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Archived News from January 2012

25th January 2012 9:44

video interview with Paul Cox: New signing imminent


New striker imminent for Stags?
chad.co.uk, Thursday 19 January 2012

STAGS could have a new player – possibly a striker – on board before they end a two-week lay-off from action with a home clash with struggling Hayes and Yeading on Saturday (3pm).


Boss Paul Cox has spent the fortnight looking for new talent to add to his squad before the transfer window closes and he very close to a new face.

“It has given me a chance to get on the motorway and see a few games, “ he said. “I would like to make a signing or two before the window closes and I hope to have one by close of play today. But you never know in football.

“If it is a good player you can be sure they will have three or four other offers.

“Everyone dips their toe in the water with transfers at the start of January but it gets more ferocious as you get towards the 31st.”

Cox added that he would still like to bring loan pair Aman Verma and Marcus Kelly back permanently from Kettering Town.

But the Poppies' financial turmoil this week has seen boss Mark Cooper take a step back and refuse to run the side while players are not being paid.

Cox said: “Yes they are still on the radar. But it is a strange scenario to be dealing with at the moment. I spoke to the new manager there a few times, but it's all up the air at the minute.”


Stags boss prepared and ready to win – by any method
Nottingham Post, Friday, January 20, 2012

THE forecast meant the game between Hayes and Ebbsfleet on Tuesday night was always going to be in jeopardy.


But despite the freezing conditions, Stags boss Paul Cox was heading down the M1 mid-afternoon, way before the planned 4pm pitch inspection, as it was crucial to see them at first-hand.

Luckily for him, the game was given the go-ahead.

But, while the 90 minutes would have given him plenty to ponder when it comes to dealing with Hayes tomorrow, for Cox it is all about how his own side perform.

That is why in the past two weeks, with no competitive action, he has tried to get the balance right in order for his players to be focused and ready for the remaining 19 games of the campaign.

As it stands, Mansfield sit seven points off the play-offs with a game in hand on their rivals.

Too often this season, they have drawn games they should have won or lost when they had played well enough to get something out of the game. They have drawn 12 of their 27 Blue Square Bet Premier matches.

But before signing off for their fortnight break, enforced due to their early exit in the FA Trophy, they clawed out a 1-0 win against Forest Green.

And as they prepare for three games inside a week, with away trips to Luton and Ebbsfleet following tomorrow's clash with Hayes, Cox said he would be happy with more of the same.

"Hayes at home is a tough game," he said. "We have 19 matches left and we have given ourselves targets – that's myself and the players – and we have to make sure we match those.

"But once again, there are no easy games and to get three points you have to work extra hard like we did against Forest Green.

"From now on, it is not about performances. It is about three points. Pitches will cut up, be heavy and attractive football is not always possible.

"If anything, I want to carry on the trend from against Forest Green and win ugly.

"It was not the prettiest but it was about desire and we got the clean sheet and the three points. You would take that every time.

"If we can battle and grind out three points from games, we can be there or thereabouts. It is all about winning from now on, not the performances."

That isn't to say Cox's team will not continue to play passing football. It is just that, when that proves ineffective, it is a case of needs-must.

And that is why his side have been working hard on the training ground in the last 14 days.

That also saw a strong first-team travel to League Two Northampton for a behind-closed-doors friendly on Monday, ending 1-1 with Matt Green scoring and Ben Hutchinson starting alongside him, as he pushes for his first start since joining Mansfield.

But no matter who he starts with, Cox wants his side to demonstrate a cutting mental and physical edge, to take three points tomorrow.

And, in doing so, make Tuesday night's 310-mile round trip to watch Hayes all the more worthwhile


Hayes could be tough nut to crack, says Stags boss
chad.co.uk, Friday 20 January 2012

HAYES and Yeading could prove a tough nut to crack when the strugglers come to Field Mill tomorrow (3pm), warned boss Paul Cox.


United arrive at the Mill with just win in 15 under their belts. But Cox watched their 2-1 home defeat by Ebbsfleet in midweek and said: “It was a strange game. Ebbsfleet really bossed it first half. But Hayes were excellent in the second half and how they didn't finish the game with three or four goals I don't know.

“Both sides were very similar with a lot of pace and power and very attack-minded.

“I will probably get stick for saying this, but I do not believe there is a 'bad side' in this league. Look at Bath. How are they down there? They have good players.

