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Boss: Stags gave everything

2 September 2023

Mansfield Town manager Nigel Clough says his side gave “absolutely everything” in this afternoon’s 0-0 draw at home to Bradford City - continuing the club’s unbeaten start to the season - despite having injuries to key players.

With depleted numbers, Stags have taken four points from Stockport and Bradford in a week whilst also beating Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough in the Carabao Cup second round on Tuesday.

Speaking to iFollow Stags post-match, the boss said: “It has been a big week with two very tough games on Saturday and Tuesday, especially at Hillsborough.

“We didn't have much choice in having to play the same team again today.

“There were a lot of tired legs, and we had three players playing only their second games of the season.

“The lads have given absolutely everything this week. You can't doubt their commitment.”

The gaffer believes his side started to find their rhythm more in the second-half.

“The second-half was a bit more like us and better finishing or a break in the penalty area and we might have nicked it 1-0.

“Bradford are very well organised, well drilled and very difficult to break down. We had to be at our best to do that, but we found it tough.

“We are never happy with a 0-0 at home but it's nice to keep the unbeaten run going and we have to put it into perspective in terms of what we have gone through this week.

“We are in the top seven, yet we had 11 players that couldn't start today and another double whammy this week with Rhys Oates and Stephen Quinn [getting injured].

“We don't want to lose anybody but I couldn't think of two more important players at the moment to lose than those two.”

The boss went on to provide the extent of the duo’s injuries.

“Their prognosis is not very good. Rhys ruptured ankle ligaments in that challenge right in the 90th minute at Hillsborough when he won a corner. The scans suggest two to three months,” he added.

“Stephen Quinn made a challenge down here against Stockport quite early in the first half and has nicked a ligament in the side of his knee and he will be a bit longer – between three and four months.

“Everyone else is just going to have to step up the next few weeks.

“Aaron Lewis has a chance for next Saturday, Hiram Boateng maybe the week after. So I am glad we have a quiet month.

“I am glad the Doncaster [Trophy] game has been moved from Tuesday as I am not sure we could have put a team out.”

The gaffer revealed the club looked at bringing in cover in the forward area on Deadline Day.

“We did try to get a loan in yesterday – a young striker – but couldn't quite manage it,” said Nigel.

“There are a few free agents out there that we have spoken to before the window shut. We will pick up on those next week.

“Everybody wants to try to get better.”

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