VIDEO INTERVIEWS WITH Paul Cox, Louis Briscoe and Adam Smith --->
Spotlight on Newport v Mansfield Town
Nottingham Post, Friday, February 17, 2012
Newport (from): Thompson, Baker, Buchanan, Warren, Rodgers, Hughes, Jarvis, Pipe, Reid, Chapman, Minshull, Foley, Charles, Harris, Rose, Potter, Knights.
Mansfield (from): Marriott, Redmond, Sutton, Dempster, Riley, O'Neill, Edwards, Murray, Roberts, Hutchinson, Worthington, Howell, Stevenson, Dyer, Briscoe, Green, Rhead, Smith, Meikle.
Team news: Newport will have Andy Sandell suspended after he was sent off in a 2-2 draw at Stockport last Saturday, resulting in a three-game ban.
Wayne Hatswell is battling with a back problem, which saw him miss Tuesday night's 1-0 win over Bath City.
But the Exiles hope Ismail Yakubu (knee) will be back involved after a recent absence.
Ex-Notts County played David Pipe has been a regular in the County line-up since September.
Mansfield's Paul Edwards (foot) was out of action for last weekend's inter-club game on Sutton Coldfield's artificial surface but has since returned to training.
Anthony Howell (foot) is struggling, while Sam Craven (groin) and Matt Bell (ankle) are out of the trip to Spytty Park.
One to watch: Adam Chapman. On loan from Oxford, the left-sided player was on trial at Field Mill early in the New Year but proved to be an option not pursued by Stags boss Paul Cox.
Manager: Justin Edinburgh. The former Tottenham player joined the Exiles in October following the exit of Anthony Hudson having led Rushden and Diamonds into the Blue Square Bet Premier places in the past, prior to their sad demise
Mansfield Town prepare to brush off winter woes against Newport County
chad.co.uk, Thursday 16 February 2012
AFTER three weeks of frustration, Mansfield Town are preparing to get back into action when they look to claim all three points against Newport County on Saturday.
The Stags travel to South Wales on the back of a good run of six without defeat and knowing that another win will help to build on the club's growing momentum as they seek to make the play-offs.
Mansfield, who have not played since the 3-0 win at Ebbsfleet on 28th January, crushed Newport 5-0 at Field Mill in front of the television cameras back in September.
But despite that easy win boss Paul Cox is cautioning against underestimating relegation-threatened County.
Said Cox: “Newport have had some good results of late and will be a totally different proposition than back in September.
“It is a tough place to go. We will continue to focus on ourselves and what we can do and not worry about Newport. The players are full of energy at the moment and a raring to go. It is 11 v 11 and the best team on the day will win.”
And his view has been echoed by winger Adam Smith, who said the Newport side would offer a different type of challenge.
“We have got to show Newport respect and approach this game in a professional way,”he said.
“We have beaten them before this season, but they are a different team now with a different manager and different players and we should not take them lightly.”
Stags cruised to a 3-0 win in their last league outing against Ebbsfleet United and boss Paul Cox is calling on his players to display that same positive approach for the rest of the season.
“There is nothing like games coming thick and fast and I can't wait for the next 16 games,”said Cox. “I want us to be positive and to put us in a position where this season can be regarded as a success. We want a positive result from Newport.”
Despite the enforced winter break, Stags still have a few injury concerns with Sam Craven ruled out with a groin injury and Matt Bell out following an ankle injury picked up in the friendly against Sutton Coldfield.
Midfielder Anthony Howell is also struggling following a knock picked up in training.
Stags will come up against striker Adam Chapman, who recently left Field Mill after a trial period
Mansfield Town boss Paul Cox focused on results as Field Mill ownership saga drags on
chad.co.uk, Friday 17 February 2012
STAGS boss Paul Cox says he is concentrating 100 per cent on on-field matters as the club's ground ownership saga rumbles on.
Mansfield Town must secure a 10-year lease deal or ownership of their Field Mill stadium by 1st March if they are to be eligible for promotion to the Football League.
The long-running saga currently appears to be no nearer being resolved with landlord Keith Haslam and Stags owner John Radford currently locked in on-going negotiations over the ground's future.
