Nigel Clough: Mansfield Town boss says resilience of Stags has helped confidence

Mansfield boss Nigel Clough looks across the pitch during a game
Nigel Clough has been in charge of Mansfield Town since November 2020

Mansfield Town boss Nigel Clough says the resilience his side has shown so far this season has helped instil a new sense of belief in the squad.

The Stags beat Accrington Stanley 3-0 on Saturday, with two wonder goals sealing three points to move them up to third in the League Two table.

They remain the only English Football League team yet to suffer any kind of defeat in all competition this season.

"We have more confidence than we have done before," Clough said.

The result at Accrington was the Stags' first away victory and first away clean sheet of the season.

"I think we've been better this season," Clough said of his side's performance against Accrington.

"I thought we played better at Doncaster and at Crewe and at times at Grimsby. We didn't have the control of the game that we've had in previous ones.

"A few times we did get into our stride and show that rhythm and we were very good. And of course the goals, to score three goals of that standard, all in one game is very very unusual.

"Normally you'd maybe get one outstanding goal, but all three of them, two flashes of individual brilliance and then a great team goal."

Clough was pleased to take four points from their previous two games - which included a goalless draw against Bradford - and that his side's ability to come back from losing positions has been an important factor to keeping their unbeaten status.

It took a late Rhys Oates equaliser against Championship side Sheffield Wednesday in late August to help the Stags edge past the Owls on penalties in the Carabao Cup.

"You need that resilience, especially going behind in numerous games, which has been too many," Clough told BBC Radio Nottingham. "It's a very important basis going forward.

"It is one of the reasons we have stayed unbeaten, we weren't at our best at home against Bradford and managed to get a draw.

"The result at Accrington makes that a better draw because anyone would have taken a win at home to Bradford and draw at Accrington."

Mansfield's solid start to the season has been all the more impressive considering the injuries that have decimated the squad, which includes losing Oates and Stephen Quinn for months while Alfie Kilgour is out for the rest of the season.

"We've got to keep it going," Clough said.

"The next three games are going to be as big of a test than any.

"Two tough away games, with Barrow sandwiched in between it who have had a great start, so the next three will tell us how far along the road we are."