DYER OUT LONG TERM WITH CRUCIATE LIGAMENT TEAR
Mansfield Town boss Paul Cox fears Ross Dyer will be out "long term" after scans show a cruciate ligament tear in his knee.
Back to basics - Cox
mansfieldtown.net, 16th August 2012
Manager Paul Cox believes his side must go back to basics in order to get a positive result at Kidderminster Harriers this weekend.
We travel to Aggborough on the back of successive league defeats and the boss insists that now is the time for the team to improve their performance.
Cox said: “I've already made some decisions in my head about how the team will line up on Saturday.”
“We must now go back to basics in order to address the problems we are having in our own penalty box. We've made too many mistakes so far and have conceded some really sloppy goals.
“Having conceded eight goals in only two games, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to work out what the problem is. I totally agree with the supporters who say we haven't been good enough so far and I offer my apologies to them.”
Cox watched from the sidelines as his side succumbed to a heavy defeat away at Gateshead on Tuesday night.
The International Stadium has proved to be anything but a happy-hunting ground for our manager in recent years, who has been unable to record a victory from his previous three visits to the ground.
“In the first 15 minutes of the second half against Gateshead I thought we had the impetus,” continued the boss.
“But we made schoolboy errors and conceded the second goal. After that point, we then ended up chasing the game again and found ourselves on the back foot.
“Our problems at the moment are a culmination of a few things. One or two players have not stepped up to the mantle so far and they maybe feel a little bit sorry for themselves at the moment.
“You cannot afford to do that in football and it's now time for a few of the lads to step up to the mark.”
Kidderminster, our opponents this weekend, have also yet to record any points from their opening two league encounters, with Luton Town and Lincoln City being victorious over the Harriers in the past week.
The Worcestershire side also possess a familiar face within their ranks in the shape of former defender Exodus Geohaghon, who made 15 appearances for us during a loan spell last season.
Cox insists that Saturday's game is a massive one for both sides.
He continued: “We know that Saturday will be a tough game and the pressure starts now for us. Things need doing and we need to get some points on the board.”
“I will be looking for stability and solidness in the side. We also need to get back to having a strong mind-set and being more robust in our approach to the game.
“Sometimes hype and expectation is what we have to completely forget about, because more than anything though I want us to go out there and enjoy ourselves.
“I don't think we're a million miles away from being a good side. We've just made too many schoolboy errors and we now must step up to the mark.”
Ross Dyer was stretchered off during our defeat to Newport County on the opening day of the season and the manager has also revealed the extent of the striker's injury.
“We got the results of Ross's scan yesterday and it revealed that he has a slight tear in his anterior cruciate,” said Cox.
“It's obviously a big blow for us. He's now got to see a specialist but it's not looking good for him.
“We'll get some advice and then see where we go from there but we hope it isn't as bad as we fear and that he is back playing football as soon as possible.”
Along with Dyer, midfielder Adam Murray remains a long term absentee from the squad with an ankle injury. No date has yet been revealed for when the 30-year-old is likely to return to action.
Lee Beevers will also miss Saturday's match against the Harriers following his red card against Gateshead on Tuesday night, whilst Jamie Hand serves the final game of his three-match suspension
We're in this together - Meikle
mansfieldtown.net, 16th August 2012
Winger Lindon Meikle believes a strong determination to improve from within the squad could help us to arrest our disappointing start to the Blue Square Bet Premier season.
Speaking at today's press gathering, the 24-year-old, who has featured in both of our games so far this season, said: “Personally I cannot wait until Saturday as it's the first chance we'll have to get this horrible feeling out of our system.”
“People in the dressing room are starting to get angry with each other and I think that can be considered as a positive thing. We all have personal pride and it hurts us when we lose games.”
Meikle signed for us from Eastwood Town a little over a year ago and also believes the team have what it takes to improve following their slow start to the campaign.
He continued: “For me, this is one of the worst starts to a season that I have ever experienced.”
“Since the Rotherham game we've lacked togetherness on the pitch. We need to bond better, just like we did last season, and stop conceding sloppy goals.
“We have some very good players at this club. As a team we are all in it together and we should all be held accountable for our mistakes.”
“Hopefully we can sort out our problems because I want to win promotion this season.”
Meikle enjoyed a terrific debut campaign at One Call Stadium last term, scoring seven goals from 44 appearances.
