Cox has eyes on loan targets
mansfieldtown.net, 4th September 2014
Boss to explore loan market after being given go ahead to strengthen squad.
Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/cox-has-eyes-on-loan-targets-1897563.aspx#mwmyu086ZHVJaBRB.99
Manager Paul Cox says he has his eyes on certain targets, who could join us when the loan window re-opens next week.
Our manager, who was speaking ahead of this weekend’s trip to Exeter City, admitted our squad does need strengthening in certain areas.
“[Myself and the chairman] spoke a couple of days back and there is scope [to bring someone in on loan],” said our boss.
“We aren’t going to go barmy, there isn’t a massive amount of money to spend or anything like that, but there is scope to add to the squad and that’s something for which I’m grateful.
“Sometimes players need just that body to come in, whether it’s a centre-forward, midfielder or defender, and lift the dressing room to a different level.”
Cox continued: “We’re not a bad side and I’ve said that from pre-season, but the problem was going to be when we got injuries and suspensions.
“What’s happened in the early parts of the season is that we’ve had injuries - it’s as simple as that. From Liam Hearn to Martin Riley being missing, to Luke Jones not being back yet to John Dempster, you can look right through and say that successful sides are the ones that got that 11 on the pitch and form consistency.”
Our manager added to his attacking options late on transfer deadline day by capturing the signature of highly-rated youngster Rakish Bingham, who could make his debut on Saturday.
“We’ve seen Rakish in a behind-closed-doors game and we just knew that this kid has got something,” said our boss. “He went on tour with Bournemouth’s first team squad in pre-season and was coveted by a lot of other clubs.
“We’ve nipped in there first and I think his potential is frightening.
“I’ve seen Matt Green walk into this football club, worked with people like Liam Hearn and natural goalscorers, and this kid has got masses of potential.”
On winger/forward Sam Clucas’ departure from One Call Stadium to Chesterfield on transfer deadline day, Cox said: “I think first and foremost, football is a business.
“We don’t want to lose our best players. Sam was out of contract next summer and the initial offer was turned down for the club that came in for him.
He added: “I understand the rivalry [between Mansfield and Chesterfield]. You understand that people love their respective clubs, etcetera, but more than anything it’s the future of the football club and how we take it forward that’s the most important thing.”
In team news, both centre-back Luke Jones and John Dempster are expected to miss Saturday’s trip to St James Park, whilst no update is yet available on Liam Marsden, who limped off in the closing stages of our midweek Johnstone’s Paint Trophy defeat at Notts County.
Paul Cox’s interview from this morning’s press conference will be available on Stags Player later today. To subscribe, click here.
Cox hurt but determined to stay focused
chad.co.uk, 04 September 2014
Paul Cox admitted the chanting of the Mansfield Town fans hurt him as Stags succumbed to a third defeat on the trot in midweek, but he is still happy with where the club are in the fourth season of his tenure.
Angry with results, losing winger Sam Clucas to arch-rivals Chesterfield and and the lack of passing football mixed in with a Cox’s direct game, a section of fans called for the Stags manager to leave on Tuesday night.
“Any human being who says it doesn’t hurt or they don’t hear is - that’s rubbish,” said Cox.
“But people pay good money to come in for the game and are entitled to an opinion.
“The England manager was criticised on Wednesday night after winning a football match.
“This is a tough job and you have to have certain coping mechanisms to cope with it. If you didn’t you’d explode. Every human being questions themselves.
“This has happened for the last three seasons. But when I came here we were an average mid-table non-League football club with no infra-structure and the chairman gave me five years to get us out of the Conference.
“In three years we were out of the Conference and finished in a decent position in League Two and off the field we now have a good infra-structure with a youth set-up that will provide us with players. I will just get on with my job until someone tells me otherwise.”
He added: “I am probably more hungry now than at any time in my career.
“What I want for this club will not happen overnight. I talk to fans all the time and if I am big enough to take a pat on the back then I am also big enough to take criticism.
