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Gaffer: Stags set for Wimbledon encounter

1 March 2023

Club News

Gaffer: Stags set for Wimbledon encounter

1 March 2023

Mansfield Town manager Nigel Clough says his side can’t wait to get back on the pitch this weekend following last Saturday’s defeat to Salford City.

The Stags were unbeaten in six games going into their clash with Salford in a spell which saw them pick up impressive results against promotion rivals Carlisle as well as Tranmere Rovers on the road.

Mansfield produced a dominant display against this weekend's opponents Wimbledon earlier on in the campaign as they came out as 5-2 winners at One Call Stadium.

The Stags currently sit eight in Sky Bet League Two whilst this weekend's hosts find themselves in 15th.

Speaking to iFollow Stags in a news conference ahead of Saturday’s clash, Nigel said: “In the dressing room [last weekend] we had a quiet chat with the lads, there was no ranting and raving. They can’t wait to get on the pitch again and get playing. I think if we had a midweek game, it wouldn’t have been a bad thing apart from the injuries this week. [We want] to get back out there as soon as we can.

“We’ll be as positive as we’ve been in recent weeks, which we tried to do even with the defeat on Saturday. 

“[Wimbledon have been] a little bit up and down but they’ve improved of late and we played very well against them even when they went down to ten men earlier on in the season. 

“I think it’s been a sort of transitional adjustment season for them and I think it’s one of those where Johnnie [Jackson] will get them together ready to go next season.”

Assessing Stags’ recent defeat to Salford City, Nigel said: “Yeah [it was] a bad day but you’ve also got to put into context how good Salford were on the day. I thought they were exceptionally good and it felt very similar to the Carlisle game a couple of weeks ago. We did to Carlisle what they did to us.

“We’ve had an incredible run before that and if you would’ve offered us 13 out of 18 points, we would have snapped your hand off.”

Ahead of this weekend’s clash with the Dons the gaffer provided an injury update.

“There is nobody who is [set to return] imminently apart from George Maris. Then we’ll need to make sure the knocks and everything we picked up on Saturday [are okay ahead of our next fixture].

“I think if we had everyone fit on Saturday, I’m not sure [that] Quinny (Stephen Quinn) would’ve played [due to knocks on his] ankle and groin. 

“Alfie Kilgour was struggling with his heel [which meant that] he didn’t train all week and you could see he was struggling to get off the ground and win his headers.

“We didn’t have the normal week of intensive training that we would’ve had with a clear week (without a midweek fixture). [That was] purely because we were frightened of injuries.”

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