His impressive form for us at club level saw him rewarded with a call-up to the England C squad during the summer and the winger says he enjoyed the experience of representing his country.
“It was a really good experience. We trained in Coventry for a few days and then flew out to Russia,” said Meikle.
“When we got there we trained at Lokomotiv Moscow's ground. All the lads there were great. Everything about the trip was really positive and it was an enjoyable experience
Exodus test for stuttering Mansfield Town at Kidderminster in clash of 'pointless' clubs
chad.co.uk, Thursday 16 August 2012
WITH Mansfield Town's current inability to defend balls into the box, the last thing they need this weekend is to have to face up to ex-Stag Exodus Geohaghon's long throws at Kidderminster on Saturday.
Mansfield have conceded four goals in both opening fixtures, losing 4-3 at home to Newport and 4-1 at Gateshead on Tuesday , and manager Paul Cox has threatened changes for the weekend.
“It has been an awful week,” he said. “They are just basic schoolboy errors that are costing us. We are never going to win a football match if we keep making them.
“I have made some decisions in my head about players. We have conceded eight goals in two games so it doesn't take a rocket scientist to see what needs doing.
“We did well in pre-season and that seems to have tickled our bellies a bit. But once the season starts and you are playing for points, you expect players to step up to the mantle and they haven't done that in the first two games.
“As we are one of the bookies' favourites, teams will raise their game against you. We have just got to get back to basics all over the park.”
He added: “We know what to expect on Saturday, having had Exodus here last season, and I just want my players to go out there, defend, and enjoy the game. We are not a million miles away from being a half-decent side if we can tidy up on one or two things and give ourselves a base. We can't keep conceding stupid goals.”
Stags will be without the injured Ross Dyer and suspended pair Lee Beevers and Jamie Hand.
It is believed Dyer has a tear in his anterior cruciate ligament. How bad that tear is will determine if he plays again this season.
“The early signs are that's it's not looking good,” said Cox. “We will take professional advice and hope to get Ross back as quickly as possible. I feel sorry for the lad.”
Stags also announced today that physio Ian Pearce has handed in his notice and are now looking for a replacement
Buying into Cox's ethos is key for Mansfield Town, says John Dempster
Friday, August 17, 2012 Nottingham Post
THE season might not have got off to the greatest start for Mansfield Town.
But defender John Dempster is adamant it will be a campaign of great success for the Stags.
The central defender played 12 times on loan last season, scoring three times, leaving as it all started to come together at the One Call Stadium.
In the end, he was at Crawley Town, finishing the season winning promotion into League One, as Paul Cox's men secured third in the Blue Square Bet Premier only to lose to York in the play-off semi-finals.
The 29-year-old is one of a raft of experienced signings, along with fellow defenders George Pilkington and Lee Beevers, to arrive at the club in the summer.
And he saw enough in Cox's methods during his three months last year to be enticed back and excited by what can be achieved.
The vital thing, he says, is that the whole squad stays united and buys into the manager's ethos, something that saw them go so close to promotion last time out.
"The manager's got his own philosophies about the game and they work, it is important that we all buy into them," said Dempster.
"Towards the end of last season everything clicked and they were smashing teams. It is important to have that team ethic and if you have that, it is very difficult to play against.
"There are good, experienced players here and a lot have played loads of Football League games, loads of Conference games and it is important we all support the manager and deliver.
"He has put the faith in us so it is up to us as a group of players to be solid at the back, we will work on that in training, and we have the players to do the job.
"If you look at the successful squads over the last few years, they have all had strong squads.
"You need that because it is a long, hard season with a lot of league games, cup games, so it is important if somebody gets suspended or injured, you are there to play.
"We will all be fighting to get in the first 11 but it is a long season and there will be lots of changes along the way."
Dempster did not play in the opening 4-3 home defeat to Newport and on Tuesday, he was not included in the side that lost 4-1 at Gateshead.
He hopes to soon be playing a leading part but in Lindon Meikle and Chris Clements, he believes the Stags have two gems who can light up the division.
Meikle had a superb first season, after joining from Eastwood while attacking midfielder Clements has arrived from Hednesford this summer, after making the step up.
They will help complement the more experienced brigade and Dempster said: "In the three months I had at the club, Lindon was a different class. It is hard to believe he has not played higher and Clements in training has been in a different gear as well.
