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Just enjoy the play-off chase, says Stags boss
chad.co.uk, Thursday 23 February 2012
MANSFIELD Town boss Cox today tried to ease the stress and worry of trying to get into the play-offs this season by simply telling players and fans to 'enjoy it'.
Stags' 5-2 home win over Darlington on Tuesday leaves them just three points off the play-offs with a game in hand and 14 matches to go, the next two at home.
That represents a fabulous chance of making the annual Wembley jamboree in his first season in charge.
But, ahead of Saturday's visit of Tamworth (3pm), Cox said: “Once you start getting uptight and thinking too much about it, then it becomes a tough job.
“I want our supporters, the players and everyone at this club to just enjoy it now.
“Anything can happen between now and the end of the season. We won't go all the way through without losing again and there will be twists and turns. But we have given ourselves a great opportunity.
“We have put a smile back on everyone's faces. And when the lads are enjoying their football, that is when we are at our best. If we are anxious or uptight then we become a bit erratic.
“Our supporters can make a massive difference like they did on Tuesday. A bad performance or a mistake can create anxiety which, when it sets in, we've seen in the past has a detrimental effect on the players.
“If you are fourth from bottom then this business is a horrible place. But we are tucked nicely in the pack and might be successful this season. Let's just enjoy the whole scenario and see what happens.”
Stags are trying to sort out a centre half on loan in time for the weekend with John Dempster's loan spell from Crawley ending in midweek.
Paul Edwards plays his final game on loan from Fleetwood at left back, but Stags will speak to Fleetwood and the player on Monday to see if that can be extended
Stags hitman Dyer inspired by strike partner Green
Nottingham Post, Friday, February 24, 2012
IT'S hard not to feel for Ross Dyer – and Mansfield Town's win over Darlington on Tuesday night perfectly illustrated why.
Fellow front-man Matt Green bagged a hat-trick to claim the match ball, all the headlines and a bottle of champers for the man-of-the-match award.
Meanwhile, as Green was whisked off to conduct a round of post-match interviews, Dyer was instead left to contemplate a black eye.
The blow was sustained when the former Forest Green man won a flick-on to allow Louis Briscoe to smash home the final goal in the Stags' 5-2 victory over the Quakers.
That typically unselfish work had been preceded by another assist for Mansfield's second goal, battling to win a header that paved the way for the first of Green's treble.
But Dyer is not concerned about the lack of acknowledgement for such donkey work.
He knows that, ultimately, players in his position are judged on finding the back of the net and agrees, in that regard, there is substantial room for improvement.
The 23-year-old may have scored six goals but feels, with the simple chances he has missed, it could have been more than double that.
"I would have liked a few more goals, there's no denying that, but hopefully there is still time to put that right to some extent," said Dyer.
"It's been like this the majority my career, that I have started slowly in terms of goals at a new club.
"That was the case at Hednesford in my first season and the year after I scored 20-odd goals, maybe 30.
"If things had gone a bit differently for me this year, I could have had something like 16 or 17.
"This year I have been learning how to play at this level but I'm confident in my ability and that I can go on to score goals eventually.
"It's a lot about confidence as a goalscorer and with the games coming think and fast, it's easier to keep a run going, so if I can get one or two, I might be able to get on a roll.
"I just have to be more ruthless. I've learned that you don't get as many chances at this level and you have to put them away."
Dyer is not envious of the exploits of Green; far from it. He has reveled in learning from the former Oxford United man, who has 21 goals to his name so far this season.
Dyer said: "It's been very good for me to play with Greeny. He's told me he has been in a similar place, where things have not gone right in front of goal.
"He recalled one season at Oxford where he could not hit a barn door and how it got him down.
"But he has come here and revitalised his career and has told me if I keep believing it will come right."
Dyer is looking for Mansfield to keep their excellent home form going when Tamworth come to Field Mill tomorrow.
"The next two games after this are at home and it is a big thing in our season," said Dyer.
"If we could win all three of these home games (including Darlington) we would be in an unbelievable place.
"We haven't played Tamworth yet and our two games against them are quite close (March 10, at the New Lamb).
"They might have a big part to play in our season, not just the games against us but with who else they have left to play.
"They have got a lot of the teams above us, so they might have a big say in where points go."
Having moved to within three points of the play-offs with a game in hand, Dyer is optimistic.
He said: "We have talked over what we expect to get from each game we have left.
"As long as we stick to that, then we should be getting in the play-offs.
"I think we have got quite a decent run-in, as have some of the other teams as well.
"Grimsby have got a tough one, even though they are in good form, probably one of the hardest.
"But whatever the games you have left, you still have to win them."
Dyer is out to use the last 14 games of the Stags' season to prove he deserves to stay at the club in 2012-13 – whatever division they are in.
"My contract is up in the summer, with a one-year option in the club's favour," he said. "It's the manager's decision, but I would love to stay.
"When I first came to the club I thought I might be third-choice striker, but I have got in and kept my spot.
"I think that has shown I have done something right in the eyes of the gaffer."
Briscoe can have big role to play for Stags
Nottingham Post, Friday, February 24, 2012
LOUIS Briscoe has a 'massive' part to play for Mansfield Town in their promotion-chasing run-in – if he can replicate Tuesday's substitute display against Darlington.
That's the view of manager Paul Cox after seeing the winger terrorise the Quakers defence after coming on at the break in the 5-2 victory at Field Mill.
Briscoe has been a peripheral figure since October after struggling with a groin problem.
But he showed no ill-effects after scoring his fifth goal of the season and Cox revealed the former Port Vale player is pumped up to regain his place.
Briscoe will be in contention for tomorrow's home clash with Tamworth, the second of three consecutive home matches for Stags.
"I said 'welcome back' to Louis after the game. With his desire levels and creativeness in the last third, I felt he deserved his goal," said Cox. "On Monday he asked why he had been left out against Newport – and I told him.
"But he trained like a Trojan before the Darlington game and I thought, looking into his eyes, he had a point to prove.
"It was good to see the fire in him. For someone to celebrate his goal like he did you could see it meant so much to him.
"I probably wasn't on his Christmas card list, but I'm trying to say that if you want to be at this club you need to have high standards.
"If we get Louis Briscoe playing at his best with 14 games to go, then we've got one heck of a footballer."
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