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Archived News from December 2020

21st December 2020 21:18

‘We’re hoping to see that bit of quality’ - manager
mansfieldtown.net, Friday 18th December 2020

Stags’ boss Nigel Clough says he wants to see more creativity from his side in Saturday afternoon’s clash at home to Southend United.

Mansfield face a Southend side who have picked up form after a slow start to the campaign, winning back-to-back games this week.

The manager has challenged his side to ‘play on the front foot’ and ‘create chances’ in the weekend’s match at One Call Stadium.

“We have to perform ourselves - but the fact that they [Southend] have just won back-to-back and have been playing pretty well recently, it does have an effect on the game,” he told iFollow Stags.

“It will be the same as we approach any game. When we play at home, we expect to win. When we’re at home, we want to be on the front foot and we want to create chances.

“I think they [Southend] had a hangover from last season. It’s just a process that you can go through [after relegation].


“Prior to the two good results this week, I think they’ve put on improved performances and have been unlucky.

“It’s similar to what we’re doing - our performances have been very good and of a consistent standard. As long as we keep maintaining that standard, the results will come.

“We’re hoping to see that little bit of quality. It’s all about who puts their chances away and who doesn’t make the mistakes.

“The less mistakes you make, the better chance you have at winning the game. But we also need to start creating chances and when we do, we have to start finishing them.”

Nigel Clough also offered his final thoughts on Tuesday evening’s 1-0 defeat away at Carlisle United.

“I think the standard of the performance wasn’t too bad at all, going to third in the league. That one bit of quality in the first-half separated the two sides.

“When you look at the stats, sometimes they can be a bit misleading. They had a few shots but most of them were from distance and comfortably dealt with, apart from the one that Ryan Sweeney cleared off the line.

“They didn’t create too much, but we didn’t either, and that was the biggest disappointment on the night.

“For the good play that we had, we lacked a little bit of creativity in and around their penalty area. Ultimately, that didn’t lead to too many clear-cut opportunities to get an equaliser.”

There was an injury update from the manager on striker Nicky Maynard and defender James Perch, who were both absent for the midweek match at Brunton Park.

“They have both [Maynard and Perch] had a week’s training, albeit on an individual basis.

“They’ll join in [training] this morning, and if they get through that, they’ll both be back in contention for Saturday [against Southend].”

iFollow Stags subscribers can watch the boss’ interview in full by logging into mansfieldtown.net/ifollow.


Nigel Clough wants Mansfield Town to focus on their own game against Southend United
chad.co.uk, By Stephen Thirkill, Friday 18th December 2020

Stags boss Nigel Clough wants his side to focus on their own game when they host Southend tomorrow.

Despite being bottom of the table, the Shrimpers arrive at the One Call Stadium in good form having won their last two matches.

But Clough insists Stags will be focused on what they do well and will go into the game expecting the win.

"We have to think about ourselves,” he said. “It will be the same as we approach any game - when we're at home, we expect to win.


“We want to be on the front foot and create chances.

“There are still loads of points to play for, but it's always nice to beat those around you."

“I think there was a hangover from last season [for Southend]. Prior to the two good results they've had, their performances have been good before that too."

But Clough knows Mansfield will need to improve in the attacking third following their 1-0 defeat at Carlisle United in midweek which saw the trouble to create chances.

“We're hoping that little bit of quality and putting our chances away will win us the game,” he said.

“We have to create more chances and put them away.

“That one bit of quality in the first-half separated the two sides.

“We didn't create too much and that was the main disappointment on the night.”

Mansfield could welcome back Nicky Maynard and James Perch who have both trained this week.


‘We have a lot of respect for the manager’ - left-back
mansfieldtown.net, Friday 18th December 2020

Defender Mal Benning has described the positive impact that manager Nigel Clough has had on the Stags, and says that Mansfield must now start to turn their good performances, and draws, into victories.

The left-back has enjoyed a consistent run in the starting XI since the appointment of the former Derby County boss in November, starting ten of the last 11 matches in all competitions.

