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Stags’ support is key to home record – Garner

12 October 2022

Mansfield Town first team coach Andy Garner says Stags’ incredible support is key to the club’s magnificent home form.

Mansfield have lost just one home league match since October 2022 and the 56-year-old hopes the Stags’ supporters will ‘drive’ Nigel Clough’s side towards extending that sequence of sparkling form at One Call Stadium this Saturday.

Stags host Walsall this weekend at the earlier kick-off time of 1pm. Victory over the Saddlers could see Mansfield climb, perhaps briefly, into the automatic positions in Sky Bet League Two.

Speaking to iFollow Stags in a news conference on Tuesday at RH Academy, Andy said: “The support helps. They’ve [the fans] been incredible to us ever since we’ve been here.

“The noise they make is absolutely fantastic.

“That must spur the players on.

“I want to say a quick word to the supporters at Barrow. There’s no better feeling after the game than going over to clap them and hopefully they had a safe trip home.

“It’s been a good place for us at home, but things can happen, [such as] the Hartlepool 2-2.

“We’re a force at home. We need the fans to get behind us on Saturday and hopefully they’ll drive us on [to victory].”

The Stags are six unbeaten in the league. A 1-0 win away at Barrow was the latest victory in a healthy sequence of matches without defeat.

“Away from home, it’s always difficult,” said Andy.

“On Saturday we were very scrappy.

“It wasn’t a great performance; I don’t think they [Barrow] performed very well as well.

“He [the gaffer] was very calm [at half-time] and just said ‘make sure you’re better in the second-half’. I think we were a little bit better.”

Mansfield’s number nine, Jordan Bowery headed home the winner at Holker Street, much to the enjoyment of his coach.

“About time,” Andy said smiling.

“It’s important to get your first goal.

“It’s taken a long time, like I told him, but now he has got his first goal hopefully he can take it on and get a few more for us.

“I’ve got a lot of time for Jordan.

“Jordan’s one of those frustrating ones, and I’ll tell him that.

“I want him to score more goals.

“All I want him to do, like he did on Saturday, is get in the box at the right time and the right place and get a few more goals for us.”

Stephen McLaughlin was withdrawn at Barrow due to injury. The club’s first team coach provided the latest on the Irishman’s fitness levels.

“It’s not looking brilliant at the minute but then again it changes very quickly with Macca.

“We’ll see how he goes. He’s usually one of those that trains every day.

“A couple of days off the training pitch won’t hurt him. We’ll see on Friday [how he is] and hopefully he’ll be okay [to play against Walsall].”

When asked if forward Will Swan would be returning to training this week after illness, Andy said: “Hopefully. I think he’s down to train today [Tuesday].

“[Riley Harbottle also] Came off [at Barrow]. I think he’s okay.

“We’ve just got to be very careful. We were short on numbers on Saturday.

“Kell [Kellan Gordon] Is running today. I thought he would have a chance [of returning] last Saturday but I think he’s had a little bit of a setback last week so he’s just doing runs, no ball involvement.

“[Anthony Hartigan] Is training with us today so that is absolutely fantastic news. That’s really pleasing.”

The weekend’s opposition, Walsall, have won their previous two matches in the league, ending a run of nine Sky Bet League Two games without a victory.

“[They’ve had] Back-to-back wins. There’s a bit of confidence in their team.

“We expect a hard game but as long as we’re right, we look forward to playing them on Saturday.

“They’ve been a team that have probably expected a few more wins.

“They’ll be a hard team to play against.”

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