COX: MARCH IS A MASSIVE MONTH FOR US
Duo could return for Exiles clash
mansfieldtown.net, 6th March 2014
Both James Jennings and Martin Riley could be fit for Saturday’s Sky Bet League Two match against Newport County.
Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/duo-could-return-for-exiles-clash-1401791.aspx#del5SBI60Bdbxmdd.99
At his meeting with the local press this morning, manager Paul Cox revealed that the duo came through a behind-closed-doors match away to Alfreton Town in midweek.
Jennings, 26, has been sidelined for the past few weeks with a quad muscle injury, whilst Riley, 27, has been ruled out with a calf problem.
“They came through it really well,” said our boss. “It was a good competitive game and something that we wouldn’t have got if we had played other teams.
“It was a really good workout and I was pleased with the intensity of the game because over the next two weeks at the very least, the whole of the squad is going to be utilised.
“We’ve got Saturday, Tuesday, Saturday [games] coming up and I want to be looking at a team for Saturday, but probably freshening bodies up for Tuesday night.
“We’re coming towards the end of a long season where minds and bodies get a little bit tired and I want to make sure the whole squad is utilised.”
He added: “All the boys had the day off yesterday and they’ve worked hard again this week, so we’ll see how [Jennings and Riley] are today and tomorrow, before we make a decision.”
Our team go into this weekend’s match just five points behind Justin Edinburgh’s men, and a victory could see us climb five places in the league table.
“There are so many permutations but all I want to do is concentrate and keep focussed on what we can achieve,” continued Cox.
“It’s a really big month us. We’ve got six games, but we’ll take every one at its face value and re-adjust and plan after that as we don’t want to get ahead of ourselves.
“It’s a big time for us, but it’s a big time for every club from 10th downwards. Everybody is looking at the bigger picture and looking at they want to finish this season, before they start planning for next year.”
A full interview with Paul Cox will be available on Stags Player later today. To subscribe, click here.
Mansfield Town defenders James Jennings and Martin Riley are available after nearly a month on the sidelines.
Both were injured in the defeat at Oxford on February 15 but played 90 minutes in a behind-closed-doors game at Alfreton on Tuesday.
Newport team news to follow later.
Mansfield Town manager Paul Cox told BBC Radio Nottingham:
"We have tried to get the players doing some team bonding with a few exercises in the afternoons after they have trained.
"They have been doing some Laser Quest and things like that to put a bit of a smile on their faces.
"It's just something light-hearted. They work hard in training all the time and we wanted to give them something to take their mind of football a little bit."
Jennings and Riley back in contention as Mansfield Town prepare for Newport County
chad.co.uk, by Stephen Thirkill, firstname.lastname@example.org, 06 March 2014
Defenders James Jennings and Martin Riley could return for Mansfield Town on Saturday.
The duo, who were both injured in the 3-0 defeat to Oxford, both played 90 minutes in a behind-closed door defeat at Alfreton Town on Tuesday.
However, with Stags facing three games inside a week, boss Paul Cox is likely to stick with the same defence that kept a clean sheet against Dagenham last time out.
Cox said: “Over the next few weeks we are going to play a lot of games and we will need to utilise our squad.
“We are coming to the end of the season when minds and bodies are tired.
“Hindsight is a wonderful thing and perhaps I should have changed things against Bury, but we had come off the back of an excellent result in midweek.
“This is a big month for us. Having so many games in quick succession means we can pick up points quickly and climb the table.
“Jennings and Riley both played in the Alfreton game. We will see how they are over the next 48 hours and make a decision.
“We will take each match on its face value. All clubs from 10th downwards will have their eyes on avoiding relegation.
“Aside from the top three and Fleetwood in terms on budget and squad, there is not much between the rest of the other teams.”
Mansfield face fellow League Two newcomers Newport County, who are looking to mount a late push for a play-off spot.
Stags are currently six points above Northampton Town who occupy the last relegation place.
The two sides meet in what could be a crunch clash on 15th March.
