COUGHLAN, SWEENEY AND REVELL REACTION
Boss speaks after Stevenage draw
mansfieldtown.net, Saturday 10th October 2020
Manager Graham Coughlan says today’s clean sheet against Stevenage gives the Stags ‘a platform to build on’ heading into next week’s home match against Bradford City.
The Stags hit the woodwork in both halves of today’s match at One Call Stadium; Harry Charsley (pictured below) struck the post in the opening period, before fellow midfielder George Maris saw his effort agonisingly hit the underside of the bar in added time.
The boss says that ‘on another day’ his side would have taken more than just a point from the match, and that his side can take confidence from laying a ‘ghost to rest’ by holding onto their clean sheet.
“It was very similar to Tranmere, I think we were the better team” he began. “They were celebrating at the end, and that will give you a marker to how we’re thought of in this division.
“It was always going to be a tough, stodgy affair. They changed their shape as Tranmere did to nullify us.
“At the end, there was only one team that wanted to win that game. We hit the post and we hit the bar.
“Over the last week or two, we leaked one or two goals and that will be playing on players’ minds. Today they looked a tad nervy, but they’ve got through it and got the clean sheet.
“We created some opportunities and on another day they go in the net. I wouldn’t say I am satisfied [with the performance] as we want to win football games.
“Given the last couple of weeks, we’ve laid a little ghost to rest as we’ve shown we can hang on and that we can keep clean sheets.
“It gives us a platform and something to build on leading into Bradford next week.”
Graham Coughlan says his side will have drawn ‘confidence’ from today’s clean sheet.
“We’ve let one or two crazy moments [happen] and we’ve had one or two daft scenarios [in the last few games].
“For a small percentage of the last five minutes I did think ‘here we go’ but the lads dispelled that and put it to bed.
“Hopefully now, we can dispel the ghost that, as players, they do run around your heads. Hopefully we’ve got rid of that tag [conceding late] and we can push on from here.
“It was difficult trying to break a red wall down [today]. Whether we like it or not, teams will come here and bank up, consider coming away from here with a point as a good result.
“I would’ve liked a win, as there has been a little bit of negativity around. Hopefully we can go into Bradford having picked up a bit of confidence today.”
There was also an update on wing-back Stephen McLaughlin, who was substituted in the second-half, along with a word on potential transfer activity from the boss.
“He [Stephen McLaughlin] got a knee in the ribs, we don’t know how serious it is.
“We wanted to give him another chance in the second-half so he went out, but didn’t last too long.
“We’re trying to get players up to speed with fitness levels then that happens. I just wish we’d have all been together from the off.
“We’ll have to maybe look and address one or two areas of the team at this moment in time as we’re light on numbers.
“I think we have to [utilise the transfer market]. We’re very light and we want to look to improve one or two areas of the pitch.
“Looking at the [EFL] Trophy games, I do think we need one or two reinforcements. Like I say, it’s something we’re looking into.
“We would certainly want to be looking in the midfield or attacking areas of the pitch. We are light in midfield, so that could be an area that needs looking at and addressing.”
iFollow Stags subscribers can watch the manager’s news conference in full by logging into mansfieldtown.net/ifollow later today.
Still searching for that first win, but Graham Coughlan hopes Mansfield Town have 'laid a ghost to rest' after Stevenage draw
chad.co.uk, Saturday 10th October 2020
Graham Coughlan believes Mansfield Town have 'laid a ghost to rest' following today's goalless draw with Stevenage Borough.
The Stags are still looking for their first win of the season, but today's stalemate ended a three-game losing streak as they earned their second clean sheet of the campaign.
"Given the circumstances in which we found ourselves in in the last couple of weeks - I look at the Leyton Orient game, the Exeter game and Newport game - we were carrying a little bit of baggage, a little bit of negativity and those lads have hopefully dispelled that," Coughlan told BBC Radio Nottingham."They've proved they can keep clean sheets, they can keep the ball out of the net and they can compete.
"They've proved that we don't fold and stand up to the challenge.
"I'm sure one or two fans there maybe thought 'here we go again', this is another smash and grab, but we dispelled that and laid a ghost to rest.
"Hopefully, we can now address the other end of the pitch."
Both teams rattled the woodwork in an afternoon where neither could force a breakthrough.
"We hit the post we hit the crossbar. We had one or two little chances that didn't go in," Coughlan added.
"Had we done enough to win a game of football? You could see by their celebrations at the end of the game, they were delighted to come away with a point.
"They banked up, they blocked up, stuffed up the goal and made it hard for us to drop off the half way line.
