COX AND DARRELL CLARKE REACTION
Cox proud of Stags' finish
Manager Paul Cox said he was proud of his players’ 11th place finish in Sky Bet League Two this season as Mansfield Town ended their campaign on a high, beating Bristol Rovers 1-0.
Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/cox-proud-of-stags-finish-1526114.aspx#S3HA4jSszhfl4abZ.99
Colin Daniel's superb strike on 36 minutes guided Stags to a well-earned victory this afternoon as they also ended the Pirates' 94-year stay in the Football League.
Despite Cox feeling happy after another away win, he couldn’t help but feel sorry for his opposition, who will be playing in the Conference Premier next season.
“We were against a team today who were fighting for their lives,” said Cox. “Our lads put in a great shift, so I’m really proud of them today.
“It’s a tough old business - the scenes here today showed that. I’m a football person and when you see grown men cry, you know what it means to supporters and I really do feel for them, but my job is to look after Mansfield Town and I’m proud we have finished this season in 11th place on joint points.
“The supporters that came down today were absolutely second to none. It shows what it means to them. They have backed us all season and as I say I’m really proud at the moment.
“We knew the game was going to be tough. Any team that you play that need a draw or a win on the last game of the season is going to be a dangerous animal.
“You see what a massive club Bristol Rovers are though. There were about 11,000 fans here today. We had to withstand some pressure late on and some of the boys were running on empty.”
Cox continued: “You’ve only got to look at the amount of good clubs that have finished below us and the size of the clubs that have finished below us.
“You just have to look at Bristol Rovers, when I was playing they were a Championship club. They’ve got a massive fan base with a big set up and I just think building forwards at Mansfield Town we’ve got to appreciate every game we win and what we do now in the future.
“We have seen today, it doesn’t matter what name you are or how bigger club you think you are, there is no side that can escape the trapdoor.”
Meanwhile, our manager is eager to make his side stronger for next season as he aims to build upon Stags’ successful 11th place finish in League Two.
Cox said: “Next season is going to be tougher and I think as a football club we can be very potent if we have a siege mentality and stick together.
“The fans have come out in their numbers to travel all the way down here and pay hard earned money. I’m hoping they will go home knowing the lads have given 100% all season.
“We have had many highs and lows. There have also been moans and groans, but that for me is football. If we can now stick together as a town and football club we can progress.
“We will have a good rest in the summer and come back even stronger and try and take on what I think will be an even stronger league.
“It will be a tougher season, but as a team which I mean by a whole town, supporters and players, everyone can galvanise and keep together and be successful as a football club.”
Mansfield Town boss Paul Cox told BBC Radio Nottingham:
"It's hard to see a big football club relegated from the league.
"We had to come and be professional and look after our own camp. We finished in 11th so it's been a decent season.
"I'm proud of the football club and I think we deserved the win today."
Cox proud of Stags’ 11th place finish
Mansfield Town boss Paul Cox said he was proud of the club’s 11th place finish in League Two and proud of his players for holding their nerve in a pressure cooker atmosphere as their 1-0 win at Bristol Rovers sent the Gas down into the Conference.
“I am over the moon with the work ethic shown by my players against a team that was fighting for their lives,” he said.
“The lads put in a great shift and I am really proud of them today. You can see how big a club Rovers are with the place packed to the rafters.
“We have finished 11th only on goal difference from being top 10 and that is superb.
“Just look at the amount of clubs who finished below us and the size of the clubs that finished below us.
“Look at Bristol Rovers. When I was playing they were a Championship club with a massive fan base and a massive set-up and now they have gone down.
“We must appreciate every game we win. You have seen today that no matter what your name or how big a name you are, no one escapes the trapdoor.”
He had words of comfort for former Stag Darrell Clarke, who will now be remembered as being in charge of Rovers as they lost their 94-year League status.
“This is a tough old business,” said Cox. “But the scenes here today, I am a football person, to see grown men crying, you know what it meant to them and I feel for them.
“My job is to look after Mansfield Town. I haven’t spoken to Darrell yet but I am not one to gloat and wouldn’t want to rub anyone’s nose in it.
“I feel for the lad as he is totally genuine. It is not nice, but it’s a dog eat dog business and I am sure he will bounce back.”
Cox also had words of praise for Mansfield’s 704-strong travelling army, adding: “I am so proud of our supporters again today.
“They have been second to none. I hope they go back home and have a few beers and relax and appreciate what we have achieved as a football club this season.
