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Club News

Boss provides player and transfer update

4 January 2023

Mansfield Town manager Nigel Clough has revealed that the club has made three enquiries for potential reinforcements as the boss looks to further bolster the Stags’ promotion push.

The gaffer said in a news conference today that he expects so see movement in the January transfer window following this weekend’s Emirates FA Cup third round fixture schedule.

Mansfield are in Sky Bet League Two action this weekend at home to Barrow - in the club’s first home outing of 2023 – a side Stags defeated in each of the three meetings between the two teams last calendar year.

When asked about the possibility of new faces joining in a news conference at RH Academy this morning, the gaffer said: “It [transfer activity] tends to be after the FA Cup [third round] weekend.

“A lot of team includes players in their [extended matchday] squads [for FA Cup fixtures].

“We’ve made enquiries for three players that we’re just waiting for decisions [on], but it will be after the weekend [before anything is likely].”

One player already in the building that the club are looking to tie down to an extended contract is George Lapslie. The midfielder, who has Stags’ most goal involvements this season, is out of contract at the end of the campaign.

“They’re [contract talks] ongoing at the moment. I don’t think it looks too favourable at the moment but they’re ongoing,” said the Stags’ chief.

After losing away at Walsall on New Year’s Day – despite a dominant performance from the manager’s men - Mansfield missed the opportunity to climb up to fourth in Sky Bet League Two.

“[It was] Hugely disappointing,” said the boss.

“I think the Christmas period has been.

“To get four points out of nine, really, we could have had nine points if we’d defended better. We’ve given away four, from our point of view, very poor goals and ended up with just the four points instead of nine.

“Having got the four points in the first two games, you go to Walsall on New Year’s Day despite missing a good few bodies and still put on a performance that should be good enough to get a result.”

Midfielder Anthony Hartigan was withdrawn at the Poundland Bescot Stadium in what was a recurrence of the shoulder injury he sustained at Grimsby in the Papa Johns Trophy in September.

“He dislocated his shoulder again which is the second time, following the one at Grimsby.

“He’s been playing in a harness which has been protecting it [the shoulder] but it was just so innocuous. He just sort of put his left hand up – it jarred it out.

“He’ll be seeing a specialist on Saturday I believe. We’ll know a bit more as to what’s going to happen.

“It’s likely that he will need an operation now and get it fully repaired which will be, we don’t know, two or three months. It might rule him out for the rest of the season, we’ll see.”

The gaffer’s squad have been hit hard by injury and illness in recent weeks. Defender Elliott Hewitt missed Saturday’s match due to a virus.

“These bugs that are going round at the moment aren’t too pleasant,” said Nigel.

“He’s [Hewitt] had a few days [off with illness] and we hope that he’s back in training this week and ready for Saturday.”

The boss rounded up the latest on the injury front.

“He’s [Ollie Clarke] had a scan. He’s going to be [out for] a good few weeks.

“[Riley Harbottle is] The same. We think three or four weeks from this point. It just depends how he heals and how his rehab goes but certainly ruling him out of Saturday.

“[Lucas Akins and Kieran Wallace’s injuries are] Both similar. Although one was a kick and one was a twist [on their ankles]. We think they’re going to be a similar sort of time.                                                                                

“They have an outside chance for Saturday, but more likely for Crewe.

“He [James Gale] is injured. He’s got problems with his shins at the moment. Shin splints or something like that – discomfort. We think he’ll be about a month.”

Left-back Lewis Page’s month-long contract at the club has expired. The former West Ham defender is, however, continuing his rehabilitation at RH Academy before any decision is made about a new contract.

“The club aren’t going to renew it whilst he’s still injured so we’ll see if he gets fit and see what happens in January with him.

“He’s not training. He’s in the gym and receiving physio but he’s a free agent so he might get fixed up somewhere else in January.”

Saturday’s opponents, Barrow, sit three places and two points behind Mansfield in 10th.  The manager believes Stags must start to find consistency if they’re to beat the Bluebirds and establish themselves in the automatic promotion picture.

“They [Barrow] had a great start to the season but they’re still very, very dangerous opponents [despite a recent blip],” he said.

“They’re one of the most honest sides and hard-working sides in the league and that’s what has got them up there.

“I think most teams barring the top three are having these little stutters but the top three look as though they’re pulling away at the moment.

“We’ve got 22 games and 66 points to try and put a dent in that.”


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