Mansfield Town are on a roll and former Nottingham Forest man Stephen McLaughlin is a man bang in form.
Nigel Clough oversaw a fourth straight win in all competitions as the Stags defeated Stevenage at the weekend.
McLaughlin teed up the first goal for John Joe-O’Toole to set Mansfield on their way to a win.
His efforts earned him a place in the League Two Team of the Week for the first time this season.
It’s been a tough few months for the North Nottinghamshire outfit. Some had criticised Clough after a run of 14 games without a win.
Now, he’s got a few players back from injury and the hope will be that the Stags can start climbing the table.
Interestingly, McLaughlin has been playing at left-back for Clough during the 2021/22 campaign.
It was there where Stuart Pearce utilised him when the axe fell on his tenure as the Forest boss.
A mistake from McLaughlin against Millwall saw Forest lose 1-0 at Millwall back in 2015, signalling the end of the club legend’s time as manager.
Since then he was worked hard to make a name for himself.
He departed Forest at the end of the 2015/15 campaign and signed for Southend United.
There he became a firm fan favourite, making 186 appearances for the club, scoring 25 goals and claiming 29 assists.
After five years and with Southend spiralling into crisis, McLaughlin made the move to Mansfield in September 2020.
He’s now made 55 appearances for the Stags and has been a mainstay in Mansfield’s team this season.
Why didn’t it work out for McLaughlin at Forest?
The players initially signed for the Reds as a winger with bags of potential from Derry City.
Injuries at the club meant that he was called up to the first team and he made 12 outings for Forest in total.
At the time, however, McLaughlin was still finding his feet when it came to the men’s game and the Championship proved a tough assignment for him.
He spent time with Bristol City and Notts County on loan and there he did offer some promise.
Ultimately, the second tier proved too much for him to handle during his time at Forest and off he went in 2015.
He has proved himself lower down the leagues though. He was quality at Southend and he’s also showcased his versatility to play anywhere on the left side.
McLaughlin is doing the business for Mansfield right now and he’ll hope to continue helping Forest hero Clough climb the League Two table.