“Win you games in hand and show some consistency and we will see sides getting out of trouble or getting in the play-off places. I have not seen a league like this for a long time.

“It is now all about results, not performances. We need wins, not draws and we have got to be brave. This is a massive week for us.!”

He added: “There is a different feel about us at home at the minute. Supporters are getting behind us and seeing one or two players coming out of their shell so hats off to the fans. It is changing mindsets and the lads are now starting to look forward to playing at home.”

Skipper Adam Murray said: “It's a strange time when you prepare all week but then have no game at the weekend.

“But we have worked hard. It has given us a bit of a break physically and mentally and hopefully we will see the rewards on Saturday.

“It is getting to the stage of the season where performances go out the window. It's all about points and if we can win the rest of them with scrappy 1-0s we would take that at the minute.

“Hayes will come to frustrate us and try to get one on the break. Fans will want to three, four or five, but we have got to be patient and win ugly if we need to. We must get the three points no matter how we do it.”


Stags boss eyeing up all transfer options
Nottingham Post, Friday, January 20, 2012

MANSFIELD Town boss Paul Cox has not ruled out making a move for the Darlington players who had their contracts terminated this week.


The administrator at the cash-strapped Quakers took the decision to rip up the contracts of all the squad and caretaker-manager Craig Liddle.

But the club has since been given a two-week reprieve after a fans' rescue group put up £50,000 to keep the club afloat to the end of the month.

Gateshead have already swooped to sign Jamie Chandler and Liam Hatch from the crisis-hit club.

Cox, whose side host Hayes and Yeading tomorrow, admits it is a sad situation and while he has sympathy, said other teams will naturally take a look at those players who have become available.

Cox said: "We have been in touch with the club, we are monitoring it.

"We spoke to Graeme Lee (before he joined Darlington) in the summer but we could not afford him. Darlington have got one or two good players but for us it is about bringing in players who are better than we already have.

"We will keep an eye on the situation, just like everybody else, but we already have X, Y and Z as our targets and have to make sure we bring players in because they will strengthen us."

Cox said it is never nice to see a club suffering such financial problems.

"You see what has happened at Darlington and it is really worrying, it is not nice for the club. You do not want to see any club in their predicament," said the Stags manager


Stags boss in call to players ahead of big week
Nottingham Post, Saturday, January 21, 2012

MANSFIELD Town boss Paul Cox has called on his players to show their steel as they begin a crucial week in their season.


The Stags have had an enforced two-week break from action but now have three games in a week, starting with Hayes and Yeading.

Today's home game is followed by trips to promotion rivals Luton on Wednesday night and Ebbsfleet the following Saturday.

With the Stags seven points off the play-offs in the Blue Square Bet Premier with a game in hand, Cox knows it is a crucial time.

He said: "We are playing catch up because of not turning those draws into wins.

"We have got to be strong and mentally tougher than we have been. Games will come thick and fast and it is not performances, it is results that matter now.

"It will be a big week for us and we have to put as many points on the board as we can.

"Everyone is busting their guts to get in the 11 or on the bench so it will be a big call to pick the side."

Mansfield won their last match 1-0 against Forest Green at Field Mill, and Cox believes there is a different feel on home turf of late.

"The support we are getting is really proactive," he said. "We have to congratulate the supporters on that, especially against Forest Green.

"It was a horrible game but they stood by us and the lads are starting to look forward to playing at home."


Stags have their targets as they look to get on a roll
Nottingham Post, Saturday, January 21, 2012

SAT inside the function room of the John Fretwell Centre, Mansfield Town's players sat down for a discussion during their two-week break from action.


Led by manager Paul Cox, targets were on the agenda at their training base.

Going through each of the 19 Blue Square Bet Premier games that remain, they set themselves realistic targets from each match.

Breaking them into bunches of matches, they set targets for each bundle in order to keep their focus on the task ahead.

That goal is reaching the play-offs, as they currently sit seven points off the top five, albeit with a game in hand.

Now, as they begin a week of three games, with away trips to Luton and Ebbsfleet following today's home match with Hayes and Yeading, they will have a target in mind.

But while nobody is revealing the points targets set, captain Adam Murray is confident the Stags can start to make inroads, after winning their last match 1-0 at home to Forest Green.

"We have put ourselves in a decent position to push on," said Murray.

