Mansfield boss Clough plays down Cobblers' promotion chances and backs Bristol Rovers to finish third

‘I actually think Bristol Rovers are the favourites to go up now because of the fixtures.’
Nigel Clough.Nigel Clough.
Nigel Clough.

Mansfield Town manager Nigel Clough believes Bristol Rovers are favourites to win automatic promotion going into the final weekend of the season.

Northampton look best placed given they currently sit third in League Two, above Bristol Rovers on goal difference, but Clough sees it differently.

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Rovers host bottom-of-the-table Scunthorpe United on the final day of the while Cobblers go to Barrow. Mansfield themselves are not out of the picture and could pip both teams to third with victory over Forest Green.

"We need to make sure we get in the play-offs,” said Clough. “Everything else goes out of the window. We will go for the win.

"Northampton have got a tough one up at Barrow but I actually think Bristol Rovers are the favourites to go up now because of the fixtures.

"They are at home to Scunthorpe which is an ideal fixture on the last day of the season. Unless Scunthorpe produce something miraculous, which they haven’t done over the last 45 games, then Bristol Rovers are probably favourites.

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"It’s a tough one for Northampton at Barrow. It’s in their hands and if they win, they are up, but it is a tough game for them.”

Mansfield host title-chasing Forest Green on the final day.

Clough added: “They have the incentive to win the league with Exeter playing Port Vale. It’s not a case of them coming here and being on the beach. They will be desperate to win the league.

"I think they actually suffered from being so far ahead because they were almost promoted at Christmas.”