COX, HEARN, HOCKADAY REACTION
Cox praises Hearn's character
Boss reflects on victory over Leeds United and has special praise for returning frontman.
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Manager Paul Cox has hailed the character of Liam Hearn, who marked his Mansfield Town with a remarkable brace against Championship heavyweights Leeds United at One Call Stadium tonight.
Hearn, who has spent much of the last two seasons on the sidelines through due to separate long-term injuries, came off the bench and changed the course of the match.
His quick-fire brace helped us to a comfortable 2-0 victory and Cox was delighted to see the frontman not only score, but get through his time on the pitch without any reaction to his previous injuries.
“It was a really good work out for us again,” said our boss. “The lads worked hard and I’m really grateful that David (Hockaday) brought a really strong side down, because that’s what we want.
“The score-line for me means a little, because it’s nice and it gives the boys a little bit of confidence, but I’m kind of looking forward to the Grimsby and Lincoln City games as that’s where it’ll test our mindset.
“These [home] games are lovely and it’s nice for the supporters. We’re in a nice place at the minute, the boys are working hard and it’s lovely to see Liam, with his injury situation, come and [do well] in his first game.”
He continued: “He scored the penalty like he’d never been away and the second goal was just pure Liam Hearn.
“As a side I think we’re working hard and it’s nice to see that little bit of depth now with one or two [players] coming back from injury. We’re enjoying pre-season - the boys are working hard and grabbing the concepts.
He continued: “When you’ve had an injury like [Hearn] has, I think just coming onto the pitch is a massive statement, but when you come on, get brought down for a penalty and then have the mentality to get up, having been out for so long, and stick it away just shows his character.
“Every centre-forward is a confidence person, but that’ll have done him the world of good. The main thing was getting him on and off the pitch without any sort of reaction to the injury and progressing from here.
“A lot of people will look at this [result] and make assumptions about it, but it all starts on 09 August for me.”
Stags boss Cox happy with Hearn return
Mansfield Town manager Paul Cox was delighted to see Liam Hearn come on to net a quickfire brace in tonight’s superb 2-0 friendly win over Leeds United.
Summer signing Hearn, bidding to return from a second career-threatening injury in two years, exploded into the game on the hour, scoring from the spot within eight minutes and adding another eight minutes later.
“It was lovely to see Liam come on after his injury situation,” smiled Cox. “He put his penalty away like he had never been away and the second goal was pure Liam Hearn to be honest.
“When you have had an injury like that, just to come onto the park is a massive statement.
“He was brought down for the penalty, then he had the mentality to get up after so long out and stick it away. It showed the kid’s character. Every centre forward is a confidence player and that will have done him the world of good. I am over the moon for him.
“It was also important to get him off the field with no reaction to the injury and we can now progress from here.”
Cox added: “It was a really good work-out tonight. The lads worked hard and I am really grateful to David Hockaday for bringing a strong Leeds squad down. That’s what we wanted.
“The scoreline does mean a little for me as it gives the lads confidence.
“These games are lovely for the supporters. We are in a nice place at the minute. We are enjoying pres-season.
“But I am really looking forward to the Grimsby and Lincoln games as they will really test our mindset.
“We will have Ryan Tafazolli and Luke Jones back on Friday so it’s all looking good at the minute.
“But I am not reading too much into pre-season.
“After tonight a lot of people will be making assumptions about us. But all I am worried about is the 9th August onwards. That’s when I want to see us peak, gel and come together.”
Cox is hoping to make a couple more signings before Friday’s trip to Grimsby.
“I want to complete this squad as quickly as possible and then get a bit of team bonding,” he said.
“I want the lads to love each other as it’s going to be a tough season. I want them to really understand each other’s personalities and become a strong unit as I know what’s coming.
“I want them to know each other intimately. I want them to laugh together and cry together as we need a siege mentality.
“We know what is in front of us. It will be a different kettle of fish when the season starts on the 9th.
“We need the supporters more than ever and I hope they will be behind us.”
Cox cast his eye over a Swiss trialist keeper against Leeds and concluded: “I though he was excellent in everything he did though probably his kicking was a bit erratic late on. He is only a baby at 22 still and he has a great personality.
“He showed glimpses tonight of what he can do. But I won’t be rushing into anything.”
Cox also gave a debut to midfielder Simon Heslop, who had signed earlier in the day. But he refused to say if Heslop’s arrival definitely marked the end of talks with Anthony Howell who has turned down a new deal this summer.
Cox said: “I want to sit down and talk to Anthony Howell before we talk about closing doors or keeping doors open.
“I have go to be respectful of the situation, Anthony and of myself. We will have a chat and decide where to go from there.”
