Graham Coughlan praises players fighting qualities after Newport draw at Mansfield
Newport manager Graham Coughlan feels his players have come out fighting after the Exiles drew 0-0 with 10-man Mansfield at Field Mill to remain unbeaten since he took charge of the club last week.
The visitors created the better chances throughout the game but were unable to make their numerical advantage count after Mansfield’s James Perch was sent off in the second half.
Perch dragged down Omar Bogle on 59 minutes with the striker through on goal and was shown a second yellow card by the referee.
County’s best chance fell to captain Mickey Demetriou who planted a free header at the back post straight at Mansfield’s on loan goalkeeper Christy Pym.
Newport manager Coughlan said: “I’m really proud of them, they’ve had a tough time, they’ve been in dark places and they’ve come out fighting for me yet again.
“It’s a tough one, when a team goes down to 10 men you would like to go and win it.
“The chances we created in the first 20 minutes, we’ve started fast, I have to be really proud of them and really pleased with them.
“It’s another clean sheet, had somebody offered me that at the start of the game I would have taken it.
“I’m not sure we asked enough questions, we worked their goalie enough – I have to give credit to Mansfield they put their bodies on the line.
“We’ve come a long way, the club has been in some dark places over the last couple of weeks and months.
“There is a bit of spirit for everyone to grab a hold of and run with, I’m not going to get too excited, it’s crawl, walk and then run.”
The Stags failed to force Newport goalkeeper Joe Day into a meaningful save and had their best spell just before veteran defender Perch saw red.
Mansfield boss Nigel Clough said: “It could prove to be an important point, I thought we had our best spell after the break just before the sending off.
“We were just getting into our rhythm and playing and then unfortunately we’ve gone down to 10-men and it’s a different sort of game from that point.
“I thought the first one [yellow for Perch] was a little bit soft, the referee hasn’t got too much choice of a choice to make with the second one.
“There was only one bad tackle in the game in the 95th minute, it wouldn’t have affected the result of the game in any way but you want a bit of consistency.
“I thought we did play some good stuff without creating too much, credit to them, they were very big, strong, organised and difficult to break down.
“We had enough situations, that final ball just needed to be a bit better, I didn’t think our set plays were great.”
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