COX, TAFAZOLLI, HOWELL AND EDINBURGH REACTION
Cox: It was all about the result
Manager Paul Cox was delighted by Anthony Howell’s last-gasp strike in today’s 2-1 victory over Newport County at One Call Stadium, insisting today’s game was ‘all about the result’.
Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/cox-it-was-all-about-the-result-1406177.aspx#8yPQJo1XlY330htD.99
Howell stooped low to convert Matt Rhead’s header across goal in the last minute of normal time to earn us a priceless three points, which lifts us up to 17th spot in Sky Bet League Two.
Cox admits that although it was a scrappy game, the result is the only thing what matters.
“I don’t think we played particularly well in the second half,” said our boss. “I thought overall it was a scrappy game, blustery winds, and the ball seemed to be bobbling all over the place.
“When we came out and conceded a sloppy goal, even though I thought it was a foul on Alan Marriott, we then got camped in our own half for 20-25 minutes.
“So to win the game like we did was excellent. I‘ve just said to the boys that I’m not bothered about the performance - today was all about the result.”
No fewer than seven players were booked in what was a feisty encounter, but our manager has sympathy with referee Andy Davies.
“It was a tough game for the referee, but [refereeing] is a tough old business and it’s a tough job,” continued Cox.
“Today was a game between two teams with a bit of history from the Conference [Premier] days. Both teams had something to play for, so it was a good win for us.”
He added: “What we’ve got to do is forget about teams around us and concentrate on our own results.
“I was pleased with our endeavour and our work-ethic. The boys have got a bit of character about them and they kept going, even though I thought Newport probably shaded it in the second half.”
A full post-match interview with manager Paul Cox will be available on Stags Player later tonight. To subscribe, click here.
Cox happy to take results over performances as Stags stretch safety gap to eight points
Mansfield Town manager Paul Cox admitted he was more than happy to take results over performance as his side battled it out for three more precious safety points in today’s 2-1 home win over Newport County.
A scrappy, physical game looked to be heading for a 1-1 draw between these old Conference adversaries until Anthony Howell popped up with a last minute winner and Cox said: “The points were priceless as I don’t think we played very well in the second half.
“Overall it was a scrappy game, There was a blustery wind and the ball was bobbling all over the pitch.
“We came back out and conceded a sloppy goal, though I thought it was a foul on Alan Marriott.
“Then they camped in our half for 20-plus minutes, so to win it was excellent.
“I am not bothered about performances now, just the results.”
The game ended up with seven yellow cards and both sides arguing with referee Andy Davies at the end of an ill-tempered affair.
“It was a tough one for the referee, though I thought there were times he might have made wiser decisions,” said Cox.
“It was two teams who have a history going back to our Conference days, and both teams knew there was something to play for.”
Stags are now eight points clear of the bottom two, but Cox knows they are far from safe yet with 11 games still to play.
He said: “It’s going to go on. It won’t happen overnight. We just have to forget about what is going on around us and concentrate on ourselves.
“I was pleased with our endeavour and our work ethic today. But the quality wasn’t there. Both teams struggled to put two passes together.
“But the boys have got a bit of character.
“These are the games you just have to grind it out.”
Match winner Howell has taken some stick from the fans this season, so he was delighted to celebrate with them after his 90th minute winner.
“Anthony is a tough boy,” said Cox. “He is mentally tough, keeps on going and got his just rewards today.”
Both keepers were blamed for the first two goals with Marriott spilling a long Tom Naylor free kick for the equaliser after Elliott Parish had dropped a Ryan Tafazolli header over the line.
“It’s a bit unfair for goalkeepers as they pull off great saves and get a pat on the back,” said Cox. “They will probably show it on the TV a few times and he will feel he should have done better.
“But we have got to be greedy, bite, scratch and take anything we can get to make sure we are in this league next season. That’s how we have got to be. That’s our goal and the sooner we nail that the better.
