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Gaffer evaluates draw with Rochdale

10 April 2023

Manager Nigel Clough was pleased with Mansfield’s general play but said Stags’ finishing was ‘all that was missing’ in their 1-1 home draw with Rochdale.

The hosts raced into the lead through a quality finish from Hiram Boateng. That was before Owen Dodgson equalised two minutes before the break.

Mansfield dictated the game’s play and recorded 20 shots but found Rochdale ‘keeper Richard O’Donnell in top form .

The gaffer credited his side’s endeavour to find a go-ahead-goal in the second half.
“You can’t not be [pleased with Mansfield’s approach play] to have had over 20 shots,” he told iFollow Stags after the match.

“I thought we should’ve scored more than four against Crawley with 27 [shots]. And we certainly should’ve scored more than one today. That’s all that’s missing.

“Our general play today was probably better than it was against Crawley and better than it was at Swindon. We just didn’t have that finishing touch or quality to put the ball in the back of the net.

“We penned them in for 15 to 20 minutes [at the start of the second-half] and had chance after chance. Their goalkeeper made two or three fantastic saves for them. I thought the times we did hit the target, he made two or three outstanding saves, but we didn’t do it often enough.”

Nigel felt Mansfield should’ve built on their positive start to put the game out of sight.

“[I’m] hugely frustrated and disappointed not to get the three points,” he said. “[We had] enough chances, situations, everything today.

“We started off brilliantly and then all of a sudden for 10 or 15 minutes we stopped doing the things that we were doing.

“[Our] goal was probably as good a one as you’ll see football-wise today. It was a brilliant goal, the build-up and everything. I thought then [we needed] to go and get a second, we tried and didn’t quite. Then it took them to equalise for us to get going again.

“You have to be mentally right when you’re playing two games in three days. Physically, the effort was fantastic again but that has to go alongside the mental side, to do the right thing and keep doing it.”

Mansfield are next in action away to Grimsby this Saturday. The boss provided a fitness update following George Maris’ 38th minute withdrawal through injury.

“[He has] a sore Achilles again,” Nigel said. “It’s flared up, a recurrence of what he’s been out with for a good few weeks now. He came through Saturday with no problem, didn’t do a lot yesterday but felt okay. [Today he] just couldn’t quite push off while sprinting. [He’s] another player we’ve lost. I think that’s the eighth [player] out injured.

“Both [Ollie Clarke and Rhys Oates are] injured from Friday at Swindon. Rhys Oates [is] with a groin [injury] and Ollie Clarke [has injured his] Achilleas and knee. We missed Rhys as much as anyone today, with his pace.

“[It’s] possible [they may return for the Grimsby game] but there’s no guarantees.”

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