COX, RHEAD, DEMPSTER, ALEXANDER REACTION
Cox pleased with home victory
Manager Paul Cox was pleased with the performance of our team as we made it back-to-back home victories with a 1-0 success over promotion hopefuls Fleetwood Town today.
Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/cox-pleased-with-home-victory-1376070.aspx?#uyjJws4eI7TvPYiV.99
Matt Rhead scored the only goal - and his fourth of the season - when he ghosted in and headed home from Chris Clements’ corner shortly after the half-hour mark.
The victory lifts us up to 17th position in the Sky Bet League Two table.
“I thought we played well and we were a little bit unlucky not to come in more than just one goal to the good at half-time as we created some great chances in the first half,” said Cox.
“We played some great stuff and it was nice walking down the tunnel at half-time and their players say that we’ve played some good stuff.
“In terms of our overall play, I thought for 70/80 minutes we were excellent. We kept our shape and with a little bit more belief in certain parts of the field, we probably could have won a little bit more handsomely.
“It was a good clean-sheet and the boys worked hard. They’re taking that spirit which they show every day in training into their games, which is a positive and it’s a good result.”
He added: “There are lots of things that we can still get better at. In terms of territorial advantage in the first half, I thought we should have come in two or three goals to the good.
“We got edgy in the last 10 minutes and dropped deep. They [Fleetwood] have got good players all the way through their side, and there was some great defending near the end.
“We’re learning and I think about two months ago, we’d have probably drawn that game. We’re becoming stronger and some of the lads are getting a bit more mature now.”
Today’s win means that we are now nine points above Torquay United and Northampton Town, who remain locked in the drop zone, and our boss is hoping his team can continue to achieve good results.
“We don’t want to shout from the rooftops because it’s only a win, but I think our performances have been there for the last four or five games.
“It’s just about [achieving] consistent results now and what we want to do is put a couple of wins together and see ourselves in a healthy position.”
Cox warning over big Bury clash as Stags celebrate win over Fleetwood
Mansfield Town manager Paul Cox stressed that today’s magnificent 1-0 home win over high-flying Fleetwood Town will mean nothing if they fail to beat relegation rivals Bury at the One Call Stadium on Tuesday.
The Stags won the day with a Matt Rhead header that keeper Chris Maxwell got a hand to but couldn’t keep out as Mansfield began a crucial spell of four home games in five matches in style to leave them nine points clear of the drop zone.
Cox said: “I am over the moon with the result and the boys worked hard today. But we are not shouting from the rooftops as it is only one win and consistency is the key.
“A nine point gap from bottom is nothing as there are a massive amount of points to play for.
“They are all big games now and it doesn’t matter who we play as long as we stick to our principles. When we apply ourselves we are a force for anyone in this league.
“We now just need to find some consistency. Performances have been there the last four or five games, now we just need to make sure we stay in this league and then look back at what it was all about.
“Today’s result means nothing if we don’t beat Bury on Tuesday. We must maintain our concentration levels and understand we can’t be excellent one game and mediocre the next. We must be on the ball 24/7, but the boys have worked really hard for the shirt today.
“Everyone looks at the table. It’s human nature, But it’s all about what we do now.”
He added: “I have a good set of boys who are learning what this league is all about and we now have a big game ahead of us on Tuesday.
“Credit where credit is due, the fans were absolutely brilliant today and behind us from start to finish.
“It was reminiscent of last season when they cheered us on the the championship.
“This is their club and if they stick by us they can help turn this club into a giant.
“I know we have had our ups and downs this season but that roar at the end really gives these boys a lift.”
On the goal, Cox said: “Matt Rhead did what he was told to do today and it was a half-decent finish. You don’t mind how they go in as long as they go in.
“We still need to be a bit more ruthless and be a bit more positive on the break. We were two on two a couple of times but tried to be a bit too intricate instead of going gung-ho for the goal.
“But I can’t have a go at them today. I thought our work rate was impressive and the way we coped with the conditions on a windy, blustery day was excellent.”
The result was a shock and a blow to a Fleetwood side who had won five and drawn two of their previous eight League games and boss Graham Alexander said: “We need to be more streetwise in games like this.
“We have played against all the top teams and not let ourselves down.
“But we have lost against a couple of teams at the bottom end in scruffy matches. Matches like this are important as it is very fine lines that decide success.
“We were okay for the first 20 minutes, but we gave away a sloppy goal and it cost us.
“We were better in the second half when Matty Hughes came on. He had the right attitude and was the best player on the pitch. We just needed to take some of the chances that we created.
“It is disappointing that we have not built upon the momentum we created by beating Chesterfield in midweek.”
“We plugged away in the second half and created some chances, we just couldn’t take them.
An important three points - Rhead
Forward Matt Rhead believes we picked up a ‘very important three points’ in this afternoon’s 1-0 victory over Fleetwood Town.
Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/an-important-three-points-rhead-1376158.aspx?#q7aUKD8Pwph3eOML.99
Rhead’s header on the half-hour mark proved to be the decisive goal as our team picked up their second win in a row at One Call Stadium.
As a result, we have risen to 17th position in the Sky Bet League Two table, four points below Newport County who occupy eighth spot, and nine points above the relegation zone.
The 29-year-old was delighted to get on the score sheet, but is already fully focused on Tuesday night’s game at home to Bury.
“With the results elsewhere, it was important that we got the three points today,” said the burly frontman.
“It was very windy out there. To be honest it always is when we play at home, but we combated the conditions well and got the result which was important.
“It’s disappointing that in the last few games we haven’t got more goals, but today luckily the one goal was enough. Thankfully, I got it, but now we move on to the next game against Bury.”