“It is a tough league and I hope we can come back after the summer a bit wiser and a bit cuter, and I am sure this learning curve will prove beneficial for us.”
He added: “The supporters make a massive difference when they get behind you, especially in the second half. It gives players impetus and confidence.”
One minus for Stags was that defender Ritchie Sutton came off with a tweaked hamstring and will need assessing properly to see how long it might keep him out.
The result today makes it just one win in 12 games now for Newport and boss Justin Edinburgh said: “That late goal was very difficult to take. We should have dealt with it better. We dominated that second half. But we have got to make sure that when you don’t win it, you don’t lose it.
“We have now got to show a quick response. That was not good enough.
“When we had a spell after the goal we should have been more clinical. We got into wide areas and good areas but we were not clinical enough to open the door and get that second goal.
“We bossed it and restricted them to very little on their home pitch. But we then paid the price for not dealing with a second phase ball.
“We are lacking that bit of belief. They were there for the taking but we didn’t capitalise on that.
“It’s been our story since Christmas and only ourselves can turn it around.
“We have lost momentum - it’s as simple as that and we have to deal with it.
“We know there are reasons. You can’t just turn it on and off when you feel like it.
“We need to start showing a bit of consistency as we can’t keep relying on teams below us.
We need to stand up and be counted as a group.
“Thankfully the games are coming thick and fast so we can’t dwell on this result too long.”
Mansfield Town manager Paul Cox told BBC Radio Nottingham:
"I don't think we played particularly well, I don't think both sides played well.
"There wasn't a lot of quality on show, but it games like that you have to grind them out and pick up the three points.
"It's a massive three points for us and all I'm focusing on is our results and our performances.
"We have some big games in front of us now and we need to make sure we maintain our place in this league."
Newport County manager Justin Edinburgh told BBC Radio Wales:
"It is very disappointing [conceding a late goal] and we should have dealt with it better.
"For long periods of the second half we dominated and if we don't win the game we certainly make sure we don't lose it.
"Unfortunately we have and that is hugely disappointing and we have to respond because that is not good enough.
"We did enough not to lose the game but the spell after we scored is when we have to be more clinical."
Tafazolli: Eleven cup finals left
Defender Ryan Tafazolli was delighted to score his first goal for the club in today’s vital 2-1 victory over Newport County in Sky Bet League Two.
Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/tafazolli-eleven-cup-finals-left-1406407.aspx?#SkMrBI5mVAZ0jymZ.99
The 22-year-old headed us ahead on 28 minutes, before the visitors pulled one back after the break courtesy of Rene Howe.
Our team grabbed a decisive goal in the last minute of normal time, as Anthony Howell headed home from close-range lifting us up into 17th position in the league, eight points above the drop zone.
Despite being pleased with his first goal at One Call Stadium, Tafazolli is already focussing on our 11 remaining matches this season, in which he will be treating as cup finals.
“I flicked the cross on and thought I didn’t get enough power behind it,” said Tafazolli. “Luckily for me their goalkeeper has spilled it and I’ve scored my first ever goal for the Stags.
“I’ll definitely claim anything that comes my way. I was overdue a goal so it’s great to get my first one for the team.
“We’d rather get the three points than put in a good performance, because it is coming towards that time of the season now where we have 11 games left - 11 cup finals, and we need to go into every game aiming for three points.
“We are obviously the two sides that came up from the Conference [Premier] so we knew our style of football would be similar. We played against a few familiar faces in their team, but I’m just delighted we came out on top today.”
Meanwhile, the centre-back praised the rest of his team-mates and believes we deserved all three points.
“That’s what we’re all about - showing desire and persistence. We kept going until the end and we knew anything we put forward to ‘Rheady’ (Matt Rhead), the ball could drop anywhere.
“Luckily he has knocked down the ball to Anthony Howell, who has got the winner.
“We certainly showed our persistence today and all in all we deserved the three points for all our efforts.
