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11th November 2020 20:41

Stags had ‘everything’ in Sunderland win - Cooper
mansfieldtown.net, Saturday 7th November 2020

Richard Cooper has spoken of the ‘great feeling’ that this afternoon’s win over Sunderland has brought to the Mansfield Town dressing room.

A second-half header from George Lapslie saw the Stags book themselves a place in the second round of the Emirates FA Cup.

Cooper, who took charge of the Stags for the final time this afternoon ahead of Nigel Clough’s first game as boss - against Scunthorpe on Tuesday - says Mansfield’s performance against Sunderland had ‘everything.’

“We’re delighted,” he said. “I’m pleased as anything for those players in that dressing room after what they’ve given over the last ten days - they’re an absolute credit.

“To come to a stadium like this and actually get that victory means a lot. We showed togetherness, commitment - it [performance] had everything.

“We thought we played some good stuff and it was a great header [from George Lapslie]. As soon as it left Kellan’s [Gordon] foot, you saw Laps in the box and it’s hit the back of the net. It was a great feeling.

“I think after Tuesday night, sometimes I think you have to live through those [nervy] moments. But getting through that makes the win even better.


“We’ve got something to build on now. Hopefully the players can kick on now and start climbing the table.

“We gave the players ownership at times to make their own decisions and at times they’ve shown some really positive play.

“Not everything has been perfect but the players deserve a lot of credit. So let’s keep this feeling going.”

Cooper also spoke of the influence that new boss Nigel Clough had on today’s outstanding victory.

“The gaffer [Nigel Clough] has been great,” he added. “He popped in on Friday and gave some messages and encouragement before the game.

“He came in at half-time and I think I could hear him a few times during the game as well!

“It was nice to finally hand over the team to him. We’ve got a win and the academy are right behind him.

“Having the gaffer in and around it meant a lot and it was a great feeling. We’ll do our utmost [as an academy] to continue supporting the first team and hopefully we can get some players in there.”

There was also a comment on the performance of frontman Jordan Bowery.

“He [Bowery] is a man possessed for me. I thought his performance was as a real leader and a character in both boxes.

“He was really unselfish and the running he gets through, he’s always for the team and not himself.

“It was another brilliant performance from him.”

iFollow Stags subscribers can watch Richard Cooper’s interview in full by logging into mansfieldtown.net/ifollow later today.


A 'real team effort' - and a cameo from new boss Nigel Clough - inspired Mansfield Town to FA Cup win at Sunderland - Cooper
chad.co.uk, Saturday 7th November 2020

'Delighted' Richard Cooper gave his Mansfield Town side the thumbs up as they secured their first win of the season - knocking League One Sunderland out of the FA Cup.

Fifteen matches into the campaign and the Stags finally have that first tick in the W column thanks to George Lapslie's finish at the Stadium of Light.

The loanee ensured Cooper's tensure as Town caretaker boss finished on a high following 1-1 draws against Bolton and Walsall.


It was March 7 when Mansfield fans last cheered a competitive win, a 2-1 success over at Northampton Town.

Since then 245 days, one manager and the first lockdown have come and gone.

But Cooper was only thinking of the positives as the final whistle blew.

"I'm absolutely delighted. I'm so happy for the players," he said.

"For me, personally, it was about them today. It was nice to finally get a result over the line.

"We came close in the two league games but what a place to go and do it - the Stadium of Light. We're in the second round of the FA Cup."

With Nigel Clough - who was in attendance today - set to take on the managerial role, Cooper returns to the academy confident the Stags squad have what it takes to turn their League Two fortunes around.

"There's good players in the dressing room," he told BBC Radio Nottingham.

"It was just my job - and the rest of the academy staff who have joined me - to get those players back up. Trying to get them upbeat and some confidence and self belief.

"Some of the football played over the three games is something to be proud of, but it was nice to have the gaffer with me as well from the stands.

"At half time he popped in. He was there to meet the players at full time. It was a real team effort. Its a great victory for us."


Richard Cooper wants to provide new Mansfield Town boss Nigel Clough with the Stags stars of the future
chad.co.uk, Saturday 7th November 2020

As a youngster Richard Cooper used to clean Nigel Clough's boots, now he is hoping to provide the new Mansfield Town boss with the stars of the future.

Cooper signed off as the Stags' caretaker boss on Saturday with a 1-0 win at League Sunderland in the FA Cup, the club's first competitive win of the season.

And the 41-year-old former Nottingham Forest midfielder was delighted to welcome ex-Derby County and Burton Albion boss Clough to the hotseat.

