Winless when he arrived, Mansfield City have now received 5 in a row and discover themselves just 5 points outside the Play-Offs in Sky Bet League Two. Chatting with Mark Clemmit on the Official EFL Podcast, Nigel Clough opens up on his return to administration.
“After I took the job any individual requested me, ‘why?’ I rotated to him and said, ‘why not?’”
By no means one to shy away from a challenge, Clough took the job at Mansfield in November, with the side winless in Sky Bet League Two. On Saturday, victory over Southend United was the Stags’ fifth win in a row and seventh in 13 video games for the reason that former Burton Albion manager’s appointment.
“It is a great membership, it’s received good potential and good house owners, why wouldn’t I take the job right here?” he said. “It’s a new challenge that we’re very a lot having fun with and wanting forward to the future.”
Following the suspended League One season in March 2020 due to the outbreak of coronavirus, Clough made the robust – and selfless – decision to stroll away from Burton Albion – a membership the place he had spent 15 years within the dugout throughout two managerial spells, throughout which his success included guiding the membership to the Championship for the primary time of their history.
With the league season quickly suspended, Clough sacrificed his job in order that others might hold theirs.
“Everybody was very involved last year with when followers have been going to return,” he admitted.
“We had no business income on the time and nobody knew what was going to occur, so I felt it was a mandatory decision for me to take for the nice of the membership and to try and hold a few of my colleagues on the football membership in work.”
Clough guided Burton Albion to the Championship for the primary time within the membership’s 71-year history, a moment Burton followers will little doubt always remember. He additionally led the membership on an historic cup run within the 2018/19 marketing campaign, because the Brewers reached the Semi-Finals of the Carabao Cup that season, solely to be knocked out by eventual winners, Manchester City.
“There aren’t any ensures whenever you leave a football membership the place and whenever you’re going to get back in, or if,” Clough admitted to Clemmit on the Official EFL Podcast.
“That made the decision to leave Burton even tougher. We utilized for jobs all over, I thought of going as much as Scotland at one point and we just utilized for no matter vacancies there have been out there.
“Then swiftly Mansfield City popped up. I had an preliminary chat with David Sharpe who was very spectacular and we just went from there really.”
Nevertheless it wasn’t a simple activity, regardless of Clough to this point making it look so. The Stags have been winless in League Two when he took to the dugout, however he’s soon turned issues round and with seven wins from their last 13 – together with winning their last 5 in a row – Mansfield are on the up.
“I don’t suppose the proper membership exists, every one is totally different and as a manager you’ve to to go in and do the best job you could, however I see actual potential at Mansfield. I feel with the present house owners and David as Chief Government there’s actual potential for the future.
“It was a bit unusual at first as a result of my first sport was truly a sport that I wasn’t in command of. We went to look at a sport first, managed to talk to the players earlier than the sport and at half-time briefly, however we have been solely watching so it wasn’t till the next week that we correctly received concerned on the coaching ground and met everybody.
“The primary shock for the players was after I opened the door and truly let the canine into the coaching ground, so within the first assembly that I had with the players they met the canine. I clearly defined to them that those that appreciated the canine have been extra more likely to get within the team than those that didn’t!”
With half a season nonetheless to go and momentum on their side, is it too soon to be speaking a couple of Play-Off push?
“Well we undoubtedly have to hold the momentum going as a lot as we are able to,” Clough continued. “Why not? However we’re additionally very conscious that it’s fairly fragile in football generally. We’re on a great run however should you lose a few video games swiftly you’re wanting over your shoulder once more.
“We all the time said if we are able to just get safe as soon as we are able to, then we are able to start having fun with to play slightly bit extra, in order that’s nonetheless the purpose however the players are having fun with it, I’m having fun with it and they’re working really hard, as they’ve completed since day one.”
It’s hard to not discuss to Clough with out touching on his father Brian’s memorable days in football. He joked how his dad used to tease him that he’d by no means beat him at something, however with greater than 1,000 video games in administration under his belt, he would possibly do him on longevity.
“It’s the one factor that I can beat him on, let’s be real looking! He all the time used to tease me that I might by no means beat him at something. I used to be undoubtedly by no means going to score as many goals as him, he instructed me that from day one. Along with his administration report and trophies, I received’t beat that both so if I can cling on in there in administration for longer than him, it’s one thing!”