The Stags announced Nigel Clough as their new manager in November 2020. Mr. Clough joined the Stags after spells in charge of Derby County, Sheffield United and Burton Albion. As a player, he made over 300 league appearances for Nottingham Forest, becoming the second-highest scorer in Forest’s history, before moving to Liverpool in 1993.
Clough also spent time with Manchester City and Burton Albion as a player, in a career that saw him make 14 caps for England. His managerial career started with non-league Burton Albion in 1998, and after steady progress in each of his first three seasons, the Brewers were crowned champions of the Northern Premier League in his fourth term at the helm. Burton were on course to earn promotion to the Football League for the first time in their history in the 2008/09 season, as Clough led them to the top of the Conference table, which included a run of 11 straight victories along the way.
He moved to Championship outfit Derby County in 2009, leaving a table-topping Burton side that would eventually go on to secure their Football League status in that season. Derby had fears of relegation before Nigel Clough took charge, but the now-54-year-old improved the club’s form and finished 14th in his first full term, four places higher than the previous campaign. In 2011/12, he led the Rams to their best start to a season in 106 years, as they began their campaign with four victories from four. He joined Sheffield United in 2013, and despite the Blades sitting in the relegation zone when he took charge, they ended the campaign seventh in League One.
Sheffield United also became the first third-tier side to reach the semi-finals of the FA Cup since 2001, a run which included victories over Premier League outfits Aston Villa and Fulham. This success led to Clough being named as the FA Cup Manager of the Year. Nigel Clough returned to Burton Albion in 2015, guiding the Brewers to the Championship for the first time in their history.
Three To Watch:
In July, the Stags announced the signing of goalkeeper Christy Pym on loan from Peterborough United until the end of the 2022/23 campaign. The shot-stopper spent the second half of last season on loan at Sky Bet League Two side Stevenage, making 23 appearances. Pym started his career at Exeter City where he played 151 times across seven years in Devon. In July 2019, the keeper left the Grecians and signed for Sky Bet League One outfit Peterborough. The Exeter-born player won the Sky Bet League One ‘Golden Glove’ award in 2019/20, keeping 15 clean sheets in an excellent season in Cambridgeshire. Pym appeared 82 times for the Posh before his loan move to Stevenage earlier this year.
In June 2020 Mansfield announced the signing of experienced striker Jordan Bowery from MK Dons, after the two clubs agreed terms for the transfer of the 29-year-old. The former MK Dons’ frontman became the first Stags' signing since the conclusion of the regular 2019/20 Sky Bet League Two season. After emerging from Chesterfield’s youth system, Bowery went on to make more than 100 appearances for the club before securing a transfer to Premier League Aston Villa for £500,000 in 2012. Following a loan spell at Doncaster Rovers, the 6ft 2in striker joined Rotherham for more than £160,000. His next spell, at Oxford United, saw Bowery score seven goals in 16 appearances, before loans at Leyton Orient and Crewe Alexandra. After impressing at Alexandra Stadium, he made his move permanent to the Alex in May 2017 and following a fruitful two years, earned a deal at League One MK Dons. Bowery finished as the Stags' top scorer in 2020/21 with ten goals.
In June 2021, Mansfield Town announced the signing of prolific striker Danny Johnson from Leyton Orient on a two-year contract. The frontman notched 20 goals in 2020/21 for the O’s, including a run of five goals in the first five matches of the season. Johnson began his career as a youngster with Middlesbrough, before moving into the youth system at Hartlepool. After spells with Harrogate Town and Billingham Synthonia, the now-30-year-old would enjoy his most prolific spell with Guisborough Town. Johnson netted an astonishing 59 goals in all competitions in the 2013/14 campaign, leading him to the Manager’s Player of the Year award, the Northern Football League’s Player of the Year award and BBC Newcastle’s Player of the Year award. Not only this, but his stunning goalscoring exploits would land him a move to Championship side Cardiff City, where he scored regularly for the under-21 development squad. A move to Gateshead followed, with Johnson netting 52 goals in three years with the Tynesiders. Spells in Scotland with Motherwell and Dundee preceded his switch to East London, netting 20 goals in 48 appearances for Leyton Orient in 2020/21. Johnson spent the first half of the season on loan to Walsall but returned to the One Call Stadium at the end of the January transfer window.
Manager Scott Lindsey said:
“The preparation for the game has been good. We will travel up to the game early on Friday morning and train at a location before we arrive at the hotel. We face very tough opposition in Mansfield on Saturday. They have a few injury problems themselves. They also find themselves in a poor period of form in terms of results. I think it has been around four weeks since they last picked up a victory, so you could say that it is the right time to play them. We’re really looking forward to the game, but we are respectful of their qualities and are expecting a tough battle. Hopefully, we take a large number of fans up there and have a good go at beating one of the better sides in this division.
Last Time Out:
Crawley came out on top when Mansfield Town visited the Broadfield Stadium in October 2022. Ashley Nadesan gave Crawley an early lead with a fine finish past Christy Pym in the second minute. Tom Nichols doubled Crawley’s lead in the 13th minute with a powerful header from a Jack Powell set-piece. Jordan Bowery pulled one back only a few moments later from the penalty spot, and it wasn’t long before George Lapslie levelled things up for the Stags in the 27th minute. Fortunately for Crawley, Nadesan was on hand with another quickfire goal to restore the lead. This time, the striker found the net within the first minute of the second half to get the all-important goal that Crawley deserved under then Interim-Manager Lewis Young.
HOW THEY BET*
Mansfield Town 3/5
Crawley Town 17/4
*Odds correct at the time of writing as of our league betting partners Sky Bet. Please gamble responsibly.