Mansfield Town manager Nigel Clough says he’s ‘very pleased’ to have captured the signature of ‘outstanding’ new recruit Baily Cargill as Stags continue to make early progress in the transfer market.
The 27-year-old centre-back has two promotions to his name, with MK Dons in 2019 and Forest Green Rovers in 2022.
Speaking to iFollow Stags at RH Academy after Cargill’s signing, Nigel said: “[He’s a] Left sided, natural left-footer and played a lot of games for Forest Green over the last two-and-a-half seasons.
“Twelve months ago, he was one of the outstanding players in the league when they romped away with the division.
“He’d got quite a few offers. When you get a player of that quality who’s available on a free transfer [then he’s bound to get] some offers from League One and he certainly had offers from League Two.
“He’s still friends with Jordan Bowery from his time at MK Dons so he’d spoken to Jordan about us and done a bit of research on us as well.
“Geographically, I think it suited him and he wanted the challenge of trying to get a third promotion.
“He got one with Forest Green and MK Dons out of this division, I think his desire is to go and get another one.
“We’re very pleased to have got his signature and we’re looking forward to working with him.”
The boss hopes to strengthen his backline even further in the coming weeks.
“We need another defender, that’s where we’re light,” he said.
“With Elliott Hewitt being out until February time, March time maybe, that’s left a big hole with his flexibility and his ability to play right-back or centre-half.
“We’re looking for somebody who can play centre-half but maybe do a little bit at right-back for us as well to add to what we’ve got – maybe one, maybe two, we’ll see.
“We’ve got Calum Macdonald in at left-back so [we have] good competition for Macca [Stephen McLaughlin].
“Calum will start the season with Macca being out.
“It’s slowly coming together but certainly Baily and Calum are another two pieces [of the puzzle].”
A goalkeeper is also on Stags’ shopping list with last season’s number one, Christy Pym returning to parent club Peterborough.
“We’ve got a few names in the hat and Christy Pym is still in there as well,” the gaffer added.
“It doesn’t matter [if the signing is permanent or not]. It might be a loan or a permanent it doesn’t really matter.
“I don’t envisage us using anywhere near the maximum number of loans which is five in your [matchday] eighteen.
“If it was a loan goalkeeper that is fine and maybe a loan defender, but we’ll still be well short of the five.”
Nigel went on to provide the latest on the quartet of players (James Perch, Jason Law, Kieran Wallace, George Cooper) the club were in discussions with following the expiration of their contracts.
“We’re still talking to them,” he said.
“It’s one of those [situations] where they’re open to other offers as well.
“I think for players that have played bit-parts like Jason Law and Kieran [Wallace], for them to go and get regular football is a priority.”
The figure of 3,000 season tickets has been surpassed ahead of next season, much to the encouragement of the manager.
“The [season tickets] record that we had last year we might not reach that with the economic climate but to get over 3,000 is brilliant as well.
“Hopefully when they [the supporters] see the likes of Will Swan signing, Baily Cargill and Calum Macdonald [they’ll be excited].
“We’re going to work hard on our recruitment as always to add to what we think is a good squad when they’re fit.
“We’ve talked about it endlessly, without a doubt if the squad had stayed fully fit for the majority of the season, then we would’ve been in that top seven – no doubt at all.
“Somebody has told me that out of thirty-six years since the play-offs started, it’s only three times that seventy-five points hasn’t made it or something like that and we miss out by one goal.”
When asked if he was pleased with how things are going in the off-season, the boss said: “Yeah. We’re pleased to get Will [Swan] in, we only needed one striker we thought.
“If everybody stays fit in pre-season [then] we’re happy with our forward options.
“Will was our number one choice.
“We needed a left-back, that was sorted. There was a couple of options there, but Calum [Macdonald] was the pick of them and now [we have] a centre-half.
“I don’t think we could much better than Baily [Cargill]. I think he’s got as good a chance as anybody of settling in and playing the role that we need him to.”