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Gaffer: Composure is key ahead of run-in

20 February 2024

Club News

Gaffer: Composure is key ahead of run-in

20 February 2024

Mansfield Town manager Nigel Clough has outlined the important factors for success – including ‘staying composed’ as his side begin the first of its final 14 matches of the season at home to Salford City this weekend.

Stags currently sit second in Sky Bet League Two and were narrowly beaten 2-1 at Walsall on Saturday.

Speaking to iFollow Stags in a news conference at RH Academy on Tuesday morning, Nigel said: “Keeping your head, staying composed and not giving goals away like we did on Saturday [will be essential in the run-in].

“As good as we are going forward and scoring goals, there will be times like there were on Saturday where we only get the one [goal] and it’s got to be enough to get us a result, a win or a draw.

“That’s the thing – concentrating defensively, set-plays – every single aspect, don’t give the opposition anything.”

The boss hopes Mansfield’s excellent form this campaign can help contribute to a feel-good-atmosphere at One Call Stadium when Stags host the Ammies.

“It should be [a positive place to be] after the last couple of victories there,” he said.

“We should be positive anyway, home or away.

“We’ve lost four games this season by the odd goal and could easily have got something from those four games.

“It’s all about us, concentrating on what we do – getting the team right and getting the formation right and trying to get a result on Saturday.”

On the injury latest, the gaffer added: “Nobody [of the injured players] will be back available for Saturday.

“Callum Johnson is going to be another three or four weeks.

“Calum Macdonald is waiting on specialist things but we’re not expecting him back any time soon.

“Elliott Hewitt is back in full training this week which is great news and James Gale is back in training – it will be the same 18 [to face] Salford.”

Nigel expects a challenging contest from a Salford outfit that remain unbeaten since new manager Karl Robinson joined the club last month.

“I think since Karl has gone in their form has picked up incredibly,” the gaffer said.

“I think he’s got them playing forward and scoring goals, creating chances.

“When you’re 2-1 down to a team as defensively solid as Barrow and you end up scoring a few goals and winning 5-3 in the end then it says an awful lot about how they’ve been playing at the moment.

“They were very much possession based before and keeping the ball. I think they play forward more [now].”

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