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Boss keen to build on fine away form

15 November 2022

Mansfield Town manager Nigel Clough says his players feel ‘confident’ away from home as the Stags prepare for a second successive away match in Sky Bet League Two, this Saturday at Harrogate Town.

The gaffer’s squad have won five from the previous six matches on the road.

Mansfield’s latest victory, 1-0 away at Rochdale at the weekend, ended a spell of four league games without a win.

With a schedule packed full of upcoming fixtures away from One Call Stadium, the boss feels his players have a great opportunity to build on the form that has provided the club with the sixth best away record in the division.

Speaking at a news conference at RH Academy today, Nigel said: “I think we’ve won five out of the last six away from home in the league.

“It’s strange the way it works in football to have this incredible home form for so long, the best part of a year. All of a sudden, we’re winning on the road more than we are at home.

“It works out [that way] in football sometimes, its [down to] confidence as well.

“The players are confident away from home at the moment. That’s not a bad thing, the next five [games] could be away from home.”

When asked what his squad will take away from their latest win on the road away at Rochdale on Saturday, he said: “[We take] Confidence [from the game].

“Having struggled in the previous three or four league games, we needed to get a result [at Crown Oil Arena]. It was a positive one.

“[I’m] Very very pleased with how we approached the game.

“The previous league game against Bradford was disappointing but also, we were too frantic and anxious. I thought and we rushed and hurried things. It’s born out of good intentions; we want to please the crowd. We want to get back in the game, but there’s a more measured way of doing it. We didn’t do it against Bradford.

“Then on Saturday we talked about ‘just relax a little bit we’re in a good position.’ We took that on board. We controlled large parts of the game [at Rochdale] and looked good, got our goal and looked after it [the lead].”

This weekend’s hosts, Harrogate, have proven to be a tough test for Mansfield in recent seasons.

“They’re a good team,” Nigel said. “Them and Sutton are the two teams we’ve struggled most against in the last couple of seasons. It would be nice to change that on Saturday.

“It’s a difficult place to go.

“The last thing you want to do is go 1-0 down against them.”

The boss provided the latest update on injury news.

“[There are] A few knocks from Saturday unfortunately.

“Oli Hawkins got another knock having missed the Bradford game, or most of it. He just about made Saturday; he’s got a knock from there.

“Ollie Clarke came off just after half-time injured.

“Riley Harbottle is still being treated, as is Stephen McLaughlin.

“Rhys Oates is hopefully nearing a return to joining in training. Not full contact yet but [he’s] getting close to it so that will be a big boost having him back involved.

“Harbottle and McLaughlin are the two that won’t be ready [for Saturday].

“This week should sort out it out [Will Swan’s hand injury] and hopefully he’ll be back involved [on Saturday].”

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