League Two survival will be a major success for Mansfield Town says boss Paul Cox
chad.co.uk, by Stephen Thirkill, email@example.com, 06 March 2014
League Two survival would represent three excellent seasons for Mansfield Town believes boss Paul Cox.
Struggling Stags are currently battling to beat the drop back into non-league football after last season’s memorable Championship win.
Cox was hit hard before the season had even started when star striker Matt Green exited the club to try his luck at Birmingham City.
The club also imposed a transfer embargo on themselves following a significant cut in the budget made available from chairman John Radford.
But, despite a difficult season in charge, Cox says Football League consolidation will be a major success story and represent a big improvement for the club.
“I believe if we had a natural goalscorer we would be in a much higher position and much nearer the play-offs,” he said.
“The difference between the teams in the play-offs and ourselves is that they have put the ball away.
“We are creating chances but we need to be ruthless and kill games off.
“This season has been a massive learning curve for the players and everyone involved at the club, but if we consolidate it will represent three excellent seasons for us.
“There has been a lot said about how good or bad we are doing, that will be judged on our league position at the end of the season.”
“Three years ago there was a lot of things that needed changing and improving at the club, there are still lots of things that we need to work on but we are making progress.
“If we consolidate our position then we can take a look at things in the summer and how we are going to improve things for future seasons.”
Mansfield Town can take a major step towards safety when they face play-off chasing Newport County at home.
James Jennings and Martin Riley are both available for selection after they came through a midweek friendly unscathed.
A win, coupled with a defeat for Northampton Town, would leave Stags with a vital nine point breathing space.
Sheffield Uniited loan man Daryl Westlake focusing on keeping Mansfield Town in League Two
chad.co.uk, by Stephen Thirkill, firstname.lastname@example.org
Loan man Daryl Westlake says he is loving every minute at Mansfield Town.
The Sheffield United full-back has been a regular in Paul Cox’s line-up following his loan move in November after some impressive displays.
But Westlake says he is not getting carried away and is focusing on each game at a time.
“I am really enjoying playing and getting a regular run of games,” he said.
“Playing football is exactly why I came to Mansfield Town.
“I am not looking ahead to next season yet and where I will be. I am just taking one game at a time and focusing on keeping Mansfield Town in this division.”
And, despite Stags’ precarious position, the former Walsall man believes Mansfield Town have got more than enough to beat the drop.
He added: “Dagenham was a frustrating game, we had chances and they had chances. Overall a point is ok, but it was one of those games where we felt we could have come away with all three points,
“We should have more points than we do at the moment, but we can’t look back now. We have to focus on getting all three points against Newport.
“The play-offs are now out of reach and staying in this league is our focus.
“There are some big games coming up for us. We can get seven or eight more wins before the end of the season.
“The 54 point target set by the boss is more than do-able. We have got to go into every game looking for the win.
“As long as we are picking points up then that is progress, but we will focus on one game at a time.”
Anthony Howell happy to stay at Mansfield Town
chad.co.uk, by Stephen Thirkill, email@example.com, 06 March 2014
Tough-tackling midfielder Anthony Howell says he is ‘flattered’ by interest from other clubs but will not be leaving Mansfield Town.
Howell has picked up the plaudits from boss Paul Cox for a number of solid performances at the heart of the Stags midfield this season.
And his tireless work-rate has not gone unnoticed with a number of other club’s rumoured to be interested in snatching the former Alfreton Town player from the One Call Stadium.
Howell said: “I have heard that other teams are looking at me and that is nice, it shows I am doing something right for Mansfield.
“I am happy at Mansfield though, I live in the area and am settled here with my family.
“Paul Cox has shown a lot of faith in me and I want to repay that loyalty. Mansfield Town is the place I want to be.”
Howell knows he will have a key role in Stags’ battle to beat the drop and is targeting a maximum six point hall when Mansfield face Newport County on Saturday and York City on Tuesday night.
“We need to get six points from these two games so we can climb the table,” he added.
“Newport County have a similar style to us and we will have to roll our sleeves up. It will not be easy but we have got the talent to win.
