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Gaffer: Stags ‘magnificent’ despite cup exit

26 November 2022

Mansfield Town manager Nigel Clough says his side were ‘absolutely magnificent’ at Sheffield Wednesday but missed opportunities eventually led to Stags’ Emirates FA Cup second round exit this afternoon.

Stags took the lead on 34 minutes through George Lapslie but two late goals from Michael Smith snatched cup progression from the hands of the boss’ side at Hillsborough.

Despite the result, Nigel lauded his team’s display in Sheffield.

Speaking to iFollow Stags post-match, he said: “We missed too many chances and ultimately failed to defend a couple of attacks that they had.

“Apart from that, I thought we were absolutely magnificent today.

“We should’ve been 2-0 up [early on].

“We certainly should’ve been 1-0 up after a minute and then Hiram Boateng has another good chance from outside the box.”

The boss continued: “I thought we were good all over the pitch.

“Apart from two isolated incidents in 98 minutes, we defended brilliantly.

“We restricted them to very few opportunities.”

Stags operated with a four at the back this afternoon.

“I thought it worked well,” the manager said.

“I thought we looked dangerous when we had the ball and we looked compact without it.”

On Wednesday’s crucial late goals, the Stags’ chief added: “The first one has gone between full-back and centre-half which shouldn’t happen.

“You have to close those gaps. The second one - we’ve not dealt with the diag [diagonal pass].

“We think it’s handball in the build-up. Two or three players around him are absolutely convinced it’s touched his arm but I didn’t think we got a decision anywhere on the pitch today.”

The performance offers encouragement following a 3-0 loss at Harrogate last weekend.

“That’s how we’d like to play,” said the gaffer.

“When we do play well and we’re on it, you see us knocking it around and creating the chances we did today.

“I’d take that performance between now and the rest of the season certainly.”


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