Opposition view: Clough hails 'outstanding' Mansfield after win over Cobblers

'Northampton are known for being very dangerous from set-plays so it was nice to score with one of our own.'
Nigel Clough.Nigel Clough.
Nigel Clough.

Mansfield Town boss Nigel Clough hailed his side's 'outstanding' performance after their 1-0 victory against Northampton on Saturday.

Oliver Hawkins scored the only goal of the game midway through the first-half but Mansfield had chances for more, denied by Town goalkeeper Liam Roberts on numerous occasions.

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“The performance certainly warranted the three points today,” said Clough. “Against one of the top teams in the league - I thought we were outstanding from start to finish.

“There were a lot of good individual performances today, made up with a great team win.

"Northampton are known for being very dangerous from set-plays so it was nice to score with one of our own.

“How we haven’t scored another one after that is more down to their goalkeeper than anything.

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“It was a good corner from Matty Longstaff for the goal, we try to put it the deliveries in the right sort of areas and it’s a brilliant header.

“We didn’t make any mistakes today, that’s the key. We made a couple of little ones on Tuesday at Hartlepool and we were punished.

“Sometimes you get away with them but today we didn’t make any mistakes.

“I think our goalkeeper was a spectator for much of the game, especially the second-half.”

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On Paul Lewis' second-half red card, Clough added: “I think the referee has given him two yellows: one for the tackle and one for the push.

“It’s not then an absolute certainty that you’re going to go on and win the game after the opposition lose a man, that’s why we wanted the second goal.

“We were doing everything we could to get it. We got into some brilliant positions and situations today, their goalkeeper made a few outstanding saves and also, they made a lot of blocks.

“There are eight games still to go but it’s nice to get back into the top seven, especially with those games in hand.”