COX, MURRAY, RILEY, NEAL ARDLEY REACTION
video interviews with Cox, Murray and Riley
Cox: We'll keep working hard
mansfieldtown.net, 29th March 2014
Manager Paul Cox was pleased to see our team record their first back-to-back wins this year, after a crucial 1-0 victory over AFC Wimbledon today.
Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/cox-well-keep-working-hard-1454207.aspx?#txfwYu5jUS9MjOLb.99
Adam Murray's first-half free-kick proved to be the deceive goal and moved us up to 12th position in the Sky Bet League Two table - the highest position we’ve occupied since November.
Cox also stated that he was happy with our togetherness as they overcome a stern test from a Dons team, who had lost just one of their previous seven matches.
“I’m proud of the way we are going about things at the minute, both home and away,” said Cox.
“The supporters and players are really working well towards each other and there’s a real togetherness, which puts a big smile on my face.
“Ollie Palmer was running on a bit of empty, we had to introduce some fresh legs, which is probably why I initially stayed with the 3-5-2 formation to start off with. I anticipated the game was going to be sloppy and would come down to a sloppy goal.
“We had to work really hard. If you look at Wimbledon’s results as of late, they go right to the end and they certainly pushed us.
“That is why I am so pleased with the players and the football club. We stuck together right until the end today.”
Meanwhile, despite us going 10 points clear of the relegation zone, Cox has urged his side to keep fighting until the end of the season and climb further up the table.
He continued: “I don’t want to become arrogant and think we’re there. I would rather be finishing the season on an incredible high, but I’ve got a number of young players that I want to give a bit of experience to heading into next season because they are going to be good players.
“I want the club to keep moving forward and to do that we have to make sure we are in this league next year.
“Until the fat lady sings and that is confirmed mathematically, we will keep working hard and trying to win football matches.
“I’m not going to turn around to my players now and tell them to switch off. We need to regroup, get our legs back and recover the hearts and lungs, because there was a lot of hard work out there today.
“The spirit in the camp is brilliant, but we need to re-focus for next weekend. I’m hungry for another three points and I’m hoping the players are too.”
Our manager also praised the club’s magnificent home support again this afternoon, as they backed Stags from start to finish in a pulsating 90 minutes.
Cox added: “It’s such a cauldron of noise and so invigorating which makes me smile. The fans deserve a massive amount of credit for their resurgence since Christmas, because they have really got behind the boys and that’s the most important thing.
“It’s their football club which they have massive part in. When they sing like that and get behind the boys they are certainly like a 12th man.”
Stags boss Cox not taking safety for granted yet
Despite Mansfield Town today moving up to 12th place after their first back-to-back wins since September, manager Paul Cox is not taking League safety for granted until the Stags are mathematically assured of survival.
Adam Murray’s seventh minute free kick settled a scrappy home clash with AFC Wimbledon this afternoon and Cox said: “That was a big result for us today.
“The performance wasn’t there but I would always take a result over a performance.
“But it is just a win and we now have another big game ahead of us at Morecambe on Saturday.
“I would love to think we are now safe but mathematically we are not.
“It is not over until the fat lady sings and we will carry on right to the end. I want us to keep working hard and keep winning football matches. Nothing has been achieved yet.
“I am not going to be arrogant and say we are safe. I would rather we finished the season on an incredible high, though I would like to give some of my younger players some experience when I can.
“Come the end of the season we will finish where we deserve.”
Cox had plenty of praise for the home fans, who again got behind the side well and kept some very tired players going.
“I am proud of this football club tonight,” said Cox. “Home and away the supporters and players are working towards each other and it is putting a big smile on my face.
“Sometimes I get frustrated with this football club because I know there will be bad times during a season and some of our supporters get frustrated with that.
“But when they are in the mode they were in today there is no better place to be as a player or a manager. It was such a cauldron of noise which is so invigorating it makes me smile.
“The crowd have played a massive part in our resurgence since Christmas and have really got behind the boys.
“Quite a few of the players were running on empty out there towards the end today and they will get a couple of days off to recharge and then we will see who is fit for Saturday.”
He added: “I started with 3-5-2 again today as it has been a long, hard month and I anticipated it would be a scrappy game today that would probably come down to a sloppy goal.
“There were a lot of tired bodies out there today on both sides. But Wimbledon didn’t lay down and really made us work hard. They really came at us late on and you could see why they have picked up a lot of late points as they are a fit, strong bunch who have had an excellent season.
“The players are tired physically and mentally.”
The Dons refused to give up but failed to take any of three good chances to level and their manager, Neal Ardley, said: “I am really disappointed. The lads battled well and gave it a good go at the end.