“But I do have a good memory and when I came here the desire of the fans to get back into the League was immense. Look at the size of clubs like Stockport County, Grimsby Town, Lincoln City who are still down there and Luton Town, who’ve only just got back up.
“I said in the summer this was going to be a tough season. Anyone who thought it wouldn’t be is a stark, raving lunatic. I always maintain that people should judge me on the end product.
“We do have respect everywhere we go and Notts changed their formation on Tuesday to adapt to how we are.
“I can’t stop people having opinions. But we do have some good supporters and if they get behind the players on a week-to-week basis ultimately we will be successful.
“This is my fourth season here and I can’t remember us starting a season well. But every season we have met all the criteria that we have had put in front of us by the end of the season.
“I am not unduly worried where we are at the minute. It’s Christmas and coming round the corner I am more concerned with. It’s all about where we finish and not where we are now.
“We have always managed to finish where we needed to finish which is testament to the players, myself and the staff. We have consistently met our targets over the last three years.”
Despite his critics shouting loudest, Cox has also this week been linked with the vacant Carlisle United job.
Without confirming or denying an interest, he enigmatically said: “There is always truth in it because people are talking about it. Other people must think I am good at my job which is a strange scenario at the moment.
“Some time I am going to leave this football club if the chairman wants to take the club in a different direction and change manager or if someone else comes knocking at the door and the chairman agrees it is right for me to go. Only then will the football club realise how good or bad a job I have done.”
He added: “I thought we were beaten by the better side on Tuesday - simple. But against Burton we were unlucky to lose it as everything about us was decent. We just became a bit anxious in the last 15-20 minutes to kick the back door down though that has worked for us in the past.
“This game is ultimately about getting results and the boys must quickly understand it is a results business and you have to block everything else out to concentrate on results. Exeter is a good game to get our teeth into tomorrow.”
New Stags striker Bingham has ‘frightening potential’, says manager Cox
chad.co.uk, 04 September 2014
Rakish Bingham comes into the Mansfield Town squad for the first time at Exeter City on Saturday with manager Paul Cox describing his potential as frightening.
The 20-year-old, who spent three seasons learning his trade at Wigan Athletic, will hope to make an instant impact for an under-fire Stags side that is looking to avoid a fourth defeat on the bounce.
With Liam Hearn out injured until Christmas, the youngster will be under instant scrutiny from fans concerned about their side’s lack of goals.
“I hope he will score us goals,” said Cox. “There were the doubters about Liam’s quality and non-League ethics, but he showed what he was about and what he can give as a player in pre-season and that is very hard to replace, as you saw with Matt Green. Our top scorer last year ended up coming from non-League football and he has now gone on to greater things.
“Rakish played in a behind-closed-doors game for us and instantly you knew the kid had got something.
“It was no surprise he had been off on tour with Bournemouth’s first team pre-season and was being coveted by a lot of clubs.
“We have nipped in there first and his potential is frightening. He has masses of it.
“There should be no pressure on him. I just want the kid to come in here and enjoy his football.
“That’s what’s happening with Alex Fisher. Pre-season, when there is a bit less pressure, he looked a million dollars. And I think Ollie Palmer has come on leaps and bounds.
“But it is my job to shield these players from some of the stuff that goes on, whether that is internal or external pressure that can ultimately affect performances and statistics.”
The money to sign Bingham came from the sale of Sam Clucas, last season’s top scorer, to local rivals Chesterfield which Cox said was simply down to a business decision by the board.
“First and foremost, football is a business,” he said. “We don’t want to lose our best players, but Sam was out of contract in the summer. We turned down the initial offer from the club who came in for him, but the second offer seemed to be good business for the chairman and board.
“That’s what happens in football. It’s not nice but decisions like this are made at clubs up and down the country. Ultimately it is the club that will benefit, but I do understand local rivalry and that people love their respective clubs.
