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5th May 2021 0:12

Big win should ‘set the tone’ for next season - boss
mansfieldtown.net, Saturday 1st May 2021

Manager Nigel Clough hopes today’s resounding 4-1 win over Oldham Athletic at One Call Stadium will ‘set the tone’ for next season.

Two goals from midfielder George Lapslie, along with strikes from forwards Tyrese Sinclair (below) and Jamie Reid, sentenced the Latics to a heavy defeat in Stags’ final home match of the campaign.

The boss, despite the comfortable margin of victory, says there were elements of the Mansfield performance that should have been better.

“We’ve finished this strange old season on a high [at home]. The last two home games were two convincing, resounding victories,” he told iFollow Stags.

“We scored seven goals [in the last two home games] and that’s hopefully setting the tone for next season.

“I counted three [chances] within the first five or ten minutes. We had very good chances today and with better finishing, even by half-time we’d have been out of sight.


“The goal let them back into it with that mix up defensively. The goalkeeper [Aidan Stone] should deal with it, then they’re back in the game for ten minutes, which I think they didn’t deserve.

“You can’t afford to make those errors, but we did let them back in. The first-half, we lost count of those chances and we have to start putting them away.

“As pleased as we are with the victory, it’s good because it still shows up a few of the frailties that we have. We had very good chances today and were entitled to score more than the four goals.

“I’ve been very pleased with the [home] form more than the actual results. We’ve made it extremely difficult for teams that have come here, and we should’ve won more games.

“But we know why we didn’t win them, and that’s our job to put it right in the next couple of months, so we turn a lot of those draws into wins.

“I think that [having fans back] will make the world of difference, they would’ve loved the game today and the previous one against Scunthorpe.

“When you see the home team in the ascendancy, creating chances and running forward, I think that’s what supporters want to see, and we’re going to try and do it.”

Academy graduate Keaton Ward (below, left) was handed his first senior start for the club this afternoon, and the Stags ended the game with youngsters Jason Law, James Clarke and Jaden Charles on the field of play.

The boss spoke of the youngsters’ appearances, and offered a word on Ward’s performance in particular.

“It was nice to see the young lads getting on the pitch at the end. We finished with a few that have come through the academy.

“I thought he [Ward] did fine. We’re trying, whilst still wanting to win the games, to have a look at some of the youngsters as well. I thought he did very well on the right side of midfield.”

With one eye on next season, manager Nigel Clough gave an insight on the upcoming summer recruitment plan.

“We’ve known for the last few months what we need for next season. As each game goes by, it just confirms that,” he added.

“I think we’re about done with [extending] contracts. We’re having a chat with Stephen Quinn at the moment, seeing what his position is.

“I don’t think there will be too much news [this week]. As soon as the season finishes on Saturday, we’ll step it up [recruitment process].

“We’ll be speaking to clubs, representatives and that sort of thing to try and secure the players we want.

“The good thing is, we’ve not been turned down by anyone yet. We have eight top targets and we’re in with a shout of [getting] them all.”


Nigel Clough happy as Stags end home fixtures on a high
chad.co.uk, By John Lomas, Saturday 1st May 2021

Nigel Clough was delighted to see his season complete their home fixtures with a largely sparkling 4-1 home win over Oldham Athletic.

But he also said poor finishing and defensive mistakes underlined what he needs to change to challenge next season.

Stags could have won by a much bigger margin and were also guilty of gifting Oldham a goal back that they never deserved.

“It was nice to finish a strange old season on a high,” he said.


“The last two games here we have had two convincing victories and scored seven goals, hopefully setting the tone for next season.

“We had so many chances - I counted three or four in the first 10 minutes. And they are good chances too, not half-chances.

“Better finishing and we'd have been out of sight by half-time.”

But he added: “As pleased as we are with the victory it also showed up a few of the frailties and a few of the problems we have.

“The goal from a defensive mix-up let them back into it. The goalkeeper should have dealt with and for 10 minutes they were back in the game which I didn't think they deserved.

“You just can't afford to make those errors.

“If we get a couple of better strikers as options who are better finishers we'll put some more chances away, as well as working with and improving the ones we have.”

On full debutant Keaton Ward, he said: “I thought he did fine. While we are still trying to win games we are having a look at some of the youngsters too and I thought he did well on the right of midfield.”

Otherwise he said the display confirmed a few things for him.

“We've known for a few months what we need next season and, if anything, as each game goes by it just confirms it,” he said.

Clough revealed in midweek that he has eight targets for next season and said: “We have not been turned down by anybody yet. We have eight top targets and we are in with a shout to get them all.

“If you finish the season well you can say to potential signings that we've finished all right and we are going to have a go for it within our means.

“I think there has been a little bit of a fallacy out there that Mansfield have been very big payers over the last few seasons.

“They have been good payers without doubt but we want value for money on our deals, so everyone has to be realistic.”


Clough told BBC Radio Nottm on Stephen McLaughlin signing a contract extension:
"He's our first choice left back at the moment and he may well start as that next season.
"He looks very comfortable there. He competes in the air, he's good going forward and the relationship with him and Stephen Quinn on the left hand side is very good."