But according to Cox, the current situation is something he is unconcerned about as he and his players focus on getting the results needed to make promotion a possibility.
He said: “We have spoke about the ground situation and it is something the players are aware of, but we just have to concentrate on getting results. There is no pressure on the players.
“The chairman will do what he needs to do and play his part, we need to make sure that we take care of our side of business and concentrate on winning matches.
“As a person I put all my efforts into what I can change, what I can't change is irrelevant. At the end of the season I want to both sides (chairman and the team) to have played a part for the club to regard the season as having been a success.
“We need to build on our platform together and we are building in the right way.”
It is thought that Mr Haslam values the ground at around £2m and it is known that he is charging £10,000 a month rent.
In Decemeber 2010, Stags were locked out of their Field Mill home following a row over claims of unpaid rent
Mansfield Town boss Paul Cox pays tribute to Stags Supporters Association
chad.co.uk, Friday 17 February 2012
MANSFIELD Town boss Paul Cox has paid tribute to the club's loyal supporters following a £1,300 donation from members of the SSA.
The Stags Supporters Association donation means the team will now be able to stay overnight as part of their preparations to bring all three points back from Newport County.
Delighted Cox said: “A massive thanks has to go to the SSA. The fans have been magnificent home and away this season and this donation will really help us.
“Their vocal support, both home and away, has played a massive part in the results when games have been in the balance.
“There is a lot of togetherness at the club at the moment, whether this is because people see we are heading in the right direction or not I don't know, but the fans have been fantastic.
“The lads know that stopping over plays a massive part in our preparations and this is a massive help to us.”
The news was also welcomed by midfielder Adam Smith, who said overnight stops were not only good for pre-game planning but also for team bonding.
“It is important to prepare correctly for games,”he said. “It is good to stop overnight for the extra rest and for our team spirit.
“It is good to be able to relax with the other lads and play games, have singing contests and have some fun.”
Dempster loss will be keenly felt by Stags – Smith
Nottingham Post, Friday, February 17, 2012
JOHN Dempster's influence on and off the pitch will be sorely missed by Mansfield Town when he departs, insists midfielder Adam Smith.
The central defender has been a calming presence at the backsince making his debut in the 1-1 draw with Gateshead in November.
But his three-month loan stint at Field Mill from Crawley is due to run out next week, meaning tomorrow's game at Newport County is set to be his last.
Smith, who has regained his place back in the side after his loan spell at Aldershot, has been impressed by the former Rushden man's contribution.
"John's been like a rock, very solid. He will be missed, because he has been fantastic," said Smith. "He reads the game very well, is experienced and strong, just a good all-round defender.
"When someone like that is not in your team any more then you are obviously going to notice."
Smith feels manager Paul Cox will have his work cut out to secure a man of equal stature.
John Thompson is making good progress after a neck-cum-shoulder injury, but the former York man feels the Stags may still need to go into the emergency loan market.
Smith said: "The gaffer will have his plans and will have to sort something out.
"But we have to have a strong squad to see us through the eight games we have coming up in March because of injuries and suspensions."
Mansfield Town winger Adam Smith praises club for progress made
chad.co.uk, Friday 17 February 2012
MANSFIELD Town winger Adam Smith says the club has progressed well over the last year as they look to build a platform for a return to the Football League.
Smith returned back to the Field Mill club last month after a two month loan spell at Aldershot and has been impressed with the changes made during his absence.
“As a manager Paul Cox has come in and put us in a healthy league position,” he said. “He has shown the fans that we can get back into the Football League.
“The squad has been strengthened well in January and has given us all an extra boost. We have definitely moved forward as a club over the last 12 months”
“We have a lot of good players waiting in the wings. Players like Jon Worthington are there waiting to get a place in the starting line-up and take their chance.
“We are all in it together and there is an excellent spirit in the camp and we are moving forward as one.”
And it is just that squad strength which Smith, who has made just three starts for Mansfield this season, believes will be crucial as Stags face eight games throughout March.
“We have got the squad to get through this busy period,” he added. “March will be an important part of the season for us, but really we need to take one game and a time and focus on that rather than the whole month.