“More than anything it’s the future of the club and how we take it forward that is the most important thing. Maybe a bit of personal pride had been dented. But personal pride doesn’t pay the bills.
“I have probably spoken to Sam more since he went than when he was here. He is a lovely kid with bags of potential and I can see him going on to bigger and better things.
“People don’t realise Sam is mentally stronger than people give him credit for. All the time this was going on he worked really hard in training. But his heart was set on moving up the ladder and earning more money and who can blame him? We are all human beings.”
The good news for Cox and Stags fans is that, despite the club currently being cash-strapped, chairman John Radford has given Cox the green light to use more of the Clucas money to further strengthen his squad next week with the possible addition of one or two more faces to a threadbare dressing room.
And Cox already has his targets firmly in his sights after months of keeping tabs on them
“I have been working on it since pre-season just in case the tide turned,” he said. “ If I hadn’t then I wouldn’t have been doing my job properly. I spoke to the chairman and there is scope.
“I am not going to go barmy and there is not a massive amount of money there. I am just grateful. I always said that if there was no money available I would just roll up my sleeves, get on with it and improve what I’ve got.
“Sometimes just seeing a new face come in can lift a dressing room to a different level.
“We know we are not a bad side as long as we avoid injury and suspensions. Successful sides get that XI on the pitch and find consistency.”
Murray reflects after reaching landmark
mansfieldtown.net, 4th September 2014
Skipper/assistant manager shares memories after clocking up 200th appearance for Mansfield Town.
Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/murray-reflects-after-reaching-landmark-1897435.aspx#6mlpG1HmTmiyvDlV.99
Skipper/assistant manager Adam Murray is determined to help us through our sticky patch and get back to winning ways, having racked up his 200th appearance for the club in our Johnstone's Paint Trophy First Round defeat at Notts County in midweek.
Murray, who celebrates his 33rd birthday later this month, first joined us on loan from Derby County in 2002, and says he has always felt a connection with Mansfield.
“I've had some experiences here," commented Murray. "It’s been eventful and it’s nice to hit milestones like that in your career. I've got a good connection with this football club and to keep moving forward is a nice feeling.”
“Ever since the first time I came here on loan I've always had a connection with the club and I've always seemed to get on with people. I've made some good friends, some good enemies, and I've enjoyed it. I’ve always felt at home here and I think we keep continuing to move the football club forward."
Over the years, the 32-year-old has had to change his style of play, but he says he is still enjoying his football: “I've obviously had to change my playing style. As you get older you have to play a bit more with your head, because you can’t do what you want to do physically, as much. I've kept myself in good shape and I'm still enjoying it.”
Now in this third spell with the club, after a short stint in the 2004/05 campaign, Murray has had his 'ups and downs' with us, but the positives have outweighed the negatives.
He continued: “I think if everything was good or everything was bad then it’d be boring. I think you have to experience the 'ups and downs' and I like to think I've had more ups here. We’ve had two promotions, been to Wembley and had a good first season back in the Football League.
“I think that season [2012/13 when we won the Conference Premier] I put a lot in to it in all areas to lift that trophy. It was a massive relief and also gave me an immense feeling of pride and fulfilment, so that’s the highlight so far."
Turning his thoughts to this season, the evergreen midfielder says the players are going to have to work hard to get themselves out of the rut they currently find themselves in.
“We haven’t got time to start feeling sorry for ourselves or get down with the situation, we've get on with it and at the end of the day, there are three points to be put on the board Saturday,” added Murray.
“If you get too down in the bad moments and too high in the good moments then you’re all over the place and you become erratic. I've learned, not only at this place but throughout my career, to stay focussed on what the end goal is.
“People are always going to have a negative outlook when you’re losing football matches and that’s fair enough. We know that we haven’t been good enough in the last few games and there’s no excuses for that, we need to put that right.
“I'm not overly worried, we’ve been here before and there’s only the people out on the pitch and the people in the office that can put that right and we’re more determined than ever to do that."