“I did not think Mansfield looked like hurting us until the closing stages, but we have lost to a soft goal and were chasing the game from an early stage.
“We knew it would be a physical game against a strong team who did not want to play through midfield.
“Mansfield played back to front and I will not fault them for that. They have got to their 50 points target so credit to them.
“We had an excellent chance to score at the start of the second half and did not take it. We lacked quality in key areas, especially in the final third.
“We have got to look to win every game we play until the end of the season and to bounce back from this.”
Murray delighted with set-piece winner
Skipper/Assistant Manager Adam Murray was delighted to bag his first goal of the campaign in today’s 1-0 victory over AFC Wimbledon at One Call Stadium.
Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/murray-delighted-with-set-piece-winner-1453914.aspx?#JSZX3sjGKdozOGI8.99
The 32-year-old scored the only goal of a scrappy match with a seventh-minute free-kick to give us another precious victory, which lifts us further away from the relegation zone.
Our team now occupy 12th position in Sky Bet League Two - the highest place we have been in the table since early-November, and are 10 points clear of second-bottom Northampton Town.
“I had a feeling that I was going to score today,” said Murray. “I said in the office to ‘Coops’ (Richard Cooper) and a couple of the boys that I thought I was going to score, but I didn’t quite know what to do when it went in.
“I knew that if I got the free-kick on target it was going to cause a bit of trouble. There was a little bit of confusion between their defender and goalkeeper and luckily it’s sneaked in.”
The Stags’ skipper also had praise for team-mate Jamie McGuire, who he believes produced a faultless performance alongside him in the centre of the park.
“I’m enjoying playing average and getting the ‘Man of the Match’. It’s decent,” laughed Murray.
“I don’t think I was at my best, the same as last week. I don’t think I did anything spectacular, but the lad next to me, Jamie (McGuire), was superb today. He absolutely ran his socks off.”
He added: “I think at the minute it’s about team performances and all of us pulling together, and at the minute our team-spirit is pulling us over the line.”
Murray is now urging his colleagues to remain focussed ahead of our last six matches of the campaign, which starts with a trip to the North-West to take on Morecambe next weekend.
“It’s a big win and if you look at the last two home games, the support and the atmosphere that’s been created is what we’re used to,” said Murray.
“But what I would say is we’re not safe [from relegation] yet.
“It’s easy for everyone to slip into a comfort zone now, but there are a lot of points still to play for, so we’ve got to make sure we keep our foot on the pedal.”
Murray shocked to be Stags’ match winner
Stags skipper and assistant manager Adam Murray admitted his winning goal came as a shock to him in the 1-0 home win over AFC Wimbledon yesterday.
Murray, without a goal all season, saw a hopeful 30-yard free kick somehow find the net thanks to Ollie Palmer putting off keeper Ross Worner with his failed attempt to get a head on it.
Murray smiled: “It was a bit of a surprise to be honest. I did say in the office earlier I had a feeling I was going to score. But when I did I didn’t quite know what to do.
“I had the wind behind me so I knew if I got it on target it was going to cause trouble.
“I am 100 per cent sure it was my goal, though Ollie Palmer tried to say it touched his eyebrow on the way in.
“The most important thing was getting the three points and moving closer to safety.”
For the second successive Saturday Murray was named man of the match, which also bemused him.
“I am enjoying playing average and getting man of the match awards,” he said.
“I don’t think I was the best today. The lad playing next to me, Jamie McGuire, was superb today and ran his socks off and helped get us over the line.
“That was a big win for us. We have had a big atmosphere in there the last two home games and that is what we were used to last season and I have missed it.
“We are not safe yet, so no one can go into a comfort zone. We have to keep our foot on the pedal.
“You get to this time of the season and reach targets set and the sun is out and it’s easy to start getting into a holiday mode.
“But we are not safe and there are still points to play for. We need to make 100 per cent sure.”
Riley: We must push on
Defender Martin Riley wants our team to try and secure a position in the top half of the Sky Bet League Two table, following today’s 1-0 victory over AFC Wimbledon.
Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/riley-we-must-push-on-1454096.aspx?#3G4sCij3jXGOpLob.99
The victory earned us three more precious points which means we are now 10 points clear of the relegation zone and into the top half of the table for this first time since November.
“With results elsewhere going our way as well, it was a massive a win,” said Riley. “There’s 10 points now between us and the relegation zone, so we’re getting there.”
“I always believe that we’re going to win and going to keep clean-sheets, and I think that’s the 14th clean-sheet we’ve kept this season which is decent.
“Today wasn’t the greatest performance in the world, but the result is all that matters.”
He continued: “Everyone knows how much the result means and it’s a massive three points.