Goals will give me confidence - Hearn
Hitman keeping feet on the ground following brace against Leeds United.
Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/goals-will-give-me-confidence-hearn-1775689.aspx#gFlILmJ5BLBWeZJz.99
Striker Liam Hearn says the two goals that he scored in tonight’s eye-catching win over Leeds United will give him confidence going into the new season.
On what was his first appearance in over eight months - and his non-competitive Mansfield Town debut - ‘the hitman’ came off the bench and netted a quick-fire brace to shoot down the Championship club.
“I was enjoying watching [the game] from the bench knowing that I was coming,” said the 28-year-old.
“[For the first goal] I anticipated the ‘keeper coming out. I thought he was going to get to the ball first, but he hesitated and as soon as he hesitated I managed to nick in then he just took my legs away and it was a penalty.
“I passed the book on [about taking the penalty] at first then had a word with myself, told myself that I needed to ‘man up’ then picked the ball up and put it away.
The striker continued: “It’s been a while [since I last played]. Obviously training is different to games and playing against Leeds United in a massive game I didn’t fancied missing especially when I’ve just come back.
“But then I had a word with myself and took [the penalty].”
When asked about the significance of the two goals on a personal level, the hitman said: “It’s just about confidence.
“To go down the road that I’ve been down over the last two years [with injuries] and to come here and use the facilities that they’ve offered me, get the treatment that Chris [Bowman, physio] has given me, and get the confidence that the gaffer and all the lads put in me - [it feels good] to repay them with a couple and come through 30 minutes unscathed.”
“It’ll give me confidence. I’ll take each day as it comes, but one thing that is important is that I need to keep my feet on the ground.
“There’s no point getting ahead of myself. It’s a pre-season friendly and there’s other strikers that have been doing well and scoring in other games, so I’ve just got to keep doing what I’m doing and hopefully I’ll get my chance at the start of the season.”
Mansfield Town hot-shot Liam Hearn delighted to put injury nightmare behind him
chad.co.uk, by Stephen Thirkill
Mansfield Town striker Liam Hearn believes he has put his injury nightmare behind him.
The former Grimsby man had been wrapped up in cotton wool by Stags as he continued to fight his way back from a serious knee injury which had threatened to end his career.
But hitman Hearn burst off the bench in style to score two goals in 13 second-half minutes as Mansfield defeated Leeds United 2-0 on Tuesday night.
Hearn, who was making his first start for Stags, coolly converted the penalty he had won on 71 minutes, before completing the victory with a composed finish on 83 minutes.
“I feel that I am over the injury now and it is just a case of building up my fitness levels,” said Hearn. “It is great to put the injury behind me and to be playing football again.
“I will just be taking each game as it comes and will keep my feet on the ground.
“I always knew that I would come back from the injury. I am a determined person and I knew that I just had to keep working hard and be patient.
“As my recovery went on the tasks become harder, but I never lost faith that I would be back playing and scoring again.
“Two goals gives me lots of confidence after what I have been through.
“It was a penalty. I read the keeper coming out, but thought he would get there first. The keeper hesitated and that allowed me to get to the ball first.
“It was a cool penalty in the end, but at first I did not want to take it and passed it on.
“I’ve had a long time out and didn’t fancy missing it, but I had a word with myself and told myself to ‘man up.’
“This performance is also helping to repay the faith that the boss has shown in me, but I am not going to get carried away with anything just yet.
“It is nice to get the goals, but we are still only in pre-season and it is what happens in the season that counts.
“The other strikers have also done well in pre-season, so I will just keep working hard and wait to get my chances.”
The 2-0 win over Championship Leeds kept up an excellent run of pre-season form for Mansfield, who have already beaten Notts County and pushed Aston Villa all the way before losing 3-1.
And Hearn believes Stags can take their impressive momentum into the season and cause a few surprises.
“The boss has got a plan of how he wants to play and things are starting to come together,” he said.
“This is the best group of players I have played with in my career.
“There is a great team spirit running through camp, it is a great bunch of lads and we are all in it together.
“The boss knows what he is doing. He has got a good eye for a player and we have got some quality in the squad. Hopefully we can translate that into wins.”
Hearn will be hoping to feature for longer in Stags’ next friendly against former club Grimbsy Town on Friday night.
Fergus Bell happy with Mansfield Town’s pre-season preparations
chad.co.uk, by Stephen Thirkill
Midfielder Fergus Bell believes Mansfield Town’s line-up of high quality pre-season opposition will benefit them greatly when they begin their League Two campaign.
