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No need for panic says Cox
video interview --->
11th October 2012
Manager Paul Cox has called for calm heads and rational thinking amidst a frustrating spell of form for his team.
The side have won only once in their last six outings, collecting three draws and losing twice – but Cox was keen to stress that this indifferent patch can be overcome in a similar fashion to last season, when only three wins were recorded throughout October, November and December before his team went on to lose just twice after this period.
Speaking at this morning's press meeting, the manager said: “If we have aspirations to be successful this year then you want a larger points haul [than we currently have]. Saying that, there's a long way to go. One thing I want to get across is that it's a similar scenario than what it was last year. There's no need to panic or lose our heads over anything.
“From 1st November to 1st January last, I think we picked up 11 points in that two month period.
“The points tally isn't what we want, but there have been circumstances out of our control which has added to that. In the last 12 games we've lost one of the top scorers at this level of football for a quarter of that time [Matt Green]. We've lost one of the best midfielders [in Gary Roberts], and it was nice to have him back on Tuesday night, as well as one of the better goalkeepers [Alan Marriott}. And more importantly, we've lost a player who would have been integral to our side in Ross Dyer, who is now out for the season.
“There are things which are out of our control and things which we've had to put up with, but that's not excusing some of the performances away from home.
“We want to be better but but I solely look at the business end of the season. It's where you finish and not where you start [that counts].
Looking head to Saturday's clash at home to high flying Forest Green, Cox said: “They're chucking a lot of resources at it, although a lot of people at the club [Forest Green] haven't said a lot about it. They're an excellent side and are where they are are [in the table] because of consistent results.”
In team news, Cox could be boosted by the return of defenders John Thompson and Exodus Geohaghon as well as midfielders Anthony Howell and Chris Clements. Cox expects to find more about the fitness status of the quartet later today
VIEWS FROM THE DRESSING ROOM
Mansfield Town manager Paul Cox told BBC Radio Nottingham:
"I hope we have positive news that John Thompson and Exodus Geohaghon might be available for Saturday. It would be nice if they are because it give me extra bodies to choose from.
"John received a hell of a nasty injury [against Cambridge]. We are just thankful his leg isn't broken.
"We had to bring Garry Roberts back because that is nine or 10 on the injured list at the minute. I thought he and Adam Murray were outstanding in the middle of the park [against Lincoln].
"It's nice to have him back but we need some of the other injured lads back. We are hoping that we have not lost Ryan Tafazolli, he pulled up with a hamstring at the end so that could be another one."
12 Oct 2012, 6pm
Icing my hamstring non-stop, trying to get half fit for tomorrow vs Forest Green #itsallmental
No panic here, says Stags manager Paul Cox ahead of Forest Green Rovers visit
chad.co.uk, Thursday 11 October 2012
DESPITE four games without a win and a section of fans calling for his head, Mansfield Town boss Paul Cox has told everyone not to panic ahead of Saturday's visit of promotion hopefuls Forest Green Rovers (3pm).
The manager and players suffered some despicable personal abuse, on Tuesday night as they approached the tunnel after being held 0-0 at home by Lincoln City, including some alleged spitting.
But Cox said today: “Fans are entitled to their opinions and I will never stop people having constructive criticism. Everyone is entitled to an opinion, This game is built on opinions.
“However, some of the things that were said to me, but mostly to the players, after Tuesday's game were above and beyond constructive criticism.
“They were below the belt and we had people being spat on, not just ourselves but opposition players too. There has to be a line drawn on that kind of thing.
“I have had a lot of e-mails and letters and spoken to a lot of other fans and they have been very positive. I know we have some fantastic supporters here. But we know we have minority who are here to cause problems.
“We all want to see this club successful and, to do that, we need to stick together.
“We need to get our players fit and back on the pitch so it's like last season when the team picked itself.”
Cox pointed out that last year's highly successful season also began slowly.
He said: “This is a very similar situation to last year and there is no need to panic or lose our heads. From the start of November to the start of January last season we only picked up about 11 points.
“Obviously this situation is not what we want. But there have been circumstances out of our control.