Keith Curle furious over his Oldham side’s dire display at his former club
chad.co.uk, By John Lomas, Saturday 1st May 2021

Keith Curle was gutted by his Oldham Athletic side's dire display in today's 4-1 hammering at his former club Mansfield Town.

He held them back in the dressing room for 45 minutes after a game in which they could have lost by a far greater margin.

And he did not hold back on his thoughts to the media, saying: “It hurts as this was a football club I managed and started my managerial career.

“I took them from being relegated to a play-off final where we got beaten on penalties.


“Within that short space of time there were a lot of changes from a relegated team to one in a play-off final.

“Every club I go back to I want to do well at and today I feel let down as players didn't put in the hard yards.

“I pride myself on being honest, up front and transparent as a representative of the football club.

“So, with that comes the necessity to be honest and that group of players in there, as a collective, need a lot of work doing to go on the journey to where this club has aspirations to go.

“There is a softness about the group that needs to change.

“If players are not able to consistently put performances in, they won't go on that journey with us.”

He continued: “They will have to find another football club to go and put in mediocre, average performances that they feel are acceptable.

“If you have got players that can't do the simple things repeatedly well and don't value the importance of doing the simple things you can't move forward.

“It's quite easy for players to look down and disappointed with sad eyes. It doesn't impress me or blag me either.

“You should show disappointment out there over the 90 minutes, not in the changing room where it's easy. We have a changing room saying all the right things, but they don't do them.

“Wherever I've been I am accountable for the players and I never hide behind it or shy away from it.

“When players do well I make sure they get all the credit. When things don't go well it's me. That's a deal I like as I know I improve players.”

The win saw Mansfield leapfrog Oldham and Curle said changes were needed for next season.

“I know what needs to be done and I am not afraid of change,” he said.

“I have improved every single club I have been at.

“There is a lot at this club that doesn't need changing. The structure of the club is very good. But some things do need to change.

“If you keep doing the same things and expect results it's a sign of lunacy.”


Reaction from Keith Curle after Oldham lose at Mansfield
By Suzanne Geldard @LT_Suzanne

KEITH Curle said he felt "let down" and bemoaned a lack of leadership within the Latics changing room following a 4-1 defeat at Mansfield in their final away game of the season.

Zak Dearnley scored on his comeback from injury, but that was the only highlight on a disappointing afternoon for Oldham as they were soundly beaten by Nigel Clough's Stags.

Latics have found better form on the road this season but struggled in the first half and were lucky to keep it down to a 2-0 scoreline at the break.

The Stags led through Tyrese Sinclair after 12 minutes, and George Lapslie doubled their advantage in the 38th. But Sinclair could have had a hat-trick in a lively first half, while Clough's men missed a host of other chances, with Latics having difficulty getting out of their own half.

Dearnley, who last played in mid-January, has been persistent in his comeback trail after an injury-ravaged campaign. And his persistence paid off on the pitch as he chased down a long ball foward. Ryan Sweeney got himself in between the striker and the ball in an attempt to either usher it out of play or back to goalkeeper Aidan Stone. But Dearnley continued to apply pressure to force the Stags' pair into an awful mix-up and the returning Latics striker thumped the ball into an empty net.

It was his last kick as he was replaced by Davis Keillor-Dunn as one half of a double substitution which also saw Dylan Bahamboula come off the bench for Conor McAleny.

And Bahamboula looked to make an impact after his introduction.

But Mansfield restored their two-goal advantage when Lapslie got his second with 10 minutes to go and then Jamie Reid completed a miserable afternoon for lacklustre Latics.

"There's a softness about the group that needs to change," said Curle.

"I think I pride myself in being honest, up front, transparent as a representative of the football club and so with that comes the necessity to be honest and that group of players in there, as a collective, need a lot of work doing to go on a journey to where this football club has aspirations to go.

"I know what needs to be done and I'm not afraid of change. I've been to a lot of football clubs and improved every single one of them that I've been at. But to do it certain things need to change.

"There's lots at this football club that don't need changing. There's a lot of things within the structure of the football club that are very very good, but there's certain things that do need to change.

"I'm not scared of change - doing something different to get different results - otherwise if you keep doing the same things and you expect different results, that's a sign of lunacy isn't it?

"I don't think there's one player in there that can say they've consistently put in performances that guarantee them a place in that team.

"There are no leaders in that changing room. There isn't. There are a few that have a little moan and a little niggle, but that's not a leader.

"A leader is someone who shows good direction and they make people follow them. If people start going off in a different direction they drag them back and say 'no, we're going this way'.

"There are no leaders in that changing room. We've got people who can shout louder than some other players but their actions, they're not leaders."

He added: "I feel let down, I feel disappointed because players didn't put in the hard yards. Talk a great game, but didn't perform."


I meant it when I said this is just the start

Tyrese Sinclair @ty_sinclair27
Happy birthday brother @Keatonward10 (Partying face) congrats on the full league debut as well, you was class!

21 today and First start in the league on Saturday #25