Stags have already put in impressive performances against Notts County, Aston Villa and Leeds United and will entertain League One side Walsall in their final pre-season game on 2nd August.
And although the former Monza player says pre-season results count for little, he is delighted with how his new side are shaping up.
“We have put in some good performances against some big name teams,” said Bell.
“We have had some great friendlies and whoever arranged them deserves a lot of credit.
“The matches have got a lot of fans through the door and provided us with a good test.
“When we play in the league we will not face teams of the quality of Leeds and Aston Villa, so it is excellent preparation for us.
“It is important that we do not get carried away with results. We have had good results but you cannot read too much into that. What you can look at is the way that the team is lining up.
“There is an excellent shape to us and we are all working really hard and covering the miles as a team. Fitness levels are very good and we have looked solid defensively and have got good options up front.
And the London-born midfielder, who started his career at the iconic Wallsend Boys Club in Newcastle, is confident Mansfield can prove the bookies wrong and have a good season.
“There is a real sense of excitement as the season gets nearer,” he said.
“We are not setting ourselves any targets as to where we might finish, but we are quietly confident for the season ahead. I think we are going to cause a few shocks.
“I speak to a lot of players around the League and they were impressed by how we beat Leeds.
“People are tipping certain teams to do this or that, but at this stage you simply cannot say any team is better than another.
“I just cannot wait to get going. There is nothing like ending the game having won all three points.
“I am buzzing to be playing back in England again in front of some brilliant fans. You cannot beat the passion and excitement generated by fans in this country.”
After his spell at Sunderland AFC youth academy, Bell signed for Hibernian FC, where he was a member of the Hibernian Under 19s side that won the Under-19 league and Scottish Youth Cup double in the 2008-09 season
Mansfield Town kick off their League Two campaign away to Northampton Town on 9th August.
Leeds United: Poor errors cost us - Hockaday
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David Hockaday blamed individual errors and insisted Leeds United were showing definite signs of improvement, despite a 2-0 defeat to Mansfield Town last night.
Leeds suffered their first loss of pre-season after a brace from Mansfield’s Liam Hearn in the final 20 minutes took advantage of bad mistakes from Steve Morison and Zac Thompson.
Hearn struck from the penalty spot in the 70th minute after Morison’s mis-hit back-pass forced goalkeeper Marco Silvestri to bring down one of Mansfield’s four trialists, and he scored again in the closing stages after Thompson lost his footing as he chased a through ball.
The loss to a League Two side came less than three weeks before the start of the new Championship season and United’s first league game away to Millwall.
A number of new signings are likely to arrive at Elland Road before then, however, and midfielder Federico Viviani, who watched the match at Field Mill yesterday, is expected to complete his loan move from Roma later this afternoon. The 22-year-old travelled to Leeds from Italy yesterday to finalise a season-long transfer,
Hockaday, who promised to field his strongest starting line-up during this Saturday’s friendly at Chesterfield, said: “I was happy for a lot of the game.
“Mansfield set up to stop us playing and showed us respect but I couldn’t see them scoring unless we made mistakes - and we did make mistakes. We also got in some great positions and created chances that we should have been burying.
“The two goals were from individual errors and we can eradicate that. I’m not saying we ripped the seat off Mansfield but we were dominant, we were comfortable and we should have come away with 0-0 minimum.
“The thing that disappointed me is that we got into a lot of good positions but didn’t find that final pass or put the ball in the net. With better quality, that would have been a comfortable victory for us.
“I’m not saying results aren’t important because I’m a competitive man and I want to win games but there’s more to pre-season games than results. I’m seeing an improvement in our performances.”
Leeds lost striker Noel Hunt and Lewis Walters to injury in the early stages of last night’s match.
United are still to fully diagnose the damage but Hockaday said both players were likely to be missing “for a few weeks.”
Liam Hearn @Hearnz10
Thanks for all the kind messages. Great to get out there today, hearing that my heart rate shot up on the monitors before the pen haha #mtfc
Alex Fisher @AlexFisher37
Great performance again from the lads tonight at @mansfieldtownfc and a pleasure to see @Hearnz10 back in action! #stags #greatstagssupport
A top performance tonight - very disciplined all over the pitch and a few more miles on the clock for all the lads! Knew we would push them.
Lee Beevers @Beeleevers
If anyone finds my legs please send them back to me.
Martin Riley @LifeofRiley6
Nice win and performance. Means nothing in pre season though. Bring on the season
JAMIE MCGUIRE @JAMIEMCGUIRE23
Good win against a very strong Leeds United tonite! The boys our looking strong. Made up for @Hearnz10 on his 2 goals??????@mansfieldtownfc
Latest | July 2014