Mansfield Town manager Nigel Clough says his side must bounce back after Saturday’s 3-2 loss to Crawley and not let the result ‘derail’ the Stags as the squad look to build on their excellent home form in the visit of Newport County tomorrow night.
The weekend’s narrow defeat ended a sequence of seven league matches unbeaten.
Mansfield are hoping to get back to winning ways and extend a run of just one home league loss in over a year when former manager Graham Coughlan brings his recently acquainted Exiles’ squad to One Call Stadium.
Speaking about the club’s superb home form in a news conference today at RH Academy, Nigel said: “We have been [on a great run], it’s not just [been for] a few months now.
“You’re talking about the best part of a year, and I hope that Saturday’s defeat hasn’t damaged us sort of confidence wise.
“Defeats are so different.
“If you get on the bus on Saturday after a 2-2 or a 3-3 then everything keeps bubbling along.
“We can’t let one defeat derail us.
“We’re back at home [and we have] the chance to sort of gain some ground that we lost on Saturday, in the next four or five days.”
Defender Riley Harbottle was withdrawn on Saturday with a head injury and added to the gaffer’s injury list.
“He [Harbottle] was struggling a little bit after the game,” Nigel said.
“[It was] Sort of a delayed thing.
“He passed everything [medically] on the pitch and at half-time but wasn’t quite right [in the second-half].
“I would think he’ll be struggling for tomorrow night.
“Hopefully he [Stephen McLaughlin] will train on Monday afternoon and we’ll see how he is from there.
“[We’re] Not sure if his knee is at 100% yet. He’s had this niggle for a few weeks that he’s been playing with.
“We’re hoping so [that James Perch will be fit to be involved] if he’s recovered from his illness. As long as he’s physically okay and recovered strength wise, then he’ll be back in the squad.
“He’s [Kellan Gordon] not far away.
“This groin [injury] is just sort of niggling him. It’s just the last little bit [of rehabilitation], whipping the ball and crosses which are a major part of his game.
“Once again, I think he’ll be 50/50 for the Newport game.
“He’s [Rhys Oates] coming along very well.
“With us progressing now in the Papa Johns Trophy, the next round is scheduled to be around 22 November so it’s [that date] a target for him.
“It’s something like four weeks away. It’s a target for him to try and be fit for. As long as he hits all of his markers, that’s the game we’ve earmarked to play some game time.”
When asked about the loss in West Sussex, the gaffer said: “I’m disappointed first and foremost with the goals we conceded.
“I’m angry at myself for leaving Riley on when, despite him saying he was okay, we shouldn’t be taking chances with things like that.
“It [the performance] was [uncharacteristic] when we’re seven games unbeaten and we’d been difficult to create against and to score against.
“That wasn’t the case on Saturday which, ultimately, cost us the game.
“To be successful we have to show certain characteristics every week and we didn’t do that on Saturday.”
The Stags welcome Newport to One Call Stadium tomorrow night. The Exiles recently appointed former Mansfield manager Graham Coughlan to the helm.
“At home they’ve struggled so straight away he’s [Coughlan] gone in there and had an impact.
“They were at Crawley the week before and lost 2-1 and were unlucky second-half to lose that game. They had lots of chances.
“He’s gone in and had an impact.
“It’s incredible how the fixtures fall. His first away game and he’s coming back to Mansfield.
“It’s the new manager affect that we have to look out for.”