Nigel Clough not dwelling on his old Wembley days as Mansfield eye promotion

Clough’s side take on Port Vale at the national stadium for a chance to earn a spot in the third tier for the first time in almost 20 years.

By Press Association Published: 27 May 2022 - 9.51am

Mansfield boss Nigel Clough does not want to bore his players with stories of his previous Wembley exploits ahead of Saturday’s League Two play-off final.

Clough’s side take on Port Vale at the national stadium for a chance to earn a spot in the third tier for the first time in almost 20 years.

While visiting Wembley might be a first for most of his squad, it will not be a new experience for Clough, who played at the old stadium several times and has also managed at the new one with Sheffield United.

The 56-year-old knows all about taking the glory there as he scored two goals in the 1989 League Cup final as Nottingham Forest beat Luton and also played the following year as Forest won it again with a 1-0 win over Oldham.

But he will not share those tales ahead of this game.

“It was 1989 so it was a few years ago,” he said.

“They’re not interested in that. They weren’t even born. We have got a lot of players over 30 but even still. We won’t bore them with old stories like that.”

The players may be grateful not to hear the story of what happened to the Forest side after the 1990 success over Oldham.

Despite winning 1-0, boss Brian Clough was not happy with his team’s performance so got them in the day after to do some running.

But Clough junior will spare his side the same treatment.

He added: “I remember being much more nervous for the second one against Oldham.

“I felt the weight of expectation more for that one than the first one.

“We didn’t play very well that day but we won 1-0 and the manager was disappointed in our performance so he made us go running the next day. Because the performance wasn’t good enough.

“It’s a little bit different being the last day of the season, I don’t think we can get them in on Sunday, much as we may like to.”

One thing that Clough will tell his players, though, is to take the opportunity to make some memories.

“This is a big chance for the players, family and friends,” he said.

“Yes, we do it for ourselves and the team and everything like that.

“But players will be very aware of their loved ones being there and it is an opportunity to create memories for them.

“Mansfield don’t go to Wembley very often and haven’t been in League One too often. We have 90 minutes to try to get us there.

“It will be a good day, but only if we get a result. We are not going there for anything else.”

BT Sport Monthly Pass

Join the home of live sport for just £25 per month. Get instant access to the BT Sport app, with no contract and no BT broadband required.