"He is really good on the ball and has a fine eye for goal so that will be an interesting one. It is another good signing from the gaffer."
But when it comes to the target for this season, after the near-miss last time out, the players are under no illusions regarding the overall goal.
"The manager has come out and said he wants promotion," said Dempster. "So that is clear.
"It will be tough, there are a few clubs, about nine or ten, who expect to be up there.
"But we are confident we have the quality and depth to give anybody a run for their money."
Speight warns Stags must demonstrate why they are among promotion favourites
Friday, August 17, 2012 Nottingham Post
AS the Welsh press pack filed their reports at the final whistle, there was a familiar theme at the One Call Stadium.
All referred to Newport County having claimed a 'significant scalp' with their win over Mansfield Town.
Beating Mansfield was clearly regarded as being a major achievement.
In truth, the result was as much down to Mansfield's defensive frailties as it was the qualities of the Welsh side.
But this is a situation that Paul Cox's side will have to contend with for the rest of the season.
Having been installed as one of the favourites for promotion, they are already being viewed as a major scalp by many of the sides.
It has been taken twice already this season, as Stags began their campaign with a further defeat at the hands of Gateshead – and more set-piece woe, amid a 4-1 reversal.
And striker Jake Speight warns it is a situation Mansfield must learn to contend with quickly.
"We were made favourites or one of the favourites for promotion by a lot of people before the season started," said Speight, who scored twice and could have had a hat-trick in Saturday's 4-3 defeat.
"That is something we are going to have to contend with.
"A lot of sides will come to Mansfield and will view it as being a cup final for them.
"But the important thing is that we get past that; that we do whatever it takes to win games."
Speight believes Stags do have the quality to deserve their standing as one of the favourites for promotion – but warns they also have to earn that title, in the coming months.
"We do feel as though we have the squad to do it. But remember that the bookies are making their judgments when a ball had not been kicked," he said.
"We have to prove that we deserve the title as one of the favourites for promotion, we have to earn that position.
"Fleetwood were the favourites last season and they did end up getting there; they did secure their place in the Football League.
"But they had to earn that; they had to work hard for the entire season to make sure they lived up to that.
"We have to prove that we deserve to win promotion, just being told that we are favourites is not enough."
Speight also recognises that Mansfield must quickly address the form they have shown amid a disappointing start to the season.
"You cannot afford many slip-ups with only one team getting automatic promotion," he said.
"We cannot carry on, we need to nip it in the bud early.
"We need to sort out our issues and get playing in the way we know that we are capable of.
"When you have the shirt, you have to play to the best of your ability or accept that you might not have it for long.
"Hopefully the fight for places we have here can inspire us to do better.
"We will not lose many games at home in the future, when we are scoring three goals.
"We know we have the firepower to score goals, but we have to cut out the mistakes. If we can do that, games like the one against Newport will quickly become 3-0 wins."
And at least the source of Mansfield's problems are not hard to identify, as they shipped eight goals in their first two fixtures, the majority of which were from set pieces.
"It was a good start for me to return to Mansfield and get a couple of goals in my first game, but it is more about the team," said Speight.
"We could have done better from set pieces so far, but we have to get things nailed down so that everyone knows what job they are meant to be doing.
"The ref was poor against Newport, there were a lot of decisions that they got wrong. He booked me for diving when I thought it was a decent penalty shout. It was not a dive at all.
"We did not want to lose the first games of the season, you want to come out of the traps flying.
"But we will get it right. The manager has had a few harsh words with us. After the Newport game, our marking just was not good enough, in particular."
Their defensive issues aside, Stags certainly look as though they will score goals this season.
And Speight has an ambitious target of his own in mind.
"My goal this season, as it has to be for any striker, is to score 20 or more goals. That is the target I have set myself," he said.
"I scored more than 20 last season so I am looking to match that as well.
"I've got a couple of goals already, but it is more important that the team does well. That is what matters.
"We want to put things right, following the start we have made."
From Mansfield's point of view, hopefully, in the coming months, there will not be many visiting reporters filing stories about returning from north Nottinghamshire with a major scalp.
Match preview Vs Mansfield Town
Date: 18-08-12 Venue: Aggborough Kick off: 15:00hrs
Mansfield will bring their expensively assembled, but under performing, side to Aggborough tomorrow for a game that could be termed an early six pointer just one week into the season. Opening with an home 4-3 defeat against Newport last Saturday they followed that up with a long midweek trip to Gateshead and another big defeat. This time 4-1 with our former defender Luke Jones scoring their solitary goal.
