COUGHLAN, RAWSON, EMBLETON PREVIEW ORIENT
Manager expecting exciting first away game
mansfieldtown.net, Tues 15 Sept 2020
Boss Graham Coughlan says he expecting a ‘really good game’ between ‘two attack-minded teams’ when the Stags travel to Leyton Orient this weekend.
The clash - which is available to view live on iFollow Stags for just £10 - will be Mansfield’s first game away from home in the 2020/21 Sky Bet League Two season.
The manager has called for his players to add ‘a bit more finesse’ to the outstanding work rate displayed in Saturday’s draw with Tranmere Rovers, when they travel to London to face the O’s.
“Leyton Orient will have a different system to what Tranmere had so you’ll possibly see us adapting to that,” he began.
“We’re honest, hard-working, fit and energetic. That won’t change from our point of view - I just want us to show a bit more finesse and a bit more calmness on the ball.
“We should’ve scored on Saturday and we didn’t. But I do believe with that type of performance, you’ll win more games than not.
“I thought they [Leyton Orient] were very good [against Oldham at the weekend]. They are a technical team who will keep the pitch big and stretch the play.
“They’ll ask us questions and we’ll have to bring our A-game. But I want us to concentrate on ourselves for 80 per cent and 20 per cent on the opposition. I have every confidence and faith in the squad that we’ve assembled.
“They [Leyton Orient] have a game tonight [against Plymouth] and we’ll get eyes on that. They’re confident and are in decent form - they will attack us and that bodes for a really good game. We’re two open and attack-minded teams.”
The former Bristol Rovers chief also discussed how the high intensity of Stags’ training sessions prepares them well for in-game situations.
“The training sessions have been intense - we’ve had a lot of quality and they’ve been enjoyable. The sessions are designed to be hard and designed to be game-related.
“I’m a big believer in training as you play and playing as you train. That’s the way the lads are and they’ve been working their socks off.
“We’re a hungry, fit and energetic team. There were moments on Saturday where we’re pressing to get the ball back, but then we have to calm ourselves down and pick a pass.
“We just have to spend those extra couple of seconds on the ball and pick a pass, rather than forcing the play. I’d like to see us show a little more composure.”
The boss also spoke of his decision to award the club captaincy to midfielder Ollie Clarke for the 2020/21 campaign.
“He [Ollie Clarke] was my captain at Bristol Rovers and wears his heart on his sleeve,” he added. “He is a warrior, very good technically and all-round, his leadership qualities are exceptional.
“Ryan Sweeney was obviously skipper over the course of Ollie’s absence and he will continue to lead the changing room.
“I would throw Marek Stech and Farrend Rawson into the equation as well - between those four, they’ll lead the changing room and help with what needs to be done.
“I look at Nicky [Maynard] and Perchy [James Perch], the older lads, and they’ll encourage, teach and educate the youngsters.
“Overall, I’ve got some really good men in the changing room. I have some really good characters.
“Wearing an armband doesn’t necessarily mean you’re any bigger or better than the rest, each and every player will lead and give their all.
“It was a tough decision [captaincy] but I just felt I owed it to Ollie after what he’s given up to come and join us.
“He’s got a couple of promotions under his belt and I just thought it was a big coup - not only for myself, but for the football club - to sign him.”
There was also an injury update on striker Danny Rose (below), as well as a fitness update on fellow forward Nicky Maynard and winger Stephen McLaughlin.
“He [Rose] had a little bit of an issue [in training] and we sent him off to a specialist to have a conversation and have a scan.
“That [scan] has come back clear and he was out on the training ground this morning. I’m hoping he can get through the next couple of days without a reaction.
“Fingers crossed we can get him on the grass sooner rather than later. We’re lucky that there is no tears or significant damage - he’s not far off, he’ll be there or thereabouts come the end of the week.
“Macca [Stephen McLaughlin] has trained on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. He’s had some good training sessions under his belt and is flying.
“Himself and Nicky Maynard have joined us late, so we’re playing catch up with them. We’re trying to build something long-term, so if you chuck them in and something goes wrong, you would kick yourself.
“I think another few days on the training ground and the two of them will come right into my thought process.”
iFollow Stags subscribers can watch the boss’ interview in full by logging into mansfieldtown.net/ifollow later today.