He added: “We are pushing on and competing in every game that we play. To be honest, I think we should have got something out of last week’s game as well, which was disappointing.
“However, we have bounced back and got a very important three points today.”
Meanwhile, our Rhead also praised our players’ robust defensive display, which kept veteran forward Jon Parkin and his Fleetwood team-mates quiet.
He continued: “Parkin has played at a high level. He played for the team I support, Stoke City, and was there for a long time. He’s a good player and we’ve done well to keep him off the score-sheet.
“We’re a strong outfit now and we don’t concede sloppy goals like we did at their place last time.
“Keeping a clean-sheet is massive for the defence and now hopefully we can take that into the next game. All of the lads chipped in with the defensive work, which has resulted in a good clean-sheet.”
Dempster hails sublime result
Defender John Dempster has praised the overall performance of our team in today’s 1-0 victory over promotion-chasing Fleetwood Town.
Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/dempster-hails-sublime-result-1376654.aspx?#bE2SPppsBCs6oyUQ.99
The Stags’ skipper believes that if we can repeat the display for the rest of the season, our team will climb further up the Sky Bet League Two table.
“It has been a good day,” said Dempster. “It was a cracking performance; the lads put a really good shift in during the whole 90 minutes.
“We showed some really good quality in the first half and we were resolute in the second half, so overall I think it was a good day at the office with a cracking result and brilliant performance.”
He continued: “We had to show a lot of character in the second half, which we did, so now the gaffer is really chuffed with us.
“Fleetwood chucked everything at us and when teams do that, you do have the intendancy to get deeper and deeper.
“You’ve got to try and be brave and stay out of your box, but we did what we had to do and got a sublime result.”
The 30-year-old is now looking forward to Tuesday’s match with Bury, and has urged our team to repeat the form they conveyed against this afternoon.
“We are looking forward to Tuesday night,” continued our captain. “They’ve changed their manager recently and have a very experienced side.
“We are confident we can get a positive result again and if we can follow up the kind of form we showed today then we will be fine.”
Skipper Dempster confident as Stags prepare for Bury six-pointer
Mansfield Town skipper John Dempster is confident Stags can win their vital home clash with relegation rivals Bury on Tuesday and continue to quickly climb to safety.
The Stags began a vital run of four home games in five in style yesterday by beating Fleetwood 1-0 and Dempster said: “We now move on to Bury and it will be a massive game on Tuesday night.
“We are looking forward to it. They have had a change of management and are now picking up some results. They have some experience and quality, but we are confident we can get a positive result against them.
“There is still a long way to go, but if we keep on putting in performances like that we will be fine.
“We will be looking upwards rather than downwards.”
On the Fleetwood win, he added: “That was a cracking performance. The lads put in a really good shift.
“We were quality first half and robust second half and it was an overall good day at the office.
“We could have won by more, especially in the first half when we were very dominant. If we’d have come in two or three up it wouldn’t have been an unfair reflection of the game. But we had to show a lot of character second half as Fleetwood chucked everything at us.
“You do get tempted to defend deeper but you have got to be brave and try to stay out of your box.”
Matchwinner Matt Rhead said: “I thought we coped with the windy conditions well and got the result, which was massive. With other results elsewhere it was important we got the three points.
“We are disappointed we didn’t score a few more goals but luckily today one was enough and thankfully I scored it.
“It was something we worked on in training on Friday. I just peeled off at the back stick and thankfully Chris Clements just put it on a plate for me. The keeper got a hand to it but it wasn’t strong enough to keep it out.
“We should have got something out of the Oxford game last week but we bounced back today.
“We have got a settled squad now and we are pushing on.
“We are playing again on Tuesday now which we like. It happened a lot last season and it keeps the lads together.”
We should have dealt with Mansfield goal
by James Edwards
Manager speaks after Stags defeat
Manager Graham Alexander was left feeling disappointed following this afternoon’s narrow defeat away at Mansfield Town.
It was only Fleetwood’s second league loss of the year, which meant that the Cod Army remained in fifth position following this afternoon’s results.
Matt Rhead’s first half header was enough for all three points for the Stags, and lifted Paul Cox’s men up to 17th in the table.
Town made their second trip to the area in the space of four days, having beaten Chesterfield at the Proact Stadium on Tuesday night.
Speaking to the club’s official website after the game, Alexander said: “I thought over the 90 minutes we were good enough to get something out of the game. We put ourselves in an awkward position by conceding a poor goal from a set-piece, and unfortunately that’s lost us the game. In the second half we bossed it for the last twenty five minutes, and just haven’t had the break we needed in front of goal.”
The boss was frustrated as to the way Town conceded their goal, with Rhead unmarked in the box to net a free header.
He continued: “We had to make changes today as we’ve got a few injuries and have an illness bug going through the squad at the minute, which is why we lost both Charlie and Conor, and Alan Goodall has been feeling under the weather as well. He had to come off at half time; partly because how he was feeling, but also party because we wanted to change this tactically as were obviously behind.
"The goal we conceded was a nothing goal as the lad has put it in the area and the striker’s got a free header. That isn’t acceptable as this level; it’s a concentration thing and we have to be prepared.”
Next up for the Cod Army is the visit of Plymouth Argyle at Highbury on Tuesday night, and Alexander insists it is the perfect chance to bounce back and get on the winning road.
“It’s a game we’re looking to win as we want to stay in that pack and try and get into the top three if we can," he concluded.
"We can’t really do too much hard work though, as the games are coming thick and fast, and we’ve got to see who’s fit and available on Monday. We’ve got seven lads out injured and a few lads ill, so it’s not ideal, but we’re not the only team in that situation, so there’s no point moaning about it."
Latest | February 2014