Stags boss calling for crucial win to end worries
Nigel Clough is urging his side to end relegation worries by beating visiting Scunthorpe United tomorrow night (7pm).
Stags 1-0 win at Stevenage on Saturday - their first victory in nine outings – took them to just a point shy of the 50-point target that is likely to achieve safety.
But, with bottom two Grimsby Town and Southend United still able to catch them, Clough wants to see victory just in case the bottom two suddenly produce a string of unlikely wins to reach 50 points themselves.
“I think 50 points should be enough to see us over the line. But those runs of silly results do happen in the last four or five games of a season,” he said.
“Grimsby have only lost one in about 15 games so they are more than capable of doing it.
“Southend have a new manager coming in. You never know.
“We need to take it out of their hands with a good result tomorrow night. Then we look after it ourselves.”
But Scunthorpe are not safe either and sit two points behind Mansfield with a game in hand, so Clough said his side could not afford complacency.
“Just like every League Two side if we are not on it and playing well, people can turn you over. Every single team in the league is like that this season,” he said.
“They will want to hit the 50-point mark too which is why it will be an interesting game.
“They lost 3-2 at Forest Green on Saturday but were well in the game and 2-1 up. I think they are a very good team, especially away from home. They are set up to be solid and break on you.”
The Stevenage win, achieved when the ball broke kindly in front of goal for Ryan Sweeney, was a huge boost to hopes of avoiding the relegation scrap.
“We've not quite done that yet but it was a big, big step towards it,” said Clough.
“Another good result against Scunthorpe should see us there. It was a vital win for us.
“It's been coming. I think we've been close to winning a game in the last few weeks.
“But it was nice not to make a mistake and get a small break for the goal. I think we just about deserved it.
“It's amazing when it happens the difference it makes to your result. “We can control the mistakes but not that bit of luck in the penalty area. The goalkeeper was solid and the back four were solid.”
Tomorrow is Mansfield's final scheduled midweek game of a gruelling campaign and Clough added: “We do like midweek games but just not so many of them.
“With so many in the last two or three months it did get a bit arduous to say the least.
“It's nice to have our last one and it's a good opportunity for us to go out and finish with a win.
“We want a last big effort. We still have three to go after this one.
“It would be nice to be able to have a look at one or two things in those last three games though we'd still be trying to win them without doubt.”
Stephen Quinn is a doubt with an ankle problem while Mansfield will also make late checks on the fitness of James Perch and Ollie Clarke.