Mansfield Town boss Graham Coughlan expects a different challenge from Leyton Orient
chad.co.uk, By Stephen Thirkill, Tuesday, 15th September 2020
Boss Graham Coughlan expects a totally different challenge when Mansfield travel to Leyton Orient this weekend.
Stags drew their league opener last weekend against a Tranmere Rovers side determined to shut up shop.
But the Stags gaffer knows his side will face a buoyant Orient side who will look to take the game to his side.
“They will come and have a go at us and it will be a different challenge,” he said.
“They are effective with what they do, they will be 4-3-3 with wingers that come infield and central midfield players who look to get on the ball and keep them ticking over.
“They have had a good pre-season and look to have a bit of character about them.
“They have got height and are a threat at set-pieces. They have spirit and it will be a tough one.
“Each game presents different challenges and that's why you need to be adaptable and have players that can adapt to different challenges and different formations.”
Stags had one of the worst defences in the division last season.
And Coughlan is now keen to see Mansfield build on their clean sheet against Tranmere and create a solid defensive foundation for the season..
“They won’t park the bus and we will be put under pressure,” he added. “It is up to us to try and hold them, stem the flow and play our own game.
“It will be a tough game and though place to go, but I’m very confident, even though it’s early, in what we have got individually and collectively.
“It will be interesting to see how we cope with it and manage the game.”
And, although he is desperate for three points on Saturday, the Stags chief says it will not be a disaster if they come away from the capital without a victory.
“I would much rather be sitting up the top in April and May than September,” he added. “When i got promoted out of this division as a player with Plymouth we stormed the division with 103 points, but we didn't win any of the first four or five games.
“I said it to the players after Tranmere, 0-0 is solid and something to build on. You don't win the league in August, it's about longevity.
“I’m built to want to win and I want to win on Saturday but it’s not the end of the world if we don't.”
Graham Coughlan hopeful foundations are in place to create winning mentality at Mansfield Town
chad.co.uk, By Stephen Thirkill, Tuesday, 15th September 2020
Graham Coughlan is hopeful that the foundations for creating a winning mentality at Mansfield Town have been laid.
The Stags gaffer worked throughout the summer to revamp his playing squad as he looks to find the ingredients to finally win a League Two promotion.
Mansfield have failed to achieve their aim over the last two seasons after being installed as one of the pre-season favourites.
But Coughlan is now hopeful that Mansfield have the right mix on and off the pitch to help take the club forward.
“It wasn't just about changing the players it was about changing the mentality and thought process of the club,” he said.
“It's not been very successful over the last number of years and I had to dig deep and to look into why it has broken down and why it has not been successful?
“There have been a lot of good players and managers come through the gates and good squads put together, so why am I any different? What can I do that other managers couldn't?
“These were all things that were going through my mind that I sat down and looked at during lockdown.
“The club probably made the best signing it could by bringing in David Sharpe. The club has got four really strong characters (John and Carolyn Radford, David Sharpe and Coughlan), all different characters but we all push each other.
“We all want the best for each other and for the club. It is a strong force and I think that will drive the football club forward, whether that is in the short, medium or long term.”
But the former Bristol Rovers boss knows only too well that football is a results driven business.
“It is a short period (since the summer changes) so we will only know if the mentality has changed in time,” he said.
“I am hopeful that things are in place and the lads are adhering to it.
“But I have to be realistic, if we don't get results and win games all our hard work will go out of the window.
“The key is winning matches, that is the be all and end all, and I know that.
“If we can get some wins under our belt then it is far easier to buy into and get on board to push things on.”
Graham Coughlan tells Radio Nottingham (video on iFollow Stags), 15 Sept 2020:
"The ideal would be to get him (Josh Scott) a little loan spell. Jimmy Knowles has popped out to Notts County, so we could see how Jimmy gets on and take Jimmy back in December, and then send Josh out so we don't have them all out at the same time. We've had one or two clubs inquire about Josh aleady."
Defender discusses squad’s togetherness
mansfieldtown.net, Tues 15 Sept 2020
Defender Farrend Rawson has commented on the Stags’ ‘great team spirit’ ahead of Saturday’s first away game of the league season against Leyton Orient.
The centre-back joined the amber and blue in the summer following a spell with Forest Green Rovers, and has already been impressed by the togetherness within the Stags’ camp.
