Clough expects Cobblers to have 'renewed determination' for play-off first leg against Mansfield

‘We have worked unbelievably hard for nine or 10 months to get to this stage - don't blow it.’
Nigel Clough.Nigel Clough.
Nigel Clough.

Mansfield boss Nigel Clough is expecting to face a Cobblers team with ‘renewed determination’ in tomorrow’s play-off semi-final first leg at Field Mill.

Town will be desperate to bounce back from the disappointment of missing out on automatic promotion on the final day of the season.

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"For them to win as they did and the other team to score seven is a freakish couple of results but they have to deal with it," said Clough. "It might give them a renewed determination not to let the season end on that note.

"It's much of muchness who you get this stage. We really have to look at ourselves and we have to be good enough now - don't be looking at the opposition."

Mansfield failed to win any of their first 14 games in all competitions this season and were only one place outside the relegation zone after losing at Sixfields in the autumn.

Clough added: "Eighteen months ago we were down there, and as recently as six months ago we were down there, so to rise as we have done has been remarkable.

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"We go into the play-off in good heart. This is nothing like the regular season, you come to these games and it's two mini cup finals.

"If players do their job, and to a good enough standard for two games, we could be going to Wembley and have a chance of getting promoted.

"We have worked unbelievably hard for nine or 10 months to get to this stage - don't blow it."

Defender Kellan Gordon is the only player not available to Clough, with captain Ollie Clarke back in the frame.