It’s 200 up for Murray, but Stags skipper says the tank is not empty yet
chad.co.uk, 04 September 2014
Stags skipper and assistant manager Adam Murray chalked up his 200th Mansfield game in midweek - and he says his tank is far from empty yet.
“It feels more like 4,000 games,” he smiled. “It’s always nice to reach milestones like that in your career.
“I have had some experiences here, lots of ups and downs, and I have a good connection with this football club. It feels like I have been here forever and it’s been a big part of my career.
“I think I am still getting into the box as much as ever. But I have had to change my playing style as when you get older you to have to play a bit more with your head as you can’t do what you want to physically as much. But I have kept myself in shape and I am enjoying it.
“Since the first time I came here on loan, I have got on with people and made some good friends - and some good enemies - . But I have always felt at home here.
“Winning the league was a relief and a feeling of pride and fulfilment - the highlight of my career so far.
“We had a good first season back in the Football League and I am in a good place at the minute personally and on the field. I am feeling really fit and, though I know my performances can improve, I still feel I have a lot to give.
“As long as I can keep myself fit and recover right, there is still a bit left in the tank.”
Stags are currently under pressure from fans after three straight defeats, but it’s nothing new to Murray.
“You have to keep a level thought process, don’t get too down in the bad times or too high in the good ones,” he said.
“If you are over the place you become erratic. You must stay focused on your end goal, even if you have to take a few knocks on the way.
“People always have a very negative outlook when you’re not winning football matches. There is only us can put that right and we have not been good enough
“We need to start putting points on the board. There is no time to feel sorry for ourselves.
“It was always going to be a tough game on Tuesday as Notts are a league higher than us. But there are no excuses as I don’t think we were good enough on the night. Our application wasn’t good enough.”
Stags are likely to blood new striker Rakish Bingham tomorrow at Exeter, and Murray said: “He has been like a breath of fresh air, full of energy and full of beans. He suits the way we go about things and is a good addition. But we can’t expect him to score eight goals on his debut, though 10 would be better! He will be good for us.”
Manager Paul Cox can expect more pressure from the fans, who chanted for him to go on Tuesday, but Murray added: “He is used to it. He is a tough bloke and he’s a big bloke.
“He is good at what he does and I am not overly worried. We have been here before and only the people on the pitch and in the office can put it right and we are more determined than every to do that.”
Stags will be without injured defenders John Dempster and Luke Jones and Cox is hoping to set up a behind-closed-doors game for them next week to boost their fitness before the trip to Wycombe on Saturday week.
Riley raring to go for Saturday's match
mansfieldtown.net, 4th September 2014
Defender speaks to local media ahead of Saturday's trip to St James' Park.
Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/riley-raring-to-go-for-saturdays-match-1897595.aspx#FW0W6mvx5cklMhL1.99
Defender Martin Riley is confident that our team can improve on their current form - starting this weekend as we face Exeter City at St James' Park.
Riley believes that our matches so far this term have been tight affairs, some of which we have been unfortunate not to take points from.
He said: “We’ve lost two on the bounce now in the league which is not nice at any point, but they've been tight games and they've been very close. We know we’re not far away from picking points up.
“There wasn’t anything in the Burton Albion game and obviously we’re all disappointed that we came off at the end after a 2-1 defeat. We’ve got to go down to Exeter now and put things right and get a result."
Our defeat against Notts County in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy in midweek was hard to take for Riley, but it means that our team can now focus solely on the league.
Riley continued: “I think most players will tell you the same after a defeat, [the dressing room is] always a pretty sombre place. It’s back to the league which is obviously the main aim and we’re looking to put that Burton defeat right on Saturday.
“It’s a tough league, there are no easy games and we know that. We know that we’re going to pick up points along the way. We know individually what we’ve got to do and as a team what we’ve got to do and if we all stick to the principles that we had last year then we’ll be alright.”
The 27-year-old admits he became frustrated after picking up an injury in our Capital One Cup tie against Sheffield United back in August.
