Mansfield Town manager Nigel Clough has praised his squad after upsetting Championship side Sheffield Wednesday in the second round of the Carabao Cup, according to Yorkshire Live .
Clough’s side would come from behind against Sheffield Wednesday to tie the game, before progressing to the third round of the Carabao Cup after winning 5-4 on penalties.
Goalkeeper Christy Pym was the hero after saving two of Wednesday’s penalties, one of those coming in sudden death, as the Stags held their nerve to put their name in the hat for the third round draw.
With the addition of the Premier League teams in Europe coming in the third round, Stags fans will be hoping to draw one of them, as the team look to continue to prove themself this season.
Mansfield are still unbeaten this season in League Two as well, and currently sit seventh in the table following two wins and three draws from their opening five games. AFC Wimbledon and Swindon Town are the only two other unbeaten sides in the fourth tier, and Clough will be hoping that his side can continue this run and outlast both of the opposition’s unbeaten runs.
Although Sheffield Wednesday are still winless in the Championship this season, it is a very impressive victory for the League Two side. The achievement is made only greater through the fact that Mansfield completed a cup upset away from home and it is well-documented just how hard in can be going to Hillsborough to get a result.
Clough will now be hoping that the added momentum of a cup upset can turn some draws into wins in the league, as Mansfield look to once again challenge for promotion from the fourth tier this season. The Nottinghamshire side narrowly missed out on making the play-offs last season, missing out on the final spot only due to goal difference.
With what looks a stronger side this year and after an unbeaten start to the season, it would be expected that the Stags will be right towards the top this season, and Clough has been very impressed with how his side are playing.
What’s been said?
Speaking to Yorkshire Live following their cup victory, Clough said:
“I thought second half we were absolutely outstanding. What a goal it was too – 32 passes, I’m told, leading up to the goal. It was a magnificent finish. I thought the win, based on that second half performance, was deserved. We seemed to grow in the confidence as the game went on.
“As soon as you get to penalties it’s a lottery, 50-50. But Christy Pym came up with the save. It’s not a fluke. We’ve played like that most of the season so that’s why we’re unbeaten.”
Mansfield Goalkeeper Christy Pym, in an interview with BBC Radio Nottingham added:
“You saw how confident the boys were taking [the penalties] but I fancied us to go on and win the game in normal time – I thought we were brilliant.
“They were a Championship side and couldn’t get near us. With the quality they’ve got they are going to get one or two chances, but we limited them to not too many and on the ball we were excellent.”
Mansfield have made an exceptional start to the new season and the defeat that they handed to Sheffield Wednesday shows that they’re really going places at the minute. It seems over the last couple of seasons that they are always in and around the play-offs but I really think this could be the year where we see the Stags maybe even battle for automatic promotion. If able to turn some of their draws into wins then they’ll have a great chance and times are truly bright under Clough currently.