"I actually cleaned his boots when he came back to the club (on loan from Manchester City in 1996), so it's great to have him with us at the football club," he said.


"It's nice to be able to hand a victory over to him.

"I did apologise on Friday as I wanted to give him three points in the league games (1-1 draws with Walsall and Bolton Wanderers), but to get a win for the lads and see their faces after the game, it's really special for them."

Cooper will now turn his attention back to the Stags' academy, where he hopes to produce a production line of talent for Clough's first team.

It's a topic the two discussed when they met prior to the weekend’s cup win.

"He spoke about that on Friday, more or less from minute one," Cooper added.

"It's a great opportunity for the younger players to establish themselves in training and games.

"Hopefully, they'll be given a chance to feature in the near future."


Midfielder praises Cooper over caretaker spell
mansfieldtown.net, Saturday 7th November 2020

Match-winner George Lapslie eulogised about academy manager Richard Cooper after he ended his temporary spell at the first-team helm with a remarkable 1-0 victory over Sunderland AFC.

Mansfield Town’s first-ever meeting with the Black Cats in the Emirates FA Cup ended with delight for the away side as Lapslie’s header secured progression to the next round.

However, the Charlton Athletic loanee instantly diverted attention towards Cooper, who was able to round off his three-game stint in style.

“Coops [Richard Cooper] has been unreal since he’s come in,” Lapslie told iFollow Stags. “I can’t speak highly enough of him.”

“From minute one he’s got into me, shown me love and told me how good I was. I believed him.

“He said to me before Bolton: ‘Go and get me a goal’ and I’m buzzing that I’ve contributed to Coops’ success since he’s stepped in.”


Saturday’s goalscorer - who registered his second goal in as many games - cited graft as the main ingredient to his side’s upset in the northeast.

“Everyone grafted. As I say, it was everyone pulling together and grinding. I’m sure you can tell in that last 15 we were on our knees but everyone’s in and amongst one another pulling each other through it.

“That’s what you need to do to win games and I’m sure that’s the first of many.

“It was unreal. There’s a time I look back and see [Jordan] Bowery getting ready to head it between our centre-backs.

“That’s how much it means to the boys. I’ve really enjoyed my time here, it’s a great bunch and I’m just happy I can contribute to the first win.”

The 23 year-old is now looking forward to working under newly-appointed manager, Nigel Clough, who watched on from the stands this afternoon.

“We’ve obviously got the gaffer in now and I’m looking forward to working under him,” Lapslie continued.

“He came and gave us all a big hug. He was in the changing room before the game, at half-time and after the game.

“I’m really looking forward to these coming months because I’ve heard a lot about him and they’re all positive things, so hopefully we’ll carry on from what we’re doing now and get a few more goals.”

Watch George's interview in full by logging into mansfieldtown.net/ifollow later today.


Phil Parkinson critical of Sunderland's finishing, after his side was dumped out of the FA Cup
chroniclelive.co.uk, By James Hunter, 7 NOV 2020

Sunderland lacked the 'desire' to finish one of the 38 crosses they fired into the penalty area according to Phil Parkinson after his side was dumped out of the FA Cup by League Two strugglers Mansfield Town.

Danny Graham twice hit the woodwork inside the first ten minutes for the Black Cats at the Stadium of Light, but that was as close as they came.

And George Lapslie's goal at the start of the second half gave the Stags - who had arrived on Wearside without a win in their 14 games in all competitions this season - an unlikely victory.

Parkinson could not hide his disappointment at full-time, insisting that despite making eight changes the side he picked should have been good enough to progress.

He said Sunderland produced enough ammunition for his frontmen Graham and Will Grigg, but was critical of side's finishing.

"I picked a team that I felt was capable of winning," he said.


"There were players who were injured who didn't figure and there were some who we chose not to play because they had played a lot of football, while others needed games.

"The team was strong enough to win.

"And over the course of the game, we've put enough quality deliveries into the box to have won the match.

"OK, our decision-making wasn't always great and the quality wasn't always great, but there were enough over the 90 minutes but our desire and movement to get across people and get something from those moments wasn't good enough.

"The one cross Mansfield put in, the lad [Lapslie] has got in with real desire, got between two of our defenders and headed it in.

"I've just sat down and gone through all the deliveries that we put in and there were more than enough to have won the game comfortably.

"We have to look at the movement and everything about it because if you're putting 38 crosses into the box over the course of a game, that should really be resulting in at least two or three goals."

