Nigel Clough happy as Stags end home fixtures on a high

Nigel Clough was delighted to see his season complete their home fixtures with a largely sparkling 4-1 home win over Oldham Athletic.

Saturday, 1st May 2021, 7:13 pm
Stags boss Nigel Clough,

But he also said poor finishing and defensive mistakes underlined what he needs to change to challenge next season.

Stags could have won by a much bigger margin and were also guilty of gifting Oldham a goal back that they never deserved.

“It was nice to finish a strange old season on a high,” he said.

“The last two games here we have had two convincing victories and scored seven goals, hopefully setting the tone for next season.

“We had so many chances – I counted three or four in the first 10 minutes. And they are good chances too, not half-chances.

“Better finishing and we'd have been out of sight by half-time.”

But he added: “As pleased as we are with the victory it also showed up a few of the frailties and a few of the problems we have.

“The goal from a defensive mix-up let them back into it. The goalkeeper should have dealt with and for 10 minutes they were back in the game which I didn't think they deserved.

“You just can't afford to make those errors.

“If we get a couple of better strikers as options who are better finishers we'll put some more chances away, as well as working with and improving the ones we have.”

On full debutant Keaton Ward, he said: “I thought he did fine. While we are still trying to win games we are having a look at some of the youngsters too and I thought he did well on the right of midfield.”

Otherwise he said the display confirmed a few things for him.

“We've known for a few months what we need next season and, if anything, as each game goes by it just confirms it,” he said.

Clough revealed in midweek that he has eight targets for next season and said: “We have not been turned down by anybody yet. We have eight top targets and we are in with a shout to get them all.

“If you finish the season well you can say to potential signings that we've finished all right and we are going to have a go for it within our means.

“I think there has been a little bit of a fallacy out there that Mansfield have been very big payers over the last few seasons.

“They have been good payers without doubt but we want value for money on our deals, so everyone has to be realistic.”