league], no one was panicking from the staff to the players.

“We knew that once it clicked, that we were going to do something special and I think to get the play-offs from where we were is a great achievement.

“At the start of the season, a lot of things were happening. A good few new players came through the door as well, so it took time for them to settle down.

“With a few injuries and suspensions from the lads, things were not able to settle down like it did with the other teams. Once we got settled down and into a rhythm, there was no stopping us really.”

Reflecting on the play-off semi-final first leg at the weekend, McLaughlin said: “It was good [to play in the game against Northampton].

“We had a good first half and scored two good goals. Maybe we should have scored more but it is a good result for the first leg.

“It was [crucial to have a lead heading into the second leg]. Other teams could have lost the game 3-2, but we dug it out and did what we needed to do.”

The left-back looked forward to the play-off semi-final second leg at Sixfields Stadium with over 1,400 travelling Stags fans set to make the trip to Northamptonshire.

“We are looking forward to it [Wednesday night’s second leg clash away at Sixfields]. It is a chance to get to Wembley and the boys are all buzzing ready to go again.

“When they [Stags fans] travel in their numbers, it is brilliant. It has been like this all season and at some grounds that we have been to, it feels like we were the home team.

“I cannot wait for it [Wednesday’s game away at Sixfields]. They have been amazing all season, with the drum banging and the fans singing from minute one to the 90th minute.

“It has been brilliant all season and I cannot wait to hear it on Wednesday night.”

Watch Macca's news conference in full now by clicking here.

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