CAMBRIDGE PREVIEWS - THOMMO ON RETURN
I'm a work in progress - Thommo
mansfieldtown.net, 4th October 2012
Defender John Thompson believes that he is a 'work in progress' after making his first start of the season in our clash with Hereford United last weekend.
Signed from Notts County in June 2011, the 30-year-old is one of a select group of players to have featured for all three of our region's professional football clubs, having begun his career at Nottingham Forest in January 2002.
Thompson was expected to play a significant role in our side last term, but suffered a horrendous facial injury during a pre-season encounter with Ilkeston, which caused him to spend several frustrating months of the 2011/12 campaign on the sidelines.
The experienced full-back has now admitted that it took him a lot of time to recover from the injury that he suffered on that fateful night at the New Manor Ground over a year ago.
Thompson said: “It took a lot of time, because there were a lot of physical and mental issues to deal with after what had happened.”
“I managed to get back on the pitch last season, but not necessarily being mentally 100% up for playing professional football again.
“I still think I'm probably a little bit of a work in progress at the moment and I still have some slight issues with my injuries, such as getting a stiff neck the day after a game.
“But at present I feel like I am perfectly able to do a job for the team and I'm still desperate to keep playing football and not give in to what happened, because it was a terrible thing and it shouldn't happen on a football pitch”
Thompson, who made what was only his third Mansfield Town start at One Call Stadium last weekend, has also revealed that he felt more nervous about our last game than any other during his career.
He continued: “The 90 minutes were huge for me on Saturday, because I was probably more nervous than I have been for any other game in my entire career.”
“It was purely down to the fact that I was given a chance to get back into the team and sort of prove people wrong and stay playing professional football.
“The one thing that the gaffer [Paul Cox] has always said to me is that I would get a chance. He's been true to his word, so it's up to me now to keep my place.”
Despite trailing to an early Marlon Jackson goal, an equaliser from Exodus Geohaghon on the cusp of half-time earned us a point from our clash with the Bulls.
It was a game of few clear-cut chances and one which ended our sequence of four consecutive victories on home soil, but Thompson says he enjoyed the encounter.
“I really enjoyed it,” admitted the full-back, who has made almost 300 career appearances.
“It was a bit frustrating because Hereford came here looking for the draw and got everyone behind the ball which made it difficult for us.”
“We were a bit disappointed because we didn't break them down and create many clear-cut chances, but there were some positives to take and I don't think it was a disaster for us.”
“All I want to do now is stay in the team and repay the unbelievable support I've had from the supporters, by helping to get Mansfield Town out of this league.”
“The fans here deserve a little bit of success. They've stuck with me all the time and if I can help this club to win promotion, I'll be delighted.”
Thompson Delighted With Return
Mansfield Town full-back John Thompson says Saturday's match against Hereford was a massive game for him.
He made his first start of the season and hopes it is the start of a new chapter in his career.
He has spent the last sixteen months getting over a horrific facial injury he suffered in a pre-season match.
"I was probably more nervous on Saturday than I have been in any other game in my career, and I've played hundreds of games, as I was desperate to stay in there and prove people wrong.
"I'm desperate to keep playing football and not give in to what happened because it was a terrible thing that shouldn't happen on a football pitch."
And, Thompson has admitted that he still has work to do to be completely over the injury during a friendly at Ilkeston in August 2011, but he's getting there.
He said: "I managed to get on the pitch last season but wasn't necessarily mentally ready for playing professional football again.
"I still think I'm a little bit of a work-in-progress at the moment as I still have some slight issues with it.
"I get a very stiff neck after games and things like that but I feel like I'm perfectly able to do a job for the team."
Thompson looks to put his nightmare in the past at Mansfield Town
chad.co.uk, Friday 5 October 2012
DESPITE over 200 League games and being an ex-Irish international, John Thompson admitted that he had never been as nervous before a game as he was making his first Mansfield Town appearance of the season last weekend.
Horrific facial injuries he sustained in last season's notorious pre-season fixture at Ilkeston left him with deep physical and mental scars.
And, when his comeback stalled last season with continuing problems from the incident with Gary Ricketts, doubts began to creep into his mind that he still had a future in the professional game.
But Thompson is a strong character and was overjoyed to face Hereford last weekend and is now looking forward to tomorrow's trip to Cambridge with renewed hope.
“It's been a long time waiting for it,” he said of his return last weekend.
“It's been a frustrating time since I came to the club but I am being positive now and looking forward. I was delighted to get the chance to play 90 minutes.
“I've never had a time like this in my career. I did a lot of work pre-season to get myself fit so I was disappointed not to given the chance to start the season.
“I am sure the manager was sick of me knocking at his door and asking him when I might be playing. But he said I would get my chance pretty soon and he's been true to his word so it's up to me now.
“It has been tough mentally and physically with what happened.
“I managed to get back on the pitch last season but I wasn't 100 per cent mentally. I still think I am a bit of a work in progress at the moment.
“I still have slight issues from the injuries such as very stiff necks the day after games. But I am more than able to do a job for the team.
“I wanted to keep playing football and not give in to what happened. It was a terrible thing and should have never happened on a football pitch.”