“At the end of March we will take a look at where we are and assess the situation.”
Briscoe out to kick-start season at Mansfield Town
Nottingham Post, Friday, February 17, 2012
THIS was the season many predicted the undeniably talented Louis Briscoe would earn a return into the Football League.
On the back of a 19-goal season in 2010-11 – 16 of them coming after the turn of the year – big things were expected of the Mansfield Town winger.
But it has not gone at all to plan for the 23-year-old former Port Vale trainee, whose impact on Paul Cox's side has been considerably less than most would have thought.
Sure, Briscoe started the season well enough, scoring four goals in his first eight games and helping the side win five matches on the trot in August and September.
But since picking up a troublesome groin injury that he really started to feel in the 3-1 home defeat to Southport on October 15, his contribution has been minimal.
Sidelined completely for six weeks in the lead up to Christmas, Briscoe has struggled to regain full fitness since his return.
He has been hampered more recently by back trouble and struggled when restored to the starting line-up for the 1-0 win over Forest Green, being substituted in the 54th minute.
Briscoe finally feels he is now close to getting back to being 100 per cent fit.
But ahead of tomorrow's game at Newport County, the number seven is well aware he may have to bide his time with the Stags protecting a six-game unbeaten run.
"The injury had been niggling me since before I was sent off (at Kidderminster on September 24), but it was bad against Southport and I could feeling it when warming up against Lincoln the game after," said Briscoe.
"It has affected the pubis bone and the abductor and I was managing to get through things, but it was getting worse.
"More recently, it has been more of a fitness issue after being out and I just need games now.
"The gaffer put me in against Forest Green and I was probably not quite ready.
"It has been frustrating but fair play to the gaffer because he has given me a chance whenever he can and kept me on the bench as well when maybe there have been times I have not deserved it.
"After the suspension I got straight back into the side, but the whole team is going well at the moment and we are on a good run, so it is going to be hard to get back in."
Briscoe is hoping for a crack at Newport tomorrow, having scored twice against them in a 5-0 home victory in October and twice in as many matches against the Exiles last season. And he is convinced that if he gets a run of games, he can chip in with vital strikes, as he did so importantly last season.
He said: "I'm always confident I can score goals. I just have to prove it if I start or come off the bench.
"I've always seemed to do well against Newport in the past and get a goal, so hopefully I can do it again."
Following weather postponements – and a host of games being re-arranged as a result – Mansfield have eight games to play in March, which reminds Briscoe of the ten they played in April to finish last season.
The difference, he believes is that Mansfield have a squad better equipped to cope this time.
"It is a going to be hectic between now and the end of the season, but as a player you would prefer to play, play, play," said Briscoe.
Mansfield will journey down to South Wales today and stay overnight – thanks to the generosity of the Stags Supporters' Association (SSA) who have covered the £1,300 costs.
Manager Paul Cox has already done his homework, though, travelling across to Stockport last weekend to see Newport draw 2-2 in the battle of the division's two clubs named County.
"It was a good game with both sides fighting hard because they are fighting for their lives at the bottom end of the table," said Cox.
"I think what we learned more than anything about Newport is that they will be a completely different team to the one we beat (5-0).
"But when you are playing teams scrapping for survival, they are dangerous animals."
Mansfield Town winger Louis Briscoe looking to hit the goal trail
chad.co.uk, Thursday 16 February 2012
WINGER Louis Briscoe is hoping to rediscover his goalscoring exploits of last season and fire Stags into the play-off places.
Briscoe, who bagged 13 league goals after impressing last season, has had a mixed campaign so far having made just 14 starts following problems with a nagging groin strain.
But the former Port Vale player now feels he is not too far away from getting back to his best and playing a key part in Mansfield Town's play-off push.
“I have been working hard on my fitness levels during the break and hopefully I am now not too far away from getting back to my best and hopefully I can get a regular run in the team,”said Briscoe.
“I just have to keep working hard and hopefully everything will come.
“It's been a while since we last played. We were on a good run before the break and it is important we carry that on.
“We have had a lot of training games recently and got out of it what we want, but as a player you prefer to just play real games.”