"It is a good month for us. We can pick up a good total of points and put ourselves in a good position.

"We sat down as a group and set our own targets, as a team, and how we want to do it. If we come out on target, we are in a good position.

"We want to try to get on another run. At the end of the day, we are at the stage of the season where performances go out of the window. It is all about putting points on the board.

"If we had to take 19 games of winning ugly, we would take it because we want to end up in the play-offs at the end.

"This is a season where they will not be much in it and Fleetwood and Wrexham will have a battle of their own for top spot. We have to make sure we stay in that pack and hopefully sneak in there."

Today's opponents are second from bottom of the table, following a 2-1 defeat to Ebbsfleet in midweek.

Still, they are just one point from being out of the bottom four and midfielder Murray is not underestimated them.

"For me, it does not matter where you are in the league," said Murray. "It is that nasty, anybody can beat anyone and we have to give them respect but at the same time we go into it confident.

"It is about putting together a team of people that have the ability and mentality to push on."

Hot on the heels of today's fixture is a midweek trip to Luton, the team Murray left to join Mansfield.

As a result of that agreement, he missed the trip to Kenilworth Road last time out so is relishing a return to play in front of a hostile crowd.

"It will be a good game and last year I did not get the chance to play there so I am looking forward to it.

"It is horrible there, it is nasty down there. But those are the games you want to play in and I hope it is really horrible. I love it like that.

"It is nice to have a game today. It was a nice break because mentally and physically it was good for us but it is awful when you don't have a game on the Saturday.

"We have worked hard on a few things, we had the game on Monday behind-closed-doors (at Northampton) and it has been beneficial.

"We have done physical work as well as tactical to cover all bases and hopefully we will show that today."

Meanwhile, Paul Cox is expecting a really tough test today after watching Hayes in midweek.

"Ebbsfleet really bossed the first half but I thought Hayes were excellent in the second half," he said.

"How they did not finish the game with three or four goals I don't know.

"But that is what this league is about. You can do what you want from box to box, it is what you do in both boxes that counts.

"That is what we have tried to get across to our lads. Both sides are very, very similar. They have a lot of pace and power in their sides, are very attack-minded so we learned a lot on Tuesday night.

"We know that anybody down the bottom can pull themselves out.

"People are so close in terms of points tallies that if you win three games on the bounce you know the scenario will be totally different.

"We have to go about our business like we did against Forest Green. If that means win ugly, then win ugly.

"We have set our targets and now we have to meet them."


United boss outlines transfer window plans ahead of Mansfield Town clash
Jan 18 2012, By Chris Slavin


HAYES and Yeading boss Nas Bashir is still aiming to bolster his squad during the January transfer window.

Despite making wholesale changes this month, Bashir has pinpointed more signings after missing out on one target on Monday.

"We tried to bring in a player yesterday (Monday), but it did not work out," said Bashir. "I am still looking to bring in one or two players to strengthen us even further.

"There are certain games that we have to win that I have pinpointed, but at the moment we are still not there."

Hayes and Yeading have received a boost with the return to full training of full-back Dan Spence.

While Saturday's trip to his former club Mansfield is likely to come too soon, just being back in the fold is a major step for Spence as he has been out with an ankle injury since October.

But Bashir confirmed that the news is not good as regards goalkeeper Steve Arnold, who has suffered a setback in his recuperation from a metatarsal injury, and he needs the problem to be looked at again.

Skipper Mark Bentley is also not expected to be ready for Saturday as he is still struggling with a hamstring injury


Cox: Stags are physically and mentally recharged
Nottingham Post, Wednesday, January 18, 2012

MANSFIELD Town boss Paul Cox believes his squad is mentally and physically recharged to make a push for the play-offs.


The Stags were without a game last weekend and will have enjoyed a two-week break from action when they host Hayes & Yeading on Saturday.

In their last outing, they beat Forest Green 1-0 at Field Mill and are tenth in the Blue Square Bet Premier – seven points off the top five with a game in hand.

And while his players enjoyed a few days off, they were worked hard on the training pitch as well as playing in a 1-1 draw in a behind-closed-doors friendly at League Two Northampton on Monday.

Cox said: "We have been working them hard and then given them some time off.

"They were in Christmas Eve, Boxing Day, New Year's Eve and New Year's Day so we have given them some time off but also mixed it with tough sessions.