On last weekend, he added: “I was probably more nervous than any other game in my career - and I have played in hundreds.
“It was my chance to get back in the team, prove people wrong and stay playing professional football.
“The supporters have been unbelievable with the reception they give me every time.
“It would have been very easy for them to get annoyed as I've hardly played since I came here.
“But they have stuck with me and I want to repay that now and help this club get out of this league. The fans here deserve a bit of success and, if I can help them do that, I would be delighted.”
Thompson out to put personal nightmare to bed by helping Mansfield win promotion
Saturday, October 06, 2012 Nottingham Post
IT WAS a stellar signing by Paul Cox shortly after landing the Mansfield Town manager's job.
To land the versatile John Thompson was a real coup, a serious statement of intent.
Capped by the Republic of Ireland, Thompson had played in the Championship with Nottingham Forest and 12 months before arriving at the Stags, lifted the League Two title, as captain of Notts County.
He was to be the rock, the defender to build his side around but it all went wrong that pre-season.
In a friendly with Ilkeston FC, Cox ordered his players off after the game was plagued by ugly incidents, none more so than when Thompson crashed into the dugout, after a barge by veteran striker Gary Ricketts.
It left him needing 40 stitches in his face, internal and external, as well as a broken nose and last season, he played just seven games.
It was not just the physical injury he had to overcome, but the mental scars as well.
And this season, he has been left equally frustrated, after being limited to just one substitute appearance in the second game of the season at Gateshead.
That all changed last weekend, however, when he finally got his chance against Hereford, playing the whole game at right-back in the 1-1 draw.
Now, the 30-year-old is desperate to make his mark and play a leading role, continuing today at Cambridge United.
"It has been pretty bad 16 months, I have not had a time like this in my career," said Thompson. "It has been difficult.
"I did a lot of hard work in pre-season to get myself ready so I was disappointed not to be given a chance at the start of this season but I am sure the manager was sick of me knocking on his door asking him why I wasn't playing.
"The one thing he did say was I would get my chance soon and he was true to his word, so now it is up to me to take it.
"It did take a lot to get over what happened at Ilkeston (last year), a lot of mental and physical issues after what happened.
"I managed to get back on the pitch last season but maybe I was not 100 per cent up for playing professional football.
"I am probably a work in progress at the moment. I still have some slight issues, like a stiff neck the day after games and I am not totally there.
"But I feel perfectly able to do a job for the team. I am just desperate to play football and not give in to what happened at Ilkeston.
"The 90 minutes were huge because I was probably more nervous in that game than any other in my career, and I have played hundreds of games. It was more down to the fact I was desperate to get back in the team and stay in there.
"The fans have been great to me and now I just want to help them get out of this division because they deserve it."
Murray joins treatment queue for Mansfield Town ahead of Cambridge trip
chad.co.uk, Thursday 4 October 2012
SKIPPER Adam Murray has this week joined Mansfield Town's lengthening injury list ahead of Saturday's trip to Cambridge United (3pm).
But manager Paul Cox is confident Murray will make it.
Murray took a nasty kick to the ankle which troubled him last season and on which he had an operation in the summer.
But Cox said: “You know Adam. If it's not right he will have an injection, put on a plaster cast or be pushed out there in a wheelchair! He will want to play.”
The other major worry is over striker Nick Wright, who played last weekend despite injury, and has not been able to train this week since.
Matt Green came through 45 minutes of last night's 1-0 reserves win over Gateshead to blow off the cobwebs for his return on Saturday after a three game suspension.
He played up front alongside Ben Hutchinson, who scored the first half winner.
Michael Boeteng and another un-named trialist played the game in bids to win deals with the Stags.
Stags lined up: Mitchell; Beevers, Jones (Boeteng), Tafazolli, Owens; Todd (Stevenson), Clements, trialist, Briscoe; Green (Rhead), Hutchinson
Green back to boost Mansfield Town
Saturday, October 06, 2012 Nottingham Post
MANSFIELD Town boss Paul Cox is set to throw star striker Matt Green straight back into the fold at Cambridge United today,
Last season's 30-goal top scorer has now completed a three-match ban.
And after an inconsistent start to the season for the Stags, it is hoped Green can fire his side to three points today.
Fellow striker Nick Wright has not trained all week and Green could come in alongside Matt Rhead or Jake Speight.
Cox said: "Greeny is back and there is no hiding from the fact that is a massive boost for us.
"You are going to miss a player of his ability and goalscoring threat and he has been looking sharp."
No sulking as Pilkington looks to keep his Mansfield Town shirt at Cambridge
chad.co.uk, Friday 5 October 2012
FORGOTTEN man George Pilkington is hoping he can keep his place at Cambridge this weekend after his shock recall to the Mansfield Town first team last Saturday.
And the former Luton Town defender said it had been important he didn't sulk over his early-season axe from the side after they let in eight goals in the first two games with him as skipper in the heart of defence.
He said: “I have watched a lot of football recently and it was a surprise to start if I am totally honest. It was great to be out there.
“I had hope in training that I might be at least on the bench. But I found out at twenty to two on the day when I was told to get myself ready.