He said: “I think I played six 90 minutes in pre-season, which I’ve never done before. You play all those games pre-season and you come in to the first week and you get a little injury.”
“The frustrating thing about it is that I was feeling fit and feeling sharp coming in to the season and then I picked up that little injury in the first week and that’s set me back slightly. It’s nothing to worry about now though, because I'm feeling fit."
Currently in his second spell with us, Riley believes our team need to tighten up from set-pieces.
He added: “I think we have conceded a couple from set-pieces this year. Last year, that was obviously a massive plus point for us. Off the top of my head, I can’t remember a goal that we conceded last year from set-pieces.”
“Everyone knows we’re a big, set-piece team. We score a lot of goals from set-pieces and we’re also good at defending them and that’s not going to change this year. We know how good we are from set-pieces in both boxes and I'm sure that’s going to continue.”
Riley ready to make amends at Exeter
Mansfield Town defender Martin Riley held his hand up as being responsible for allowing Notts County to grab their second goal in the Tuesday night Johnstone’s Paint Trophy defeat at Meadow Lane.
Jake Cassidy rode Riley’s tackle in the box to slot home the killer second as Mansfield stumbled at the competition’s first hurdle.
But Riley, back in the side this week after injury, is more concerned about getting the Stags getting back to winning ways in League two, starting at Exeter City on Saturday.
“When you’ve lost you know there was always something that could’ve been done,” he said.
“I held my hand up for the second goal. He got a lucky ricochet off my tackle, but I am not one for making excuses and I have got to be strong and maybe make a stronger tackle and not let him through.
“When you lose on a Tuesday you are up most of the night thinking about the game and going over it in your head. Most players say the same. After a defeat you are always in a pretty sombre place.
“The main reason this week was that it was a local derby and all the lads felt we didn’t quite give a proper show of it really.
“But it was only the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy so I am not sure it is massive and we are now back to the League which is our main aim.
“We need to put that Burton result right tomorrow. There wasn’t anything in that Burton game and we were all very disappointed to come out of it with a defeat. We need to go to Exeter, put things right and get a result.
“We know what we have to do as a team and as individuals. If we stick to our principles from last year then we will be fine.
“We have lost two League games on the bounce which is not nice at all. But both have been tight games and very close. I know we are not far away from picking points up.”
Riley is now hoping to put his early season injury knockback behind him.
He said: “I think I completed six 90 minutes pre-season, which I’ve never done before, only to then pick up a little injury. It’s been frustrating, but that’s two I’ve played on the bounce now and I would like to stake my place in the team.
“I was feeling fit and sharp coming into the season. The injury set me back slightly but I am now feeling good and fit again.”
Christy Pym hopes England call-up will help lift Exeter City to win over Mansfield Town
By Exeter Express and Echo, September 04, 2014, By Simon Larkins
Christy Pym says he is out to prove a point with England under-20s this week and hopes a good performance for them will spur him on to help Exeter City get three points against Mansfield Town on Saturday.
Read more: http://www.exeterexpressandecho.co.uk/Christy-Pym-hopes-England-help-lift-Exeter-City/story-22869693-detail/story.html?#ixzz3CKiSt58a
Pym, who only made his first team debut for the Grecians in February, will feature for the England under-20s on Friday evening against their Romanian counterparts at AFC Telford’s New Bucks Head Stadium. Pym has been called into Aidy Boothroyd’s squad with Grecians teammate Matt Grimes.
However, the international match takes place less than 24 hours before City’s League Two encounter with Mansfield, raising fears that both could miss the crucial game. Pym does not think that will be the case, and thinks a strong showing on Friday could give City a lift.
“If selected, I will play Friday and then I will play Saturday and I will be fine,” declared Pym.
“I don’t really know how much I will be involved in the international game, but there are going to be only two keepers there so it is likely I’m going to be involved. It would be nice to play and nice to get a debut.
