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Manager hails ‘needed’ victory

12 November 2022

Mansfield Town manager Nigel Clough has hailed his side’s ‘competent and composed’ performance as Stags delivered a ‘needed’ 1-0 win at Rochdale this afternoon.

Midfielder George Maris fired home the winner on 66 minutes at Crown Oil Arena.

The victory comes after successive home league defeats to Swindon and then Barrow in midweek.

Speaking to iFollow Stags post-match, the boss said: “We needed it.

“I thought it was a very, very competent and composed performance.

“The three points are massively welcome when we’ve lost three out of four in the league.

“The manner in which we did it was as pleasing as anything today.

“From the first minute I thought we played well.

“We were on the front foot.

“It was just [a question of] whether we could create enough chances, or somebody could get us a goal today.

“Christy [Pym] has had one long range shot to save and very little else.

“I thought we defended well, kept the ball well and we just needed a break in the box.”

Stags were without key players Oli Hawkins and Stephen Quinn at home to Bradford in midweek. Both returned to the starting XI today.

“Today we had a couple of them [important performers] back.

“I thought we got the right team, the right formation and the subs, as always, made an impact.”

The gaffer was still made to shuffle his pack in Greater Manchester.

“George Maris, I think, has played every minute of every game recently so he was ready to come out,” he said.

“The plan was to give George Lapslie a breather and play Will Swan.

“His [Swan’s] hand didn’t feel right in training yesterday. He got a whack. “Somebody stood on it against Bradford on Tuesday.

“It swelled up and he was in hospital until five o’clock on Wednesday morning getting it checked out.

“In training, it was too sore and then in the warm-up [today] we said, ‘can you go on the bench?’ but he was just too conscious of it in the warm-up.

“That’s why we put Galey [James Gale] on the bench and changed it.

“Laps [George Lapslie] unfortunately needed that rest because he’s just got a hamstring strain.”

Nigel went on to emphasise the importance of Stags’ win.

“It feels big today,” the boss said.

“First of all, we didn’t want back-to-back defeats but when you’ve lost three out of four [then] you need to get a win.

“We’ve won six out of eight on the road and our home form has suffered a little bit in the last couple of games against two very good sides.

“We just needed the three points today.”

When asked about Riley Harbottle, Stephen McLaughlin and Rhys Oates’ return dates, Nigel said: “Harbottle and McLaughlin, I’m not quite sure.

“They’ll be [out] a few weeks.

“Oatesy is coming on well.

“If everything goes according to plan, he’ll join in training, full training, this week - maybe Wednesday.

“We’ll be very cautious with that.

“You never know, we might get him on the bench for Hillsborough.”

Mansfield were backed by over 1,100 travelling supporters this afternoon.

“We couldn’t believe it,” Nigel said.

“First of all, the number.

“On the back of the run we’ve had - three out of four league defeats.

“To come in those numbers and back us in the way they did is incredible.”


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