“I think I had a steady game. It would have been nice to get a win and their goal came from a defensive error. Otherwise I thought we looked pretty solid, though we need to do more offensively.”
While disappointed to be dropped down the pecking order, Pilkington remained philosophical.
“It is part and parcel of the game. You either sulk and feel sorry for yourself or you get on with it and I tried to do the latter. I kept fit and waited for my chance.
“I was out of favour. It happens in football. Other players have come in and had their chance and probably one or two of them are disappointed not to be playing now.
“I have been professional and got on with my job.
“We are blessed with a good squad here and you could put any of them (the defenders) into the back four and they would do a good job. We have been chopping and changing looking to get the right mix,” he said.
“This is the first time I have played with Ex (Exodus Geohaghon) and it was good. I felt good out there.”
Manager Paul Cox is still hoping he might be able to bolster his injury-hit squad with a loan signing before the trip, but he will at least have goal ace Matt Green back from a three-game suspension.
Cox admitted he was surprised the U's have started badly, saying: “Cambridge were my dark horses to go and win the league this season.
“They have probably not had the best of starts. But they have a squad of very good players and have thrown a bit of resource at it.
“They did well last year but lost one or two influential players late on and probably drew too many games.
“This league does not take shape until January and I expect them be up there as they have too many good players and good management not to.”
Redmond looking to take advantage of Marriott injury at Mansfield Town
Friday, October 05, 2012 Nottingham Post
IF last season felt difficult at times, the start to this campaign must have left Mansfield Town's Shane Redmond feeling totally isolated.
Manager Paul Cox's decision to go with no goalkeeper on the bench meant Saturdays were just not the same for the Irish stopper, watching from the stands.
After playing just one match last season – the final game of the campaign at Kidderminster – the chances of getting a second outing seem a distant dream.
But a freak shoulder injury to number one Alan Marriott in training has created an opportunity.
And 23-year-old Redmond is desperate to seize it.
Cox brought in Liam Mitchell on loan from Notts County for a month, but it was Redmond who got the nod in the 1-1 draw against Hereford and he was delighted.
Following the final whistle, his smile beamed from ear to ear, after suddenly being catapulted into the limelight.
Now, as Mansfield head to Cambridge United tomorrow, Redmond is ready to make the spot his own with Marriott ruled out for at least two months.
The first aim is to win the battle with Mitchell, but Redmond is confident about his chances.
"I am disappointed for Alan because it is a bad injury, but delighted to get the chance. It is a chance for me and I have to try and take it," he said.
"I hope I will get a few more games and it is something I am looking forward to.
"I have a chance to show what I can do.
"Last season I did not get a chance and it was a shock to the system in the first game of this season, knowing no goalkeeper would be on the bench.
"I know Mazza is going to play if he is fit so it has been difficult to motivate myself on a Saturday but now I can play games. My opportunity has arrived now.
"We do not know how long he will be out so it is a chance for me. I have to play well and stay in the team."
Redmond was a virtual spectator last week as Hereford hardly threatened and he will be much busier tomorrow afternoon at Abbey Stadium.
"I was disappointed with the goal and I did not have much else to do to be honest," he said.
"My kicking was good and my decision making I was happy with.
"I mean, Kidderminster was the last competitive game I played and it is different to reserve games because you have the crowd, which makes a big difference.
"But the performance is something to build on."
After five wins and four draws, Stags have drawn their last two matches at AFC Telford and then against Hereford.
Star striker Matt Green returns from his three-match ban to boost the Stags and George Pilkington, John Thompson and Nick Wright – brought in from the wilderness last weekend – could all start again after impressing against the Bulls.
"We are still not hitting our stride but we are picking up points," said Redmond.
"Something is just not clicking and we should be winning more games.
"The manager is focused on getting it sorted.
"Greeny coming back is like a new player and I thought Nick Wright was excellent last week.
"The lads who came in have taken their chance. That is good because we play the reserve games and they have done well. We will build on it at Cambridge."
Cambridge United name Richard Money as head coach
Cambridge United have appointed former Luton boss Richard Money as head coach, with Jez George reverting to a director of football role.
Money will deal with all first-team affairs, including picking the team.
"I've worked in this structure before. It's the right structure. It's the way forward," 56-year-old Money told BBC Radio Cambridgeshire.
"The role of head coach is the right role for someone in my position. I'm very pleased to be here."
Money has been out of work since he was replaced at Luton by his then assistant and ex-Cambridge manager Gary Brabin.
The former Fulham and Liverpool defender has had spells managing abroad in Sweden and Australia and has been boss at Scunthorpe and Walsall.
George will return to the director of football role he occupied before he took the reins at the Abbey Stadium in February 2011.
He initially took the job on a caretaker basis, saving the U's from relegation in the Blue Square Bet Premier.
He has since worked under strict financial conditions, putting an emphasis on using local youngsters, and secured a mid-table position last season.
But the former youth team coach, who has gained only three wins this season, has always stated he would step down as manager when he felt the time was right.
In a statement he said: "This season expectations have grown with new signings and the club celebrating its centenary year.
"Despite us having the youngest squad in the league, I believe our results have been unacceptably poor."
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