Mansfield Town boss Nigel Clough hopeful of Boxing Day clash with Hartlepool United going ahead

Mansfield Town manager Nigel Clough remains hopeful Boxing’s clash with Hartlepool United will go ahead as planned after both club’s fell victim to COVID-19 postponements last weekend.

By Joe Ramage
Wednesday, 22nd December 2021, 4:30 pm

Clough’s Stags were set to take on League Two leaders Forest Green Rovers, while Graeme Lee was preparing his side for a trip to face Colchester United before both games were called off due to an increase in COVID-19 cases among squads.

Football has been disrupted up and down the country, and throughout the leagues, recently as the new Omicron variant continues to sweep the nation with Government officials re-introducing certain measures.

Clubs have been informed by the EFL, however, that fixtures will continue to be played where it is safe to do so, assuming that the set squad criteria can be fulfilled by clubs.

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Hartlepool United travel to face Mansfield Town on Boxing Day. (Credit: Mark Fletcher | MI News)

Clubs will be expected to play games where it has 14 players, including a goalkeeper, available from their registered squad list and Clough has supported the decision from the EFL to try and carry on.

“I’m delighted we’re continuing, providing everything’s safe,” the Mansfield boss told the Chad newspaper.

“Obviously we hope the game will go ahead and we’re all doing all we can to keep a very important Boxing Day fixture.

"We’ve had positive reports from Hartlepool that they should be able to play the game and we’re doing all we can to stay safe to enable us to be on the pitch for the games over Christmas.”

Pools will face a tough test at Field Mill with Clough’s side the form team in League Two at the moment having won five of their last six games.

And the former Derby County and Burton Albion boss is looking forward to taking on Lee’s side.

“The new manager has come in at Hartlepool and is settling in so he’ll have had some time to work with the team, apart from those isolating, and it should be a very interesting one for us.

"At home, we’re confident and feel we could take on anybody at the moment, so with Hartlepool and Middlesbrough in the FA Cup our next two home games, they’re ones to look forward to.”

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