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Manager commends clean sheet in Newport win

18 November 2023

Manager Nigel Clough says his team’s ‘desire to keep a clean sheet’ was most significant in his side’s 2-0 victory at home to Newport County this afternoon.

Forward Davis Keillor-Dunn netted in either half as Mansfield earned a fifth successive league win.

Stags could have been further ahead earlier in the contest as Rhys Oates saw a penalty saved, though the Amber and Blue had more chances to extend their advantage throughout the encounter.

“It was a good, solid three points and a clean sheet,” said the manager, summing up the victory.

“These are the ones which are very important come the end of the season.

“It wasn’t straight forward today. We gave ourselves a couple of problems, at times, giving the ball away in the first-half, not being quite sharp enough.

“But the penalty miss is a huge point in the game. If we can get that and a two-nil lead after half-an-hour, maybe we would go on to win a bit more comfortably. But the game changes at half-time when they come out and change their tactics, coming at us instead of sitting back.

“They had a couple of moments in the second-half. We had plenty as well, [and] with better finishing it could have been more comfortable. But I was most pleased with a clean sheet today.

“The whole back four, as well as Christy Pym, were excellent. When they had a flurry of situations, the blocks and desire to keep a clean sheet is what has got us a result today.”

Keillor-Dunn took his season’s tally to 11 goals and Nigel said: “Because of the confidence he got from getting a goal last week, I think he went seven without [games without a goal]. It was getting him down a little bit, which it shouldn’t. I said to Andy [Garner, first team coach] I think Davis will score on the back of it. He’s struck two good finishes in, low and hard.”

Mansfield are now 17 games unbeaten in the league, the only team in Sky Bet League Two to remain undefeated and the manager added: “[It’s] Absolutely brilliant as well to be 17 games unbeaten, or 18 back to last season. Two massive games against Swindon and Tranmere [coming up in the League] before we have that ten day break.

“Back-to-back [wins] make a huge difference. We have to do that because Stockport are winning. I know Wrexham slipped up today but they’re on a magnificent run. Notts have won again. If we are going to be keep pace then we have to keep churning out these wins.”

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