“We have been missing out top scorer in Matt Green and one of the best midfielders in Gary Roberts for a quarter of the games and now we've also lost Alan Marriott, one of the best goalkeepers at this level, and are already without an integral part of our side, Ross Dyer, for the season.
“But that is not excusing some of the performances away from home which need to be better.
“I can understand supporters' frustrations right now. Myself and the players are just as frustrated. But it is a long season and I solely look at the business end of it. It's where you finish, not where you start and I should be judged on my end product.”
He added: “I have never walked away from something in my life. There is a lot going off here right now and if I wanted an easy life I would probably go back to a nine to five job.
“One fan told me I had only lost 12 games in 18 months and have the best points record of any Mansfield manager since 1926. What more do people want? We are not Manchester United.
“Some fans think this is a big club that should win every game 5-0, playing like Barcelona, and that is never going to happen in this league. It is a tough old league.
“Last season's success probably did us more harm than good as expectation levels have risen beyond where they should be.”
Forest Green Rovers will be a dangerous wounded animal on Saturday, having just lost two on the bounce for the first time this season, Rovers only having lost one all season before that.
Stags are likely to still be without the latest injured quartet of Exodus Geohaghon, John Thompson, Chris Clements and Anthony Howell while Nick Wright and Luke Jones are on their way back but need to regain some fitness while Adam Murray and Gary Roberts are likely to soldier on in midfield, despite their current fitness issues
Mansfield boss Cox will stand up to the boo-boys
Friday, October 12, 2012 Nottingham Post
AS he walked off pitch following a goalless draw with Lincoln, Stags boss Paul Cox came under fire.
Before exiting down the tunnel, he was subjected to not just boos, but some real verbal abuse by his own supporters. So were his players.
But he is not going to cower and look for cover, he is going to stand strong, call for his players to be united and do the talking on the pitch.
After all, they have won four, drawn two and lost just once on home soil, yet it continues to be a venue of much frustration, mostly due to their poor away form, winning just once in six games and shipping 19 times.
However, despite the flak, Cox believes there is more to it than disgruntled fans. He feels a minority section are trying to cause problems, unsettle him and the club.
But he has warned them that they won't break him and said judge him on where the Stags are at the end of the season – not now.
"I can understand the true supporters' frustrations, the players are frustrated too," said Cox.
"And one thing we will not do is shy away from constructive criticism. We all want to move forward.
"But some of the things happening this season and on Tuesday night went beyond constructive criticism.
"Me, myself and the boys and the real supporters and those who work here understand some of the things going off out there.
"I will never stop somebody from voicing an opinion but some things I have heard have not been constructive and some have been below the belt.
"I should be judged on where I finish.
"I have walked away from nothing in my life. If I wanted an easy life, I would go back and do a 9am until 5pm job but people talk about pressure and you need an inner pressure to succeed.
"We have some fantastic people who follow us, through thick and thin. Is it the best start? The answer is 'no'. But there is a minority here just out to cause problems."
Mansfield take on third-placed Forest Green at home tomorrow and Cox knows only too well they need to make a good start to the game.
They hope to have the injured defensive duo of Exodus Geohaghon and John Thompson back and Chris Clements, who missed out in midweek.
And Cox believes his players can adopt a siege mentality to see them through.
"The minority are inspiring the lads," he said. "We all want to progress and to do that people need to stick together and believe that this club can go places.
"The infrastructure is getting stronger and everybody is working hard towards turning this into a big club.
"The whole thing is not going to take 24 hours, it is a long process.
"People have to stick together and believe we can achieve and to do that you have to come through the bad times.
"There is a long way to go and the one thing I want to get across is it is a similar scenario to last year, in terms of where we are, so there is no need to panic or lose our heads.
"I solely look at the business end of the season and it is where you finish, not where you start."
Mansfield Town midfielder Murray celebrates his career milestone
chad.co.uk, Friday 12 October 2012
TUESDAY'S home 0-0 draw with Lincoln City will not live on in the memory for many Mansfield Town fans, but it was a milestone night for assistant player-manager Adam Murray, who was making his 400th league appearance.
“It makes me feel old. I don't know where it's gone,” admitted the 31-year-old, who once ended up in the Priory Clinic in his battle against alcohol.