Benning, 27, says the players have ‘a lot of respect’ for the Stags’ boss and that the players ‘want to do well for him.’

“We haven’t been good enough at picking up results and getting the wins this season,” he told iFollow Stags. “But since the new gaffer [Nigel Clough] has come in, I think we’ve been performing very well, apart from the last game-and-a-half.

“We’ve been drawing too many games, so I think we need to pick up a few more wins now to try and climb up the table.

“It’s a mentality that we’ve got to have as a group now to try and get that first home win and try and get a few wins on the bounce.


“It [Nigel Clough’s appointment] has been a boost for the players. When he came in, we got a great result at Forest Green, and since then we’ve been putting in good performances.

“The players have a lot of respect for him so they want to do well for him. As players, we just need to keep performing well and hopefully pick up a few more results.”

Following this week’s news that Nottinghamshire would remain a Tier 3 area under government coronavirus restrictions, meaning Mansfield’s home matches would continue to be played behind-closed-doors, Benning says that not having the ‘amazing support’ of a home crowd is a ‘big miss.’

“It [no home fans] is a massive miss,” he explained. “Playing in an empty stadium at home is a massive miss.

“If you do something well in a game and hear the Stags’ fans behind you, it can boost you. I know that from being here so long - I know how good the fans are, home and away.

“The support is amazing, and I personally believe if they were in the stadium, I think some of those draws would have been wins.”

The former Walsall defender also looked ahead to Stags’ upcoming fixture at home to Southend United, which will take place at One Call Stadium at 3pm on Saturday.

“It’s going to be like any other game in League Two - we all know we need a few more wins under our belt, but it is no different to any other game.

“We’re in the position we’re in because we haven’t won enough games. The performances over the last month-and-a-half have been good.

“It’s the performances that matter, because if you’re playing well, the results will come in the end.”

There was also a personal assessment from Benning on his season so far, and the defender also discussed his recent switch from wing-back to full-back.

“I feel like I’ve been steadily doing well but I feel like I can do more. Everyone knows that my main strength is attacking and I feel like I can get at that more.

“I had a couple of great seasons at wing-back, and the years before that, I was playing at left-back.

“I don’t mind either - there’s a lot more work involved at wing-back. Obviously my main threats are going forward, so either suits me.”

iFollow Stags subscribers can watch Mal’s interview in full by logging into mansfieldtown.net/ifollow.


Mal Benning knows Mansfield Town must start turning draws into wins
chad.co.uk, By Stephen Thirkill, Friday 18th December 2020

Defender Mal Benning is keen for Mansfield Town to start turning draws into wins

Stags have drawn 10 of their 18 games this season - the most of any side in League Two.

And Benning knows they must start to rack up some victories to climb the table to safety.

“We haven't been good enough at picking up results this season,” he said. “ Since the gaffer has come in, we're looking hard to beat.


“We just need to turn those draws into wins. We want to get that first home win and put a run together and hopefully climb the table.

“The players have a lot of respect for the gaffer and we just have to keep performing for him and hopefully pick up more good results.

“We're in the position we are because we haven't won enough games.

“The performances in the last month-and-a-half have been good but we want to pick up more results."

The experienced defender is also looking forward to the day when the home stands will once again be packed with fans.

“No home fans is a massive miss,” he said “I miss doing something well and having the fans behind you - it boosts you.

“Being here so long, I know how good the fans are and they are a big miss."



Southend United boss Mark Molesley excited for tough challenge against Mansfield Town
Southend Echo, By Chris Phillips

SOUTHEND United manager Mark Molesley cannot wait for the Shrimpers to tackle another ‘tough challenge’ at Mansfield Town tomorrow.

The Stags, who are now managed by Nigel Clough, sit 19th in the League Two standings.

But Molesley feels Mansfield are stronger than their league position suggests.

“They were tipped to be near the top and they’re probably not where they would like to be because they have a fantastic squad,” said Molesley.

“They have a new manager who needs no introduction.


“He’s a fantastic manager and was a great player.