"It is an important time of the season to keep the fitness levels up, so we have made sure of that but they have had a few days off as well.

"It keeps them sharp, both mentally and physically, as we look to push on."

Matt Green scored against Northampton but yesterday's planned friendly with Notts County was called off because of a frozen pitch


'Our home form must improve'
chad.co.uk, Tuesday 17 January 2012

SUCCESS begins at home, Stags boss Paul Cox has warned his players ahead of Saturday's visit of Hayes and Yeading (3pm).


Mansfield Town's home record was poor for the first half of the season but, before having no game last weekend, they had, at least, begun 2012 with a 1-0 home success over Forest Green Rovers.

“We must concentrate on our home form now,” said Cox. “We had some great away results in the first half of the season. But now we have to start consistently putting three points on the board at home. If we can do that and pick up the odd point away it will make for a very interesting last 19 games of the season.

“The lads have worked hard in training this week but can't wait for the buzz of a Saturdy afternoon and are champing at the bit.”

Struggling Hayes have won just once in their last 15 games and sit second from bottom


by Martin Shaw
I went to Hayes v Ebbsfleet on Tuesday night. The Stags play both sides in the next 11 days.

Ebbsfleet won 2-1. A draw would probably have been a fair result.

The first half was poor fayre. Both sides lacked quality. Ebbsfleet took the lead just before half time when big striker Callum Willock scored from a ball over the top of the defence.

Louie Soares equalised with a fine strike in the first minute of the second half. For the next 30 minutes, Hayes were on top and should have sealed the game. One incredible incident when Hayes striker Julian Owusu lobbed the ball over the keeper and instead of following the ball to ensure it went in, turned away to celebrate only for a defender to get back to make an incredible clearance, booting the ball off his own crossbar. Incredible lack of professionalism from Owusu. Owusu in fact was awful and Hayes manager Nas Bashir spent the entire game shouting at him telling him to do this, do that. Hayes missed another gilt-edged chance too.

And Hayes paid for it when another ball over the top put Willock through and he scored again, lobbing over the keeper, with 13 minutes left. After that Ebbsfleet held on comfortably.

Paul Cox, Micky Moore and scout Paul Ogden were there. Paul Cox was worried they were going to have a wasted journey and was relieved the game went ahead. He asked my opinion of what we'd seen - I told him I thought that Hayes were fairly ordinary but had one excellent player in Louie Soares, and a good midfielder in Jamie Hand. Soares is very impressive, and has looked good when I have seen Hayes before this season. Hayes do have a few youngsters who don't look ready for the Conference to me.

Att 266. About 120 from Ebbsfleet. Without that 120 from Ebbsfleet, we would have been close to the lowest ever Conference attendance. Loads of other managers there too including Terry Brown (AFC Wimbledon, and former Hayes manager), Jez George (Cambridge), Gary Waddock (Wycombe)


Matthew Bell set to leave Rangers
expressandstar.com, Tuesday 17th January 2012

Stafford Rangers boss Greg Clowes today admitted it's unlikely the loan deal of Mansfield midfielder Matthew Bell will be extended for a second month.

Bell returned to Field Mill after Saturday's 1-0 win over Marine, where he was a late substitute in what was probably his farewell appearance.

Michael Carr and Kevin Street were preferred in the middle of the park and impressed, while Dan Skelton was left out of the squad completely.

Glynn Blackhurst, one of only two contracted players at the club, is also pushing for a place and Clowes now appears ready to do without Bell.

The 20-year-old has made five starts for Rangers, scoring once, and was omitted from the starting line-up for the first time on Saturday.

Clowes said: “The problem with loan players is, if they get injured, it's like having a contract player on your hands.

“I can't really afford to do that, there's a lot of loan players flying around but they are not a priority to me.

“Today, I can't see that happening.”

The Rangers boss admitted he dropped Bell to try out Carr and Strret as a pair on Saturday, with Michael Morton also still to return to injury.

Clowes said: “Matt didn't play on Saturday because I wanted to strike a partnership between Carr and Street and they did very well.

“I can't remember how many times this season where I have been able to pick the same team from one week to the next.

“If I can do that quite regularly between now and the end of the season, it's going to give us a better chance of winning games.”

Read more: http://www.expressandstar.com/sport/2012/01/17/matthew-bell-set-to-leave-rangers/#ixzz1jndZRLbo



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