“I know for the first two or three years I can't remember anything, but the rest of it has been an amazing journey.
“Including cup games I think I think it's about 440-something. I have enjoyed my career and I am now looking forward to reaching 500.
“My first game was in the Premier League and I have managed to play at a good standard ever since.
“Maybe I could have played at the top level for longer if I hadn't made stupid mistakes. But I wouldn't change anything. What has happened then has made me the man I am today.
“I was carried away with – look at me, I am a footballer I can do what I like.
“I bought a five bedroom house at 17, living on my own, and brought all my mates up from Birmingham which was not a good move.
“A bit of common sense back then and I might have had a better career. But I've enjoyed it, I have got a lot of stories and I am looking forward to writing my book.
“My weaknesses back then have become my strengths now.”
Dempster delight on return to Mansfield Town defence
chad.co.uk, Friday 12 October 2012
JOHN Dempster was delighted with the clean sheet he helped Stags earn on Tuesday night on his return to the side following a month's self-imposed exile getting fit at Tamworth.
Centre half Dempster joined Mansfield late in pre-season and, unable to command a regular first team place, asked manager Paul Cox if he could go out on loan to sharpen up.
“Tamworth was a good opportunity to get a few games under my belt,” he said.
“I spoke to the gaffer and told him I felt a bit off the pace so I wanted to go out and get some fitness. He agreed with me it would be a good idea. You can do s much training as you want but what you need is match fitness.
“I played five or six games while I was there and I enjoyed it. Most important, it worked well for both parties.
“I was pleased we got a clean sheet on Tuesday but disappointed we couldn't get a goal and take all three points.
“But I have a good feeling we will start climbing the table. It's up to us as players. We can't hide behind the manager or supporters. We just need to stick together and work as hard as we can.”
Dempster looking for Stags to climb BSBP
12th October 2012
Experienced defender John Dempster is hoping that Stags can soon climb the table with an improved run of results.
Speaking at yesterday's press meeting, Dempster said: "As a group of players, we have to take responsibility for that [our place in the league]. We should be higher up in in the division, but we're not and we have to do something about it.
"But it is a long old season and we're desperate for results as much as everybody else. I think we will be there or there abouts come the end of the season."
"I have a good feeling that we'll start to climb the table. It's up to us as a group of players. We can't behind the manager or the supporters. We need to stick together and just work as hard as we can."
Jason Harrison (Mansfield 103.2) is asking the questions yesterday, to both John Dempster and Adam Murray
Tough trip to Mansfield bogey ground
Friday 12 October 2012
by Richard Joyce
Forest Green will look to turn around a disappointing series of results at Mansfield Town's Field Mill when they visit tomorrow afternoon (3pm).
Rovers have suffered four consecutive defeats at the Mansfield ground since the Stags joined the Blue Square Bet Premier after relegation from the Football League in 2008.
And after a recent dip in form following a magnificent start to the campaign, a victory in Nottinghamshire on Saturday would be an ideal turning point to return to winning ways and break that frustrating record against the Stags.
Mansfield themselves have endured an unexpectedly poor start to the season. Paul Cox's side were expected to be challenging amongst the top clubs in the division this season, but currently sit only in mid-table.
Rovers boss David Hockaday is still expecting a big test for his side.
“They are under the cosh a little bit,” said Hockaday. “Things aren't going quite as well as they would like. We'll go there under no illusions that it's going to be a very tough game.
“We knew that against Tamworth and it will certainly be the case at Mansfield. If we're not right we won't the game. If we are right, I don't see anybody being able to turn us over.”
Al Bangura hobbled off early last weekend against Wrexham and missed Tuesday night's home game against Tamworth. However, Hockaday believes it will not be long until he is back and available for selection, though Saturday may be a stretch too far.
“He tore some microfibers, but it's not a bad one so he's not far off. We've had about fifteen games in about eight weeks so it's been full on. I believe the squad has coped really well.”
Paul Cox has put together a large squad at Mansfield this season and they recently used their 28th different player of the season so far.
There are two familiar faces in the Stags' squad for Forest Green fans. Central defender Luke Jones is in his second spell at Mansfield and played over 40 games for Rovers at the start of the decade.