During that game defender Lee Beevers was dismissed for a poor tackle and next day the Mansfield manager, Paul Cox, laid into his team and threatened that some of his newly acquired squad would be out of the door PDQ if they didn't improve soon. This isn't thought to include Nick Wright (right) who only came on as a sub on Saturday and didn't play at all on Tuesday but it was aimed at Jones amongst other newly signed defenders.
We're also an under performing side but not so expensively assembled and I also don't think Steve Burr is panicking too much just yet although many fans are. Defeat at Lincoln was un-expected, but fully deserved, with a well below par performance but the reversal at home to Luton was just down to a lack of squad depth and tactics than any shortcoming in effort.
I'd say that right now we look better equipped to get a better result tomorrow than Mansfield do. We should be back to full strength with Steve Guinan possibly coming back into the side following his twisted ankle two weeks ago and, apart from long term injury to Tom Sharpe, we'll only have the suspended Lee Vaughan missing.
The Stags, on the other hand, have a few missing. Former Harrier Adam Murray is out for a few months with an ankle injury while last Saturday Ross Dyer was stretchered off with what has since been confirmed as a cruciate ligament injury.
As well as Beevers missing for a one game ban they also have Jamie Hand out suspended. Saturday will be the last day of his suspension that was held over from last season when he was playing for Hayes & Yeading.
This game could also see Anthony Malbon re-united with the perpetrator of that vicious attack on him in our final game of last season. The over the top challenge by Louis Briscoe saw the game ended early and the ground cleared to allow an air ambulance to land on the pitch and transport Anthony to the Queen Elizabeth hospital in Birmingham. Thankfully our young striker was more shook up than injured but Briscoe got off totally uncensured by the referee and his assistant even though it was clear to everyone in the ground that the challenge was uncalled for.
It can only be hoped that a shake of the hand will get this game off to the right start but we want the apologies to stop there and send Mansfield back home pointless and Paul Cox panicking some more. We need the points more than they do and we have to make sure we get them.
Whild is ready to go Stag hunting
Thursday 16th August 2012
Whild is ready to go Stag hunting GARY Whild believes Mansfield will be under more pressure than Kidderminster Harriers to get off the mark when the two sides clash in the Blue Square Bet Premier on Saturday.
Harriers have suffered a disappointing start to the campaign after defeats to Lincoln City and Luton Town but Saturday's visitors to Aggborough have had it even worse.
The Stags were the summer's big spenders in the transfer window, raising expectations of a title push, but have endured a nightmare beginning after losing 4-3 to Newport and 4-1 to Gateshead.
Both teams will be aiming to move themselves away from the bottom of the table with an all-important win at the weekend (3pm ko).
However, assistant boss Whild is sure the pressure of expectation will be firmly placed on Saturday's visitors.
He said: “I would say with the money Mansfield have spent the pressure is really more on them than us.
“Compared to ourselves they have spent a lot more and were expected to make a good start.
“It's no secret Steve [Burr] and I want to push the club on after two great seasons.
“We feel we've strengthened the squad and the players are bedding in.
“It has been a disappointing start but the performance against Luton, particularly in the second half, was an improvement on the Lincoln game.
“We want to build on that but it's too early in the season to get carried away.”
Defeat on Saturday would be Harriers' worst start to the season since the 1999-00 campaign, when they lost the first three matches but then went onto win the Conference title and earn promotion to the Football League.
Harriers go into the game on the back of a four-game goal drought in the league, the longest in manager Steve Burr 's tenure.
With Steve Guinan set to be out with an ankle injury and Jamille Matt unavailable, the manager is looking to bring in another forward to bolster Harriers' striking options and support Ryan Rowe and Anthony Malbon.
Whild added: “Steve [Guinan] is a bit older and that means it does take while to get over injuries.
“He's a fit lad and last season he didn't really get too many knocks but we're going to have to be patient.
“With him missing and Jamille not available to us at the moment, then we may look to bring someone in.
“We're always looking to strength but the area of priority are the strikers.
“There's nothing specific to report at the moment but phone calls are being made.
“It's a difficult time of year, teams don't want to let players go and players are still looking out for what's best for them."