“We’ve gone up to 12th position [in the table now] and we’re on a decent bit of form, so we need to ‘crack on’ and make sure we look up the table. I think realistically we can finish as high as ninth or tenth and that’s got to be the aim for the boys.”
Meanwhile, the 27-year-old revealed that a half-time team talk given by manager Paul Cox helped to inspire our team to a very important victory.
Riley added: “It was obvious that there were maybe a few tired legs and a few tired minds out there and the gaffer said to us at half-time to ‘get it out of our heads’, because tiredness is a mental thing.
“He said that we’d have the day off on Monday [if we won] and I think that spurred a few of the lads on.”
Dons boss blames poor decision-making for Mansfield Town loss
Neal Ardley blamed poor decision-making in the final-third for AFC Wimbledon’s defeat to Mansfield Town.
The Dons boss cut a frustrated figure after his side’s four-game unbeaten run was ended by the Stags as Adam Murray’s early free-kick proved the difference at Field Mill.
Ardley felt his team had created enough openings to take at least a point but was counting the cost of poor finishing and a bit of strength as Wimbledon came home with nothing.
“It is real disappointment, but the lads had a go and they battled hard,” Ardley told Dons Player.
“We knew it was going to be physical and they would go route one. They made it hard, but we lacked quality when we did get in the right areas. We made the wrong decisions.
"George Francomb had a great chance early in the second-half and if anyone should be full of confidence it should be him. But that’s the story of the day.
“We were chasing the game, but I don’t remember them looking like troubling us. It’s one rubbish goal and it goes right under the arms of the goalkeeper.
“I thought we could have got one back but we lacked quality in the final third. It was disappointing, but the boys had a right go.
“It was a reasonably even game, but they were bigger and stronger than us.”
To compound Ardley’s misery, Darren Jones and midfielder Francomb suffered head injuries in the League Two clash.
Neal: we lacked quality
Read more at http://www.afcwimbledon.co.uk/news/article/neal-on-mansfield-loss-1454622.aspx#l3sijwwWDhyRXift.99
Author: Chris Slavin
They made it hard, but we lacked quality when we did get in the right areas Neal Ardley, Sat 29 Mar 2014
Wimbledon manager's verdict after Mansfield defeat
Neal Ardley was very disappointed by the manner of Wimbledon’s defeat at the hands of Mansfield today and he pointed to a lack of quality in attack.
The Wimbledon manager refused to criticise Mansfield’s robust approach that left both Darren Jones and George Francomb with head injuries and he said that the Dons were fully prepared for such a tough battle.
“It is real disappointment, but the lads had a go and they battled hard,” said Neal. “We knew it was going to be physical and they would go route one. They made it hard, but we lacked quality when we did get in the right areas. We made the wrong decisions. George Francomb had a great chance early in the second-half and if anyone should be full of confidence it should be him. But that’s the story of the day. We were chasing the game, but I don’t remember them looking like troubling us. It’s one rubbish goal and it goes right under the arms of the goalkeeper.
“We have to take it on the chin. It was a horrible game on a bobbly pitch against a team that were never going to play through midfield at all. They were big and strong and credit to them. I’m not going to say anything against them. They got an early goal and they held on for the rest of the game. I thought we could have got one back but we lacked quality in the final third. It was disappointing, but the boys had a right go. It was a reasonably even game, but they were bigger and stronger than us.”
Kwesi Appiah produced an encouraging debut just two days after signing on loan from Crystal Palace and Neal expects him to get better in the coming matches.
“Kwesi looked a threat at times,” added Neal. “He needs a bit of match sharpness because he had a couple of weeks at Palace out with a niggle. Kwesi is coming back from that and hopefully he will get better with games and help take us where we want to go.”
The full video interview with Neal Ardley will appear on Dons Player later this weekend.
Martin Riley @LifeofRiley6
Not a great performance by any stretch! Talk about scrappy one nil win! A lot of tired legs out there but also a lot of heart! #stags
Alan Marriott @Mazza_78
Clean sheet,3 points and closer to safety!!! Doesn't get much better than that!! Well done the boys!!
Oliver Palmer @OliverJPalmer
Not happy about my performance at all!! Sometimes you have to win dirty and that happened today! Great 3 points, great support again! #stags
Ritchie Sutton @suttonra
What a feeling a 1-0 win is if your a defender!
Georgie Francomb @Francomb_7
Feel sorry for the fans that came to watch that. What a horrible way to play football and their fans clapped them off
Michael Scothron @scothofscothron
@Francomb_7 is there a reward for the return of your dummy?
Martin Shaw @shawma1
@Francomb_7 You were equally "horrible". And in case you've forgotten you were outplayed at Kingsmeadow & saved by the brilliant Ross Worner
Latest | March 2014