“It is something to look forward and hopefully if me and Matt (Grimes) can put in a positive performance for England it can give everybody a bit of lift and spur us on to get three points against Mansfield.”
Pym has put in some impressive performances for City this season.
It is thought his England call came on the back of Boothroyd watching him play in City’s match away at Burton Albion on August 19. In that game Pym produced a number of first half stops, which included tipping a John Mousinho shot out of the top right hand corner of his goal.
Pym was also impressive against Northampton Town on Saturday, denying Chris Hackett, Marc Richards and Ivan Toney in the second half.
It was not enough to earn City a point, though, as the Cobblers grabbed a late winner.
However, Pym feels City defended a lot better from set-pieces in that match and he says that will give the team confidence going forward.
“I thought we defended well against Northampton,” said Pym. “We changed the system from set-pieces and I think it works a lot better for us. We seem to get a bit tighter and we didn’t let the runs come in from opposition players.
“When you consider the amount of corners they had they didn’t really test us. They are quite a direct side and we haven’t got the height in our team so it was always going to be a tough battle, but I thought we did well. It was just a shame that we couldn’t hang on in the end.
“I think we can take confidence from the performance though. It is encouraging as it shows us and the fans that we can defend from set-pieces.”
Exeter City v Mansfield Town: Match preview
By Exeter Express and Echo, September 04, 2014, By Simon Larkins
Paul Tisdale has told Exeter City youngsters Matt Grimes and Christy Pym that they will be expected to play two games in 24-hours after being called up to the England under-20s squad this week.
Read more: http://www.exeterexpressandecho.co.uk/Exeter-City-v-Mansfield-Town-Match-preview/story-22869788-detail/story.html?#ixzz3CKiHQzaO
Pym and Grimes joined up with the England team at St George’s Park on Monday and have spent the whole week preparing for the match with Romania, which takes place at AFC Telford’s New Bucks Head stadium at 7.30pm on Friday.
However, with City playing an important game at home to Mansfield the following day, Tisdale expects his young players to be back in Exeter on Saturday morning and raring to go.
“That is the way it is,” said Tisdale. “I can’t complain and they can’t complain. That is because the reason they have had an opportunity to play in our first team is because they have been capable of it and they have performed and improved and secondly because of the circumstances.
“The circumstances are that we have got a very small squad and young players have been given an extended opportunity in the team.
“You can’t have it both ways. They have got this call-up because they have proved that they are very good young players and the reality is that we are giving young players more of a chance, at this moment, than ever before.”
Club officials have spoken to England under-20s boss Aidy Boothroyd and asked him not to play Grimes and Pym for a full 90 minutes.
“I think that will be respected,” said Tisdale. “After the match on Friday they will then come back and they will have to turn out and play against Mansfield.
“It will be completely different game as you can imagine, playing Romania in an international game is different to playing Mansfield in a League Two match. But they are going to have to do it and to be honest we should support them in it.
“It is an issue of concern for us, but it is a good problem to have and we are not complaining. There will be no excuses for them either.
“I’m sure there are plenty of other players who would like to be doing the same thing.”
Tisdale is set to receive an injury boost this week, with Tom Nichols, Danny Butterfield, Jordan Moore-Taylor and Christian Ribeiro all fighting to be fit for Saturday’s game.
However, the City manager will assess how the players recovering from injury are on Thursday morning before putting them through two days of full training.
He will be watching to see how they react to that and as a result it means his team selection may be done later than normal.
“I’m looking at Thursday as the day when I need to know who is going to be fit for Saturday,” said Tisdale. “Then Thursday and Friday all those players will be in full training. But, until we get through Thursday’s training session, I probably won’t know exactly where we stand in terms of fitness and availability.
“My target is to have everyone training fully on Thursday and then I can judge where we are on Friday morning and then again on Friday night. I can then assess how they have all reacted to full training.”
Watch highlights from Exeter City's 0-0 draw with Mansfield Town last season.
Latest | September 2014