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Opposition Guide: Mansfield Town

14 January 2022

We take a closer look at Saturday's opponents Mansfield Town in our Opposition Guide.

FULL NAME: MANSFIELD TOWN

NICKNAME: THE STAGS

FOUNDED: 1897

STADIUM: ONE CALL STADIUM (9,186)

LAST SEASON: 16TH (LEAGUE TWO)

CURRENT POSITION: 8TH

 

MANAGER: NIGEL CLOUGH

Nigel Clough has been in charge at the One Call Stadium for 14 months having joined in November 2020.

He arrived with the club 22nd in League Two and guided them to safety, finishing comfortably in 16th.

Despite picking up seven points from their first three matches, Clough’s men endured difficult first three months of the season and found themselves 23rd after 14 matches.

A run of eight league wins from nine has seen them rise to eighth in recent weeks as Clough has got a real tune out of his squad with patience and hard work.

He spent the first 10 years of his managerial career as Burton Albion’s player-manager.

In 2006, Clough’s side held Premier League giants Manchester United to a 0-0 draw in the third round of the FA Cup. They lost the replay 5-0 at Old Trafford.

In January 2009, Clough left the Pirelli Stadium to become Derby County’s manager in the Championship.

He spent four years at Pride Park but left the club in September 2013.

Nigel Clough Burton 640x360.jpg

His next job came at Sheffield United. He guided the Blades to the FA Cup semi-final in 2014, losing 5-3 to then Premier League side Hull City and a League Cup semi-final the following year. Clough parted company with the South Yorkshire club in the summer of 2015 following play-off semi-final defeat to Swindon Town.

He returned to Burton in December 2015 and led them to promotion from League One in 2016.

Clough kept Burton up in their first season in the Championship but they were relegated back to League One in 2018. A year later, they reached the Carabao Cup semi-final, losing to eventual winners Manchester City.

He left Burton in 2020.

 

THE CAPTAIN: OLLIE CLARKE

Ollie Clarke joined Mansfield in the summer of 2020 under then manager Graham Coughlan.

A real presence in the heart of the Stags’ midfield, Clarke has already chalked up 59 appearances and has netted six times for the Nottinghamshire outfit.

Clarke spent 10 seasons at Bristol Rovers where he played a key role in their rise from the National League to League One as they won promotion in 2015 and 2016.

He played 269 times for Rovers and scored 22 times at the Memorial Stadium.

 

TOP SCORER: DANNY JOHNSON

Danny Johnson leads the way in terms of Mansfield’s scoring charts this season with seven goals in all competitions.

One of those seven came in the reverse fixture at the Banks’s Stadium in September but it was a mere consolation as the Saddlers won 3-1.

He recently scored a hat-trick against Newcastle United Under 21s in the Papa John’s Trophy.

Johnson arrived from Leyton Orient in the summer on the back of scoring 20 goals for the O’s last season.

The 28-year-old has also had spells at Dundee, Motherwell and Gateshead.

 

BETWEEN THE STICKS: NATHAN BISHOP

Nathan Bishop has played 27 times this season and established himself in the Mansfield net.

The 22-year-old is enjoying a fine loan spell from Premier League side Manchester United.

Bishop began his career at Southend United and made his professional debut in December 2017, aged 18.

 

FORM GUIDE

Mansfield are in red hot form in terms of the league.

They have won five league games in a row and won eight of their last nine in League Two.

In all competitions, they’ve lost just one of their last seven which was against Championship side Middlesbrough in the Emirates FA Cup.

They’re particularly strong at home in the league with eight wins and just three defeats.

 

HEAD-TO-HEAD

Today's teams have met a total of 71 times in all competitions ever since an FA Cup 6th Qualifying Round tie back in 1921.

Needing a replay, Walsall made it through to the First Round with a comfortable 4-0 win at Fellows Park and have enjoyed the fixture ever since with 31 wins to 22 losses.

After 12 years away, the Saddlers finally faced up against the Stags once again following relegation in 2019 but a 2-1 defeat saw them sink to 21st in the league.

Graphic: Edward Martin

Drawing their last visit to Field Mill, manager Matt Taylor will also take confidence from the fact his side have only lost five of their last 20 league encounters with Mansfield Town and will be looking to do the double after a brace from George Miller and a third from Ash Taylor ensured a 3-1 win in the reverse fixture back in September.

INTERESTING FACT: Walsall's scoring exploits of 126 goals in 71 games (1.77) against Mansfield Town is only bettered in the league by their record against Exeter City, with 154 goals in 82 games (1.88).

 

PREVIOUS MEETING

George Miller scored a brace on his home debut back in September as the Saddlers won 3-1 at the Banks's Stadium.

Relive it here:

 


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