“He’s from a very well known football family and adding him to a fantastic squad makes this a really big challenge for us.

“But we’re really looking forward to these challenges now.

“We feel like we have more armoury around us now and we’re in a confident mood.”


From The Boss

"We're really embracing and looking forward to these challenges now. We feel that we've got a little bit more armoury around us now, we're in confident mood and we're really looking forward to the game.

"We've worked hard to get ourselves into touching distance but we have to remember what got us this opportunity, which was hard work, attention to detail and the constant belief.

"That little bit of confidence should hopefully give us a much needed lift and puts us in a good place going into the game.

"We're the ones that are chasing the pack so we've got to put them under as much pressure as we can. To do that we have to make sure our own house is in order. It's about firmly focussing on our processes.

"We didn't win those [two games] from a week of work, we won those games over months of work and we have to continue believing in ourselves and working hard."


Southend United aiming to avoid being rock bottom at Christmas
Southend Echo, By Chris Phillips

SOUTHEND United will be aiming to avoid being rock bottom at Christmas when they head to Mansfield Town tomorrow.

The Shrimpers, who have sat at the foot of the standings since mid-October, will definitely climb above Stevenage with a win this weekend.

And Blues boss Mark Molesley feels his side will be fired up to triumph at Field Mill.

“The carrot is certainly there,” said Molesley.


“It should prove to be a great motivational factor for us but we’ve got to remember what got us this opportunity.

“It’s hard work, attention to detail, belief and confidence now can hopefully give us a much needed lift.

“It’s also put us in a good place going into the game.”

Blues have triumphed in their last two outings for the first time since October 2018.

And Molesley believes the Shrimpers are now far tougher to beat.

“Having more of a solid base and staying in games longer will always give us a better chance of winning games,” said the 39-year-old.

“That’s been a large part of our focus and making ourselves harder to beat.

“That’s where we are at the moment but it’s up to the players.

“They’re the ones who have to execute it and they’re really taking responsibility.”

The Shrimpers will now be hoping to keep the good run going against the Stags, who sit 19th in the standings.


On loan Bournemouth midfielder Kyle Taylor feels he has returned to stronger looking Southend United
Southend Echo, By Chris Phillips

KYLE Taylor feels he has returned to action with a stronger Southend United.

The on loan midfielder returned to his parent club Bournemouth during a six week injury lay off.

But, since coming back from his hamstring problem, Taylor has helped the Shrimpers win back to back matches.

And the 21-year-old believes Blues are now moving in the right direction.

“Training day in day out, over the period I was away the team had even more time to gel,” said Taylor.

“You can see that in the last two games and I think the fans being back has made a massive difference as well.


“There are more players coming in too and I think that helps the squad’s mentality.

“We felt like we deserved to get wins even before the last two games. But we kept fighting and we’re not far off jumping out of the relegation places now. We have to all do our jobs and making sure the performances are right because the results will come if they are.”

The Shrimpers remain bottom of the League Two table but are just a point behind their relegation rivals.

And Taylor is keen for the gap to be eradicated with a positive result at Mansfield Town tomorrow.

“We want to build on the last two games and hopefully we can be in a position to start climbing the table,” said Taylor.

“We’re looking forward to Saturday and it would certainly be nice to be able to look up and down the table rather than just up.”

Taylor is also pleased to be able to help make that happen after ending a frustrating spell on the sidelines.

“I’m delighted to be back,” said Taylor.

“When I first got injured I only thought I was going to be out for a couple of days to a week. But then we found out it was a grade two injury and it was going to be four weeks.

“It was gutting at the start but I’m just happy to be back involved again now.

“We’ve had two wins back to back and it’s great but we just need to keep it going now.”

And Taylor also insists he is ready to play for longer if required.

“I feel fit and it’s just about managing my game time at the moment,” said Taylor.

“It was 30 minutes at first then 60 in the next and hopefully I’m pushing towards 90.

“When I came off at 60 I felt good and as if I could carry on but you just have to manage yourself.”



Latest | December 2020