Parkinson gave players such as Graham, Grigg, Max Power, and George Dobson, a chance to impress but none pressed their claim for a place in the side chasing promotion from League One.

"I don't think we can argue with that because we've lost against Mansfield.

"We said before the game that Mansfield will be a team buoyed by a new manager [Nigel Clough, who was watching from the stands] coming in, and you could see that, but we had good enough players out there to rise above that and go on and win the game."

One player who did catch the eye was new signing Callum McFadzean, who made his debut in the left wingback role normally occupied by Denver Hume, who missed the game with a knee injury.

McFadzean was the source of several excellent crosses, including one which saw Graham head against the bar.

Parkinson said: "It was early for Callum to play because he has only been with us for a couple of weeks but with Denver and Lynden Gooch both being out, we decided to play him although I decided to take him off before the end to protect him because I don't want him to get injured.

"But Callum showed what he is all about, he put in three or four top class deliveries today including one in the first half from which Danny hit the bar and we were perhaps slightly unfortunate not to see that one go in.

"Then there was one in the second half which he slid across the face of goal early which should have resulted in a goal.

"Callum is different to Denver in terms of how he gets into those areas but he can be equally as effective and I feel he will be a good signing for us."

Aside from the two efforts that hit the woodwork, youngster Jack Diamond hit the sidenetting with an excellent chance in the second half.

Parkinson said: "Jack had a difficult start but he got better as the game wore on, put in some decent deliveries and looked dangerous.

"I'm a bit disappointed that when he had a chance, his shot didn't go across the keeper because if it had then there were three players there waiting to tap it in, and those are defining moments in games of football.

"But he'll learn from that and get better."

And Elliot Embleton - who came off the bench 25 minutes from time to make his return from the thigh injury that had kept him out since pre-season - created a great chance for for sub Charlie Wyke, but his header was saved by Marek Stech.

Parkinson said: "Embo showed some good touches when he came on, he put in a great cross for Charlie's header, and showed what he is all about."


Sunderland boss reacts to Callum McFadzean's encouraging debut and Elliot Embleton's return
sunderlandecho.com, By Phil Smith

Phil Parkinson says Callum McFadzean showed what he can do on his club debut.

McFadzean’s lively performance was one of the few positives for the Black Cats as they were dumped out of the FA Cup by a Mansfield Town side who had not won a competitive game all season.

The former Plymouth and Bury wing-back should have had an assist early in the contest, his cross header onto the crossbar by Danny Graham from a matter of yards.

McFadzean also drew a fine save from Mansfield goalkeeper Marek Stech late in the first half.


With just 45 mintues of U23 action under his belt since arriving at the club, Parkinson says bringing McFadzean off for the last 15 minutes was in order to protect him from a possible injury.

“It was early for Callum to play,” Parkinson said.

“He's only been with us a couple of weeks but with Denver and Goochy being out, we decided to play him.

“I had to protect him by bringing him off towards the end, because we don't want him getting injured going forward.

“But he showed what he is all about, and put in three of four top class deliveries.

“He's different to Denver in the way he gets into those areas, but he can be equally effective.

“I think he'll be a good signing for us,” he added.

“Jack on the other flank, it was a difficult start for him but he got better as the game went on.

“He put some decent deliveries, looked dangerous, and will be disappointed with that shot he put into the side netting.

“Those are the defining moments in football, and he'll learn from that and get better.”

Parkinson was also pleased to see Elliot Embleton back in action.

The talented youngster has been missing due to injury for over a year, but almost produced an assist for Charlie Wyke, whose header was saved by Stech in the closing minutes.

Embleton is set to step up his comeback with a starting role against Fleetwood in the Papa John’s Trophy on Tuesday night.

“Embo showed some good touches when he came on, and put a great cross in for Charlie's header,” Parkinson said.

“He showed what he's about, he has good quality with both feet.”


KG @kellangordon25
Win tick Asisst tick Clean sheet tick oh and into the next round tick great team performance

John Radford @JRadfordMTFC
Well done to @coops0927 for the excellent job he has performed in the interim in the past 10 days.
He now hands over the managerial reins and should be proud of his endeavours, capped off by a magnificent victory today.
Well done Coops, and his academy staff.

David Sharpe @DavidSharpe91
Get in!! Missed that feeling! And doing it away at the stadium of light makes it even more sweeter! Massive well done to Coops today and over the last 10 days, all the staff and of course all the lads! Big performance!! #UpTheStags @EmiratesFACup