Nigel Clough: Mansfield Town boss excited for play-offs after 'rollercoaster' season

Mansfield boss Nigel Clough
Nigel Clough is in his first full season in charge of Mansfield Town

Boss Nigel Clough says Mansfield Town have gone from "down and out" to "on top of the world" in a "rollercoaster ride" to the League Two play-offs.

A 12-game winless run left the Stags in the relegation places in October before a club-record 11 successive home league wins helped them surge up the table.

A draw with Forest Green on Saturday saw them finish seventh to book a play-off semi-final with Northampton.

"It's exciting. We didn't expect to get there a few months ago," he said.

"So to manage to be in with a chance [of promotion] at this stage has given everyone a real lift.

"To have a run of games where we couldn't get a win or buy a win to save our lives and come back to reach the top seven has been very interesting.

"We have been down and out, then we felt like we were on top of the world with some of the football we have played, especially at home.

"We have to try to continue it now for what is hopefully three more games."

'Don't blow it'

Former Derby County, Sheffield United and Burton boss Clough, who is in his first full season in charge at Field Mill, is looking to guide Mansfield to promotion to the third tier for the first time in 19 years.

When he took over in November 2020, the Stags were third from bottom of League Two.

"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," Clough, 56, told BBC Radio Nottingham.

"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."

Clough said he expects to face a Northampton side with "renewed determination" after they were sensationally denied automatic promotion on the final day of the regular season.

Bristol Rovers leapfrogged the Cobblers in the table to claim the third and final automatic place on goals scored after thumping Scunthorpe 7-0.

"They won't want that freakish final day to ruin their season," Clough added.

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