“York City have not done too bad either. I remember when they beat us in the play-offs and went up, they are a good side.
“It is important that we keep our points tally ticking over, we want to keep picking up the points and moving towards safety.”
Stags go into the game on the back of a home win against Fleetwood Town and a 0-0 draw against Dagenham.
They are currently six points above Northampton Town in the last relegation place and travel to face the Cobblers on 15th March.
Thursday 6 March 2014
twitter StephenThirkill @StephenThirkill
James Jennings and Martin Riley could be back in contention for Mansfield after coming through closed door friendly with Alfreton #stags
Paul Cox: 'This is a massive month for us. We have a lot of games in quick succession.It can make a massive difference to the table.' #stags
PC: 'If we can consolidate our position it will be three excellent seasons at the club. We were never going storm this league.' #stags
PC: 'It has been a massive learning curve for the players and everyone at the club. There is still a lot more improvements for us.' #stags
Darryl Westlake: 'We can get 7 or 8 wins. 54 points is do-able and we will be ok. We just have to focus on one game at a time' #stags
Westlake: 'I'm pleased to be playing so much. I've played every game since I came here and that's why I joined the club.' #stags
Westlake: 'I'm not thinking about next season yet and where I will be. I am just focusing on keeping Mansfield in this division.' #stags
Anthony Howell: 'Newport is a great chance to get three points and move closer up our 54 points target and survival.' #stags
AH: 'I've heard there are clubs interested in me but I am happy at Mansfield. I live locally and am settled.' #stags
AH: 'Newport are a good team with a similar style to us. We've got to roll our sleeves up. This is a good chance to get 3 points.' #stags
Newport County looking forward to their away day after tough run at home
6 Mar 2014, By Steve Tucker
The state of the Rodney Parade pitch is vexing County boss Justin Edinburgh as he and his men head to Mansfield tomorrow
Forget the green, green grass of home, manager Justin Edinburgh and his Newport County side can’t wait to get back out on the road.
County head out for a League Two clash at Mansfield tomorrow after enduring a frustrating run of games at Rodney Parade.
A glut of postponements due to the recent wet weather saw County play five games on the bounce in front of their own fans and, despite previously being in excellent form at home, they managed to win just one of them.
That was the first against Oxford United, but then Edinburgh and his players had to make do with two defeats and two draws, the most recent of those coming in a goalless stalemate against Fleetwood Town on Tuesday night.
It has left County 10th in the table, six points off the play-off places, but still with two games in hand over almost all of the sides above them.
Despite being playable of late, the Rodney Parade pitch has been left in poor condition with one end covered in sand across large areas.
Edinburgh blamed the pitch for a couple of missed chances by his men against Fleetwood and insists his players deserve great credit for their performances in front of their own supporters of late.
“I have to praise my players. It’s been a tough five games here, but we showed a real good mental attitude and a great work ethic and these last two games we’ve showed what a good side we are,” said Edinburgh.
“We did enough to win the game against Fleetwood, but unfortunately the pitch has cost us the game, it’s that simple.
“Anyone who has sat here, who goes away and doesn’t realise that then they’re more foolish than I think. We had two chances and that pitch cost us.
“I thought we were worthy of the win against Fleetwood, against another one of the top six sides that have come here and haven’t taken a win away from Rodney Parade.”
County midfielder Max Porter was in total agreement with his manager, admitting he and his teammates were actually looking forward to the trip to Field Moor tomorrow to face a Stags outfit currently languishing in 20th position in the table.
Porter said: “The fans are great at home, but I think we’re looking forward to playing away on a less heavy pitch. Hopefully it’ll be a more even surface at Mansfield and we’ll be able to play a bit of football.”
Edinburgh has one big injury concern ahead of tomorrow’s trip.
Defender Ismail Yakubu was forced off against Fleetwood with a thigh injury and is a doubt.
Meanwhile the Mansfield clash could also be the last appearance in a County shirt for goalkeeper Elliott Parish.
His loan deal from Bristol City expires at the weekend and Lenny Pidgeley and Jamie Stephens are nearing full fitness.
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