And Attacker Ross Dyer is another former Rovers face in Mansfield's ranks, though the ex-Hednesford striker will not be involved on Saturday as he is recovering from a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament injury
Hockaday calls for a fast start at Field Mill
Friday, October 12, 2012 The Citizen
HIS team might be masters of the late goal, but Forest Green manager Dave Hockaday would give plenty for a fast start at Mansfield Town tomorrow (3pm).
Rovers head to the One Call Stadium – previously known as Field Mill – after back-to-back defeats in the Blue Square Bet Premier, the latest coming on Tuesday night when Tamworth withstood a second-half barrage to triumph 2-1.
Hockaday's men have scored eight times after the clock has ticked past 80 minutes in matches this term, but patience is not always a virtue when it comes to a promotion quest.
Especially with league leaders Newport County – 1-0 victors over Ebbsfleet United in midweek – now five points better off.
Hockaday said: "If you win leagues you don't respond, you're pro-active and you go and win games.
"At the moment we're sort of waiting for things to happen instead of making them happen, and that's the slight difference.
"Yes we deserved to get at least a draw (against Tamworth) but you can't keep chasing things, and if you don't get certain decisions going your way it makes it that little bit tougher.
"It's been a little bit of a turbulent spell with two defeats and we've got to bounce back at Mansfield.
"We've got to start off like a house on fire, because when we go at teams we rip them apart. It doesn't matter who we're up against."
Tamworth established a two-goal lead at the break thanks to an own goal by Chris Stokes – adjudged to have crossed the line in a tight call by the assistant referee – and an Adam Cunnington penalty.
Hockaday felt his side had been on the wrong end of the game's key decisions, but he is hopeful their luck will change as the season progresses.
"The linesman was very quick with his flag for the first goal and we had to deal with that," he said.
"Then Jamie Collins got nailed twice before the ball had come into the box and ended up on the floor, but the referee in his wisdom gave a penalty.
"It was a tough result to take because I thought the lads were brilliant in the second half and sometimes things are out of your control.
"I don't feel like we got the rub of the green, but that happens and you'd like to think decisions even themselves out eventually."
Striker Reece Styche is available for selection tomorrow after serving a one-match ban, but Rovers must again do without the suspended Eddie Oshodi and injured Al Bangura (groin).
Mansfield were held to a goalless draw by strugglers Lincoln City on Tuesday and have so far failed to live up to their pre-season billing as promotion contenders
Will Penny Drop For Ambitious Mansfield?
Posted by savethemightyimps
Dave Penny guided Doncaster Rovers back into the Football League in 2003 and then League One in back to back promotions. His appearance at the Mansfield V Lincoln game (along with Gary Simpson) could suggest big spending John Radford, could be growing impatient with Paul Cox's return on his investment.
Thankyou for reading Neil Gentleman-Hobbs
As we pointed out in the Tuesday match report, the appearance of the two suggested something may be afoot with both sides current managers hardly pulling up roses. Mansfield however are stumping up a budget well into 7 figures with an aim to be back in the League and then looking to go even further. Radford is a man with a plan and the cash and Ambition to do it. He has already brought the ground back and can hardly be happy with the way Cox has brought in so many talented players, with plenty on four figures a week. The side has yet to gel, with the defence giving them an uphill climb far too many times for comfort this season.
Penny is a great tactician and talent spotter, as victories against Manchester City and Aston Villa proved. The Carling Cup quarter-final against Arsenal saw them eliminated only after a penalty shoot-out. He then left Donny after five years having felt he had taken the club as far as he could, but the style and blend of football set the tone for O'Driscoll who would reach the Championship in 2007/08, defeating Leeds 1-0 in the play-off final. Penny meanwhile built a great side at Darlington, losing in the League 2 play-offs in 2008, before a 10-points deduction for admin robbed them of any promotion ambition in 2009. He left Oldham after a season due to falling attendances and then got just a two month spell Bristol Rovers.
Doncaster Rovers Conference Play-Off Final winner: 2002–03
Doncaster Rovers Division Three Title winner: 2003–04
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