Clough wary of 'heartbroken' Cobblers and says play-off tie will be decided at Field Mill

‘We need to make sure we are in with more than a chance after the first leg.’
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Mansfield boss Nigel Clough believes his side’s play-off semi-final with the Cobblers will be decided in the first leg at Field Mill on Saturday night.

The Stags finished in the final play-off spot after drawing 2-2 with Forest Green on the final day, setting up a two-legged affair with Northampton.

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“I think we are going into the play-offs in good heart and with some momentum,” said Clough.

Nigel Clough.Nigel Clough.
Nigel Clough.

“It was an incredible finish to the season and absolutely heart-breaking for Northampton, but congratulations to Bristol Rovers on going up.

“I think the home leg of the play-offs against Northampton will be where it the tie will be decided. Our performances at home this season have been outstanding.

“We need to make sure we are in with more than a chance after the first leg.”

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Mansfield did have an outside chance of finishing third going into the final day but Clough was happy to secure a play-off place.

He added: “We are still in with a chance of promotion and before kick-off we'd have taken that.

“Our aim at the start of the season was to get in the top seven and obviously we'd have loved automatic promotion.

“Bristol Rovers were always going to win so it was all about making sure we got that point. It was tough but we got there.

“They (Forest Green) needed a point to win the league so it couldn't have worked out better for both teams.”