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Stags will take positives from draw - Perch

10 April 2023

Experienced defender James Perch says the Stags have to take positives from the abundance of opportunities created in today’s ‘frustrating’ 1-1 draw with Rochdale.

The 37-year-old centre-back captained Mansfield in the absence of Ollie Clarke after the midfielder sustained an injury in the club’s 4-2 win against Swindon Town on Good Friday.

The Mansfield-born defender marshalled a defence which limited Dale to few opportunities. Meanwhile, Nigel Clough’s men had 20 shots on goal at the opposite end of the pitch.

Speaking to iFollow Stags following the game, Perch said: “I think we played some good stuff during the game, [there were] loads of neat passes.

“The chances we had, we’ve got to take the positives out of that.

“[It was a] frustrating afternoon. Especially with the chances we created in the second-half and the first [half] to be fair. 

“[We’re] disappointed to come away with a point but you have to take the positives out of it and say we created enough chances to win two games today but it just wasn't going in.

“We expect to win home games especially when we’ve just come off the back of beating Swindon [4-2 on Good Friday]. 

“Alfie [Kilgour] had one that was cleared off the line.

“Davo [Davis Keillor-Dunn] has hit one where the ‘keeper has made a ‘worldie’ save.

“Galey had one that just dragged wide of the near post.

“[It was] unfortunate for Ollie [Clarke] that he got a whack on Friday so it (captain’s armband) got naturally passed down to me.

“I take [wearing] that [captain’s armband] with pride.”

Assessing the visitors’ display, James said: “It was like a false position [in the league] for them really.

“I’ve played in teams like it [when you're near the bottom of the table] and you play with the shackles off. 

“They’re a threat in behind on the counter and have decent wide players and strikers who are lively.”

Six vital fixtures stand between the Stags and the end of the 2022/23 campaign. Speaking ahead of the run-in, Perch said: “It’s very tight [around the play-offs]. We just have to go out and try and win every game and that’s what we were planning on doing today.

“Unfortunately you get afternoons like this where it is frustrating but we’ve got to dust ourselves down and go again [on] Saturday against Grimsby [Town].”

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