“Like I said, we have 11 cup finals left now and we need to give everything we have got in each game.”
Howell: Win meant everything
Midfielder Anthony Howell has expressed his pleasure at scoring the decisive goal in our 2-1 victory over Newport County this afternoon.
Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/howell-win-meant-everything-1406610.aspx?#YHLvZIDjzTIGoXBK.99
In a feisty encounter, the 27-year-old netted a vital last-gasp winner, lifting us up to 17th position in Sky Bet League Two.
Despite scoring the winning goal, the midfielder believes today’s match wasn’t his best of performances in a yellow and blue shirt.
Howell said: “You have just got to give it your all and I want the fans to know that’s what I want to do and we’re all on the ‘same page’.
“I went out there today, but personally felt I didn’t have the best of games, but that goal meant absolutely everything to the lads.
“My first chance I tried to flick it in, but it went straight over the crossbar, looking like a clearance.
“Then with the second chance I saw John Dempster trying to get there and knew he wouldn’t quite reach the ball, so I got in with a back-post header.
“It means everything to the fans and the team. Everyone now goes home happy, so it certainly means a lot to everyone.
“The feeling of scoring was great, but I had to get my composure back for the last few minutes.”
Howell also feels this afternoon’s game wasn’t our best display, but believes the win was more important as he looks forward to Tuesday’s night game against York City at One Call Stadium.
He continued: “I said it in the past; there were times last season where we didn’t play well, but won games, and that’s what we need to do. We need to keep grinding out results and that’s what we did today.
“We need to roll on now and look ahead to the next game. Hopefully, it will come round quickly whilst we are on a high and we will certainly be looking forward to the visit of York.”
Tafazolli - three more wins to safety for Stags?
Saturday’s man of the match Ryan Tafazolli believes another three wins might be enough to keep Mansfield Town in the Football League.
The young defender bagged his first goal for the club in a 2-1 home win over Newport County with Anthony Howell scoring a last minute winner after Rene Howe had levelled it.
The victory opened up an eight point gap to safety and Tafazolli said: “To win it in the last minute just shows our persistence today and, all in all, I think we deserved it.
“It wasn’t the best but I’d rather get three points than put in a great performance.
“Now we have 11 cup finals left and we need to win as many as we can. I think three more wins might keep us safe. But we won’t rest on our laurels.”
Tafazolli’s goal was partly down to a blunder by keeper Elliott Parish, who let the header slip through his grasp and over the line.
“I was delighted to see my header go in,” said Tafazolli.
“I thought I needed more power on it and it looked like he had saved it at first. I think a goal was overdue for me.
“We showed heart and desire today and kept going to the end.
“I gave the free kick away for their goal, though we should have dealt with the first ball better as well as the second.”
The game was a bruiser with seven yellow cards shown.
“Both sides were in the Conference together and have similar styles of football so we knew it would be a battle today when we saw the familiar faces on their team,” he added.
Anthony Howell’s last gasp diving header secured the win after he had failed to head home from five yards 20 minutes earlier and he said: “To pop up with the winner means everything to the lads.
“It was a magnificent feeling. It’s everything for the fans too.
“We didn’t play that well. But last season there were times when we didn’t play well and won games and that’s what we need - to grind results out.
“The first chance I just tried to flick it in but it went over the bar and looked more like a clearance!
“But I managed to score the second chance and the roar was brilliant from the fans. You could see the enjoyment on their faces and see them jumping around. That’s what it’s all about.
“We are looking forward to the next game on Tuesday now as we are all on a high.”
Stags face York City at One Call Stadium on Tuesday when Ritchie Sutton is likely to be missing with a hamstring injury.
Alan Marriott @Mazza_78
So so happy the boy @Howellsy13 bailed me out the shit! Apologise for the goal but so happy to hear final whistle!!
Ben Hutchinson @BenHutch27
Well i was (sign depicting a turd) today. Apologies. #3points #ontotuesday
Latest | March 2014