Rawson says that Saturday’s performance against Tranmere is ‘something to build on’ and that Mansfield want to continue improving as a collective.
“Collectively I thought it [Tranmere game] was a marker [put] down for us really - I think it was something to build on and was a solid performance,” he told iFollow Stags.
“As a squad, we’re very ambitious and we want to improve all of the time. There is room for improvement all over the pitch, but like I said, we’ve put a marker down early doors with a solid performance.
“We all want to improve and push ourselves, so hopefully we can step it up a gear and go even further.
“The gaffer [Graham Coughlan] and the coaching staff have given us a really good pre-season. There is a great team spirit and we have a great set of lads.
“I’m obviously [a] new [signing] and I’ve been really welcomed - I feel comfortable and everyone is backing each other.
“We have a great team spirit and hopefully that can push us forward if times get hard or things are going well - we’ll always stick together and keep pushing ourselves.
“We’ve had a really good pre-season - we’ve had loads of things drilled into us and we all know our positions and places. We’re willing to work and learn.
“Hopefully we can keep learning, keep improving and keep pushing in the right direction. That’s all of our aims.
“The gaffer got us in early doors [in pre-season] and got us working hard - the lads have really bought into it. We’ve all worked really hard and we’re all pushing each other.
“We’re all really fit, ready to go and we’re all hungry.”
The 24-year-old also revealed that the players watched the club’s This is Mansfield video ahead of Saturday’s clash with Tranmere Rovers.
Rawson says that the video ‘encouraged’ the team and allowed the squad to understand what being a Mansfield Town player means.
“I’m pretty local - I’m from Nottingham, so I do know a lot about Mansfield. I think stuff like that [This Is Mansfield video] is priceless for the team,” he added.
“We watched it and we took a lot from it. It spurred us on - stuff like that is only encouraging as it allows the lads to understand what the fans are about.
“They [the fans] are hard-working people and we try to replicate that on the pitch. We work hard and we give it our best shot - every game we give it 100 per cent.
“The fans are our 12th man. They push us on, keep us going and are encouraging. When you hear the fans, it can help you push the ball over the line or keep it out of the [Mansfield] net.
“They’re missed and they’re in our minds when we go out on a Saturday or a Tuesday. We’ll continue to give 100 per cent until they can come back when it’s safe.
“The sooner they [fans] can come back, the better. Obviously we need to wait until it’s safe, but in the meantime we’ll continue to give our best to represent them and work as hard as we can.”
The defender also commented on Stags’ new-look back-three - which he is a part of alongside Ryan Sweeney and fellow new man Rollin Menayese - and the general high work rate of the team.
“On Saturday I had Rollin [Menayese] and Sweens [Ryan Sweeney] next to me and the understanding is just there,” he said.
“We’ll cover each other, work hard for each other and put our bodies on the line. That goes throughout the whole team - defending isn’t just about the back-three.
“You’ve got Jordan [Bowery] and Cooky [Andy Cook] working hard up front, you have the midfield working really hard and you’ve got the full-backs closing down as well.
“We’re all decent lads and are all working hard. There’s a great team spirit all over and at the end of the day, that’s what is pushing us all on.
“It [strikers pressing] helps you set your stall out and encourages you to put yourself on the front foot.
“If you see your team-mates working hard and doing the yards, it encourages you to get with them and push with them.
“We’re a team and we’re all in it together; we all press as one.”
Rawson also looked ahead to Saturday’s game away at Leyton Orient: “Every game in this league is tough. They’ve had a good start but we had a good start to build on and I know we can get better and better.
“It’ll be another game which will be tough in all aspects but I’m sure that the gaffer and the coaching staff will get us drilled this week so we’re fully prepared and ready to go.”
iFollow Stags subscribers can watch Farrend’s interview in full by logging into mansfieldtown.net/ifollow later today.
Pre match interview with Ross Embleton on the Orient youtube channel, 18 Sept 2020:
(What can we expect of Mansfield?) "A very good team, with very good players. Strong, hard-working. The manager's very well respected in terms of the job he was doing at Bristol Rovers.
"We mentioned after the game (against Plymouth on Tuesday), there was a number of people suffering with illnesses that either were in the team or out of the team or played through that on Tuesday, and that's something that's hit us quite hard. Not a Covid issue for us to worry about but it has hit the group quite hard in terms of that bug that's gone round the camp."