Mansfield Town manager Nigel Clough expressed his satisfaction with the team’s impressive victory over Harrogate Town, a side that had previously been a challenging opponent. However, he also believed the win could have been even more convincing and lamented the missed opportunity for a clean sheet.
Stags had never managed to beat Harrogate in their previous encounters, but in this match, they found themselves in a comfortable 4-0 lead, with several other chances going astray before Harrogate managed to score a goal in the final 10 minutes.
Clough remarked, “It’s about time after seven games against them without a win, and it was nice to do it in style.”
He also mentioned the team’s extended break of 10 days without a game and how it can sometimes be uncertain how the players will perform. However, he was pleased with the way his players displayed their rested state.
While acknowledging that a 4-1 away win is a fantastic result, Clough pointed out a couple of issues that concerned him. He felt that the team didn’t start the second half well, and they should have kept a clean sheet.
He stressed the importance of the team taking more pride in their defensive performance, highlighting their strong defensive record in the current season and emphasizing the need to maintain it.
Clough also believed that the team had missed opportunities to score more goals, particularly in the second half. He expected Harrogate to come out strong after the break, but he felt the team’s performance in the second half was not up to par with their first-half showing.
Nonetheless, he praised the team’s ability to keep Harrogate at bay, which had been a challenge in previous encounters. He also lauded Lucas Akins for scoring a brace and reaching the milestone of 100 league goals, describing it as a wonderful achievement, particularly considering Akins’ reputation as a team player.