"We're trying to develop a footballing team here, to crash the ball into the box and play off seconds, it was a way we could have played, but I do believe in the process, I believe in what we're doing and I believe in the players.
"Stevenage have come to do a job, they were overjoyed. We have to understand we've always been a scalp in this division."
Clean sheet should act as 'base' to build on - defender
mansfieldtown.net, Saturday 10th October 2020
Defender Ryan Sweeney believes this afternoon’s clean sheet against Stevenage should act as a ‘base’ to work off heading into the forthcoming Sky Bet League Two fixtures.
The Stags were able to shut out Stevenage and in turn pick up their second clean sheet in the league at One Call Stadium.
And the hosts twice struck the woodwork - first through midfielder Harry Charsley and then likewise George Maris in the dying minutes - but ultimately were made to settle for a point apiece.
Sweeney acknowledged the positives after earning another clean sheet but wants his side to now become more ruthless at the opposite end of the field
“The last couple of weeks we’ve been disappointed in the goals we’ve conceded,” he told iFollow Stags.
“When we’ve gone back over them, most of the goals we’ve conceded have been avoidable. So, I think to work off that base and get a clean sheet is always good - if we’re not going to score at one end we've got to be solid [at the other].
“In the coming weeks, if we can put both boxes together in terms of keeping a clean sheet and scoring we’ll pick up more points.
“I don’t think it [the performance] was too bad. We probably lacked service into the frontmen. They’re really good players - Nicky and Reidy - but I think we struggled to get good quality balls into them.
“I don’t think it was too bad, we could have done more to win the game. The effort and the endeavour was there to try and get in the positions to score goals but we lacked that final bit of quality.”
The skipper, who filled in for an injured Ollie Clarke, also noted that the 2020/21 season is still in its infancy.
“At this stage it’s still really early doors. We’d have liked more points on the board, we’re still searching for that first win but there’s still a lot more to come from this group.
“It’s a fresh group, it’s a new group, but you don’t really get that time in football and we need to make it happen on a Saturday.
“We’ve got a lot of fixtures coming up so maybe that will help us into Saturday-Tuesdays. It’s one where we’ve got to relish this run of fixtures coming up and I’m sure we will.
The 23-year-old then highlighted the work ethic of the new-look Mansfield squad as they look to build upon Saturday’s clean sheet in the forthcoming fixtures.
“I think we’ve had a really good pre-season in terms of the work we’ve put in,” Sweeney continued.
“Sometimes it’ll come to fruition straight away and sometimes it might take a little longer, but I think one thing’s for sure: we’ve got a great group of lads who are giving 100 per cent.
“I think if we stick with that work ethic we’ve got Monday to Friday then we’ll definitely pick up a lot more points in the coming weeks.”
iFollow Stags subscribers can watch Ryan's interview in full on mansfieldtown.net/ifollow.
Point gained at Mansfield Town and an important one too according to manager Alex Revell
by Neil Metcalfe
It was definitely a point gained rather than two lost according to Stevenage boss Alex Revell following their game away at Mansfield Town.
In the end neither side could find a breakthrough, although the woodwork was hit three times, and it finished 0-0.
But the Boro boss felt that a result of any sort was needed after their recent run and was delighted with the performance at the final whistle.
He said: “After two tough losses in the league and one in the cup it was so important that we got out of it and a clean sheet was our focus.
“They’ve had three shots and I’m really pleased with how we defended as a team.
“The work ethic and everything about it was what we hoped for.
“The flip side is we catch them on the break and get a goal. That was the only thing that was missing really.”
And while that lack of a goal was the only disappointment, Revell was effervescent in his praise of two of the club’s attacking players, Inih Effiong and debutant Jack Aitchison.
The manager said: “The performance of the big man up top was huge, he was really impressive, and the two playing off him were lively.
“They want to get shots away and they want to create so we know we’ve got threats.
“[Jack] hasn’t played since March so to come in and play like he did, I’m really pleased.
“He wants to create but with a creative player you never know about their work rate defensively but he was outstanding.
“We consider character as part of our DNA and his character is fantastic.
“He wants to work and show people what he’s about.
“We’ve created plenty of chances, although not so many in the second half, but we had good opportunities.
“That’s pleasing and a performance, a clean sheet and a point is good.”
And while they have only one win to their name, the Boro boss was keen to point out that theirs is still a work in progress, even if they are bang on target for where he wants them to be.
“We have to remember we’ve come a long way but we’ve got a long way to go,” he said.
“We’ve changed the way we are playing and the whole culture of the club but it takes time.
“We can only keep going.”