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Opposition profile: Mansfield Town

17 November 2021

With the Iron visiting the One Call Stadium this Saturday, we take a look at the season so far for Nigel Clough's Mansfield Town.

CURRENT POSITION

Mansfield come into the match sitting 18th in League Two, having won four, drawn five and lost seven of their games so far this term.

The victories came against Stevenage last Saturday (2-1) and Tranmere in the league fixture prior (2-0). Before those, they had not won for over two months, having seen off Bristol Rovers and Newport County (both 2-1) in their first two fixtures of the season.

They have won four games in a row in all competitions coming into the weekend.

LAST TIME OUT

Ryan Stirk's first Mansfield goal secured the Stags their first league away win of the season with a 2-1 victory over Stevenage.

Stevenage forward Jamie Reid saw an early effort hit the inside of the post before John-Joe O'Toole headed Mansfield in front from Stephen McLaughlin's fine free-kick after only 19 minutes.

Stags striker Ryan Oates squandered a great one-on-one chance before half-time before Reid was again denied by the woodwork deep in first-half stoppage time.

Stevenage skipper Scott Cuthbert levelled in the 55th minute when he nodded Arthur Read's corner home at the back post but Birmingham loanee Stirk put the visitors back in front 10 minutes later.

Nathan Bishop secured the three points for Mansfield with a fine sprawling save to keep out Jake Reeves late on.



THE MANAGER

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The Stags announced Nigel Clough as their new manager in November 2020, joining the club after spells in charge of Derby County, Sheffield United and Burton Albion.

As a player, he made over 300 league appearances for Nottingham Forest, becoming the second highest scorer in Forest’s history, before moving to Liverpool in 1993. He also spent time with Manchester City and Burton Albion as a player, in a career that saw him make 14 caps for England.

His managerial career started with non-league Burton Albion in 1998, and after steady progress in each of his first three seasons, the Brewers were crowned champions of the Northern Premier League in his fourth term at the helm.

Burton were on course to earn promotion to the Football League for the first time in their history in the 2008/09 season, as Clough led them to the top of the Conference table, which included a run of 11 straight victories along the way.

He moved to Championship outfit Derby County in 2009, leaving a table-topping Burton side who would eventually go on to secure their Football League status in that season.

Derby had fears of relegation before Clough took charge, but he improved the club’s form and finished 14th in his first full term, four places higher than the previous campaign.

In 2011/12, he led the Rams to their best start to a season in 106 years, as they began their campaign with four victories from four.

He joined Sheffield United in 2013, and despite the Blades sitting in the relegation zone when he took charge, they ended the campaign seventh in League One.

The Blades also became the first third-tier side to reach the semi-finals of the FA Cup since 2001, a run which included victories over Premier League outfits Aston Villa and Fulham. This success led to Clough being named as the FA Cup Manager of the Year.

Clough returned to Burton Albion in 2015, guiding the Brewers to the Championship for the first time in their history.

TOP SCORERS

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Summer additions Danny Johnson (pictured) and Oliver Hawkins both have four league goals apiece to their names.

Town signed striker Johnson from Leyton Orient on a two-year contract. He scored 20 goals in League Two last season.

Meanwhile, fellow forward Hawkins came from from Ipswich Town on a two-year deal for an undisclosed fee.

The 6ft 6ins targetman played 23 games last season and scored once, but he started just nine matches.

THE EVER-PRESENT

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Goalkeeper Nathan Bishop is the only ever-present in terms of league starts so far this season, having made 16 appearances. The young 'stopper is with the Stags on a season-long loan from Manchester United.

Hawkins has also appeared in all 16, but one was as a substitute.

FAMILAR FACE RULED OUT

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Experienced former Iron utility man James Perch fractured his skull in training during August and will miss the rest of the season.

The 36-year-old suffered the injury in an "innocuous aerial challenge".

A scan revealed the extent of Perch's injury, with the Stags offering their "unreserved support".

"I'd like to thank the medical staff at the club, the manager and his staff, my family and the Stags' fans for their support and well wishes," he said.

"I'll remain as positive as possible and as one of the experienced players in the squad, I'll be doing my utmost to support the boys in and around the training ground on a daily basis."

Perch was with the Iron between 2018 and 2020, scoring four times in 81 appearances.

THE SQUAD

NO NAME POS AGE PREVIOUS CLUB LG APPS (GOALS)
1 Nathan Bishop GK 22 Manchester United (loan) 16 (0)
2 Kellan Gordon DF 23 Derby 7 (0)
3 Stephen McLaughlin DF 31 Southend 15 (0)
4 Elliott Hewitt DF 27 Grimsby 14 (1)
5 Richard Nartey DF 23 Burnley (loan) 2 (0)
6 Farrend Rawson DF 25 Forest Green 15 (0)
7 Harry Charsley DF 25 Everton 9 (0)
8 Ollie Clarke MF 29 Bristol R 15 (1)
9 Jordan Bowery FW 30 MK Dons 12 (0)
10 George Maris MF 25 Cambridge 14 (1)
11 Danny Johnson FW 28 Leyton O 15 (4)
12 Oliver Hawkins FW 29 Ipswich 16 (4)
13 George Shelvey GK 20 Nott'm Forest (loan) 0 (0)
14 James Perch DF 36 Scunthorpe 4 (0)
15 Ryan Burke DF 21 Birmingham 4 (0)
16 Stephen Quinn MF 35 Burton 10 (0)
17 Tyrese Sinclair FW 20 None 8 (0)
18 Rhys Oates FW 26 Hartlepool 16 (2)
19 Keaton Ward MF 21 Barnsley 3 (0)
21 James Clarke DF 21 Burnley 4 (0)
23 William Forrester DF 20 Stoke (loan) 0 (0)
24 Marek Stech GK 31 Luton 0 (0)
25 Ryan Stirk MF 21 Birmingham (loan) 6 (1)
26 Jason Law MF 22 Carlton 1 (0)
31 James Gale FW - Long Eaton U 0 (0)
32 George Lapslie MF 24 Charlton 15 (1)
35 John-Joe O'Toole MF 33 Burton 2 (1)

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