In-form Mansfield Town won’t underestimate Salford City’s under-achievers

Salford City Manager Gary Bowyer.Salford City Manager Gary Bowyer.
Salford City Manager Gary Bowyer.
In-form Mansfield Town will not underestimate the threat posed by Salford City's under-achievers when they visit the One Call Stadium on Saturday.

Stags are in a fine vein of form, winning eight of their last nine games to move just five points outside the play-off places in 11th.

But Gary Bowyer's men are expected to challenge for promotion on the big budget afforded to them.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

They sit 15th, two points behind Stags with a game in hand after their trip to Barrow as called off last night due to a waterlogged pitch.

“To come from where we were and not win for 14 games to then win eight of nine from that position has been a brilliant achievement by everybody and we need to try to continue that on Saturday,” said manager Nigel Clough.

“But we know Salford have got some excellent players and they were very unlucky to lose at the FA Cup at Chesterfield.

“I know Gary quite well and I think they are one of those teams, like ourselves, who have had a rough time of it with injuries and suspensions and a little bit of bad luck.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“But they are a team more than capable of challenging for the top six or seven.”

Clough is again likely to be without key players through injury and illness and said veteran midfielder Stephen Quinn needed to be wrapped up in cotton wool this week with the form he is in.

“We may have to carry Stephen Quinn out to his car with what he has put in in the last two games,” said Clough.

“We record all the running stats and data and at Doncaster on Saturday it was the highest distance covered in terms of high speed running recorded by any player this season by Stephen Quinn, which for a 34-year-old is remarkable.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“He was captain against Carlisle – that was one of the reasons. He is a great leader.

“The lads that need it will get a rest and those who need some training will get a bit to keep ticking over.

“But we don't have too many bodies available – we've only got the subs.”

Stags hope Oli Hawkins will be fit to return after illness but Ollie Clarke, Kellan Gordon and Rhys Oates look unlikely to figure and defender Will Forrester limped off again on Tuesday night.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“Oli Hawkins will do a little bit, but there's not too many around and it's all about looking after them at the moment, especially with the busy Christmas period coming up,” said Clough.

Clough is hoping the crowd get behind Stags on Saturday as well as they did on Tuesday, when his side looked tired and below par but still win 1-0 against struggling Carlisle United.

“I thought the crowd got us over the line on Tuesday,” he said.

“As frustrating as it is, attacking and wining by two and threes, it can't always happen like that.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“So when we have 10 minutes to go and you can see that the lads are on their knees, when they start getting behind them, it makes a big difference.

“When you are away from home you sometimes don't get that home following. But to hear them when you're under the cosh and defending – and we got some great blocks in late on – that spurs us on.”