Mansfield Town, who take on Newport County on Saturday, now face a gruelling schedule as the games rack up, with Stags having a key period of eight Blue Square Premier fixtures throughout March.
But, according to Briscoe, the current Mansfield Town squad is very well placed to meet the challenge ahead.
“We have been doing well as a team at the moment and I feel we are a better team than this time last year,”he said.
“There was more pressure on me last year to get the goals, especially at the end of the season. This season we are getting goals from other areas of the pitch.
“We have got a strong squad and there are excellent players on the bench and waiting in the wings for their chance.
“At the moment we are in a healthy league position,”he added. “We have not lost many games and if we can turn the draws into wins then we will make the play-offs. If we had been offered this position at the start of the season we would have taken it.”
Games left 'will decide' futures of Mansfield management duo
Nottingham Post, Wednesday, February 15, 2012
MICKY Moore believes Mansfield Town's final third of the season will dictate his and boss Paul Cox's future.
The assistant manager – like the man who brought him to Field Mill last summer – have still to be tied to new deals for 2012-13.
Both men are waiting to hear if they will be offered fresh terms beyond the summer.
"It's not the case that I worry, but of course you are concerned, we are all human beings," he said.
"I have a contract until the end of the season, like Paul, but I believe in my ability and believe and trust in Paul.
"Hopefully they will believe and trust in Paul and give him a contract and then he will look after me.
"The games we have left will decide. If we lose eight or nine games and finish outside the top ten, then we know what is going to happen."
Moore is convinced he and Cox are the right duo to carry Mansfield back into the Football League – even if it does not happen at the end of this season.
He said: "We have only lost five games all season and even if we missed out on the play-offs by, say, six points then I think that shows we are progressing.
"In the following 12 months to two years, I think we would be the right team to take the club back to where it belongs."
Cox urges Mansfield Town players to fight for futures
Nottingham Post, Thursday, February 16, 2012
PAUL Cox today urged his Mansfield Town players to fight for their futures – whatever division the club may be in next season.
The Stags still harbour ambitions of regaining their Football League status via the Blue Square Bet Premier play-offs.
But manager Cox already has an idea who he wants to keep from his current staff.
However, he insists that not every player's future is set in stone and his mind can still be swayed should a player push their case hard.
Mansfield hope to get back in action at Newport County on Saturday after the wintry weather put paid to home matches against Darlington and Fleetwood.
"I have an idea of the players who are out of contract that I want to keep on," said Cox.
"I think some of the lads will have a good idea as well, one way or another.
"But I don't want to take the focus away from football at the moment and I don't think the players should be thinking of anything else either.
"What I would say, however, is that I would never close the door on anyone.
"If players can show me in this last 16 games of the season they deserve a new contract, then I will be watching. They are still up for grabs."
However, Cox has a selection headache in a number of areas at Spytty Park, particularly with Dan Craven, Paul Ed wards and Matt Rhead all available
Mansfield Town boss Cox wary of Chapman threat
Nottingham Post, Saturday, February 18, 2012
Follow.MANSFIELD Town boss Paul Cox hopes former trialist Adam Chapman does not come back to haunt him at Newport County this afternoon.
The Oxford United player came to Field Mill shortly after the New Year with a view to joining until the end of the season to regain match fitness.
But Cox opted not to take on the midfielder, who has since moved to Justin Edinburgh's Exiles instead.
Even so, the Mansfield manager knows Chapman could hurt his troops if they do not come out firing following their enforced break due to the wintry weather.
"Adam is a very good player. I was impressed with him when I saw him play for Newport last Saturday and apparently he played well on Tuesday as well," said Cox.
"I've explained before why I didn't want to take him but he is a fabulous player, as the fans will see today, so we have to be prepared for that."
A young Mansfield Town side lost 5-0 to a strong Telford outfit in a midweek friendly and Cox's decision to play so many fresh faces has brought some criticism.
But he said: "We put out a side with seven players between the age of 16 and 19 to see how some of them are progressing.
"I would rather pitch the young lads into a game where you have some control than in a first-team game in front of a big crowd."
Latest | February 2012