COX, RHEAD, MITCHELL AND HOCKADAY REACTION
video interviews with Cox, Mitchell and Rhead --->
Mansfield Town manager Paul Cox told BBC Radio Nottingham:
audio - http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/19854914
"I don't think anyone could say we didn't deserve it today. I thought they boys worked extremely hard and we did create some great chances.
"I am over the moon but it is only one win and this could be a base for us to start from.
"We looked structured, we looked organised and more importantly we looked hungry, which is the main ingredient for success."
Forest Green Rovers manager Dave Hockaday told BBC Radio Gloucestershire:
audio - http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/19854914
"We feel like we've run over a black cat or smashed some mirrors or something. It feels like things just aren't quite going for us.
"We've had the best chances in open play and we haven't taken them.
"We defended brilliantly and had to make a few changes really late on. They've given me everything and I can ask for more.
"We've been punished late again, we've got to take that on the chin and we've got to learn."
'It was a nice end to the game', says Stags boss Cox after late winner beats Forest Green
PAUL Cox was a happy man as a late Matt Rhead header saw off Forest Green Rovers today at the end of a traumatic week for the Stags.
Booed from the field at home to Lincoln on Tuesday, when some fans spat at players, it seemed Stags were heading for a fifth game without a win until Rhead popped up on 89 minutes.
By that time, it seemed there would be more conflict with fans at the final whistle, Cox having already been booed for subbing striker Matt Green on 64 minutes.
Cox said: It was nice to get a home win. But it was just another three points so there won't be a party going on tonight.
“I just want to put it (the booing) behind me now. The majority of the fans here are brilliant and have stuck with us.
“Last game they had a go at me for not making any changes. Today I made a sub and they booed me so I accept you are damned if you do and damned if you don't.
“It was a nice end to the game for us. The big man has put himself about for the last few games but ended up with nothing to show for it. But he is a massive threat in the box. It was a pinpoint throw and all he had to do was direct it.
“At half-time I told them we needed to show a bit more willingness in the last third. The lads deserve all the credit. They worked extremely hard like they have done all season and got the result.
“There has been a bit of anxiety. But today we did the basics well and looked structured and organised. Take nothing away from Forest Green, they are a very good side. But I think there is still a lot more to come from us.”
Cox not getting carried away with Stags win
MANSFIELD Town boss Paul Cox is refusing to get carried away by a vital home victory against Forest Green Rovers.
Matt Rhead's 89th-minute strike earned a first win in five, as the Stags beat their high-flying opponents 1-0 on Saturday.
But just like he refused to buckle under the thunderous boos that met the previous goalless draw with Lincoln, he also said he was not going to go over the top after victory saw his team leave the field to huge cheers.
He said this is just a start if they want to get into the promotion mix in the Blue Square Bet Premier.
"It was a nice end to the game," said Cox. "The big lad has put himself around for the last few games and got nothing to show for it but the throw-in was pinpoint and he directed it in with his head. It was great.
"It is three points and we did the basics well, we looked organised and structured against a very good Forest Green side. But there is plenty more we can get better at.
"There was some expectation that was unrealistic, there has been anxiety but building blocks are being put in place and we have to build on them.
"The boys deserve all the credit. They worked hard and got their reward but there is no party going on.
"There is plenty we can get better at. They were psyched up for this one but there is plenty more to come and we go on from here."
Cox did come under criticism in the 64th minute when he substituted last season's top goalscorer Matt Green for Lindon Meikle.
But he was proved right as Stags pushed on for the winner, as they changed their shape from 3-5-2 to 4-2-2.
He added: "Matt is instrumental to everything we want to achieve at this club.
"But he wasn't having the best of games so sometimes he to come off."
Notts County's Liam Mitchell delighted to play his part at Mansfield Town
MANSFIELD Town's on-loan goalkeeper Liam Mitchell was delighted to play his part in a vital victory against Forest Green Rovers.
And the 20-year-old, on a month's loan from Notts County, believes the club can now push on up the Blue Square Bet Premier table.
Mitchell has played two games for the Stags and kept two clean sheets, pulling off a tremendous one-handed save to deny Matt Taylor in the second half on Saturday.
It was the only major thing he had to do in the 1-0 win at the One Call Stadium.
But Mitchell said he always had confidence in his ability, having played on loan at Tamworth last season.
Mitchell said: "I just stuck a hand out and it was a good save but I didn't expect it to go in, I had full confidence in myself.
"It was a good victory and what the boys needed, it is a step forward and we need to go on and get a positive result in the next few games now, which we can do.
"I thought the back three did tremendous, they listened to the commands I was giving them and we just need to keep going now.
"I am getting to know the boys now, gelling with them and am glad to be playing my part in the games. I'll go on from here.
"I will keep doing what I need to do in training and save the ball – that's my job at the end of the day.
"The training is good, the lads have a laugh like at Notts and I am enjoying it."
Manager Paul Cox swooped to sign Mitchell after veteran goalkeeper Alan Marriott suffered a shoulder injury in training, one that will keep him out until at least December.
He said: "Liam did his job and apart from that he did not have much to do. He's a quality goalkeeper and is going to be an outstanding goalkeeper once he matures. We are glad we have got him. He is in competition with Mazza and Shane Redmond now."
Cox was also delighted with the patience showed by his team, as they held firm for the whole game before scoring with just a minute of normal time left on the clock.
He added: "The boys understand that most of the games played at this level are going to be tight and we might have to be patient to get a winning goal in the 89th minute. There is nothing between a lot of clubs in this division."
Mansfield Town loan keeper Mitchell recalls vital save in last gasp Stags win to topple Forest Green
On-loan Notts County keeper Liam Mitchell made one brilliant reaction save to deny Matt Taylor in the second half as Mansfield Town grabbed a late winner to beat Forest Green Rovers on Saturday.
After the 1-0 win the high flying visitors, he said: “It was a good victory which the boys needed.
“For the save I just stuck a hand out and threw myself. It was a good save.
“The defence were tremendous in front of me and listened to the commands I gave them.
“It's been good so far. I am just getting to know the boys and gel with them. I am now starting to play my part in the games and hope I can go on from here.”
Rovers boss Dave Hockaday said: “It feels like we have run over a cat at the moment. But we will dust ourselves down and keep going as I think we have a good team.
“They are young and still learning. And if they learn from today then I am happy.
“In open play we had the best chances. But we didn't take them. If you don't then you are ot going to win football matches.
“They put the ball into our box and asked questions and we answered them.
“But we conceded a goal with a header in the last minute directly from a throw where the lad hasn't even had to jump which is very frustrating.
“We deserved something from the game. We didn't really get the ball down and play enough.
“It is easy to get caught up in that style of play. I don't have anything against it. The beauty of the English game is that there are so many styles.
“When we did get it down, we were the better passing team. But that doesn't win games. You have to hit the back of the net.”
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