Rivals’ fine wins no shock to boss Nigel Clough as Mansfield Town sink to fourth from bottom
Mansfield Town dropped to fourth from bottom in League Two as rivals Barrow and Walsall picked up excellent wins last night – but the results were no surprise to Stags boss Nigel Clough.
Stags are still nine points clear of the drop zone with five to play ahead of Saturday's trip to Stevenage.
But Barrow's 2-1 win over play-off chasing Exeter City and Walsall's 1-0 win over high-flying Tranmere raised anxiety levels among some Stags fans.
“That's the stage of the season we're at,” said Clough “We talk about the equality in this league, bottom beating top or whatever.
“I think the only team consistent in this league is us – we get draws! Everything else is up for grabs.
“Exeter get an unbelievable result at Cambridge then go and lose at Barrow. It probably sums the league up. There is nothing to be frightened of in this league.”
“That's why we just want to get safe and avoid this freakish run of results that can happen in football where Grimsby or Southend might just win three out of four or four out of five.
“We just want to make sure that doesn't matter in case they do.
“We want to stay up and then we all start the same next season. That's been the game all along – staying in the league.”
Clough has been chasing a safety target of 50 points and Stags need just four more, but have failed to win any of their last eight games.
“It might well be that 46 enough, but we want to reach that 50 mark,” he said.
“We want to get as many points on the board as we can.
“We always think it's important to try to finish well. Players and supporters go into the summer break in good heart.
“But with this season being such a strange and unusual one I think it will matter less.
“I think it's a season where a lot people will say let's completely put it behind us and completely start afresh in July when we come back.”