“I hope they have a good rest over the summer and come back for what I believe will be an even tougher league next season. We need to galvanise and stick together and we can be successful.
“I hope the fans go home tonight knowing every player has given 100 per cent. We have had a few moans and groans along the way this season, but that is football.
“I just want to think about the here and now for the moment as you never know what will happen this summer.
“But we have finished 11th and we have some good young kids coming through. It can be very potent as a football club if you have a siege mentality.
“Let’s stick together as a town and as a football club and we can be successful.”
Mansfield Town boss Paul Cox predicts better times next season
By Nottingham Post
MANSFIELD Town boss Paul Cox expects the Stags to enjoy better times next season.
Read more: http://www.nottinghampost.com/Mansfield-Town-boss-Paul-Cox-predicts-better/story-21058047-detail/story.html?#ixzz30pJjVeZ1
Colin Daniel's first-half header helped them finish their season on a high note with a 1-0 win at Bristol Rovers that condemned the Pirates to relegation into non-league and sealed an 11th-placed finish in League Two.
A six-game unbeaten run stretching from March into April gave Mansfield the momentum to secure what looked like an unlikely play-off place, but a draw to Accrington on April 18 halted their charge.
And despite having not a great deal to play for on the final day with their play-off aspirations already over, Cox instead took pride from watching his players fight for the win against Darrell Clarke's men.
But he admits he took no satisfaction in seeing opponents Bristol Rovers relegated.
"You don't enjoy seeing grown men cry on the pitch at the end of the game," said Cox. "I asked my lads to play with pride, but we respect Bristol Rovers as a big club and I am sure they will be back.
"The game that killed our season was against Accrington.
"At that point we had real momentum and thought we were on course for the play-offs.
"The lads have shown a lot of pride and we will look to do better next season.
"Rovers have thrown the kitchen sink at us in the second half and we had to dig in."
The game's only goal came on 36 minutes with Daniel slotting home a well-taken volley, while a stunning Lewis Price save after the break kept Rovers out and saw them relegated with results elsewhere not going in their favour.
The hosts, who needed a point to guarantee safety, might have drawn pre-match encouragement from the fact Mansfield had forgotten their shirts and had to borrow a set.
The Pirates began brightly - John-Joe O'Toole had a long-range volley blocked and Chris Beardsley fired over from a David Clarkson pass.
Mansfield struggled to make any impact early on and might have fallen behind on 21 minutes when Matt Harrold screwed his shot wide from another Clarkson through ball.
Beardsley then volleyed wide from close-range as the home side, backed by a sell-out crowd, did their best to get the goal that would ease the tension in the stands.
Mansfield then sprang to life when a curling shot from the left by Sam Clucas was saved at the second attempt by Steve Mildenhall.
Then came the goal that doubled anxiety among home supporters.
Anthony Howell crossed from the left and Daniel was allowed space to hook a volley in off the post from 12 yards.
Rovers' search for a goal became desperate but Mansfield were now looking the more confident side.
The Stags could have doubled their lead just before the break but Ollie Palmer shot over from a good position after a good run through the middle by Howell.
Rovers came out for the second half with renewed determination and Tom Parkes headed wide from a Beardsley corner.
It then took a superb save from Price, with an outstretched right arm, to keep out a Clarkson shot bound for the top corner after a strong run.
O'Toole was wide with a well-struck shot from distance as pressure began to build on the Stags' goal.
There was a moment of controversy on 65 minutes when Mansfield defender Martin Riley brought down Kaid Mohamed as he threatened to break clear down the middle.
But referee Oliver Langford ruled that there was a covering defender and issued only a yellow card.
Rovers' players were left holding their heads moments later as a Clarkson header clipped the crossbar from a Fabian Broghammer corner.
Substitute Broghammer then had a low shot saved, while Clarkson was inches wide with a free-kick from 20 yards.
Mansfield sent on Ross Dyer for Palmer on 74 minutes but Rovers were irrepressible and O'Toole's glancing header from an Alfie Santos cross was inches wide.
The home side's luck was out again four minutes from time when defender Mark McCrystal volleyed against post from inside the box.
Even five minutes of stoppage time wasn't enough to save Rovers as Mansfield's 700 travelling fans celebrated a final-day victory.
Cox could only sympathise with his opposite manager but believes he will be all the better for the experience.
