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Clucas is one to watch

6 December 2013

Sam is Stags' dangerman

Lee Johnson has identified Sam Clucas as the player Latics will have to watch in tomorrow's FA Cup with Budweiser, second-round tie against Mansfield Town at Boundary Park.

Latics' manager has been impressed with the 23-year-old midfield man (pictured) on his scouting missions to watch the Stags.

Clucas was a schoolboy at Leicester City but arrived at Mansfield via Lincoln City, a spell at the Glenn Hoddle Academy in Spain and Hereford United.

Johnson said: "Sam is a good player and a real threat. I can see how a lot of people are talking about him and he will be the one to watch.

"He will probably get a move, if not in January then at the end of the season."

Johnson believes Mansfield, who won back their Football League status in May, will be a threat, even though they have failed to win in their last 10 league matches.

However, during that spell they won 8-1 at St Albans City where Clucas scored four goals in a 16-minute spell.

He said: "Mansfield are a big, strong side and don't muck about. They get the ball forward quickly and have players who are a threat.

"They have a good budget and tend to get the better and experienced players for League Two as they can pay good wages."

Johnson will warn his side of the potential perils and banana skins awaiting them.

He continued: "I don't see much difference between ourselves and Mansfield.

"The gap between clubs in Leagues One and Two isn't great, certainly outside the top six in League One and bottom six in League Two.

"And when you look at the finances and what Mansfield have spent on players, may be we are the underdogs."

Johnson does not believe his players will underestimate Mansfield.

He said: "Who would have thought that the mighty Oldham would beat Liverpool and draw with Everton. That's the beauty of football and you never know what will happen.

"I don't believe our lads will be complacent because they are not in a position to be.

"As a manager, all I can do is to prepare and send out the team to the maximum.

"We try to be relentless in pursuit of excellence and do the right things day in, day out and leave no stone unturned.

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