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Club News

Defender excited for season run-in

21 March 2023

Club News

Defender excited for season run-in

21 March 2023

Mansfield Town defender Riley Harbottle says he is excited for the season’s finale, with 11 Sky Bet League Two fixtures remaining – seven of which taking place at One Call Stadium.

The 22-year-old joined the amber and blue on a season-long loan from Premier League side Nottingham Forest in July of last year.

The centre-back has appeared on 30 occasions for Nigel Clough’s side this term, scoring five goals.

Speaking in a news conference at RH Academy about the games ahead, starting against Grimsby Town tomorrow (Wednesday) at One Call Stadium, Riley said: “We’re looking forward to every game and it’s positive that most of them are at home.

“We love playing at home. You see the crowds we get in every week. The fans have been amazing all season.” 

The Stags secured a point on the road at Edgeley Park thanks to a stoppage-time equaliser from Lucas Akins.

“I thought it was a tough game. They’re a good team and they made it hard for us. They had a lot of the ball in the first-half but I thought [in the] second-half we came out and gave it a really good go and we were unlucky not to win the game, never mind draw it.

“Elliott [Hewitt] done what he’s been doing all season, he’s been outstanding and Lucas [Akins] has been doing what he’s been doing all season and puts it away.

“It was a great atmosphere and a great occasion late on like that.”

Assessing his season at One Call Stadium up until this point, the defender said: “I’ve been all right. I’ve had some good games and some not so good games.

“I think this season has been a real learning curve for me. 

“[It has been] my first league loan but I’m playing every week and getting the opportunity to play on different sides of the pitch [across the defence]. I’ve played on the left [side of defence] and I’ve played on the right [side of defence] more recently so it’s a good learning curve for me.

“When you get offered an opportunity like this you're not going to turn it down, Mansfield’s a massive club and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it.”

When asked about Stags’ ever-growing injury list, Harbottle said: “It’s football, you can’t do anything about the injuries, especially the injuries we’ve got at the moment. They all seem to be quite bad ones or contact injuries and there’s not anything that you can do about it. 

“We’ve just got to remain positive and keep going.”

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