"I know Darrell Clarke and can only imagine what is going through his head at the moment," he said.
"We take no pleasure in sending a club out of the League. It's a harsh way to learn, but he will emerge a stronger person for it."
video interview with Darrell Clarke
DARRELL CLARKE - I APOLOGISE TO THE SUPPORTERS
Read more at http://www.bristolrovers.co.uk/news/article/darrell-on-relegation-1525718.aspx#qEPTSMpWpxryGJkt.99
Manager on today's relegation
An emotional Darrell Clarke came to speak to the press following Bristol Rovers’ relegation to the Conference this afternoon.
The manager wanted to apologise to the supporters, and accepted responsibility for what happened.
He said: “Words cannot describe how I feel, I am devastated and I apologise to the supporters.
“I take responsibility; I picked the team for the last eight games, and didn’t get the points required.
“I am not going to look for excuses, it is a 46 game season, and we have not done enough. We had a lot of chances today, but we did not take any of them.
“The supporters are devastated and I can only apologise, my heart goes out to them.”
Darrell has asked the players to have a look at themselves and ask if they have done enough.
He said: “The players have to look at themselves as individuals and ask if they have done enough.
“Have they lived their lives right, have they given everything in every match they have played this season.
“I think there are some lads in the changing room who have done that, but you get relegated because there are quite a lot of lads in there who haven’t as well.”
And the manager believes it will be next week before the dust settles and things start to sink in.
He said: “It hasn’t sunk it yet that Rovers will be in the Conference next season.
“We will see what the future holds for myself, no doubt we will have talks next week when the dust settles, and the inquest will start then.
“I eat, sleep and dream football, and I have tried my best for this football club since I have been here, but it hasn’t been good enough obviously, as we are in the situation we are in.”
The full interview will be on Gas Player shortly.
Bristol Rovers 0 Mansfield Town 1. Match reaction with Mark McChrystal
By The Bristol Post
Read more: http://www.bristolpost.co.uk/Bristol-Rovers-0-Mansfield-Town-1-Match-reaction/story-21057795-detail/story.html?#ixzz30pI8W9AF
SKIPPER Mark McChrystal admits that the players let manager Darrell Clarke down after suffering relegation from the Football League on Saturday.
Rovers lost 1-0 at home to Mansfield at the Memorial Stadium in a game they needed only a point from to preserve their 94-year-stay in the Football League.
Victories for Wycombe Wanderers and Northampton Town confirmed that Rovers would start next season in the Conference Premier and McChrystal said: "I'm speechless. I don't know where to start. I'm gutted.
"I feel sorry for Darrell. Since he came to the club he has been first-class.
"He is hungry and his attitude has been top class. He deserves more and just haven't given it to him.
"We all have to take a good look at ourselves. We need to ask ourselves some questions and be totally honest with the answers.
I also feel for the supporters. We have had a full house behind us on Saturday and we have ended up getting relegated in front of them. It is a hard day for them and I can't think of anything that I can say to them that will make them feel any better.
"This club should not be in League Two, let alone the Conference. It goes a lot deeper than all the players because there are people at the club who may lose their jobs.
"It is going to affect a lot of people's lives and it is not a nice time for any club.
McChrystal, pictured, saw a volley come back off the woodwork four minutes from time and he added: "We did everything we could to try and get the goal. We threw the kitchen sink at them.
"When that volley bounced out I knew it was not going to be our day. Mansfield came here and done a job on us, but it is about more than what happened Saturday.
"The season lasts for 46 games and we haven't been good enough in enough of them.
"You are where you are at the end of it and you can't argue with that."
Martin Riley @LifeofRiley6
Nice to finish the season off with a win and a clean sheet! Thanks to all the fans that supported us all season! Now lets get on it!
Anthony Howell @Howellsy13
Another football season finished. 2months off to spend with my lil boy :-) #NEVERBEENHAPPIER
James Jennings @JamesJennings03
Nice to finish the season with a win & clean sheet! Great support from our fans. Another season which has flown by! #stags
Liam Marsden @LiamMarsden94
What a couple of weeks to remember, making my football league debut then playing in front of 10.500, what an experience, bring on summer now
Wycombe Wanderers FC @wwfcofficial
@mansfieldtownfc I think we owe you a beer guys!
Bill Turnbull (BBC Breakfast News) @billtu
Mansfield Town now officially my second club. Thank you Stags! @wwfcofficial
Latest | May 2014