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We showed excellent character - Gaffer

5 November 2022

Mansfield Town manager Nigel Clough has lauded his side’s ‘character’ to see out a 1-0 win at Barrow and progress into the second round of this season's Emirates FA Cup.

Stags delivered a well-fought response to losing 5-2 at home to Swindon Town last weekend.

The amber and blue battled the elements to beat the Bluebirds for a third time in 2022.

Speaking to iFollow Stags post-match, Nigel said: “I’m delighted.

“The character that we’ve shown today [was superb].

“The only way that we were going to get anything from the game at all was by showing an immense amount of character.

“They’ve scored something like six goals here in the last couple of games.

“You have to defend as though your life depends upon it and I thought we did that in the second-half.

“They [Barrow] throw the ball in the box and they cause you problems and that’s why they are where they are in the league. 

“I couldn’t think of a tougher draw for us coming somewhere like this in these conditions. 

“I thought it was two very honest teams going at it.”

The conditions had an impact on proceedings with puddles on the surface at times dictating the flow of the game.

“We were a little bit direct that we normally are,” the boss said.

“It wasn’t ideal conditions to play through midfield. 

“We tried to keep two up there to get that second goal but it was about sensible play today.”

Oli Hawkins scored the match-winner and helped keep a clean sheet in an excellent display.

“I thought, first of all, he was outstanding in his defensive play.

“Then, he’s popped up towards the end of the first-half and he’s swivelled and put it in.

“He’s a very important player in both penalty areas for us as he proved today.”

Nigel made two changes at the break. Stephen Quinn and Anthony Hartigan were replaced by Ollie Clarke and Kieran Wallace.

“Stephen Quinn was injured,” he said.

“He got a whack on the back of the knee so he couldn’t continue.

“I would think he’d be a doubt for Tuesday [at home to Bradford City].

“Anthony Hartigan had been booked and was on a yellow card; we’d gone down to ten men in the previous two games. 

“We didn’t want any problems again in that area.

“With the conditions today, it’s one slip or mistimed challenge and he could find himself with a second yellow.

“Ollie Clarke didn’t start because his knee has been a bit sore this week.

“I thought him and Kieran [Wallace] did very well when they came on.”

When asked who the boss wants to draw in the next round of the Cup, Nigel said: “Just please be at home. 

“230 odd supporters came up today.

“They deserve a home draw as much as anybody.

“We’ve been on the road too much. 

“Five out of seven in the Cup draws [have been away].

“It would be nice to get somebody at home and give us a chance of getting into the third round.”


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