Mansfield Town manager Nigel Clough lauded his side’s defending at One Call Stadium tonight as they recorded a ‘very good clean sheet’ in a 0-0 draw with Carlisle United.
Tonight was the first match for Mansfield since the EFL schedule was halted at the weekend following the passing of Her Majesty, The Queen Elizabeth II on Thursday afternoon.
Nigel Clough’s men, still unbeaten at home in the league this season, battled to a hard-fought point after an impeccably observed tribute to the Late Monarch prior to the encounter.
Speaking to iFollow Stags, Nigel said: “I thought we worked unbelievably hard.
“[It was a] Very good clean sheet.
“I thought the back three, especially Elliott Hewitt, were very good indeed tonight.
“[We were] Battling more than our usual [selves] at home.
“We’re missing quality in [Rhys] Oates, [James] Perch, [Hiram] Boateng and [Will] Swan [and] that’s understandable.
“[I] Thought we were in a good groove after [the] Man City and Doncaster [victories].Then we’ve had 10 days without a game.
“[We] didn't look quite as fluent as we did before the break.
“Pymy [Christy Pym] made a couple of good saves when needed.”
The Stags’ boss does, however, feel his side should’ve had the lead when George Lapslie tapped into the net but was ruled offside on 17 minutes.
“George Lapslie’s goal should have counted, he’s onside,” said the gaffer.
“If we get that goal early on in the game, I think we win or at least get a point out of it.”
Mansfield, hit with injury and illness in recent weeks, named six players on the bench as the list of absentees increased prior to this evening’s game.
“Injuries and illness once again played a big part in the squad that was selected tonight,” the manager said.
“Players were missing, arguably three starters.
“Nights like these where you don't lose [are positive].
“There's plenty of other teams in League Two and in the country who lost at home tonight. We’re not one of them, we got another point.
“[If] They get a goal it makes them very hard to break down. We got a valuable point.”
The Stags’ chief made one change during the 90 minutes as his side looked for an opener.
“[I] Couldn't see a benefit [of making more than one change].
“You don’t want to lose the game as well.
“Kell [Kellan Gordon] is champing at the bit, but then you lose one of the best headers [of the ball] with Jordan [Bowery] who has an important role to play with set plays.
“That could be all it takes on a night like this. You can lose those games as easily as you can win them.
“It was us going for it as much as we could in the last 10/15 minutes.
“We went for it - putting Hawkins up for long throws.
“He got a couple of good flicks it just didn't quite drop for us.”
Prior to kick off, the Stags paid tribute to Her Late Majesty, The Queen Elizabeth II.
“[It was] Immaculate, as we would expect it to be,” Nigel said.
“[It] Started at Old Trafford last Thursday.
“I think it’s continued throughout sports and in the country ever since.”